Baby woodpecker in tree

Return of the woodpeckers

I absolutely love wildlife – animals can be such good fun! The garden suddenly seems much quieter now that this year’s baby woodpeckers have grown up and moved out – an event that happened a couple of weeks ago now. Before that, I couldn’t step into the back garden without ‘daddy’ woodpecker scolding me for […]

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Judith Wants to Be Your Friend novel

Book review: Judith Wants to be Your Friend

If you follow Lake District Gems on a regular basis, you may remember that last year I wrote a post featuring novels based in the Lake District, or which have a strong Lake District connection. You sent me lots of further suggestions on social media for novels based in the Lakes and Cumbria (perhaps I’ll […]

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Go Herdwick lamb at LPC Furniture, Windermere

The lambs have arrived! The new Go Herdwick Hide and Seek trails

Back in March, I wrote a blog post about Go Herdwick, a public art trail made up of 60 life-size, colourfully decorated ewes, which have been sponsored by businesses and organisations around the Lake District to raise money for the Lake District Calvert Trust. The trail has really captured people’s imaginations, and has proved very […]

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Bench at Stagshaw Gardens, Ambleside

Pictured in bloom: Stagshaw Gardens, Ambleside

In a recent post, I visited the National Trust’s Stagshaw Gardens, near Ambleside, for the first time. Stagshaw Gardens is very much a spring woodland garden, with a host of camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons and other woodland planting, and although it was beautiful, it turned out I had visited a little too early and the […]

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Stagshaw Gardens looking towards the lake

A secret haven near Ambleside: Stagshaw Gardens and Skelghyll Wood

You can also see more recent images of the beautiful Stagshaw Gardens in a further post, Pictured in Bloom: Stagshaw Gardens, Ambleside. I’ve been looking forward to visiting Stagshaw Gardens near Ambleside for some time now, and it turns out the garden really is a hidden gem. Owned by the National Trust, Stagshaw isn’t particularly […]

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The A591 between Grasmere and Keswick

The North and South Lakes reunited

A sudden flurry of tweets appeared on Tuesday afternoon to announce that the A591 – the main road between Keswick and Grasmere, which was severely damaged by the December floods – was opening earlier than expected, on Wednesday morning. The road is the main link between the north and south of the Lakes, and although […]

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Rosemaaaary, The Souper Ewe outside Smallwood House Hotel, Ambleside

Spotted ‘ewe’! The Go Herdwick Lake District sheep trail

Anyone spending time in the Lake District over the past few days may have noticed some peculiar goings on, with some very brightly coloured sheep appearing in the most unexpected places, from driveways to B&B gardens. The reason? It’s the start of the Go Herdwick public art trail to raise money for the Lake District […]

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Red squirrel on feeder, Windermere

Celebrating one year on the blog!

It’s amazing to think that a whole year has gone by since I first sat down and created the Lake District Gems blog in February 2015 – where has the time gone?! Here’s some coverage I received on the online news site Cumbria Crack. Whether you’ve been following during most of that time, or this […]

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The Fieldside Honey stand at the 2015 Kendal Festival of Food

10 reasons to visit the Lake District in spring

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘spring’? Warmth, daffodils, vibrant green leaves and birds in song? Where better then to enjoy spring this year than in the glorious Lake District? Here are just 10 reasons why you should: 1. Work off those winter pounds After all that Christmas food and those […]

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Upstairs at Hawkshead Brewery, overlooking the brewery

A visit to: Staveley near Kendal

Staveley is a village tucked away just a couple of minutes off the A591 between Windermere and Kendal, and is one of those delightful little places that could be easily missed. Staveley and nearby Kentmere are lovely areas in which to go walking and although they are less busy than some of the popular Lake […]

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2015

The best of Lake District Gems in 2015

I started the Lake District Gems blog back in February 2015, and what a year it’s been! It’s been ideal for getting out and about, with endless dry days which weren’t too hot either. Then, of course, we’ve had the dramatic change in weather this winter with much flooding around Cumbria and other parts of […]

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Kendal BID Christmas Fair

The Cumbria Floods: A Week On

It’s been a week now since I watched with horror on social media as water levels rose and rivers burst their banks in towns and villages all over the Lake District and Cumbria. Storm Desmond was the main story on every news channel, with Cumbria being one of the worst affected areas in the UK. […]

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The entrance to Holehird near Windermere

Autumn in the Lake District

Which is your favourite season? A long time ago I would have said that my preferred time of year is spring, but since taking up photography in recent years, my appreciation for autumn has grown and grown. I don’t know whether this year is exceptional for colour, but it certainly feels like it. The Lake […]

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Badger running

Having a wild time: badgers near Windermere

I had assumed that badgers were shy creatures and that it would be difficult to see them at close range, never mind take photographs. I was completely wrong! These cheeky chappies have made their home in a garden in Troutbeck Bridge, and on the night I photographed, the sun was setting and they were eagerly […]

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Brougham Castle, near Penrith

Spiral stairs and stone passages: exploring Brougham Castle

My first visit to Brougham Castle was on a coach trip while I was at secondary school. Digital cameras were not mainstream then, but I proudly took photos of the castle’s many wonderful features with my point-and-click film camera, and thought it strange that when I’d taken 26… 27… 28… photographs, the film still hadn’t […]

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A kite flying display taking place behind Country Fest

Country Fest 2015 in pictures

Today the rain had gone away and at times the sun was shining, so this afternoon I made my way to Country Fest, which is an annual show organised by the Westmorland County Agricultural Society (organisers of the Westmorland County Show) and held at the County Showfield, Crooklands. Happily tired out from all that fresh […]

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The Troutbeck Garden Trail 2015

Troutbeck Garden Trail 2015 in pictures

Thankfully the weather was dry for the 2015 Troutbeck Garden Trail, and the sunshine even made an appearance in the afternoon. Instead of writing about the trail, I thought I’d pick 15 of my favourite photos to share with you. They were quick snaps taken using my camera phone, and although I’ve still not learned […]

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The exterior of Stott Park Bobbin Mill

Linking past and present: Stott Park Bobbin Mill

There is a densely wooded and highly atmospheric area of landscape to the south and west of Windermere which, to me, is quite distinct from other parts of the Lake District. I include in this description places such as Newby Bridge, Backbarrow, Lakeside and Finsthwaite, and I always enjoy spending time there. Stott Park Bobbin […]

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The Wild Boar Smokehouse

No smoke without fire at The Wild Boar

The Wild Boar, situated on the picturesque Crook Road between Kendal and Bowness-on-Windermere, has become increasingly well-known for its smokehouse and microbrewery, the products of which are visible across its extensive restaurant menu. What better opportunity to find out more about it all, than to visit the hotel’s second Festival of Smoke? The festival, which […]

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