- Windermere, Cumbria
School Knott, east of Windermere, provides a good spot for panoramic countryside vistas. Orrest Head (c750 ft high), opposite the rail station, is an ideal place to view the central fells, the Yorkshire Pennines, and the lakes.
Wordsworth wrote a poem about the view from Orrest Head:
Standing alone, as from a rampart's edge,The railroad never continued through the Lake District, partly due to Wordsworth. Although he loved the area himself, he didn't wish to share it with others and used his influence to help terminate the rail line at Windermere. He wrote:
Is there no nook of English ground secure,There are two churches in the town: St John the Evangelist and St Mary's, which has some Victorian stained glass windows.
Holehird Gardens, 1½ miles from Windermere, sit on a hillside at the southern end of Troutbeck valley. The ten acres of gardens, located on the grounds of a Grade II listed building - now an old folk's home - provide spectacular views across the lake to the fells beyond. A walled kitchen garden, rock garden, orchard, heathers and shrubs make for a peaceful stroll. The garden has a national collection of astilbes, hydrangeas and polystichum ferns.
Windermere, a mile from the lake of the same name, is not as popular as its neighbour, Bowness-on-Windermere, but has its own charms as a Lakeland get-away.
Travelling to Windermere:
During the busy season, don't take the main A591. You will end up in a slowly moving line of traffic on the highway. Instead take the less travelled A5074 or B5284. Buses and the railroad run to the town.
Destination guide and photographs by kind permission of Barbara Ballard of Destinations-UK