Brantwood, on the shores of Coniston Water, is a magical place. John Ruskin (nineteenth-century writer, poet, artist, philanthropist, radical, altruist and deep-thinker way ahead of his time) moved here after a series of breakdowns to recover and live a quiet life. I like to think he found solace in these surroundings. I certainly would.
We’ve been so lucky with the weather this week – in past years when we’ve visited the Lake District it has rained and rained. The autumn colours are glorious and it’s lovely to be able to go about without full waterproof gear on. As well as visiting Brantwood, we’ve done two seven-ish-hour walks from the cottage we’re staying in – one up the valley to the top of Helvellyn via Striding Edge (challenging and a bit scary at times) and the other along the valley and up Dollywaggon Pike via The Tongue (which sounds ‘interesting’; it was) and back via Grisedale Tarn. Both of these walks/climbs are the hardest we’ve done with the children and the dog. There’s been a fair amount of grumbling (‘Who said this would be fun?!’) and incredulity at the proposed routes up (‘But that’s really steep! There’s no actual path!’) but we all did it and, boy, did it feel good when we reached the summits and the long, hot soaks in the bath afterwards were bliss. We’re having a rest day today because everyone is a bit tired, especially the poor dog. She’s curled up tightly in her bed and giving us a look that says ‘Don’t even think about it!’ We’ll have a gentle stroll, a late lunch out, then watch the Great British Bake Off final on the tv tonight.
I hope you’re having a very fine week and enjoying some lovely autumn sunshine where you are.