• George Stamets

Early Autumn Escape to the Lake District

It must be criminal that I had only been to the Lake District once in the four years since I moved to the North of England. With a not-yet-ready PhD thesis due in less than two weeks, what better time could there be to grab my camera bag and tripod and escape to the hills for two days?


My itinerary took me to a handful of locations I hadn't visited the previous trip (February 2019) - and, to my delight, mostly away from the crowds (though I did finish with the mandatory gingerbread stop in Grasmere). After waking up in an Airbnb in Kendal early on day one (Thursday 1 October), I drove 35 minutes to Little Langdale, stopping first at Blea Tarn around 8:30am. Fog and then half an hour of light rain gave way to moody skies, which worked well with the autumn colors looking north toward Side Pike.

After Blea Tarn it was a walk halfway up Side Pike (my excuse: bad ankle), which offered fantastic views of Great Langdale just as the sun emerged.

From here I followed the B5343 east toward Langdale Boulders - an incredible spot (and likely a less well-known one, since it's largely hidden from the road) that I'm convinced served as part of the inspiration for The Land Before Time.

After a pause in Chapel Stile to try out some long exposure photography of the River Brathay, I continued east toward Elter Water.

I finished the first day with a late afternoon walk around Loughrigg Tarn. Returning to my car after about an hour, I was grateful to find that no magpie had flown off with the phone I accidentally left on the roof ...

Day two (Friday 2 October) was a shorter day with a later start in Kendal, stopping briefly at Tarn Hows around 10:00am before heading down to the northernmost part of Coniston Water. The jetty and surrounding water were empty, giving me a chance to try a few more long exposure shots, including several looking toward The Old Man of Coniston.

After this I ventured back to Little Langdale, parked near the Three Shires Inn, and walked down the path and over the fell toward Slater's Bridge - an absolutely stunning spot that I'm eager to visit again under better light!

From here it was a quick stop in Grasmere and then a rain-soaked drive back to Leeds - with a vow to return to the Lakes before winter.


All of the above photos plus more from the Lake District can be seen in high-resolution in an album on Flickr.

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© 2020 George Stamets

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