• Daniel Wretham

Photographing The Lake District - Part 1

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

Rigg Wood Jetty, The Lake District

I had just finished a week in Scotland and I was now driving from Glasgow to the Lake District, in autumn to shoot one of the most scenic areas in the country, was I excited ? I was fit to burst.

I had looked for endless hours at locations in the Lake District and felt like I knew the area already pretty well, this trip had a lot of planning gone into it.

All week while in Scotland I had been keeping an eye on Cumbria's weather and seeing what was going on there and it looked quite reasonable but today was different.

It was greyer than grey could be, full of fog and raining hard, not really the way that I wanted to start but I didn't care, I'd been in this situation before and I would make the best of it, or so I thought.

I was staying in an area called Hawkshead Hill which was right at the tip of Lake Windermere and Conistion, with the added bonus it was a short walk from Tarn Hows which was one of the main reasons I was going.

As I drove into Cumbria I saw a sign for Castlerigg stone circles and I had some time to kill so I followed the signs to my first look at the Lake District.

I had seen pictures of Castlerigg Stone Circle before and it's a beautiful man made circle on top of a large hill surrounded by mountains including Helvellyn of which I wanted to see.

As I got out of the car I was pleased to see only a handful of people there, mainly due to the fact that it was hammering down with rain but even so it was a Saturday in October and I felt I had a bit of luck as I expected it to be much busier.

Castlerigg Stone Circle, The Lake District

Conditions weren't up to much, it was raining, there was hardly any light coming through but I couldn't check in to my cottage till 3 o clock so I had some time to kill.

I waited patiently in the rain for it to allow just a small bit of light through and give me something I could use but it didn't come and eventually I conceded defeat and decided to go and explorer the area a little more.

The Lake District has one main road running right the way through the middle, The A591 and it was a nice wide decent road with occasional duel carriageway areas, very nice I thought. There are also some other good roads around the outside of it, the A595 for example takes you away from the main mountain range and although single lanes its a reasonably fast and good road.

Every other road in the lakes seemed to be quite tiny and mirrors were spending more time being folded in than out on the car.

In fact the more rural you went the smaller the roads were, if another car came it would result in one of the parties having to back up until a passing place came in to view and I must admit I didn't really like it that much.

As I drove down the A591 I got my first glimpse of one of these wondrous lakes, it was Thirlmere and it was a very long and slim lake (much like all of them in fact) and it had several islands and some lovely autumn colours too, but alas no light so I continued on in search of what else was there.

Further on the same road I came to Grasmere which was a really pretty lake and one that I very much wanted a chance to shoot. Further on and Rydal Water came into view, very similar to Grasmere but with its own character and a beautiful boat house, things looked good if the weather would just let up.

Just as I needed to turn off to get my key I saw the edge of Windermere and I decided to drive straight on to have a look at it, Windermere is the largest of the main lakes and perhaps the best known.

As I drove around the lake edge I wasn't getting the same feelings as the other lakes had given me, Windermere just wasn't that great, Sure there were some area