Custom Tour of English Lake District
This afternoon, I am reprising what proved to be an adventurous and satisfying day tour.
First, we departed our lodgings in Ambleside with aim of commencing the tour with a drive along the remote Hardknott Pass. However, despite aids from maps and GPS the start of the narrow Pass eluded us resulting in an adventure along extremely narrow roads and ultimately to a dead-end marked by a ford which was deemed too risky to cross. However, we were compensated by stunning scenery in a ‘picture postcard’ environment.
With help from locals we eventually connected with the Hardknott Pass, a narrow, mainly single track road, which took us in a westerly direction at a high elevation offering stunning views from both east and west. We witnessed a para glider en-route.Our first principal stop on the Pass was the well-preserved site of a 1st century AD Roman Fort, a superb ‘command and control’ location which offered excellent views of the valley comprising Eskdale.
Next, we continued west and had lunch at the main station of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway.
Next, we moved to the nearby Muncaster Castle. This attraction comprised (a) the well-preserved 14th century castle,(b) extensive and very well presented woodland gardens and (c) a world-class centre for the preservation of owls. Our main focus was the garden where we benefited from optimum flowering conditions for a wide variety of rhododendrons which were resplendent in multiple and vibrant colours. Other flowering shrubs included Azalea, Camellia, Magnolia and Acer.
Next we headed north to the remote Wasdale Head which is located at the northern tip of Wast Water, England’s deepest lake. At about this time visibility deteriorated due to cloud and rain.
Next, we travelled S.E. through Dunnerdale to the picturesque village of Broughton in Furness.
Final leg of the tour was north, passing the northern tip of Coniston Water, through Coniston and back to Ambleside.