button to main menu   West's Guide to the Lakes, 1778/1821

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Page 212:-
for within a mile, that lake is visible even from the road; as to going up the crag, one might as well go up Skiddaw.
I now reached Ambleside, sixteen miles from Keswick, meaning to lie there; but on looking into the best bed-chamber, dark and damp as a cellar, grew delicate, gave up Windermere in despair, and resolved I would go on to Kendal directly, fourteen miles further [1]. The road in general fine turnpike, but some parts (about three miles in all) not made, yet without danger.
For this determination I was unexpectedly well rewarded; for the afternoon was fine, and the road for the space of full five miles, ran along the side of Windermere, with delicious views across it, and almost from one end to the other. It is ten miles in length, and at most a mile over, resembling the course of some vast and magnificent river; but no flat marshy grounds, no osier beds, or patched of scrubby plantations on
[1] By not staying a little at Ambleside, Mr. Gray lost the sight of two magnificent cascades: the one not half a mile behind the inn, the other down Rydal-crag, where Sir Michael le Fleming is now making a pathway to the top of it. These, when I saw them, were in full torrent; whereas Lowdore water-fall, which I visited in the evening of the very same day, was almost without a stream. Hence I conclude that this distinguished feature in the vale of Keswick, is like most of the northern rivers, only in high beauty during bad weather. But his greatest loss was in not seeing a small water-fall, visible only through the window of a ruined summer-house in Sir Michael's orchard. Here nature has performed everything in little, that she usually executes on her larger scale; and on that account, like the miniature painter, seems to have finished every part of it in a studied manner; not a little fragment of the rock thrown into the bason, not a single stem of brushwood that starts from its craggy sides, but has its picturesque meaning; and the little central stream dashing down a cleft of the darkest coloured stone, produces an effect of light and shadow beautiful beyond description. This little theatrical scene might be painted as large as the original on a canvass not bigger than those usually dropped in the opera house.
[The inn at Ambleside has been greatly improved since Mr. Gray's time, and now as commodious as any in the country.]
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gazetteer links
button -- Ambleside
button -- High Fall
button -- (inn, Ambleside)
button -- Kendal
button -- "Lowdore Waterfall" -- Lodore Falls
button -- Low Fall (?)
button -- Ambleside to Keswick
button -- Windermere to Ambleside
button -- Rydal Head
button -- Stockghyll Force
button -- Windermere
button -- Windermere

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