A Great Inspiration For The Poets: The Lake District

The Lake District (The Lakes) is located in North West England. It is famous for its lakes, mountaints, forests and its associations with Lake Poets. The area was designated into a national park in 1951. It is the most visited national park in the United Kingdom with 15.8 million annual visitors and more than 23 annual day visits. It is also the largest of the thirteen national parks in England and Wales.

The region is home to various species because of its lakes and forests. It is a major sanctuary for the red squirrel and has the largest population in England. It is also home to a great variety of bird species and three rare and endangered species of fish.

It is important to add that there are 21 large lakes in the area and its climate is the wettest part of England.


Tourism In The Area

      Early visitors to the Lake District, who travelled for the education and pleasure of the journey, include Celia Fiennes who in 1698 undertook a journey the length of England. Her experiences and impressions were published in her book Great Journey to Newcastle and Cornwall.

In 1778 Thomas West produced A Guide to the Lakes, which began the era of modern tourism. West listed “stations”, viewpoints where tourists could enjoy the best views of the landscape, being encouraged to appreciate the formal qualities of the landscape and to apply aesthetic values. At some of these stations, buildings were erected to help this process.

William Wordsworth published his Guide to the Lakes in 1810, and by 1835 it had reached its fifth edition, now called A Guide Through the District of the Lakes in the North of England. This book was particularly influential in popularising the region.


The Lakes’ Place In Literature

The Lakes is associated with English literature of the 18th and 19th centuries. Thomas Gray was the first one who brought The Lakes to attention by mentioning the region in his Grand Tour journal. But it was William Wordsworth whose poems were well-known. His poems were inspired by The Lake District as he lived there. He is also known as one of the Lake Poets alongside Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey.

The Lake District is mentioned in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; Elizabeth Bennet looks forward to a holiday there with her aunt and uncle and is excessively disappointed upon learning they cannot travel that far.

The opening of Charlotte Turner Smith’s novel Ethelinde with its atmospheric description of Grasmere, complete with a Gothic abbey, is supposed to have induced Wordsworth into looking to it as a possible place of residence.

From 1807 to 1815 John Wilson lived at Windermere. Thomas de Quincey spent the greater part of the years 1809 to 1828 at Grasmere, in the first cottage which Wordsworth had inhabited. A a variety of other poets and writers made visits to the Lake District or were bound by ties of friendship with those already mentioned above. These include Percy Bysshe Shelley, Sir Walter Scott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Arthur Hugh Clough, Henry Crabb Robinson, “Conversation” Sharp, Thomas Carlyle, John Keats, Lord Tennyson, Matthew Arnold, Felicia Hemans and Gerald Massey.


The Lakes’ Place In Music

     The English composer Sir Arthur Somervell was born in Windermere.

After American singer-songwriter and director Taylor Swift released her surprise album “folklore”, she also released a deluxe version of the album. In the deluxe version album, there is a bonus track named “the lakes”.  In the line “Tell me what are my words worth” Swift refers to William Wordsworth. And Windermere, the biggest lake in The Lake District, took place in the song as “Those Windermere peaks look like a perfect place to cry”



  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_District

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