UK Destinations 2019 - Ayrshire, Scotland to Keswick, England

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When we leave the B&B at Tarbolton, we'll drive southeast through open rolling hills country to Carlisle, England and from there to Keswick, in the Lake District. 

It should be a very scenic drive which includes a few good roadside options, the first being Cawick Multiverse, landscape art on a huge scale, by Charles Jencks.  Fodor's recommends a visit of a few hours here, photos are posted as I did not want to preempt our visual experience.          

We may also stop at Ellisland Farm, just north of scenic Dumfries, where Robert Burns last years were lived.  The place is supposedly atmospheric and there's a good short walk to River Nith nearby, one of Burns' favorite walks.  Or we may skip this and see the Burns House in Dumfries, instead.  (or see both)

Only a little further down the road, and not long before we cross into England, we'll stop at Caerlaverock Castle, on the shores of the vast floodplain of Solway Firth.   

"The stunningly beautiful moated Caerlaverock Castle stands in splendid isolation amid the surrounding wetlands that form the Caerlaverock Nature Reserve. Built in a unique triangular design, this 13th-century fortress has solid sandstone masonry and an imposing double-tower gatehouse.  Now largely in ruins, the interior is still very atmospheric, and the siege engines on the grounds give some sense of what medieval warfare was like."  (Fodor's Scotland)

south coast near Dumfries living on  Solway Firth   from the south in England
Caerlaverock Castle environmental marshland too

Caerlaverock, yes, an odd word, has an extensive wetlands/marsh area & the organization gives afternoon tours.  Words starting with "Caer" are more often found in Wales. We'll figure out when we get there how the Scots pronounce it.   

Once we reach Carlisle, England, we'll leave the freeway to shop at a Tesco grocery, in prep for our seven days of "self-catering" at Keswick. 

Keswick and the Lake District

Keswick ('kesik') is the main town in the northern Lake District.  Our explorations are likely to be mainly in the North-northwest and Central area, because that's where the highest mountains & best lakeside scenery is.    

But the main cultural highlights will pull us south to Grasmere, Rydal Water, Ambleside, and Hawkshead, towns which can be seen on the map below.  Those towns are only a short drive away, on scenic roads.  

general map Keswick sunrise see note 1
amazing shot of Keswick & Derwent Water Moot Hall and Market Day see note 2

note 1 - this is a great view from Catbells, looking east at Derwent Water and the town of Keswick. The snowy peak behind Keswick is Skiddaw, and our rental house is at the foot of that mountain.      

Moot Hall in Keswick contains the TI or Tourist Info Center & the National Park Office, with maps & hiking advice. 

Here's a brief sample of Lake District scenery - 

Fleetwith Pike, at Buttermere     Conniston Water
Landthwaite area near Grasmere
Lorton Vale footpath is easy to spot early morning at Rannerdale Knots

note - many of these images will be re-used on the next page.

The best photos of the Lake District on this and the next page come from local hiker-photographer Andrew Locking.  Andrew's out for a walk at least every other day, and while he and his wife travel to quite a lot of other places, for hiking purposes, the vast majority of his photo pages are from Lake District walks.  He and his wife do all off the great walking trails in the Lake District in Cumbria, and in the Yorkshire Moors & Dales. 

His website has been a great resource for me.  For years I've had a good look at the Lake District through his eyes. I think Andrew Locking is a great landscape photographer & here's the link: 

His website is very searchable and I was able to find and post hiking photos for places we might go, which he took in the fall months, when we'll be there. 

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