The Hidden Lake District
Published: Saturday 15th Mar 2014
Written by: Natalie Barker
To those who’ve never been The Lake District is best represented by some of our more famous views, Ariel shots of Windermere, views from fell tops and iconic landscapes such as Borrowdale or the Langdale Pikes taken from the cattle grid at the top of Elterwater Common. To those who have visited, the Lake District is often better represented by those small moments that can’t be seen or felt through a photo. Below is a short list of some of our favourite places ‘the hidden LakeDistrict’ that doesn’t make it into the guidebooks or onto the photo galleries.
- Hodge Close quarry – situated between Little Langdale and Coniston, Hodge Close is no longer a permanent working quarry, there are a few houses dotted about the area and the solitude of the early morning or late evening is fantastic. Occasional groups of divers and climbers use the main quarry pit as a playground but the rest of the site is often deserted. The harsh quarried landscape combined with superb views of the surrounding fells is quite breathtaking. Nearby the more famous ‘Cathedral Cave draws visitors and access from the nearby Conison to Ambleside road makes Hodge Close an easy detour.
- Langdale Beck by Elterwater car park – often a perfect place to stop and break out the sandwiches, the small shingle area situated just below the bridge offers a little bit of shade on hot days and a chance for the dog/kids to paddle in the shallow water. On a clear day the sun reflects from the river onto the underside of the bridge causing beautiful patterns to shimmer over its surface.
- Black Moss Pot - Situated in the Langstrath Valley nr Borrowdale Black Moss Pot is a natural deep pool stretching about 50m through a shallow ravine. The sides of the ravine reach about 18ft and offer the perfect chance for a deep plunge for anyone brave enough. In summer thewater in the pool is quite mild making it a great location to take the whole family for a picnic.
- Crag Head, Little Loughrigg fell – from the road by Loughrigg Tarn, Crag Head takes about 5 minutes to walk up but for so little effort offers great 360 views of the surrounding area. Facing the Langdale Pikes & Lingmoor gives you Loughrigg Fell and Loughrigg Tarn to your right. On the left is Elterwater, the river Brathay, Black Fell, Weatherlam and Skelwith Bridge. Behind is Neaum Crag wood and further views towards Ambleside/Windermere. Crag head can also be seen on an easy detour off the Skelwith to Elterwater path frequented by so many people throughout the year.
- Early morning over Thilmere – whilst not one of the regions natural lakes, Thirlmere reservoir is a true gem. Perfectly placed between Grasmere and Keswick many people do nothing more than drive by en-route to more famous locations. There are very few houses around Thirlmere, which makes it feel far more ‘off the beaten track’ despite the artery road (A591) running alongside. The best time (in my opinion) to see Thrilmere is shortly after sunrise on a clear day, the sun cuts across the valley, rising over the Wythburn Fells and striking the fells towards Dollywagon. The deep shadows, tree lined fells and the sparkle off water that never sees anything other than the occasional row-boat or canoe is breathtaking.
Everyone who visits has their perfect Lake District spot, we hope theses suggestions help you find yours.