On 15 March 2020, I guided Mariko-san from Nagasaki together with her daughter and family friend around Windermere, Grasmere and Rydal in the Lake District. Starting with a cruise from Bowness, we enjoyed red squirrels and breath-taking views of Grasmere at Allan Bank before visiting the Wordsworth graves at St Oswald’s Church, then walking the Coffin Trail from Dove Cottage to Rydal Mount at Rydal. A week later, the Lake District closed to all visitors. Below Mariko-san – my first and perhaps last guest of spring 2020 – describes her visit in her own words.
The highlight of my third visit to the Lake District is what I’ve named “Wordsworth Sunday with Tracey”. My daughter joined me for her first visit. Though transportations were still running on winter timetables, Tracey created a plan which included sites my mother most likely visited almost 4 decades ago – Rydal Mount among them. This house, where William Wordsworth once lived and died, was very interesting, and the gardens were lovely. It’s a must-revisit for me.
But most enchanting of all was Dora’s Field, where the daffodils were in full bloom – a sight only for those fortunate enough to visit at this time. It reminded me of my grandfather – also someone who loved poetry, art and painting – and the daffodils in my grandfather’s garden. For me, being there was a dream come true.
Tracey looked after us like family, making sure we got back to where we were staying that night, even after her time with us was done. She also gave us a lot of ideas on how to enjoy the Lakes on our own.
Just days after my return home I received notice from the Lake District National Park Authority that they’ve had to close due to the outbreak of COVID-19 – asking visitors to observe the “stay home” policy as a measure to help prevent the further spread of the virus. Once the world has found a way out of this outbreak, I hope we’ll all be able to travel freely as we once did. When that time comes, I look forward to visiting again, exploring the Lakes further, with Tracey!