Holiday Book Review: The Wednesday Daughters

book_WednesdayDaughtersCover_newI never tire of the view over Lake Windermere on my drive to work. Some mornings it’s the hushed ethereal quality of the light on the water that determines me to internally freeze frame the forget-me-not moment. At other times it’s the dark mystery and foreboding of the Langdale peaks which trespass a stormy, churned up lake that takes the frame.

What better setting for New York Times best selling author, Meg Waite Clayton, to pen The Wednesday Daughters, her eagerly anticipated sequel to The Wednesday Sisters, the story of five friends who, over the course of four decades, come to redefine what it means to be family. Continue reading “Holiday Book Review: The Wednesday Daughters”

Holiday Book Review: From High Heels to High Hills

From High Heels to High Hills: One Woman Walking the Lake District - in Her Own Style
From High Heels to High Hills: One Woman Walking the Lake District – in Her Own Style

It was the cover of this sassy book that first caught my attention and captured my imagination. I had toyed with the idea of packing a day sack and heading to the hills for some months but always stopped just short of planning a route. I’m not sure if that was because it was just easier to enjoy the view across Lake Windermere and the hills beyond on the drive to work but, more likely, a lack of confidence fuelled by the many thoughts that assailed my mind – ‘you are not outdoorsy enough’; ‘you will get lost and end up having to call out mountain rescue’; ‘people like you should stick to tea rooms and garden centres’.

Whatever the reason, my interest was piqued by the pair of spotty red, white and blue Dune stilettos (mud photo-shopped on!) pointing resolutely towards a magnificent Lakeland mountain scene and taking centre stage on the cover of From High Heels to High Hills. Tanya Oliver was obviously a lady after my own heart! Continue reading “Holiday Book Review: From High Heels to High Hills”

Holiday Book Review: Haweswater by Sarah Hall

Story telling at it's best - Sarah Halls' debut novel
Story telling at it’s best – Sarah Halls’ debut novel

Sarah Halls’ first novel, Haweswater, is not for the faint hearted. It is a vivid picture of life, love, and death, of the small village of Mardale, in the Lake District. It is set in the 1930s, and it revolves around the intense and passionate life of Jannette Lightburn, her family, and community.

The town, cradled in its remote dale, is changed when in 1936, a representative, Jack Liggett, from Manchester Waterworks, arrives with plans of an impending new dam and reservoir. Janet is revolted by this man and his plans, yet is savagely attracted to him, and he to her, with her wild feral presence, and fierce love of her family, valley, and all that live in it. The love affair that they pursue, leads only to despair, and heartache for those caught up in its wake. Continue reading “Holiday Book Review: Haweswater by Sarah Hall”

Seen Send: the Next Generation of Art inspired by the Lake District

Low Wood Wonder inspired by @cumbrianblondie
Low Wood Wonder inspired by @cumbrianblondie

We love the Lake District and we are always on the lookout for new photography from our guests and visitors to the national park to share and inspire. Artist, J.A.C has taken the search for local photography one step further and is inviting walkers and photographers to share the images they capture.

By using the hashtag #seensend on twitter users can send their images to J.A.C. who will select three that inspire him the most. He will send the winner a copy of the art they have influenced free of charge.

SeenSend rewards people who share wonderful places via social media with art. Continue reading “Seen Send: the Next Generation of Art inspired by the Lake District”

Holiday Book Review: The Grave Tattoo

Holiday Book review of Val McDermid's Lake District based Thriller
Holiday Book review of Val McDermid’s Lake District based Thriller

Before setting off on holiday, I like to try to read a novel either about the place I am visiting or by a local author. I don’t mind if the details of the plot are factually correct or if the author has used artistic license, I am more interested in soaking up an atmosphere or the ‘sense’ of a place; a preparation for discovery.

For visitors to the Lake District, Val McDermid does this in her psychological suspense thriller The Grave Tattoo.  She mixes history, literature and murder most foul wrapped up in the culture and heritage of Wordsworth country. Many of the place names are actual – Lancaster, Kendal, Keswick, Coniston –Dove Cottage, Grasmere and even Zefferelli’s cinema in Ambleside get a mention. Continue reading “Holiday Book Review: The Grave Tattoo”

Picture Perfect Views Framed Ahead of New Arts Festival

View Framed of Langdale Pikes
View Framed of Langdale Pikes

Have you see the giant picture frame is touring the Lake District this month?

Our spectacular mountainous landscape of the Lake District has long been a sought-after destination by artists – inspiring old masters such as Constable and Turner, as well as modernists like Kurt Schwitters.

The large four metre by two metre frame has been positioned to show off some of the area’s most spectacular views to visitors, and residents, and allow them to pause and reflect on how the area’s natural beauty has inspired art. Continue reading “Picture Perfect Views Framed Ahead of New Arts Festival”

Waterhead creates room to inspire poets

Poets Room with a view from Waterhead
Poets Room with a view from Waterhead

Waterhead is creating a special room to provide inspiration for modern-day Wordsworths.  We have put together some of the ingredients which we hope will help aspiring writers get their creative juices flowing and encourage a new generation of poets to write beautiful verse about the area.

The Lake District’s spectacular landscape has provided inspiration for a wealth of famous poets, such as William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge and Robert Southey as well as writers such as Beatrix Potter, Arthur Ransome, Thomas de Quincey and John Ruskin. Wordsworth lived just a few miles away from Waterhead at Dove Cottage and then Rydal Mount.

The Poets’ Room contains a writers’ desk from which wordsmiths can enjoy spectacular vistas over the waters of Windermere and the fells beyond.

The views include Loughrigg Fell where Wordsworth often walked in search of inspiration. He described the tarn that can be found part way up the fell as ‘round clear and bright as heaven’ and nicknamed it ‘Diana’s Looking-glass’.

An ink pen and paper is on hand to help people get into the writing mood, or they can make use of a traditional typewriter, as well as having the option to plug in a laptop to the high speed internet access.

An iPod docking station will be available so people can bring along their perfect mood music.

The room will also contain valuable reference material such as books of famous poetry, a dictionary and thesaurus as well as the guidebook to the area which Wordsworth himself wrote so the writer can visit some of the region’s many picturesque locations to provide food for thought. The books include the journals of William Wordsworth’s sister Dorothy, recounting many of the walks that inspired her brother’s famous poetry.

We would love to see the kind of work people are able to produce in the room and it would be fantastic if someone was able to create a modern poem about the Lake District to rival Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’.

Guests who stay in the Poetry Room will get free entry to Dove Cottage as well as getting access to the Jerwood Centre Reading Room which contains the Wordsworth Trust’s collection of manuscripts and first editions . The Reading Room is usually only open to researchers by prior appointment.

Anyone who stays in the Poetry Room can submit their best poem for Waterhead’s Lake District Poetry Competition. The winning poem will be framed and hung in the hotel and the winner will also get a free weekend’s stay at any of the English Lakes hotels.

The Poet’s Room will be available from 5th March 2012 and the competition will run until 31st October 2012.