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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Ullswater Daff Fest

Ullswater looked so enchanting early one morning last year that I had to stop the car, get out and savour the views across the water to the fells beyond. The place I’d parked wasn’t too far from the spot where William and Dorothy Wordsworth spotted a ‘long belt’ of daffodils in 1802 as they made their way from the Pooley Bridge home of anti-slavery campaigner Thomas Clarkson to their own home at Dove Cottage, Grasmere. The sight of these daffodils - they ‘tossed and reeled and danced, and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind,’ wrote Dorothy - was the inspiration for Wordsworth’s most famous poem Daffodils, written two years later and published in 1807.

Starting on Easter Monday (28th), a two week festival - Ullswater Daff Fest - will celebrate daffodils, Wordsworth and the beauty of Lakeland’s second largest stretch of water. Considering the terrible weather here in December and January celebrations probably can’t come quickly enough. And there’s more news. In the next few weeks a 20/22 mile route around the lake called the Ullswater Way will be launched, making use of quieter roads and existing public rights of way.

If you don’t fancy the full mileage to start with, try taking one of the vessels belonging to Ullswater Steamers from Glenridding to Howtown and then doing the three hour return journey on foot.

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