- About the Author
- On Active Service
My husband has a very convenient memory. He only remembers good times and good weather. Every year when he suggests a week in the lake District in June I remind him it always rains and every year he says “We had lovely weather last year, Look at the photographs if you don’t believe me!” The photographs that were taken, of course, on the only two fine days of the entire week.
In out twelve years of coming up to Cumbria we have stayed in various hotels and guest houses, the problem being that on wet days we confined either to our hotel bedroom or the equally uninspiring hotel lounge. Last year we decided for the first time to try self-catering and were lucky enough to find a cosy little apartment on the top floor of a typically Lake District house, right in the centre of Grasmere. Warm and dry up here in our roof-top eyrie we can look down on the holidaymakers scurrying around down below in the glistening black streets with their umbrellas and kagouls.
With the Co-op a two minute walk away shopping and cooking is no problem and there are plenty of hotels and restaurants within easy reach if I don’t fancy cooking. The advantages of self-catering is not having to get up at any particular time (especially if it’s raining!), taking as long as we like over breakfast, having lunch and dinner at whatever time we fancy or making a picnic lunch to take with us. Disadvantages, of course, cooking and washing up, but for us anyway, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
So if it’s not the weather that brings us back year after year why do we come? The stunning scenery for one thing, and of course, the Coleridge Connection. Coleridge followed Wordsworth up to his beloved Lake District, bringing with him his long-suffering wife Sarah, to live in Greta Hall in Keswick in order to be close to his friend and fellow poet.
We love staying in the village that was home to William Wordsworth. “the loveliest spot that man has ever known”, walking the paths he and Coleridge would have walked, admiring the views they would have admired.
We bring our books on Coleridge and Wordsworth and on rainy days we re-read about their lives and friends. And when the sun comes out we walk around Grasmere and Rydal Water, or maybe re-visit Wordsworth’s homes at Dove Cottage, Rydal Mount and Allan Bank.
We never tire of their story, a story that draws us back here time and time again.
Bethany Askew is the author of five novels:
The Time Before, The World Within, Out of Step, Counting the Days and Poppy’s Seed.
She has also written a short story, The Night of the Storm, and she writes poetry.
Future projects include a new short story, this one for the young adult market, and another full-length novel.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, music, theatre, walking, Pilates, dancing and voluntary work.
Bethany is married and lives in Somerset.