Saturday, September 19, 2015

Keswick

The very first time KJ and I came to England in October 2011 we planned to visit Beatrix Potter's house in the Lake District.  Of course, where we ended up was not her house at all, but that's not really the point of this story.

On the way there KJ drove us into Keswick and pulled up outside a building and said, "This is where the Keswick Convention happens.  It's very famous."  Or he said something like that, and I nodded vaguely and said, "Why are we stopping here?" or something to that effect.  Little did I know the Keswick Convention would be something I heard a lot about 3 years later.


The Keswick Convention has been happening for the past 140 years, and we were introduced to its present-day format a bit this past July.  It's free to attend and lasts for 3 weeks.   You can come for as long or short a time as you like.  There are meetings (services, as we Americans would call them) in the morning and at night, and there are tents set up for children as well where they sing songs, hear a story from the Bible, and make a craft.  We were there for about 3 days, as our planned week got a little cut short by sickness.  During the afternoons we spent time at the lake one day and went on a walk/hike the next.  


The Lake District is absolutely stunning.  

 

Keswick reminds me a lot of Gatlinburg, colder and with less touristy gimmicks.  But it's a very walkable town with outdoor stores and people camping and hiking, and on the last day we were there, I promise you I saw a Native American selling things in the square.  I have no idea what he was doing there, but it only added to my "Gatlinburg of England" theory.  Of course the main similarity are the mountains all around, even though they are different sorts of mountains.

 Ella brought me these lovely flowers.


It was not a very warm week, but the sun came and went, and there wasn't rain.


Our walk on Thursday was filled with loveliness.


We spent so much time resting here, letting the kids try to make it up that hill.  James's cries of frustration still ring in my ears.


The higher we went the better the views.  Aren't the mountainsides lovely covered in ferns?


The walk wasn't too strenuous, but this hill was killer.  I had to stop for lots of "breathing" breaks.


We were happy to make it to the top where the sheep grazed peacefully.  We tried hard not to sit in sheep poop.


I've heard more about the deforestation of England since moving here, and while it is sad to lose so many trees, you really can't beat these views.

 

I think if you plan a trip to England, you'll receive a lot more enjoyment out of coming to places like this than in seeing all the monuments in London, as fun as those things are.  I would allot more time for the Lake District.

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