This past summer my husband and I tried to pop out to the Lake District when we could. Unfortunately time slipped by and we only got out there a few times for the day, except of course when my son visited and I got to stay in Keswick two days with him! (but that’s another story). On this occasion we explored Kendal, then some small tarns but the best part was walking up Gummer’s How and having a picnic. (please click on photos to see larger views)
First we stopped in Kendal and had a quick run around, but lingered a little longer in the Chocolate House. It’s a very small shop filled with all kinds of chocolates and candies. To be honest I didn’t buy any this time, I just didn’t feel in the mood….I must have been NOT feeling myself! Well it’s a reason to go back again.
This is an amazing old heavy wooden door on a small church we visited.
This is a ford we came to, I’ve never seen one this wide! There was no sign saying not to cross it but I told Gary I’d get out of the car if he tried! It looked far too deep.
We drove around the long way and this is the ford from the other side. It was awful, the ground was all broken up from previous flooding, and it must have been 2 1/2 feet deep! There should have been a sign to warn people!
This is Gummer’s How and you can just see Lake Windermere at its base. Time to get our boots on and get walking.
We passed small grassy glades and this one had a small stream that sounded so refreshing.
As we get near the top the path goes close to the edge and you get a great view of Windermere. I had to stop and take it in, though Gary said to keep on, he knew the view got better!
Now don’t get jealous of this next photo! It looks like a scene from the “Miss Potter” movie and I love that!
Of course my big plan was to do a watercolor study up top and I’m happy to say I did. Many times we walk and when we’re at the top of our hill I don’t feel like painting or there’s just no time.
After our picnic of Ploughman’s sandwiches (cheese and pickle), various biscuits (cookies) and a can of apple cider we shared, I settled down on some soft mossy heather to draw.
It helps to carry a plastic bag to sit on, the ground is usually very damp so I always have one tucked in my field kit.
The difficult part is translating that huge expanse of landscape to your small pad, I focused in on several of the distant mountains and first sketched with pencil.
The above picture shows how far I got in the field. One of the best things about painting or drawing outside, is all the things you see as you sit there! We heard loud airplane engines and then two really big military airplanes flew right up the lake; it was below us and that perspective made it even more exciting! They must have been returning from an airshow?
Here’s the finished watercolor (above). The most challenging thing (as always) was the changing shadow patterns on the hills. You can sit and gaze all day at the moving shadows from the clouds, picking out brilliant greens in one area then fading to appear in another spot. It helped me greatly to look at photos I shot when I finished up details at home. I had to pick a bit from many to fit what my painting was showing.
Click on this Wikipedia link to read more about Gummer’s How. I love the quote by Wainwright at the end, I guess I don’t have to hang up my boots just yet!
The end of a very nice day, this was the sunset as we drove through the Pennines back to Northumberland. I hope you enjoyed the extra photos today, though I know August is long since gone, I’ll always remember our hike and painting on Gummer’s How.