button to main menu  Martineau's Complete Guide to the English Lakes, 1855

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Page 4:-
The railways skirt the lake district, but do not, and cannot, penetrate it: for the obvious reason that railways cannot traverse or pierce granite mountains or span broad lakes. If the time should ever come when iron roads will intersect the mountainous parts of Westmorland and Cumberland, that time is not yet; nor is in view,- loud as have been the lamentations of some residents, as if it were to happen to-morrow. No one who has ascended Dunmail Raise, or visited the head of Coniston Lake, or gone by Kirkstone to Patterdale, will for a moment imagine that any conceivable railway will carry strangers over those passes, for generations to come. It is a great thing that steam can convey travellers round the outskirts of the district, and up to its openings. This is now effectually done; and it is all that will be done by the steam locomotive during the lifetime of anybody yet born. The most important of the openings thus reached is that of WINDERMERE.
The mountain region of Cumberland and Westmorland has for its nucleus the cluster of tall mountains, of which Scawfell is the highest. There are the loftiest peaks and deepest valleys. These are surrounded by somewhat lower ridges and shallower vales; and these again by others, till the uplands are mere hills. and the valleys scarcely sunk at all. It is into these exterior undulations that the railways penetrate; and, at the first ridge of any steepness, they must stop. It is this which decides the termination of the Windermere railroad, and which prevents the lateral railways from coming nearer than the outer base of the hills on the
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