England's Lake District with Sue King - Context Travel

England's Lake District with Sue King


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The beautiful Lake District of northwest England has been shaped by its complex geology and the activities of its human inhabitants and visitors. The diverse landscape of imposing natural landforms has inspired poets, writers, and painters, some of whom played a part in the birth of a global conservation movement. In this seminar, we shall explore the natural and human forces that have shaped this conserved landscape as we virtually visit this stunning part of the world. This conversation seeks aims to expose both its beauty and history.

In 1951 the Lake District, a mountainous area in NW England close to the Scottish border, was designated a National Park which affords it the highest level of landscape protection. In 2017 this National Park area of 912 square miles was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding universal value. The narrow, glaciated valleys of the area, with their steep hillsides and slender lakes, have extraordinary beauty and harmony. The landscape has been shaped by continuing pastoral agriculture based on local breeds of sheep and led to the creation of stone-walled fields and rugged farm buildings built of local stone.

The beauty of the area attracted visitors from the eighteenth century onwards. Picturesque and romantic interest stimulated globally-significant social and cultural forces to appreciate and protect scenic landscapes. Among those who were prime movers in the movement to protect the natural landscape from inappropriate development were the poet William Wordsworth, the children’s writer, Beatrix Potter, and the founders of England’s National Trust which owns a substantial part of this National Parkland, and many of the historic properties in the area. The development of the National Trust movement spread across many countries with a similar rights system.

We’ll learn how the combined work of nature and human activity has produced a harmonious landscape in which the mountains are mirrored in the lakes. Grand houses, gardens, and parks have been purposefully created to enhance the landscape’s beauty and many of these are open to visitors. In this seminar, we shall explore the thirteen valleys of the area. We shall discuss some of the artists and writers who celebrated this landscape in paintings, drawings, and words. They inspired an awareness of the importance of beautiful landscapes which triggered early efforts to preserve them. We will have time to make mention of the many places and buildings with artistic associations to be explored. Those early artists and writers walked through the landscape, climbed the hills in search of scenic views, and enjoyed the recreational value of the lakes. These are activities that visitors enjoy today, and you might be inspired to come and follow in their footsteps. Visitors can stay in a vast variety of accommodation from lakeside hotels to a farmhouse once owned by Beatrix Potter, or even in a tent for those intrepid visitors would who like to go wild camping on the fells.

Led by Sue King, an expert Blue Badge Guide for Cumbria (and many other areas of England), this interactive seminar will explore the inspirational Lake District of England. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of the natural and human forces which have shaped the landscape which has inspired the work of poets, artists, and writers.

Sue King was born a Londoner and has lived in several other cities including Seoul, Berlin, and Washington DC. Since returning to London, she has spent the last three years studying its art, architecture, literature, and history. Sue holds a research MPhil in History of Art from the Barber Institute, Birmingham University and has specialist knowledge of Victorian Britain through her study of its painting and literature. Her thesis, on symbolism in Victorian Art, focused on the work of the Pre-Raphaelites and she has also made studies in 20th Century American art. Sue is fascinated by London's history and is most interested in the artists and writers who have helped to define it. She loves to recount stories of their lives and works, and their connections with each other and the city.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 16 reviews
63%
(10)
25%
(4)
13%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
A.
Lots of Info

She has ample knowledge and the talk was well organized and very informative but it was almost "information overload". It went longer than any other Context talk I've listened to, and it was hard to keep absorbing. I suggest editing it down.

A
A.

Generally a great job. A little too lost in details that many don't need (e.g. Beatrix Potter figured too much). Time could have been allocated better - not as much travelogue, more history and recommendations of scenic or enjoyable places.

C
C.B.
Great opportunity

This was a terrific overview of the geological formation and the history and culture of the lake Districts. It was a wonderful introduction to a beautiful area of the UK. Sue is open, amiable and well informed. Sh.

A
A.

Excellent presentation of the history and geology, with wonderful photos.

T
T.H.
Englands Lake District

It was a little long, and seemed to have too much time focused on the geological makings of the Lake District. It got much better when it highlighted the lovely villages, their history and importance to the region

Customer Reviews

Based on 16 reviews
63%
(10)
25%
(4)
13%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
A.
Lots of Info

She has ample knowledge and the talk was well organized and very informative but it was almost "information overload". It went longer than any other Context talk I've listened to, and it was hard to keep absorbing. I suggest editing it down.

A
A.

Generally a great job. A little too lost in details that many don't need (e.g. Beatrix Potter figured too much). Time could have been allocated better - not as much travelogue, more history and recommendations of scenic or enjoyable places.

C
C.B.
Great opportunity

This was a terrific overview of the geological formation and the history and culture of the lake Districts. It was a wonderful introduction to a beautiful area of the UK. Sue is open, amiable and well informed. Sh.

A
A.

Excellent presentation of the history and geology, with wonderful photos.

T
T.H.
Englands Lake District

It was a little long, and seemed to have too much time focused on the geological makings of the Lake District. It got much better when it highlighted the lovely villages, their history and importance to the region