Early to rise, early to bed

Today’s guest picture is another from my neighbour Liz’s venture to New Zealand.  It shows Tane Mahuta, thought to be the oldest Kauri tree in NZ  at 2000 years old and with a  height of 51.5 meters and a girth of 13.8 metres.

Tane Mahuta

Yesterday I had suggested a jaunt to the Lake District to Mrs Tootlepedal for today and she received the idea with enthusiasm as she thought that she would like to visit the very spot where Wordsworth and Dorothy saw the ‘host of golden daffodils’.

The forecast was quite good and so my theoretical plan was to leap out of bed at half past seven and go for a cycle ride before breakfast, leaving us plenty of time for our trip.  In the event,  I managed to bring the plan to fruition, amazing both myself and Mrs Tootlepedal.   It was a beautiful morning and although the temperature was only a meagre three degrees C, the cheerful sunshine kept the frost off the road and made pedalling a pleasure.

As we set off, the sky began to cloud over and sadly the best of the day had already gone as far as the weather went.   It stayed dry though and the sun shone for brief periods from time to time.

Our target was the shore of Ullswater…


…one of the larger lakes in the Lake District.  As you can see , it had got quite cloudy by the time that we arrived.  Wordsworth’s host of daffodils turned out to be rather more of a smattering than an army….

daffodils at Ullswater

…though I think they will look a bit more impressive in a few days time.  We drove on to Glenridding where we parked at the pier and had a coffee.

The gloomy weather should have stopped me taking too many pictures but it didn’t.





I had hoped that the hills might be capped with gleaming snow but there was only a scattering on the very tops of the bigger hills.


We considered taking a trip on the lake steamer but decided that it was too chilly and opted for a walk instead.

Our route took on us well made paths and tracks up one side of the Glenridding Beck and down the other.

We climbed steadily and we soon able to turn back and look at the lake below us.


We crossed the beck by a fine wooden bridge…

Bridge over Glenridding Beck

…and ate a sandwich beside the stream there.

Glenridding Beck

The walls and rocks in the area were covered by a flourishing green lichen for the most part but there were one or two others about.  Here is an example of the common green one with a rarer grey brown one beside it.

green lichen

The were many picturesque views to be had and I always enjoy one with a Scots pine in it.

Scots pine at Glenriddin

It was a real pity that the sun remained hidden because a bit of brightness would have made for some stunning views.

We walked further up the valley on the far side of the beck until we arrived at the Youth Hostel which is on the site of an old mine.

Greenside Mine

Greenside Mine
Some of the old stone work is visible

This is Greenside Mine, an old lead mine which produced lead and silver between 1690 and 1960.  This was as far as our legs would carry us uphill and so we turned to walk back down the track to the lake.

We passed several little terraces which must have housed the workers in the mines in days gone by.  They seemed mostly to be holiday homes now but they were very neatly looked after.

aubretia at Glenridding
Walls hung with aubretia

The valley was typical of the Lake District with small fields beside the stream and rough pasture further up the hillsides.


On the other side of the Lake, we could see a snowy ridge.


It was a lovely walk but after three and a half miles and 550 ft of climbing and descent, we were very ready for a cup of tea in the village when we got back.   We may still have a few miles left in our cycling legs but our days of striding up hills are long behind us and this length of walk, with its varied views and continual points of interest, was just the thing for us.

We drove back by way of Dockray and were able to stop for one last look at the lake before we went over the hill.


When we got home, I was happy to see that the birds had survived my absence for the day.

You can see that the goldfinch on the right is hopping mad because the other one has got the coveted twig top spot.

As a mocking coda to our rather grey outing, a beautiful sunset developed over Langholm  as Mrs Tootlepedal was getting ready to go off to strut her stuff at the Buccleuch Centre.


Spring watch:  On our way down, we had stopped in Carlisle for Mrs Tootlepedal to buy some knitting wool.  I was struck by a beautiful willow across the road from where the car was parked and I have paired it with a golden burst seen on our walk later in the day.


The flying bird of the day is an RAF helicopter flying low over the lake as we had our coffee.  It may have been on its way to a mountain rescue job.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Early to rise, early to bed

  1. The lovely Lake District! We are off there in ten days time for a weeks holiday in a rented cottage. I can’t wait! Impressive scenery photos and I’m glad you had enough light on your return for some birds too

  2. Fantastic pictures. It looks like you had a great day out. The noise of the water and rolling rocks in the river from the youth hostel was incredible last time I stayed there. I certainly wasn’t expecting a Sea King from 22 Sqdn as flying bird of the day!

  3. I haven’t been on a vicarious outing with you in too long. This one was especially nice, as Mrs.Tootlepedal was also there, and what lovely countryside to explore. Very enjoyable, Tom!

  4. What a wonderful outing into the land of poets. I can quite see what Wordsworth was going on about, those daffodils will look amazing once they’re properly open, especially in the sun. You are lucky to live within easy reach of such beautiful scenery. Great photos as always but I think the lichen was my favourite.

  5. In actual fact we will! We have been to the Lakes a number of times (my husband introduced them to me) and we first visited Pooley Bridge on our honeymoon.

  6. What beautiful vistas you got to enjoy and your photos are so clear, it’s like being there and seeing it for myself! The first one of the lake and the mountains is beautiful. Loved the sunset as well. Glad you and Mrs. T had such a wonderful outing! Thank you for sharing your day with us.

  7. Gorgeous photos. How very different your goldfinches look with their little red faces. They too are gorgeous. In some ways, the clouds made for more dramatic photos than if the sun had been out. Thanks for the tour. How beautiful it is there — albeit a little chilly. It was 80F outside in the backyard today and I think the goldfinches are preparing to fly North now.

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