Haweswater and the Gawain Poet

On Boxing Day we had a lovely walk around Haweswater in Silverdale. It was a very soft and gentle day, not particularly cold and quite misty. The terrain around Haweswater always reminds me of the descriptions by the Gawain poet in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, of Gawain's journey to the Green Chapel, in the period after Christmas.

They bare by woodland where boughs are bare, 
They climb by cliffs where the cold clings....
Mist mizzled on the moor, melted on the mountains;
Each hill had a hat, like huge hackles of mist....
Then he....gathers the road,
Shoves on by a scarp with scrub at his side
Rides by that rugged bank, right to the dale.
Then he looked round about, he thought it most wild,
And sees no sign of residence nowhere beside,
But high banks all bleak upon both sides,
And rough-knuckled knolls of rocks and stone.

Haweswater is in the Silverdale and Arnside AONB. The area boasts some of the most wonderful limestone pavement in the UK and this, I think, is the link between the area and Sir Gawain and what gives the area such a feeling of wildness and bareness. We could have been walking through a Fourteenth Century landscape.