Thursday, 18 July 2013

Book Scenes in the Northern Lakes

Saturday 15 June. We took half a day to drive up to the Lake District, intending to call in at Ambleside. However it was the day of the Great Northern Swim. Roads were choked and when we crawled into Ambleside all the car parking spaces were taken.

We carried on through and towards Grasmere where we stopped for a bite of lunch. But even there we only managed to park for an hour.

We set off to Keswick but I had an idea. In my book, King And King To Be, a couple of key scenes are set at Lake Bassenthwaite which can be found on the A66 just north west of Keswick. I've driven past it but never stopped to take any photos.

The A66 is a fast road and splits into a dual carriageway past the lake, but just past is a turning that leads to a parking spot by a path down a steep bank to the lake itself.

After you climb, step and slither down the slope you find a paved area skirting the lake. It makes little sense - why is it there? Why does it stop before it reaches the water? But actually, why does it need to make sense? In the book Bassenthwaite is the home of Vivien, the Lady of the Lake. This area has strong links to the King Arthur legend and Bassenthwaite does have a legend that Excalibur, the sword of Arthur, was thrown into it at his command and that a hand rose out of the water to catch it.

So is this line of stones the last remaining remnants of the path to Vivien's lake stronghold? No... my book is just a fantasy tale. ...isn't it?

We climbed back up the path to the car and drove back to Keswick, managing to park quite easily by the lake - this time, Derwent Water. This is where the dragon... but no... it's just a book!

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