One of my most favourite places is Borrowdale in Cumbria. As I drive down into Borrowdale from Keswick I always feel like any stress that I am feeling is progressively being lifted from me.
Leaving the wide open expanse of the Derwentwater valley the road enters into a narrow cutting beyond Grange. Following the route of the river Derwent the road twists and turns for a mile or so before it opens out into Borrowdale.
Some of the valley sides are displaying rocky crags, some are covered in grass and heather, but my favourite are the ones cloaked in ancient woodland.
This isolated place has managed to avoid the imposition of rows upon rows of conifers. It’s steep sides and remoteness have meant that the original broadleaf ecosystem still persists in all its splendour.
On August Bank holiday this year the weather was glorious and we were visiting family in Keswick. Even though we were really there to see family it always seems a shame not to get out into the countryside for at least part of the day. I set out from the busy market town with the view that I would park at the first place I could find. Passing crammed full car parks at Kettlewell and Grange I carried on into Borrowdale. No parking in Longthwaite or Seathhwaite either, so Seatoller it was, but only in the last parking space in the car park.
Heading for the gate at the rear of the car park I took the well trodden path along the river through the woods towards Longthwaite. Here the northern, eastern and southern sides of High Doat is covered with Jonny Wood. High Doat is not a huge hill but the woods like magnificent.
There’s something very special about the way that summer sunlight shines it’s way through a mixed broad leaf wood. The variety of green hew is sometimes breathtaking.
The floor of the wood is visibly alive with flora and fauna of immense variety. The birds might not be too visible but their song makes the presence of many species obvious.
After a little way the path and the wood drop down towards the river with elegant vintage trees bowing down to the clear crystal stream as it babbles and bubbles over rock and through crevice.
As I walk along I contemplate the things that these trees have witnessed. It’s a way to put thoughts and worries into perspective.
A wonderful walk and a great blessing.