Bluebells on Loughrigg

The bluebells are magnificent around Loughrigg Fell at the moment, both in the little woods surrounding the hill and on the fell itself. I like their ethereal blue and look forward to seeing them every year.

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Grasmere below the bluebells (c) John Bainbridge 2017

Sadly, my camera never does justice to their colouring. Look at an individual bluebell. It’s pretty enough, but the combination of thousands set against the green and brown of the vegetation, produces something so magnificent that it seems to be almost unbelievable and not of this earth.

Two days ago, we walked one of my favourite Lakeland rambles, from Rydal church, along Under Loughrigg Lane and then up through Brow Head to Lily Tarn.

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Lily Tarn with Windermere (c) John Bainbridge 2017

Under Loughrigg Lane is a joy in itself, particularly for lovers of English literature. Thomas de Quincey lived along it at Fox Ghyll, the Wordsworths and Coleridge often came this way. Harriet Martineau and Charlotte Bronte stepped this way.

And Dr Thomas and his son, the poet Matthew Arnold, lived at Fox How. You really feel close to these writers as you wind along the lane, looking down at the waters of the River Rothay and across to the hills to the Fairfield Horseshoe.

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A View from Loughrigg (c) John Bainbridge 2017

Climbing up to Lily Tarn then through woodlands with delicate patches of bluebells. Lily Tarn is a delight, because of its setting alone, though we were saddened to see that the lone silver birch on its little island was blown over.

This is a modest ramble, though I confess to cracking two ribs the last time I walked it, with a simple trip. You cannot be too careful.

Loughrigg is a modest height, but its setting makes it a marvellous all-round viewpoint – there are so many similar fells; the Farirfield range, the Langdales, Wetherlam and Coniston Old Man. And on this day the long reach of Windermere, its waters showing as blue as the little flowers.

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Loughrigg Terrace (c) John Bainbridge 2017

We followed the track down to Loughrigg Tarn, so big I think it almost qualifies as a small lake, then up to Deerbolts Wood and out on to Loughrigg Terrace.

And here the bluebells were at their very best, great sweeps of them coming down the fell to the waters of Grasmere. The woodlands around Banerigg and White Moss giving a woodland variation of their blue.

We returned around Rydal Water, so familiar to the writers I mentioned earlier. They too must have seen the bluebells as we did.

So if you are anywhere near the Lakes, try and get out this week and see the bluebells at their best. They are a calming sight in a troubled world.



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