Another Month is Nearly Over


Tarn Hows, The Lake District, Cumbria

November is nearly over.  As it fades into the history of 2020, autumns decline into winter also reaches its conclusion.  Tarn Hows in late autumn always boost’s my spirits, either in reality or virtually by way of memories.

It has been a strange year for everyone, for some with traumatic repercussions. And we still have a month to go.

They tell us hope is on the horizon…… maybe so.

Till then…..

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

28th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

A LITTLE GEM……..Tarn Hows

One of the Tourist ‘Hot Spots’ here in the English Lake District of Cumbria is an area often known as ‘The Tarns’ or ‘Tarn Hows’.


It is indeed a beautiful spot and when there are not too many visitors it is also a peaceful location for contemplation.  It is suggested that poets and writers such Wordsworth and Ruskin used the area for their  inspiration.


But  Tarn Hows, like most of our countryside, is not just as nature intended.  Much of our countryside has been changed over the centuries by industry. Here the Tarns have been changed with the profits from that industry.  In 1862 the industrialist Marshall family acquired the Tarns. In those days there were 3 separate Tarns (lakes).  The Marshalls had the area ‘landscaped’ and 3 Tarns became 1… but now with there trade mark islands and footpaths around. The story continues i,n 1930 Beatrix Potter (of Peter Rabbit fame) purchased the estate. A keen promoter of the National Trust she later gave half the estate to the Trust and arranged for them to purchase the balance.





The Trust maintains open access to the Tarns, for some the trails may be a little too tidy, but they do permit all abilities to explore and discover hidden corners and experience this jewel in Lakeland.


29th APRIL


At this time of the year I always collate together this years images.  This starts a process which  reminds me of the Favourite Places we have visited this year. I say ‘favourite’ but in truth we have enjoyed all our travels around the U.K. and it is sometimes hard to choose the best.  But here goes…………

Derwent-Water a

Derwent Water, Cumbria

Anytime, any year, this is my all time favourite location. Brandelhow Woods, Otter Bay, the shore below Cat Bells and the view across to Skiddaw just has to be the best.  AND in the Lake District that is saying something when you have so many great locations to choose from.  The Langdales, Wast Water, Tarn Hows…the list could go on.


The Langdales


Wast Water, Wasdale


Tarn Hows

Of course no visit to Cumbria would be complete in springtime without a glimpse of Daffodils….perhaps the best of which are here at Dora’s Fields near Rydal.



North of the border and into Scotland for our next brief review of places I love to linger. The first stop is the Cuillin Hills, on the Isle of Skye from the Sligachan. More often than not covered in cloud but occasionally offering a brief glimpse of the dramatic black ridges.


The Cuillin’s from the Sligachan

The Torridons, Wester Ross are the next stop with the mountain of Beinn Eighe towering above equally as great mountains such as Liathach at the head of Loch Torridon.


The Torridons from Shieldaig

The Castle of Mey we are told was HRH Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother favourite Castle and holiday home. Perched above the Pentland Firth  you can understand just how captivating its isolated location can be. During the season the castle is open for well informed guided tours and make any visit to the castle extra memorable.

Disc One

The Castle of Mey

A little to the south the Scottish countryside is just a touch mellower and Royal Deeside and the Balmoral Estate offer some spectacular scenery. We only discovered the Royal Glen Muick this year and without doubt we will be back to explore further.  Loch Muick, in the shadow of Lochnagar was one of Queen Victoria’s holiday haunts where she built a magically located Lodge.


The Lodge, Loch Muick, Glen Muick

But like all mountainous areas the weather in Deeside is often inclement but still spectacular……….


The Dee, Braemar, Royal Deeside

Deeside is on the southern flanks of the Cairngorms but to the north hidden in one of the many glens is this small but beautiful group of lochs.  Part way down Glen Feshie and hidden by woodland is this little gem…..


We head back south of the border to Northumberland a county overflowing with history and castles.  It is hard to choose my favourites but if forced to choose would have to select Bamburgh and Warkworth.  Bamburgh stands dominant on a crag above the North Sea whilst to-day Warkworth gives you the appearance of being some way from the sea but was once linked to the sea via the River Coquet.

Northumberland_00237_046 Bamburgh Castle

Warkworth Castle

In Part 2 of this little tour of Britain we will head to the south of England and also into Wales.  But before we close Part 1I have to include the location that has given me so much pleasure.  It is also an area that is not well visited despite its close location to Blackpool lying off Morecambe Bay to the south of Lancaster.  It is a favourite wintering site for waders and wildfowl but also a great birding site throughout the year…it is the Wyre Estuary, wild yet very accessible and well worth a detour if in that area…..

a Morning Feast, The Wyre Estuary @ Skippool Creek, Stanah

28th December… be continued