Subject: English Lake District--Again

Yes, we DO love the Lake District, and we do go often, though not every year. We also go somewhere new at least once a year (we just got back from South America, where we had never been). But, like Britain itself, the Lake District is inexhaustible. After nearly thirty years of visits, we are a long way from doing all the important things we want to, let alone all there is to do. The most intrepid walker could never do all the walks there are in a lifetime.

So, a few (very few) suggestions. Ambleside is a busy (often crowded) little town, and we find Grasmere more pleasant. Hawkshead is lovely, too, but very busy in the summer. There are far too many pleasant walks in the area to mention; but we have always enjoyed several in the Grasmere area: Alcock tarn and any part of the Fairfield Horseshoe; Silver Howe; the Lion and the Lamb (Helm Crag), above Grasmere; Easedale Tarn; Helvellyn (especially by the Striding Edge out of Glenridding, but the Dollywagon Pike route is also nice); the Loughrigg Terrace walk out of Grasmere is especially beautiful and quite easy, a good after-dinner walk--there are so many! Pick up one of the many books of low-level or circular walks that are available in all the bookstores and tourist information places.

Likewise, there are pleasant drives all over the Lakes. Someone mentioned Wrynose and Hardknott passes, and I would second that. Go also to Wastwater, one of our favourites--very remote and wild and beautiful (some people find it spooky, but we love it), with a charming little chapel whose graveyard is full of the graves of climbers. Good pub there as well, The Wasdale Hotel at Wasdale Head. The drive up to Troutbeck north of Ambleside is delightful. Be sure to see the NT house, Town End at Troutbeck. Our favourite pub there is the Queens' Head, just below Troutbeck, and there is also the Mortal Man, or you can continue up to the Kirkstone pass and have a pint at the Kirkstone Inn at 1500', not the highest pub in Britain, but right up there. (Not as good a pub, however.) The ride up to Keswick and down to Buttermere and Crummock Water is also quite pleasant, and you can return by way of the Honister Pass. Certainly, you should make the drive through the Langdales. There are so many lovely drives I hardly know where to start (or stop!).

Other favourite pubs are the Britannia, in Elterwater; the Drunken Duck, in Barngate (not far from Sawrey); the King's Head, in Thirlspot; the Traveler's Rest, just north of Grasmere. Not a pub but a good place to eat is the Moss Grove Hotel in Grasmere. They serve a fine multi-course meal at a reasonable price--good traditional English cooking (no, that is not an oxymoron). The food is excellent, and it is a lovely, quiet place.

A couple of other things come to mind: in Keswick the pencil museum is surprisingly enjoyable, as is the Armitt Museum in Ambleside. If you like gardens, try the topiary gardens at Levens Hall, or the Holehird Gardens between Ambleside and Troutbeck. There are many more.

I could go on all day, but I hope these few suggestions are of help to you. Enjoy your stay!

Cheers, Bill in Baltimore