Wednesday, 16 December 2015

#LakeDistrictBid Advent Calendar Day 16 - Because of famous folk...

There are lots of famous names associated with the Lake District – from poets to painters and writers to world record holding legends.  They were drawn here by the beautiful and varied landscape and they, in turn, drew others here with their writings, pictures and adventures.


I don’t know a lot about painting but I do know Turner painted one of the most famous views in Cumbria – Ruskin’s view (I’m sure there’s a reason it’s not called Turner’s view isn’t there?).  The painting itself is in private hands but you can pop along to Kirkby Lonsdale to see the view “in person” anytime you fancy. (Look out for the multicoloured barn in the middle of the view too – the result of a difference of opinion between the farmer and the local council.)

Ruskin's / Turner's View


One of our most famous poets and this was one of his favourite haunts.  When we were researching our book I read a few of his poems and was particularly enjoyed TheWaggoner which paints a wonderful picture of life along Dunmail Raise – though it does also read like the saga of a rather good pub crawl....

Thirlmere - where Benjamin The Waggoner travelled


I’m pretty sure that if Ruskin were around now he’d be a blogger.  He was an art critic and writer and had something to say on pretty much any given subject.  He wrote a bit about Turner – “Ruskin’s View of Turner” perhaps – and he lived in Brantwood at the top end of Coniston Water on the opposite side to the town (large apricot building – you can’t miss it.)

Brantwood - photobombed!  :-D


Never credited with being a “people person”, Wainwright has arguably left more of a mark on the region than most.  His iconic books with their immaculate hand drawn illustrations can be found on the bookshelves of pretty much everyone who loves The Lakes.  Each year thousands of people continue on their quest to “bag” all 214 of the summits he describes.  Most of them don’t try to do it in one year.  Or 214 days.  Steve did.  Steve is bonkers.

Steve on Castle Crag - his final "Wainwright"


I never read Swallows and Amazons when I was younger but I’ve read it now – inspired by a mix of Coniston and Windermere and sure to instantly instil a desire to go sailing...  The books are definitely “of their time” and describe a wonderfully idealistic childhood of nannies, friendly farmers dishing out fresh milk and fabulous adventures with a bunch of friends.

"Wild Cat Island"


If you’re interested in Donald Campbell then there are 2 places you need to visit – Coniston water to see the site of his ill fated attempt on the world water speed record, and the Lakeland Motor Museum at Backbarrow where there’s a wonderful exhibition of his vehicles and his life.

Campbell Memorial & another photobomb!


Hilltop is the National Trust property where she lived and is well worth a visit, if only for the rather wonderful Tower Bank Arms pub next door which does wonderful food and even better cider.  She loved the Lake District, helped to save Herdwick sheep from oblivion and protected vast tracts of land which are now in the safe care of the National Trust.



Gaining World Heritage Site Status would enable to Lake District National Park Authority to better highlight the contribution these, and others, made to the evolution of the landscape.  You can learn more about the bid and register your support by clicking here.

To go back to day 1 of the blog, please click here. (Where have you been??!!)

No comments:

Post a Comment