Lodore Falls

To celebrate Chris's birthday on Saturday, we decided to have a day out in the North Lakes. We were debating where to have a birthday meal, and Chris immediately chose Mizu at the Lodore Falls Hotel.

We ate here last year and really enjoyed the food and ambience. The menu is described as Pan-Asian and "a selection of tempting Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai specialities..." The restaurant also has splendid views over Derwentwater.

Before our pre-dinner drinks we decided to climb up to Lodore Falls. We'd tried to do this last year but it was too dark by the time we arrived at the Hotel. This year the weather was favourable and the waterfall was in fine form.

One of Southey's most popular poems, The Cataract of Lodore made an appearance in Joanna Baillie's 1823 anthology, Poems, Chiefly Manuscript, and from Living Authors. On its inclusion, Baillie wrote to Southey, "Your Cataract of Lodore has pleased & amused me exceedingly ... We shall have the younger part of my readers running about with portions of it in their mouths and shaking their heads to the measure, for these six months to come.  

The Cataract of Lodore is a wonderfully onomatopoeic poem, where the words tumble down the page mimicking the actions and sounds of the waterfall.

 ..Retreating and beating and meeting and sheeting,
 Delaying and straying and playing and spraying,
 Advancing and prancing and glancing and dancing,
 Recoiling, turmoiling and toiling and boiling,
 And gleaming and streaming and steaming and beaming,
 And rushing and flushing and brushing and gushing,
 And flapping and rapping and clapping and slapping,
 And curling and whirling and purling and twirling,
 And thumping and plumping and bumping and jumping,
 And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing;
 And so never ending, but always descending,
 Sounds and motions for ever and ever are blending
 All at once and all o'er, with a mighty uproar, -
 And this way the water comes down at Lodore.

The waterfall was popular with other Lake Poets, too. Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote to Sara Hutchinson in 1802. ‘Lodore’, he says, ‘is beyond all rivalry the first and best thing of the whole Lake Country.’  

We had a wonderful visit and are planning to return and explore Watendlath Tarn, the source of the Lodore Falls. Both Watendlath Tarn and Lodore Falls, together with the nearby Bowder Stone, were must-visit tourist attractions for Victorian travellers. It's easy to see why.