Words by the Water

Cumbria's Literary Festival - Words by the Water - is a red letter event in our diaries and we always look forward to it. It's got all of the advantages of a festival - excellent speakers and interesting topics - with the added advantage that it's held in the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. It's a glorious venue, not just because of the theatre, although this is really lovely, but because of the theatre's proximity to Derwentwater.

This year we chose three events all held on the same day and, in between, we were able to stroll around Keswick and enjoy a stroll by the lake. It was a stunning day, cold and bright, with snow on the hills.

This year we enjoyed three speakers: Anna Pavord talking about her current book - Landskipping; Stephen Matthews, the wonderful owner of the Bookcase in Carlisle and also publisher of all things Cumbrian, speaking about one of his new books: Travellers in Borrowdale and Anthony Seward talking about William Hutchinson and the Excursion to the Lakes in Westmorland and Cumberland.

It was a wonderful day focussing on the beauty of the Lake District and our relationship with the landscape over the centuries.

As a final cherry on the cake we strolled up to Friar's Crag to enjoy the land given to the National Trust in memory of Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, one of the three founders of the National Trust.

All in all a smashing day!