Saturday, 16 April 2011


To the best of my knowledge, the first time I ever visited the Lake District was when I was about 11 years old. Up until that time, most of our summer holidays had been in my mum's friend's caravan which was by the sea in Norfolk. Norfolk is flat!

As I recall, I was going on a school residential in the Lakes, from Monday to Friday, but my family went up there a couple of days early because my parents were taking the opportunity for a holiday while I was away and had hired a little Volkswagon Dormobile.

We camped in a caravan park in Keswick and I remember quite clearly, standing beside this dormobile and being totally intimidated by the size of the mountains. I felt extremely small and a little afraid. Isn't it funny how some memories stick?

As an adult, every time I have visited Keswick, I have looked up at the fells and wondered how they could have instilled such fear, but maybe it is not such a bad thing. These may not be in the same league as the Alps or the Rockies or the Himalayas, but get lost up here in the fog or the dark and these fells can still kill. They should always be treated with respect.


The dominant mountain around Keswick is Skiddaw. Standing at 3,054' (931m), Skiddaw is ranked number four in height in England. The fell is pretty much conical and comprised of slate. It boasts a series of peaks along its top of which High Man is the actual summit.

Because of its shape, it is considered one of the best fells for a beginner walker wanting to attempt a mountain. Ironically, it's one of the fells which I haven't climbed. I gather that, on a clear day, the view from the summit is impressive; sometimes even stretching as far as the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland (120 miles away).


  1. I do agree, even coming from West Yorkshire where we have plenty of hills, nothing prepared me for real mountains when I saw them for the first time in the Lake District when I too was about 10 or 11.

  2. I just saw the Lake District in "Escape to the country" what a beautiful place !

  3. We do go across to the Lakes sometimes (only an hour's drive through the Pennines. But the trouble is that when the weather is right the tourists have usually got there first. Thanks for the visit to my blog - shall put you on my side bar.

  4. From below, the fell looks so barren? I imagine, though, there's plenty of moss, lichen and small shrubby growth once one get's up close and personal.

    Loved that you shared a childhood memory :)

  5. Not fair, all my memories from up there are of rain.
    There you go again, using Scandinavian. Old Norse is "fjall" and Hanne uses "fjel" in Danish. The North is riddled with Scandinavian genes. Maybe even yours and mine?
    We enjoyed your sunny photos!