Hovering somewhere between delight and disbelief we wandered around the churchyard of St Mary’s. We knew there had been too much to take in. That is where the camera comes into its own, allowing us to go back and see what we have ‘missed’. Including, apparently, another Simeon window. The sun was low in the sky, casting a golden glow over the landscape. A cork tree, planted in 1833 and the most northerly in Europe, raised her arms to the sky; a dryad yearning for the embrace of light, or so it seemed.
We needed to eat… something, anything, to bring us back to earth, so we headed back to the car in search of the pubs the hoteliers had recommended earlier. ‘It’s only two miles’ they had said. Well, they must have been country miles… and the twisting, single-track seemed even longer as the light began to fade.
There was a choice of two places, opposite each other. Both lovely old buildings, but one looked like a proper pub… and had giant bagpipes outside. Considering this was supposed to be a Scottish adventure… even if we hadn’t got there yet… we chose the welcoming glow of the Strands. The inn, built around 1800, is close to Wastwater, England’s deepest lake and nestles beneath the bulk of the snow-covered Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak.
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