The Lakes: The Bowderstone

All photos are large files and can be clicked on for detail

After the exertions of Monday, Antony promised me a much easier day to follow. In reasonable weather, we headed off on the drive to Buttermere, one of the smaller lakes in the area. On the way, he suggested a stop at The Bowderstone, in the Borrowdale Valley.
A gentle walk of about ten minutes from the car park took us to the site.

This huge rock is believed to have fallen from the crag above, perhaps thousands of years ago, and it is unusual in that it came to rest on its edge, and has not moved since. Now managed by the National Trust, it was one of the first tourist attractions originally promoted in the area. In 1798, Joseph Pocklington publicised the stone as a tourist site, and employed an old woman to act as a guide. He even built a cottage for her next to the stone, which still stands.

During the day, she would sit inside the stone, telling improbable tales to the travellers who had come to see this natural phenomenon. Her spot is clearly visible, in the overhang to the right. You can also see the gate leading to her cottage, on the bottom left of the photo.

To give some idea of how big it is, I walked up the ladder and took this shot looking back down it. Ollie can be seen at the bottom. He was crying, because he had tried to follow me, and was afraid to walk on the wide treads.

It was impressive indeed, and in an idyllic setting too. The perfect start to our day, as we continued on to Buttermere.

34 thoughts on “The Lakes: The Bowderstone

  1. Reblogged this on beetleypete and commented:

    Photos from the 2016 trip to to the Lake District. This time, they are of a very unusual tourist attraction, not a lake. Please enlarge the photos from the original post, if you are able to.


  2. I just love the little cottage that was built for the lady and that is indeed a huge rock resting in place for such a long time… Like I’ve always thought . ” I wish rocks could talk..”


  3. What a fun stop on your travels! And the size of the rock became more apparent when Ollie could be seen below.. I agree with his decision to stay on the ground. 🙂


  4. In Red Rock Canyon, a mere 20 minutes away from the house, there are many huge boulders. I’ve crawled under a number of them, all the while aware of the slight risk of doing so. What makes the Bowderstone so interesting is the unusual setting, the beautiful foliage, and the stone cottage. Also, it has a history, something denied the boulders around here. I am really enjoying these photos of your trip, Pete. It really is a beautiful region, and I would love to visit it.


    1. Thanks, David. Rocks like The Bowderstone are unusual in the UK, so a rare treat. The area is spectacular, but unfortunately known for bad weather.
      We were just lucky, with only one cold and showery day. The good weather in October came as a great surprise, I can assure you.
      Regards, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was taken down quite a few pot holes in my early teens and despite the fact that the rocks and boulders that created the caves had been there for millenia I couldn’t stop myself worrying about them collapsing on me.


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