16 05, 2021

Herdwicks in the Lake District

Lovely article about Herdwick sheep in the Lake District and their Norse origins.   Yew Tree Farm near Coniston must be one of the most photogenic farms in the Lakes.  It was used as the location for Beatrix Potter's home, Hill Top, in the film Miss Potter.   Anyone visiting the nearby beauty spot of Tarn Hows [...]

2 03, 2021

Historic Carlisle virtual tour

Introducing my new virtual tour on Historic Carlisle! Take your seat on Wednesday 10 March 2021 at 7.00 pm to hear about Carlisle’s rich history stretching back over 2000 years on a virtual ‘walk’ from the castle to the citadel. The tour will be repeated on 3 other dates on Thursday evenings: 8 April, 6 May [...]

2 03, 2021

The best job in the world

Blue Badge Tourist Guides love to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for areas in which they are qualified to guide.  Being able to interpret and open people’s eyes to a new way of ‘seeing’ is a highly rewarding experience for any tourist guide. And almost anyone can become a guide.  All you need is enthusiasm, [...]

25 10, 2019

Life and death in Lamplugh – 1658 to 1663

For unexplained deaths today, we have autopsies and coroner’s reports, but back in the 17th century all sorts of weird and wonderful reasons were given to explain a death.  In the Parish Registers of Lamplugh in Cumbria, a remarkable document has survived.  It lists the deaths of 112 individuals between 1658 and 1663, of which [...]

9 10, 2019

Connecting with Lake District landscapes

Many thanks to Friends of the Lake District for organising a fascinating exercise about connecting with Lake District landscapes.  We were asked to identify the various elements of a landscape and to consider their effect on us.  What were the dominant features?  How did the landscape made us feel?  What issues might threaten that landscape?  [...]

6 10, 2019

Life on the Lake at Windermere Jetty

A wet day in the Lakes generally invites indoor exploration for a Blue Badge Tourist Guide - so it was a perfect time to consider life on the Lake at Windermere Jetty!  My destination was the newly re-vamped former Steamboat Museum.   It holds a large array of craft that once plied the waters on Windermere [...]

3 10, 2019

Coniston’s power-house – now and in the future

High on the flanks of Coniston Old Man is a little-known yet important industrial archaeological site - Coniston's power-house. Historically, Coniston was known for two main industries: copper and slate.  Copper was worked from the mid-1500s up to the 1890s; its presence given away by the reddish-coloured spoil heaps that dot the landscape in the [...]

17 06, 2019

Burnswark – an example of Roman military tactics

Have you ever heard of Burnswark?  This prominent hill once supported a sizeable Iron Age fort.  At the base of the hill are two Roman camps - one to the north; one to the south.  It is thought the Romans pincered the fort in order to mount an attack on the Iron Age tribe living on top of [...]