Kirkstone Pass

On Saturday we enjoyed a day out in the Lakes. Our first destination was Lowther Castle where we strolled through the grounds, enjoying the drifts of snowdrops and the magnificent castle ruins. After some lunch in the café, we drove to Pooley Bridge. Our main destination was Verey Books in Pooley Bridge. Verey Books always has a well curated and interesting collection of books; there's alwys something to tempt us, and we came away with a small selection.

We had intended to walk along the shores of Ullswater and up to Aira Force, but the weather was a bit inclement. So instead we drove over Kirkstone Pass and down to Ambleside.

The mist was very low but Kirkstone Pass was as beautiful as ever. I love all of the literary connections, especially the Elsie J Oxenham novels set here and William Wordsworth's poem: The Pass of Kirkstone:

Within the mind strong fancies work.
A deep delight the bosom thrills
Oft as I pass along the fork
Of these fraternal hills:
Where, save the rugged road, we find
No appanage of human kind,
Nor hint of man; if stone or rock
Seem not his handywork to mock
By something cognizably shaped;
Mockery or model roughly hewn,
And left as if by earthquake strewn,
Or from the Flood escaped

Oxenham's Rachel and Damaris novels fit into the Abbey Chronicles and follow the story of Damaris and Rachel. They live on a farm in Grasmere and run away to Hikers' Halt on Kirkstone Pass! Here they work as waitresses and cooks until they are rescued by Maidlin and Jen. Throughout the novels, Rachel and Damaris return to the Lakes, climbing Orrest Head and looking down on Windermere, as well as returning to Kirkstone Pass.

I very much enjoyed following in the footsteps of two very different writers, but both with a deep love of the Lake District.