A Day Out in the North Lakes

Last week we decided to take a mid week day off work (well, it was my birthday) and head up to the North Lakes.

Our first destination was Thornthwaite Gallery for an early lunch and a mooch around their wonderful paintings and art work. Next, we moved on to Mirehouse on Bassenthwaite. Mirehouse is a beautiful house, in a stunning location, and with a fascinating literary history. We last visited in 2014 and have been planning a return visit ever since! 

Tennyson was a regular visitor, as was Hardwicke Rawnsley who wrote in The Literary Associations of the English Lakes: "There are those who would fain have that library filled again with the voices of old time. Tennyson’s deep-chested tones, FitzGerald’s laugh, Monckton-Milne’s wit. Carlyle’s strong Northern brogue, James Spedding’s dignified speech, and Tom Spedding’s humour."

The house is filled with literary associations. Thomas Carlyle was a regular visitor and James Spedding was Francis Bacon's first and definitive biographer. Edward Fitzgerald  worked on his translation on the Omar Khayyam in the library at Mirehouse. Such a wonderful rich history, and so much to explore. 

We spent a happy few hours wandering around the house and grounds before we continued our day with a visit to St Kentigern's Church in Crosthwaite, near Keswick. 

Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley was the vicar of St Kentigern's from 1883 to 1917, and the Church is filled with wonderful examples of the Keswick School of Industrial Arts. Rawnsley's wife Edith designed much of the metalwork and the reredos in the Church. The Church gates are simply beautiful and explain the legend of St Kentigern.

There is a memorial to Poet Laureate, Robert Southey, in the Church and he is buried in the churchyard, as are Rawnsley and Edith Rawnsley. They are buried in quiet spots of the old churchyard, and it is all so peaceful.

Our final destination was the Lodore Falls Hotel on Derwent Water, where we enjoyed a drink in the bar followed by a delicious meal in the Pan Asian Mizu Restaurant. Such a lovely day, and a really special birthday treat!