The Quirky Traveller on bench at Rydal Water in the Lake District, Cumbria

To sit on that little bench overlooking Rydal Water and idly pass the time of day is one of the most magical experiences anyone can have in this area full of wondrously quirky and inspiring places …

Rydal Water bench Lake District - photo Zoe Dawes

Rydal Water

When you are looking for peace and quiet, for a spot that feels “away from it all’ and yet is easily accessible, when you want to ‘recollect in tranquillity’ to paraphrase Wordsworth, who lived nearby, this is the place to go – that little wooden bench. You get a great feeling of peace here; it restores your equilibrium in a gentle and comforting way – and maybe that is part of the magic this place holds for its visitors …

Rydal Cave Lake District - photo Zoe Dawes

Rydal Cave – here be dragons …

You can walk along the lake or up to the ‘Dragons Cave’...  When we moved to Cumbria years ago, we took our young son for one of his first proper walks around the lake.  We ventured up to the cave and over the stepping stones. As he got near the back, he suddenly said, “Look Mum, I can see a light – is it a dragon?” Well who would want to disillusion a four year old? In the ensuing years, I took him to many other places, and we found that dragons had lairs throughout Cumbria!

Whatever the weather, the views are glorious; a perfect distillation of man in harmony with nature. The lake is small enough to walk round easily. To do so, you can take the high path past the Dragon’s Cave, or wander along the shoreline and feed the swans and ducks.

Rydal Water from Rydal Mount - photo Zoe Dawes

Rydal Water from Rydal Mount

On the far side you can traverse the medieval Coffin Route (to St Oswald’s Church) and look down onto the lake, before visiting Dove Cottage or Rydal Mount where Wordsworth lived – or maybe have a refreshing beverage in one of the many tea shops or pubs in nearby Grasmere.  This video shows that walk, filmed one lovely spring day by Andrew White of Walks Around Britain.

So next time you are in Cumbria, take a bit of time out to simply sit and reflect and let the world pass you by for a moment or two.  You will be so glad you did …