SCOTLAND! But First, Grasmere, Cumbria, Burial Site of Poet William Wordsworth in the Historic Lake District  

Posted by Heidi

We drove away from the beautiful farm, High Yewdale (see this post) and headed farther north.  Everything was saw was idyllic.  (Of note:  there is more traffic in this part of England than in Ireland, so myphotos taken through the coach window turned out much better than those I attempted to take in Ireland last summer.)

I love this stone so much.  The view of the garbage cans (trash bins?) isn't the sweetest, but at least they are the right color.

I believe it was around this point that our tour guide brought up the fact that some people believe that cows lie down before it rains to ensure themselves a dry place to sleep.  This could be true, but consider:  my husband and I take a walk most days up into the foothills near Mt. Diablo in Northern California and there are plenty of cows who live along this trail.  However, we only see them perhaps once every few weeks, or less.  Yesterday, the cows were very low down by the stream we walk along.  Most of them were lying down.  Since rain wasn't forecast until the next day, we thought this a tad premature.  Imagine our surprise when we saw the very same cows in the very same spot when we walked past this morning.  Some of them were lying down, but most were milling about with an air of "what the heck?"  They hadn't long to wait, though, as it began to rain about 15 minutes later.  Is it true that cows plant themselves before a rain?  I am the wrong person to ask, but I have to wonder how one is able to discern this phenomena in a country that sees rain most days, even in the summer.  Inquiring minds need to know.

More lake scenes of the lack district through the window.

This is a terrible photo, but I love the dock and the skiff.  It is a scene of such hope and promise.  Who wouldn't love to run down to the dock and hop aboard?

A beautiful sight as we drove through some town or another.  I yearn to make one of these "lobelia balls", as I call them, but they barely hang on to dear life when planted in the ground in these parts; these containers dry out too fast.  Le sigh . . .

After a number of hours of sight-seeing through the coach window, we arrived at Grasemere.  Such a beautiful village! Through the foliage pictured above, one can spot a church.  This is St. Oswald's, complete with a beautiful graveyard, one that holds the remains of famous poet, William Wordsworth.  "I wandered lonely as a cloud . . . " (Which begs the questions, are clouds lonely?  It isn't often that you see just one . . . just sayin'.)

I adore the door here at St. Oswald's Church.  Just sayin'.

The River Rothay.  I was so taken with the beauty of Grasmere that I bought a print of an oil painting done by a local resident complete with a view of this river.  It is so peaceful and reminds me of all of this beauty on a daily basis.

Roses festooned over a gothic fence--I must get me one of these.  Oh, wait!  I do have one.  Rather, I have a rose arbor with three gloriously gothic arches over which my Eden rose shall soon festoon itself.  These are the spring promises of which long winters are made. (See the little fold of mountain up at the top?  That's all--just see it.)

The tombstone roughly in the middle is that of William Wordsworth, who died in 1850, and his wife, Mary, who died not long after, in 1859.  (I love the names William and Mary which is why, at our house, we have one of each)  The cement area to the left of W's tomb is inscribed with more detailed information about the births and deaths of the Wordsworth family.  The tombstones to the right of W's are some of those family members.

There is something very New Oreleans about this graveyard.  Why I would say such a thing, I have no idea since I have never been there.  William Wordsworth aside, it is a very romantic place and one I would have liked to sit in and enjoy for a while.  Instead, I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off and took photos.  (But, hey, I can enjoy it anytime I want to, now.)

That spill of roses from the other side.

I wish I could say that I sat on this bench and simply breathed.

Such a beautiful mix of colors and textures.  I was determined to get a closer look at that house.

At the time I took this photo, the cross in the foreground looked liked real wood.  Now I wonder.  It is perhaps made of cement.  Would a wooden one survive many rainy winters?  Or summers, for that matter?

We got there!  This house is sure to have deep sills on the other side of those windows.  How lovely! The roses draped over the door are exactly the right color.  Delightful!

Back in the coach for more lake views, but with a difference--next stop, Scotland!

This is the worst photo ever!  But, I had to include it.  Gretna Green is the oh-so-famous local of runaway brides one reads about in countless regency romance novels a la Georgette Heyer.  (I would include runaway grooms, but often they weren't as sincere as the girls about getting married.)

This is the first house you come to when you cross the border in Gretna Green and the last one you see as you leave--hence the cool sign.  Over 10,000 marriages have taken place here since . . . well, even an enlargement did not reveal the date to me (see sign on the right).  Since it was built, however, in 1830, I feel it safe to assume the date is that or older.  I think I see a 14 something over there--I'm not sure, but I believe there might have been another building on this site prior to 1830, one in which marriages "over the anvil" were performed.  This old place still holds weddings.  It also serves lunch.  (We neither married or lunched at this location, more's the pity.)

I have to say that it was truly a thrill for me to be here, in this spot.  The whole Toll Booth and Gretna Green and Scotland thing elicits such visions of regency romance delights. Since I write regency romances, I was especially tickled.

My most recent, A Midwinter Ball, was released on December 1st, 2015, so the whole regency romance thing is very much on my mind.  None of it takes place in Scotland--there isn't even an elopement to Gretna or even an abduction, but one of each very nearly happens in Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind and Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice.

This book, due out in June 2016, does take place in Ireland, which is where I vacationed last summer and garnered a great deal of inspiration.  The photo for this book was taken under my direction in England--you can read about that super fun day HERE.  (You can find all of my books for sale HERE.)

This photo is pure Scotland.  The highlands look a bit different, to be sure, but this is what much of the lowlands look like.  Pure heaven!  Next stop--Edinburgh!

This entry was posted on Friday, December 4, 2015 at Friday, December 04, 2015 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

2 wise, witty and wonderful comments

More wonderful photos, Heidi! Thanks so much for sharing your travels with us stay-at-homes!

December 4, 2015 at 2:28 PM

Beautiful place!

December 17, 2015 at 8:43 AM

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