As well as being a great antidote for the stresses and strains of raising an autistic child, I find that walking is a great way to learn all sorts of subjects such as history and literature. It saddens me that my son feels unable to come with me on my walks although he's not so different from many 'normal ' teenagers who don't particularly want to spend time with their mothers. Instead I share my photographs with him and we discuss the subjects as they come up.
Take today for instance.I found myself in Hawkshead on a beautifully sunny day with five hours to spare. I had with me a walking book describing a circular walk from Hawkshead to Latterbarrow. It was only 4 miles and I reckoned I had time to do the walk before popping in to one of the village cafes for a coffee and cake.
I parked at the school and walked the short distance to Colthouse where I came across this Victorian post box. It's quite something to think of all the history that box will have seen over the hundred years plus it has been in the house wall.Even something as little as this can lead to a project on the history of the postal service in Britain or a collection of photos of British Post boxes.
Hidden away down a side lane there was also a little Quaker meeting house so I took a detour and opened the latched gate ,walking into the grounds to find this.
The burial ground further along the road was walled and was approached via a wooden gate in the wall. Beyond the gate I found a tranquil garden with views towards Hawkshead village and, as I sat and took it all in, a blue tit flew backwards and forwards to its nesting box where it obviously had fledglings. A horse chestnut tree covered in white candles overhung the burial ground , providing shade in a corner of the plot.
As I left the burial ground and walked back through the village I came across this resident who was obviously enjoying the sunshine,
What a great craft project a scarecrow would make!
My walk took me up a gradual slope through deciduous woodland where bluebells were still in evidence . I stopped to pass the time of day with an elderly lady who was taking her dog for a walk but other than that the only other local I came across was
a herdwick sheep...
The track continued up hill, past Fishpond on my right and through larch coppices
From the highest point there were views of The Fairfield horse shoe
I dropped down through a clearing which had been cleared for replanting and the path took me through a forest to a gate where the land opened up and above me I could see a Cairn. At first glance I was inclined to by-pass it as it was like Blackpool up there, however as I descended through the woods, I passed twenty or so walkers with their guide and I realized much to my relief that it was them that I had spotted on the summit.
In fact when I reached the top there were three of us, each sitting on our own stone in mutual silence taking in the views over Windmere which were spectacular. I could see Ambleside, Wray Castle and Brockhole and one of the Lake side steamers was wending it's way down the lake to Lakeside,
On the other side of the hill in the opposite direction I could see Hawkshead and Coniston Old Man,
I descended through woodland down to the bottom of the hill where there was a National Trust sign for Latterbarrow,
I turned into a quiet country lane and came across these trees before turning left and along a footpath signposted toHawkshead,
Hawkshead square was busy with tourists but there were still places where you could sit peacefully.
I climbed up to the Church which sits on a hill overlooking the village and sat up there watching the tourists below. William Wordsworth would have worshipped here as he was a pupil at the Grammar school next door which is now a museum.
A thoroughly lovely day!