An easier day today, thank goodness. We had only two goals: to see Castlerigg Stone Circle at Keswick, and to view Coniston Water from a steam gondola.
We cheated a little at the stone circle by driving right up to it (most people do a 6 Km circuit on foot). It’s a brilliant location on a half-height hill with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. This stone circle is alleged to be older than Stonehenge, but it is smaller in diameter with much smaller stones. Still, it’s a much more impressive location.
It’s been a real delight driving along the road to Keswick – you get great views of the mountains. On the way back, heading toward Coniston, the GPS did its usual trick and took us via the narrow, twisty, undulating, stone-wall-lined back roads. This was intense and exciting driving.
The steam gondola cruise on Coniston Water was an unexpectedly enjoyable experience because it was so gentle and quiet. This was a one-hour trip around perhaps half of the lake, making several stops along the way. The commentary by the skipper was informative and he gave us the tip to visit nearby Tarn Hows, bequeathed by Beatrix Potter to the public (National Trust). She is a big name in this area. Also Malcolm and son Donald Campbell. Not to forget Tennyson and Wordsworth.
Tarn Hows is a small upland lake with a 2.5 Km walking track around it, with views to the surrounding mountains. It was a nice way to end the outing.
Technical note. Yesterday I wrote a lengthy diatribe about parking meters. Today we encountered the future in parking lot payment technology. Cameras read your number plate as you enter the car park, allowing you to park and walk away without doing or pre-paying anything. On your return, you enter your vehicle’s registration number at the pay machine. Gratifyingly, it even has type-ahead. You then pay an amount commensurate with your parking duration. I like it.