Grasmere, Wordsworth and the Lake District – Part 2

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Tiny figures up on the ridge (Lakeland,UK)

We were in the Lake District on the Coast to Coast Walk across England, a 307 km journey. The story continues:

After this pleasant interlude at Greenup Edge, there was further to go. The ridge walk continued alongside Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag.

From here another surreal view presented itself. Down below were the narrow roads and green fields with the town of Grasmere sitting alongside its namesake – the lake of Grasmere.

Through the crystal clear air, the little town seemed so close that you could almost reach out and touch it. A couple of airforce jets screamed overhead, causing us to cover our ears from the blast. Seeing the armed forces patrolling British skies against possible, if improbable foreign attack, promoted a sense of security and reminded me of the earlier Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Norman invasions.
It took some time to carefully pick our way down the steep winding path from Helm Crag till we arrived at a flat sealed roadway that led to the heart of Grasmere, one of the Wordsworth Villages. William Wordsworth was one of England’s best known poets and had lived in Grasmere for a number of years.

It was a pretty town, which, although it catered for tourists, did not seem unduly spoiled by its popularity. In earlier times, pigs were herded near the lake and the name Grise Mere came about, “grise” meaning pigs. And so the name Grasmere evolved.

The temperature had dropped markedly since our descent from Helm Crag and stopping briefly to look at a shop window, we both realised how cold and tired we were. But there was no rest to be had for us walkers, as Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage and museum had to be visited that afternoon, or not at all.

The Tourist Bureau supplied a map of the town showing the location of the cottage and we hurried there, hoping that we would have enough energy to fulfill our tourist duties. We made it in time to join the last tour of Dove Cottage for the day.

The year 1766 found the western world in flux. Demand for change and freedom, especially freedom of the imagination was high. A renewal of interest in history and mystery grew alongside a new appreciation of nature.

The French were impatient with their monarch and the British colony of America was chafing under the yoke of British rule. Revolution seemed imminent.

To be continued.

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