The Lake District of England

By P Chong

“Daffodils” (1804)

“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” (also commonly known as Daffodils” or “The Daffodils”)

I WANDER’D lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,

They stretch’d in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed — and gazed — but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

At the time of the poem, Wordsworth lived with his wife and sister at Dove Cottage, in Grasmere in England‘s Lake District.

A map of the Lake District (Cumbria) in England

As I fastrack into my college days in England, one of the most beautiful places that I visited & roamed is the Lake District to the north of Liverpool. In those days, we poor students hitch-hiked quite a lot in our travels. It was pretty safe & in this particular case, all it took was one hitch ride from Liverpool & we were completely in a world of paradise beauty. Such was the inspirational surrounds of the famed English poet William Wordsworth who penned the above beautiful “Daffodils” poem.

As seen from the above map, there are many lakes in the District & because of time restriction, it was not possible for me to visit them all. Among those that I still remember fondly are Lake Windermere (the largest of all), Grasmere & Derwent Water. In Lake Windermere, I had the greatest boating pleasure. I failed however to find the field of daffodils which inspired Wordsworth.

I fell in love with the place so much that I visited the location even on weekends or short breaks covering & capturing the changing beauty of the place with the coming & going of different seasons of the year. Spring & Summer were great times to be there for roaming the hills & vales; Winter & Autumn with its colourful foliage & fallen leaves. It was there I had the experience of watching salmons fighting their way up the rapids to the upper reaches for their seasonal spawning.

Accommodation was cheap & convenient then. Apart from the Youth Hostels, there were the Bed & Breakfast type of accommodation which provided more comfort than the former.

This is indeed a treasured corner of England. Let your imagination roam with some of these beauty shots below:

Lake Windermere

Keswick

Northern Shore of L. Windermere

Hills & Vales to Roam – L. Windermere

4 thoughts on “The Lake District of England

  1. James

    The Lake District is really very beautiful indeed.
    I learned that same poem too back in my mission school days in the 50s. However, I have forgotten this poem completely until today. Thank you for reminding me and this article Paul.

  2. Anna Savelesky

    This was my mother’s favorite poem. I planted daffodils in my garden under the trees just for her and this poem. Like those dancing ones, mine dance in the wind too. My mother was of Scotch descent, a Hudson, who were merchants and went to Australia in the 1840’s. settled and made a claim to crown lands. She was very vehement about not being from convicts. My father met mother in Australia, during WWII and I was born there in 1943 so we have this in common. Thank you for printing this poem on your site. It brings back fond memories.
    Anna

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