The eight-nine o’clock segment (240 – 270 degrees from the centre). Browse the map to explore the area: you can zoom in and out and change views to suit you.
This western segment begins with a geologist’s treasure trove: the dramatic Langdale Pikes, with the remains of Neolothic axe factories some 5000 years old; and Bowfell, whose summit contains visible fossils of sea creatures. There’s a lot of scope for time travel here. For the serious fell walker there’s the challenge of walking up Englands’ highest peak, Scafell Pike (978m), which can be accessed from a number of starting points. On lower ground, west of Scafell Pike, Wastwater sits grey and sombre; it’s England’s deepest lake and is hemmed in on one side by precipitous scree slopes. Beyond the Wasdale Valley the land lowers as it nears the coast. Here, Ravenglass, near Muncaster, was an important Roman outpost; skip forward a millennium and the busiest place in this region, set outside the national park boundary, is Sellafield. The single railway line ambles along this coastal stretch on its way between Millom and Whitehaven.
September can be a dreamy, beautiful month, if you’re lucky, the soft tail of summer gracing the land with colour before the chill winds of autumn sweep in. We’re hoping for the best.
The September Issue ~ Tourism
Since the Romantic poets waxed lyrical about the lakes, fells and valleys in this area, and Thomas West wrote his Guide to the Lakes in the late eighteenth century, tourism has become increasingly popular. The Lake District was declared a National Park in 1951, and in 2017 gained recognition as a World Heritage Site, in the category of Cultural Landscape. Millions of people visit from outside the area each year, and many people who live and work here also love it as a leisure destination – you may live, for instance, in Windermere or Keswick, and holiday in Wasdale or the Duddon Valley. Tourism is a hugely important source of income for the region, and there’s a constant process of innovation and diversification: farmers, for example, running holiday cottages and campsites, and new cafes and restaurants opening in towns in villages.
For all the pleasures and the memories that are created for millions of people, however, there are also pressures. These include heavy traffic on key routes during holiday periods, a limited public transport system, and erosion on some of the high fell walking routes. And there is a huge range of needs to meet: people come here for walks in the high fells as much as they do for visits around museums, historic houses and iconic ‘Lakeland’ villages; others like to take to the lakes on boats; others are here for biking; others for forest visits; others for gentle hotel breaks or foody trips; others for the thrills of off-roading. We’ll be considering visions for a sustainable future for tourism and the landscape, talking to people in organisations such as Fix the Fells, and to people who incorporate a positive environmental ethos into their businesses to celebrate and enhance the natural and cultural wealth of the area.
Walking, Camping & the Canvas
For images, stories and the tracks of our walks and camps, insights from our conversations with people along the way, and the September Canvas, check the map and the September blog posts.