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DIRECTIONS AND INFORMATION FOR THE TOURIST
Windermere. -Ambleside. -Coniston.-Ulpha Kirk.-Road from
Vales diverging from a common Centre. -Effect of Light and
and Colours. -
Tourists. -New Settlers.-The Country disfigured.-Causes of
DIRECTIONS AND INFORMATION FOR THE TOURIST 1
IN preparing this Manual, it was the Author's principal wish to furnish a Guide or Companion for the Minds of Persons of taste, and feeling for Landscape, who might be entitled to explore the District of the Lakes with that degree of attention to which its beauty may fairly lay claim. For the more sure attainment, however, of this primary object, he will begin by undertaking the humble and tedious task of supplying the Tourist with directions how to approach the several scenes in their best, or most convenient, order. But first, supposing the
1 Wordsworth's Description of the Scenery of the Lakes in the North of England, afterwards expanded as A Guide through the District of the Lakes in the North of England, etc., with a Description of the Scenery, for the use of Tourists and Residents, originally formed an introduction to the Rev. Joseph Wilkinson's Select Views in Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancashire, published at London in 1810 (12 Nos. in one volume folio).
It next appeared in 1820, in the volume of Sonnets on the River Duddon, the full title of which was, The River Duddon, a series of Sonnets: Vaudracour and Julia; and other Poems, to which is annexed a topographical description of the Country of the Lakes in the North of England, by William Wordsworth.
In 1822 it was published for the first time separately, in 12m0, divided into sections, with much additional matter. It included some remarks on the scenery of the Alps (Wordsworth had revisited Switzerland in 1820), and an account of an excursion to Scawfell, with a final chapter of "Directions and Information for the Tourist." This edition was reprinted in 1823.
It was expanded in a fifth edition, 8vo, printed at Kendal in 1835. In this-which contained Wordsworth's final text, and is
approach to be made from the south, and through Yorkshire, there are certain interesting spots which may be confidently recommended to his notice, if time can be spared before entering upon the Lake District; and the route may be changed in returning.
There are three approaches to the Lakes through Yorkshire; the least adviseable is the great north road by Catterick and Greta Bridge, and onwards to Penrith. The Traveller, however, taking this route, might halt at Greta Bridge, and be well recompenced if he can afford to give an hour or two to the banks of the Greta, and of the Tees, at Rokeby. Barnard Castle also, about two miles up the Tees, is a striking object, and the main North Road might be rejoined at Bowes. Every one has heard of the great Fall of the Tees above Middleham, interesting for its grandeur, as the avenue of rocks that leads to it, is to the geologist. But this place lies so far out of the way as scarcely to be within the compass of our notice. It might, however, be visited by a Traveller
therefore selected for reproduction in the present edition-the "Directions and Information for Tourists" precedes the " Description of the Scenery of the Lakes;" and to the account of the ascent of Scawfell is added a curious recast of a passage in one of his sister's Journals of "a mountain ramble in 1805, describing an excursion to Ullswater. The original MS. describing this mountain ramble is at Coleorton Hall, in Leicestershire; but it was printed in the Transactions of the Wordsworth Society, No. V. (1883).
The edition of 1835 was republished in 1842 and 1849. It has subsequently appeared in popular reprints, both by itself and along with Professor Sedgwick's Five Letters on the Geology of the Lake District. The Itinerary of the Lakes," which the publishers added "with permission of the author," has a certain topographical value, and is reproduced in this edition.
The changes of text in the several editions of the Guide are not indicated. It may be remarked, however, that the poetic fragment given at pp. 35-6, first published in 1827 under the title WaterFowl-but which is a part of a canto of The Recluse, entitled 'Home in Grasmere "-differs slightly both from the printed text of Water-Fowl, and from the MS. of The Recluse in its final form. -ED.
on foot, or on horseback, who could rejoin the main road upon Stanemoor.
The second road leads through a more interesting tract of country, beginning at Ripon, from which place see Fountain's Abbey, and thence by Hackfall, and Masham, to Jervaux Abbey, and up the Vale of Wensley; turning aside before Askrigg is reached, to see Aysgarthforce, upon the Ure; and again, near Hawes, to Hardraw Scar, of which, with its waterfall, Turner has a fine drawing. Thence over the fells to Sedbergh, and Kendal.
The third approach from Yorkshire is through Leeds. Four miles beyond that town are the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey, should that road to Skipton be chosen; but the other by Otley may be made much more interesting by turning off at Addington to Bolton Bridge, for the sake of visiting the Abbey and grounds. It would be well, however, for a party previously to secure beds, if wanted, at the inn, as there is but one, and it is much resorted to in summer.
The Traveller on foot, or horseback, would do well to follow the banks of the Wharf upwards, to Burnsall, and thence cross over the hills to Gordale-a noble scene, beautifully described in Gray's Tour, and with which no one can be disappointed. Thence to Malham, where there is a respectable village inn, and so on, by Malham Cove, to Settle.
Travellers in carriages must go from Bolton Bridge to Skipton, where they rejoin the main road; and should they be inclined to visit Gordale, a tolerable road turns off beyond Skipton. Beyond Settle, under Giggleswick Scar, the road passes an ebbing and flowing well, worthy the notice of the Naturalist. Four miles to the right of Ingleton, is Weathercote Cave, a fine object, but whoever diverges for this, must return to Ingleton. Near Kirkby Lonsdale observe the view from the bridge over the Lune, and descend to the channel of the river, and by no means omit looking at the Vale of Lune from the Churchyard.
The journey towards the Lake country through Lancashire, is, with the exception of the Vale of the Ribble, at Preston, uninteresting; till you come near Lancaster, and obtain a view of the fells and mountains of Lancashire and Westmorland; with Lancaster Castle, and the Tower of the Church seeming to make part of the Castle, in the foreground.
They who wish to see the celebrated ruins of Furness Abbey, and are not afraid of crossing the Sands, may go from Lancaster to Ulverston; from which place take the direct road to Dalton; but by all means return through Urswick, for the sake of the view from the top of the hill, before descending into the grounds of Conishead Priory. From this quarter the Lakes would be advantageously approached by Coniston; thence to Hawkshead, and by the Ferry over Windermere, to Bowness: a much better introduction than by going direct from Coniston to Ambleside, which ought not to be done, as that would greatly take off from the effect of Windermere.
The direct road
Let us now go back to Lancaster. thence to Kendal is 22 miles, but by making a circuit of 8 miles, the Vale of the Lune to Kirkby Lonsdale will be included. The whole tract is pleasing; there is one view mentioned by Gray and Mason especially so. In West's Guide it is thus pointed out:-“About a quarter of a mile beyond the third mile-stone, where the road makes a turn to the right, there is a gate on the left which leads into a field where the station meant, will be found." Thus far for those who approach the Lakes from the South.
Travellers from the North would do well to go from Carlisle by Wigton, and proceed along the Lake of Bassenthwaite to Keswick; or, if convenience should take them first to Penrith, it would still be better to cross the country to Keswick, and begin with that vale, rather than with Ullswater. It is worth while to mention, in this place, that the banks of the river Eden, about Corby,