Friday, October 01, 2004


They say that home is where the heart is. If that's so then I don't live at home for my heart definitely belongs in the Lake District. When I am there I am at peace; its beauty soothes me and its grandeur inspires me. It is where I would choose to be if I could.

Last year L and I spent a week in a B&B in Windermere. We had a great time and said we'd go back this year. When it came to booking it we had already decided to stay in a different area of the Lakes, as Windermere is just too much of a tourist trap, and wanted to stay in a holiday cottage rather than a B&B. So, we had a look at what English Country Cottages had to offer and booked a week in a village near Keswick in the Northern Lakes. The cottage was excellent and we settled in for a relaxing week.

The weather was just about what you'd expect up there in late September; cloudy, showers, moderate temperatures, but we were prepared so it didn't bother us at all. We spent a couple of days lazing around and visited a few of the tourist attractions in the area. Last year we went on a lovely walk around Grasmere but L isn't really up to that sort of thing in her current condition so we were limited to a few strolls this time around. It got me itching to do some proper walking in the area, though. It's a long time since I last did that.

I've been walking in all sorts of places, from the Brecon Beacons to the Highlands to the Picos de Europa mountains in Spain (which make the Highlands seem small) but none of them had the same effect on me that the Lake District does. There's something about the scale of Cumbria that resonates within me. Its hills are tall and majestic without being out of reach, its valleys stunning but not too broad, its lakes beautiful but not too vast to get around.

It is an area of stunning natural beauty that sings to me when ever I am there. Come rain or shine, mist or snow its effect on me is the same.

If money were no longer an object I would have no qualms about leaving London and the south behind and moving up there permanently. One day I might just do that.

It's where I belong.

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