For our 2020 Calendar we stayed close to home, featuring the beautiful valleys of the Lake District.
Whilst the area is of course famous for its stunning Lakes, Waters, Meres and Tarns and the ten highest peaks in England, there’s plenty more and for our calendar we wanted to ensure there was a good variety of subject matter to show what a special part of the world the Lake District is.
The concept came about during a three day long weekend walking in Borrowdale and remarking what a beautiful valley it was whilst we looked down from Castle Crag out onto Derwentwater and beyond. We didn’t know for sure how many valley regions were in the Lake District. As luck would have it there are 13. So our 2020 Calendar allows you to display December 2019 and then on into 2020!
The Coniston Gondola currently on the water is a rebuilt passenger vessel and in various guises has been ferrying vistors from Coniston Pier since 1859.
The Gondola is one of the inspirations for Captain Flint's houseboa in the Arthur Ransome book 'Swallows and Amazons'. In Coniston's Ruskin Museum there is a black and white post card of the Gondola that Ransome sent to his illustrator, with changes to the outline in ink to show how he wanted the houseboat to look.
The Castlerigg Stone Circle is among the earliest British circles, raised in about 3000 BC during the Neolithic period. It overlooks the Thirlmere Valley with Helvellyn as a backdrop. There are 38 stones in a circle approximately 30 metres in diameter. Within the ring is a rectangle of a further 10 standing stones. The tallest stone is 2.3 metres high.
Castlerigg Stone Circle was bought in 1913 by Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, co-founder of the National Trust and the stone is on land owned by the National Trust and maintained byEnglish Heritage.
The Stones are also known as the Keswick Carles, Carles, Carsles, Castle-rig or Druids' Circle
The Boathouse at Ullswater is the Duke of Portland Boasthouse at Pooley Bridge. A renovated 19th century building. The boathouse is one of the most iconic and most photographed buildings in the Lake District and was originally owned by the 3rd Duke of Portland in the 18th century. He was Prime Minister twice but was in constant dispute with the Earl of Lowther. Unfortunately, the Duke of Portland had to sell the boathouse along with his Cumberland estates to pay his legal bills.
Haystacks in Buttermere is certainly not one of the lakes’ giant fells but it has a special place as it was a particular favourite of Alfred Wainwright, who quoted; "for beauty, variety and interesting detail, for sheer fascination and unique individuality, the summit area of Haystacks is supreme. This is in fact the best fell-top of all". Wainwright's ashes were scattered by his wife, Betty, near the shores of Innominate Tarn toward the summit of Haystacks. In Buttermere's St James's Church, there is a memorial to Wainwright, from where you can look out of the window to Haystacks.
Every one of the Lake District’s 13 valleys offers something special and unique. All deserving of praise, all worthy of a visit. It would be very special if one our pages inspired you to visit, or re-visit the real location!