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

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Page 20:-
the one, distant one mile; and the other, between four and five. Our tourist will, however, complete the circuit of the lake, by returning to Bowness.
  rowing boats

There are plenty of boats to be had at Waterhead and Bowness, and watermen who are practised and skilful. The stranger should be warned, however, against two dangers which it is rash to encounter. Nothing should induce him to sail on Windermere, or on any lake surrounded by mountains. There is no calculating on, or accounting for, the gusts that come down between the hills; and no skill and practice obtained by boating on rivers or the waters of a flat country are any sure protection here. And nothing should induce him to go out in one of the little skiffs which are too easily attainable and too tempting, from the ease of rowing them. The surface may become rough at any minute, and those skiffs are unsafe in all states of the water but the calmest. The long list of deaths occasioned in this way,- deaths both of residents and strangers,- should have put an end to the use of these light skiffs, long ago. The larger boats are safe enough, and most skilfully managed by their rowers: and the stranger can enjoy no better treat than gliding along, for hours of the summer day, peeping into the coves and bays, coasting the islands, and lying cool in the shadows of the woods. The clearness of the water is a common surprise to the resident in a level country; and it is pleasant sport to watch the movements of the fish, darting, basking, or leaping in the sunshine, or quivering their fins in the reflected ray. What the quality of the trout and char is, the tourist will probably find every day, at breakfast and dinner.
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