Red Squirrels, Lakes, Helicopters and Waterfalls   3 comments

As previously advertised a few weeks ago in this Blog, we set off for the Lake District last weekend in search of the elusive Red Squirrel! The Lake District is the home of Beatrix Potter, dramatic landscapes, fascinating history and, we certainly hoped, Red Squirrels.

The Lake District, also commonly known as The Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous not only for its lakes, forests and mountains (or fells), but also for its associations with the early 19th century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets.

Historically shared by the counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire, the Lake District now lies entirely within the modern county of Cumbria. Which is much more convenient.  All the land in England higher than three thousand feet above sea level lies within the National Park, including Scafell Pike (not a type of Lake land fish), the highest mountain in England. It also contains the deepest and longest lakes in England, Wastwater and Windermere, respectively. And most importantly boast the largest number of Red Squirrel spotting opportunities in England.

We set off on the Friday morning with our two dogs for a ‘dog friendly’ hotel on the shores of Derwent Water – and with the recent rainfall, I really do mean on the shores of the water. Our hotel, The Mary Mount Hotel, was set in the woods just a few hundred meters away from spectacular waterfalls. The hotel was a pure delight; huge cooked breakfasts sent you on your way in the mornings and a sumptuous evening meal in the restaurant overlooking the lake concluded each day.

There was so much to commend our stay in this beautiful region of the country that I’m going to break this account down in to 2 or 3 blog entries. So, without further a-do here are the words and pictures:

Derwent Water Lake grass 01

This was just one of many of the fantastic views across Derwent Water, the location of our Hotel. The heavy rain which has fallen over the last few months meant that all of the lakes in the vicinity had acquired newly expanded shorelines. In some cases this meant taking to the road where the high water made it impossible to keep to the lakeside pathways. We coped though – or at least those of us with longer legs than a Scotty dog did. On several occasions we had to carry our Scotty dog Ellie to stop her from having to doggy paddle.

Mallard 01

Of course, with a lot of water comes a lot of water fowl. This find specimen of a Mallard was busy trying to blow that bit of downy fluff of his bill when we caught up with him. Despite several tries whilst we sat and took a rest she was unable to dislodge it, but it did mean that her preoccupation allowed me to get a close-up photo of her.

Derwent Water Lake rocks 01

The shoreline changed from super-saturated mossy sponge to scree and rocks with only a moments advance warning. This was often followed by several meters of ancient tree roots strewn in our path before changing back again as we progressed, to more traverseable pathways.

Flying Geese Derwent 01 Crop

Geese honked their way across the oil painting of a lake on a regular basis. The only thing to disturb the tranquil waters was the regular appearance of the ferry boat that picked up and dropped off at various jetties along the shoreline.

Waterfall Lodore Falls 01

Just across the road behind our Hotel were spectacular waterfalls. There was a steep climb up the left hand side of the falls through boulders huge and small that had been cast down over time.

Sammy, Prince and Ellie

And here are my partners in crime; the intrepid gang of fearless Red Squirrel hunters. From left to right they are; Sammy the human, Prince the Lurcher (he’s already looking for squirrels look) and Ellie (who wouldn’t know a squirrel if it bit her on the nose) the Scotty. The Hotel had a separate breakfast room and restaurant that you were allowed to take your dogs in to. Fortunately our two, after a long days walk up fell and down waterfall, only had enough energy left to slump contentedly under the table as we ate each evening.

So concluded our first day of exploring our immediate vicinity and that night we planned our itinerary for the following day (Saturday) and our hunt for our first ever sighting of a red squirrel in the wild.  Tune in for tomorrow’s blog entry to see how we got on.


3 responses to “Red Squirrels, Lakes, Helicopters and Waterfalls

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  1. Hi Drew Gorgeous shots! Sounds like you had a brilliant weekend. Glad you liked the birthday card, hope you had a lovely birthday.




  2. Beautiful! Definitely need to revisit!! 😉


  3. You need to be a part of a contest for one of the finest blogs on the web.
    I’m going to recommend this site!


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