William Wordsworth and Furness Abbey

As it is Bank Holiday weekend we thought that we'd stay away from the honey pots of the Lake District and take the "back door" to Ulverston and then on to Furness Abbey. However busy Bowness and Windermere become, this quieter part of the Lakes is always charming and welcoming. It seems that this sentiment chimes with that of William Wordsworth in his Guide to the Lakes:

"They who wish to see the celebrated ruins of Furness Abbey, and are not afraid to cross the Sands, may go from Lancaster to Ulverston; from which place take the direct road to Dalton; but by all means return through Urswick, for sake of the view from the top of the hills, before descending into the grounds of Conishead Priory. From this quarter the Lakes would be advantageously approached by Coniston; thence to Hawkshead, and by the Ferry over Windermere, to Bowness: a much better intrduction than by going direct from Coniston to Ambleside, which ought not to be done, as that would greatly take off from the effects of Windermere."

We didn't "cross the sands"; the A590 seemed far quicker and more efficient! But, we did enjoy the view from Urswick as well as lunch at Conishead Priory. As always, Furness Abbey was peaceful; the ancient stones were slumbering in the warm afternoon sunshine. Conishead Priory was equally attractive, the Peace Cafe providing a pleasant lunch in a wonderful setting.

After lunch we strolled down to the shore, before heading off to Furness Abbey. Conishead occupies a splendid site, with views of the Lakeland Fells and a pretty shore.

At Furness Abbey I thought about William Wordsworth's words about the Abbey in The Prelude:

Of the day's journey was too distant far 
For any cautious man, a Structure famed 
Beyond its neighbourhood, the antique 
Walls of that large Abbey which within the vale Of Nightshade, 
to St. Mary's honour built, 
Stands yet, a mouldering Pile, 
With fractured Arch, Belfry, and Images, and living Trees, 
A holy Scene!

We had a wonderful day and are looking forward to many more over the summer months.