Keswick and the Lake District
We fell in love with the village of Keswick (pronounced Kessick) in the Lake District. Our AirBnB loft was in an old building on St. John’s Street in the center of town. Thursday afternoon when we arrived, the market was in full swing on Main Street. Literally, everyone and their dogs were there. We saw very few tourists without their dogs in tow. Several of the bars and restaurants allow dogs in the dining area.
The main reason we chose to stay in Keswick was my photography lesson was scheduled to begin Friday morning at 6am. I booked the lesson with Martin Lawrence, a local photographer, months ago because I loved the photos on his website. I wasn’t disappointed. Martin was a great teacher! He was patient and explained everything in detail as we progressed through the lesson. Our first locale was Castlerigg, an ancient stone circle just outside Keswick. We were there as the sun came up and took lots of photos. It was a beautiful morning and Martin said it was the first day in two weeks that he hadn’t been teaching in the rain and wind. We then drove further down the road and hiked up the hill to take photos over the tarn, (small lake or pond). He had bought his wife’s wellies for me to wear since the ground was muddy and wet. As we went past Castlerigg on our return, the hordes of tourists had begun to arrive. Our last site was Derwentwater, the lake near Keswick. After the photo shoot, we went to Martin’s studio at his home and his wife, Sheila, was kind enough to offer me a cheese sandwich and a cup of tea while Martin explained the finer points of Photoshop as we finalized our images. What a great day!!
Buddy explored Keswick and took a ride on the Derwentwater launch during my lesson. He also did some shopping and was sporting new hiking boots. Keswick was a busy place with all the walkers and tourists in town for the weekend. Finding a table at the restaurants was a challenge, but we were fortunate both nights and enjoyed the hearty fare served in the local pubs and inns. The most memorable meal was Sunday afternoon at the George, next door to our flat. Buddy had the Cow pie and I had the Farmhouse pie. Our half orders were huge and we couldn’t begin to clean our plates.
Sunday afternoon we booked a local taxi to take us to Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s home near Windemere, and to Dove Cottage, William Wordsworth’s home in Grassmere. The tours were informative and the beautiful scenery added the perfect touch to our final day in Keswick. Our driver’s paternal grandmother was George Orwell’s sister. He recounted some stories of the author’s life as he drove us through the Lake District. My photos weren’t as good as usual because I was experimenting with my camera, but Buddy got some nice shots during our visit.