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Posts tagged ‘cumbria’


30 December 2015

In Cumbria

Huw Lemmey

Aira Force is hidden beneath a strip of thick deciduous woodland on the banks of Ullswater. The waterfall drops 70 feet from the beck above, forcing itself through a narrow opening in the limestone, framed above and below by two humpbacked footbridges. It was near this spot that William and Dorothy Wordsworth saw their crowd of golden daffodils. The waterfall itself features in a handful of his poems; in ‘The Somnambulist’, the ‘drooping Emma’, separated from her lover, Sir Eglamore, begins to sleepwalk, drawn by the mesmerising sound of the beck: The moon is not more pureThat shines aloft, while through the woodShe thrids her way, the sounding FloodHer melancholy lure! The modern idea of the Lake District derives from the Romantic poets. Before they reimagined it, most people had feared and avoided the landscape of what is now Cumbria. It wasn’t hard to see why last week, as I trod carefully across the slippery bridge at the top of the falls. Storm Eva had followed close behind Storm Desmond, bringing unprecedented rain.