Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

From the summit of WANSFELL PIKE, (1590 feet in height,) which stands on the east, the mountains have a highly imposing appearance, and thence may bo seen the whole expanse of Windermere, with its islands ; but on account of the altitude of the spectator, the view is not so fine as that from another part of the Pike, called Troutbeck Hundreds, a little to the south.

The village of Rydal, supposed to be a contraction of Rothay-Dale, is place! in a narrow gorge, formed by the advance of Loughrigg fell and Rydal Knab, at the lower extremity of Rydal Mere, one mile and a quarter from Ambleside. Here, in the midst of a park containing great numbers of noble forest trees,* stands Rydal Hall, the seat of Rev. Sir R. Fleming. The celebrated falls are within the park, and strangers desirous to view them, must take a conductor from one of the cottages near the Hall gates. The fall below the house is beheld from the window of an old summer house. Amongst the juvenile poems of Words worth there is a sketch of this cascade.

“ While thick above the rill the branches close,

In rocky basin its wild waves repose,
Inverted shrubs, and moss of gloomy green,
Cling from the rocks with pale wood-weeds between ;
Save that aloft the subtle sunbeams shine
On wither'd briars, that o'er the crags recline,
Sole light admitted there, a small cascade
Illumes with sparkling foam the impervious shade;
Beyond, along the vista of the brook,
Where antique roots its bristling course o'erlook,
The eye reposes on a secret bridge,

Half grey, half shagg‘d with ivy to its ridge." The chapel, from its prominent position, arrests the stranger's notice the moment he arrives at the village. It was erected by Lady le Fleming in 1824, at her own expense.

Rydal Mount, for many years the dwelling of the poet Wordsworth, stands on a projection of the hill called Knab Scar, and is approached by the road leading to the Hall. It is, as Mrs Hemans in one of her letters describes it, “ a lovely cottage-like building, almost hidden by a profusion of roses and ivy.” The grounds, laid out in a great measure by the hands of the poet himself, though but of circumscribed dimensions, are so artfully, whilst seeming to be so artlessly planned, as to appear of considerable extent. From a grassy mound in front, “ commanding a view always so rich, and sometimes so brightly solemn, that one can well imagine its influence traceable in many of the poet's writings, you catch a gleam of Windermere over the grove tops, --close at hand

• « The sylvan, or say rather the forest scenery of Rydal Park, was, in the memory of living ineni, magnificent, and it still conta'ns a treasure of old trees. By all means wander away into those old woods, and lose yourselv us for an hour or two among the cooing of cushats, and the thrin shriek of startled blackbirds, and the rustle of the harmless glow-worm among the last year's red beech leaves. No very great harm should you even fall asleep under the shadow an oak, while the magpie chatters at safe distance, and the more innocent squirrel peeps upon you from a bough of the canopy, and then hoisting his tail, glides into the obscurity wiftiest umbrage." - PROFESSOR Wilson.

Are Rydal Hall, and its ancient woods,-right opposite the Loughrigg Felis, fery, rocky, and sylvan, and to the right Rydal Mere, scarcely seen througi embowering trees, whilst just below, the chapel lifts up its little tower."

The walk to Rydal, on the banks of the Rothay, under Loughrigg Fell, is extremely delightful. Though more circuitous than the highway, it presents fine combinations of scenery. The tourist, intending to take this round, should pur sue the road to Clappersgate for half a mile to Rothay Bridge, and having cross ed the bridge, enter the first gate on the right. The road leads alongside the river, passing many handsome villas, to Pelter Bridge, 2} miles Rydal Hall

, with its park, and Rydal Mount, will be frequently in sight. Behind, Amble side, backed by Wansfell, has a picturesque appearance. On the right are the heights of Fairfield and Kirkstone. By crossing the bridge, the Keswick road will be gained, and the tourist can then either return to Ambleside, or proceed to Rydal, which is 300 or 400 yards further. Those who are fond of long walks ought to abstain from crossing the bridge, but, keeping to the left, pursue the road behind the farm house, called Coat How, which leads along the south-west shore of Rydal Mere. This mere being passed, the road ascends the hill side steeply for some time, until it reaches a splendid terrace, overlooking Grasmere Lake, with its single islet, and then, climbing again, joins on Red Bank the Gras mere, and Langdale road.* Here the tourist has the choice of returning to Ambleside by Loughrigg Tarn and Clappersgate, or proceeding to Grasmere vilage, in doing which he will pass in succession Tail End, the Wyke, and the Cottage. The village is a sweet little place, at the head of the lake, 4 miles from Ambleside. In the churchyard are interred the remains of the poet Wordsworth. An excellent hotel (The Lowther and Hollins) has recently been opened on an eminence overlooking the high road from Ambleside to Keswick. Allan Bank, the residence of Thomas Dawson, Esq., stands on & platform of ground behind the village. This hoase was, for some time, the abode of Wordsworth. The house, however, in which he lived for many years,

• This is by far the best station for viewing the Lake and Vale of Grasmere. Probably it ** this very view that called from Mrs Hemans her sonnet entitled

A REMEMBRANCE OF GRASMERE.
“O vale and lake, within your mountain ur,
Smiling so tranquilly, and set so deep!
Oft doth your dreamy loveliness retum,
Colouring the tender shadows of my slep
With light Elysian ;--for the hues that steep
Your shores in melting lustre, seem to float
un golden clouds froin spirit-lands remote
Isles of the blest ;--and in our memory keep
Their place with holiest harmonies. Fair scene
Most loved by evening and her dewy star!
üh! ne'er may man, with touch unhallow'd, jar
The perfect music of the charm serene !
Still, still unchanged, may one sweet region wear
Biniles that subdue the soul to love, and tears, and prayer !

and in which he composed many of his most beautiful pieces, is at Grasmere Town End. The singularly shaped hill, called Helm Crag, is conspicuously visible from Grasmere. Its apex exhibits so irregular an outline, as to have given rise to numberless whimsical comparisons, Gray compares it to a gigantic building demolished, and the stones which composed it fung across in wild confusion. And Wordsworth speaks of

" The ancient Woman seated on Helm Crag." The narrow valley of Fasedale, a dependency of Grasmere, lying in a recess between Helm Crag and Silver How, deserves a visit for its picturesque and se cluded beauty.

" The spot was made by nature for herself." It contains a large tarn, and a small cascade, called Sour Milk Gill. The me lancholy fate of John and Sarah Green, who lived in this vale, is now pretty generally known through Mr De Quincey, who published an account of it in Tait's Magazine for September 1839.

About a mile from Grasmere, on an eminence, over which the old road to Ambleside passes, and exactly opposite to the middle of the lake, is the Wishing Gate. It has been so called, time out of mind, from a belief that wishes formed or indulged there have a favourable issue. Apart from any adventitious Interest, the gate is an excellent station for viewing the lake.

A pleasing excursion, of ten miles, into the retired side-valley of TROUTBECR, may be conveniently taken from Ambleside. As the latter part of the route i: practicable for horsemen and pedestrians only, those who take conveyances will be compelled to return by the road they went, as soon as they arrive at the head of Troutbeck, unless they proceed by way of Kirkstone to Patterdale. The tourist must pursue the Kendal road for two miles, and take the first road on the left when he has passed Low Wood Inn. From the eminences of this road, many exquisite views of Windermere are obtained ; and, perhaps, the finest view of the lake that can be had from any station, is that from the highest part of it. The mountains in the west present an admirable outline, and the whole length of the lake stretches out before the spectator,

with all its fairy crowds
Of islands, that together lie
As quietly as spots of sky

Amongst the evening clouds." • The whole valley of Grasmere, in fact, teems with memorials of Wordsworth. There is scarcely a crag, a knoll, or a rill, which he has not embalmed in verse. To this cottage at Town End, which is now partially hidden from those on the highway, by the intervention of some Later built cottages, Wordsworth brought his bride in 1802. Previous to his departure to fetch ler, he composed his Farewell, in which these lines occur,

" Farnwell, thou little nook of mountain ground,
Thou rocky comer in the lowest stair
Of that magnificent Temple, which doth bound
One side of our whole vale with grandeur rare:
Sweet garden-orchard, eminently fair,
The loveliest spot that man hath ever found!"

• There is not," says Professor Wilson, “ such another splendid prospect in al England. The lake has much of the character of a river, without losing its own The islands are seen almost all lying together in a cluster-below which all is loveliness and beauty-above, all majesty and grandeur. Bold or gentle promontories break all the banks into frequent bays, seldom without a cottage or cottages embowered in trees; and, while the whole landscape is of a sylvan kind, parts of it are so laden with woods, that you see only here and there wreath of smoke, but no houses, and could almost believe that you are gazing on the primeval forests." One mile and a half from Low Wood, one ertremity of the long vale-village of Troutbeck is reached, at a point about a mile from Troutbeck Bridge. The rude picturesqueness of its many-chimneyed cottages, with their unnumbered gables and slate-slab porticoes, will not be pas sed unnoticed by the tourist, as he bends his way towards the hills. “ The cottages (says the writer from whom our last extract was made) stand for the most part ır. clusters of twos and threes, with here and there what in Scotland is called a clachan-many a sma' toun within the ae lang toun—but where in all broad Scotland is a mile-long scattered congregation of rural dwellings, all dropped down where the Painter and the Poet would have wished to plant them, en knolls and in dells, on banks and braes, and below tree-crested rocks, and all bound together in picturesque confusion, by old groves of ash, oak, and sca more, and by flower gardens and fruit orchards, rich as those of the Hespe rides?” The road pursues the western side of the valley, at some distance from the lowest level, which is occupied by the stream giving its name to the village On the opposite side, the Howe, the residence of Captain Wilson, R. N., will be observed, and further on, the chapel is perceived on the banks of the stream, near the bridge, by which the roads are connected. That on the east side is te most direct road from Bowness to the valley, but it is objectionable on account of its not conducting the traveller through the village. The road on the western flank joins the Kendal and Ambleside road at Troutbeck Bridge, keeping throughout on the banks of the stream, the meanderings of which, on its way to Windermere, round rugged scaurs and wooded banks, are continually in sight. Half a mile beyond the chapel, is the only inn in the valley, bearing the quaint title of “ The Mortal Man,”—a name acquired from the lines, composed, doulst less, by some native poet, which a few years ago decorated the sign-board

“O Mortal Man, who livest on bread,

What is't that makes thy nose so red -
Thou silly ass, that looks so pale,

It is with drinking Birkett's ale." Two miles beyond the inn, the tourist has immediately below him, a tongue ise sweiling from the bottom of the vale called Troutbeck Park, which is visibie even from the surface of Windermere. Taking his station here, and turning to the north-east, the spectator has the mountains of Kentmere before Tum. The nearest elevation is called the Yoke, the two next, having the appearance of the humps on a dromedary's back, are Hill Bell and Froswick,-and further on is

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »