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High Sweden Bridge Ambleside

February 9, 2012

A stunningly nice Winter day at last after what can only be described as a rather grey winter. After all the huffing and puffing about the difficulties in getting around the last couple of years, when we had a lot of snow, I am sure folk would gladly swop for this rather monotone winter we are having.

High Sweden Bridge Ambleside

Where to go was somewhat limited as the council were resurfacing our lane, so no cars in or out for two days. Set off thinking I might get a bus somewhere but by the time I had walked down to the village I had a plan.

Sweden Bridge Lane, Ambleside

Having walked down one side of the River Stock I headed up the other side, up Kirkstone Road and along Sweden Bridge Lane. At the top of Sweden Bridge Lane a rather interesting Folly appears in the ground of Eller How.

Tower of Beauty and Friendship. Eller How, Ambleside.

Eller How was purchased by the Boyle family in 1862, they were prominent figures from The Potteries area of England and John Boyle was a partner in the ‘Wedgwood and Boyle” Factory. They had a son called Henry who was a keen botanist and landscape gardener. He was especially keen on ferns and grew tree ferns and orchids inside an impressive glass house. Apparently  he also kept crocodiles in heated ponds in the garden. He also built the Folly. known as “The Tower of Friendship and Beauty” It could almost be called a visitors book, as it includes the names of prominent visitors carved into the bricks. The Wordsworth’s and Harriet Martineau to name a few.

Open Views, Ambleside

Any way, onwards and upwards, there was a lot of activity on what is normally quite a quiet lane. National Park were busy making sure paths and drains were in top shape for the new season,

Men at Work

Although the sun was out, the path was extremely icy in places, having had a work mate airlifted from a local fell recently after slipping, I was being very careful!

Ice Patterns

I would have actually got along a lot quicker if I hadn’t kept stopping to look at various “ice sculptures”!

Ice "Fingers"

High Sweden Bridge always seems to have someone sitting having a picnic at it every time I visit. Wandered further up the Scandale Valley in the hope that folk would have gone when I returned.

Fairfield Horseshoe

There was a bit of snow on the tops which looked very inviting framed against the blue sky.

Fairfield Horseshoe

Retraced my steps to see if the picnickers had gone, but no they were still slowly eating their sandwiches. Crossed the bridge and took a photo from the other side.

High Sweden Bridge Ambleside

High Sweden Bridge is a Packhorse Bridge. These can be found throughout the Lake District, mostly dating from the 17th C. They were used to transport salt, wool, slate and other necessities of life. Drovers also used them to move sheep and cattle. The reason they are narrow in width and low was to allow for the panniers that were carried on the back of the animals. The name Sweden bridge probably comes from the Norse Word Svithinn meaning land cleared by burning.

Towards Windermere

Crossing the bridge and heading back down in to Ambleside you get great views of Windermere. The sun was a bit low to be able to do it justice. Great views of the Langdales, Pike O’Stickle and Harrison Stickle too. At the bottom is Low Sweden Bridge.

Low Sweden Bridge

Crossing the Bridge head up and through Nook End Farm.

Nook Lane Ambleside

And down Nook Lane into Ambleside. Half way along North Road is The Rattle Gill Vegetarian Cafe. Sadly shut today, but well worth a visit in season. It is only small but great food, get a table if you can.

North Road, Ambleside

Back up the other side of the River Stock, and the workmen had really cracked on with resurfacing the Lane.

Stockghyll Lane, Ambleside

So tomorrow weather permitting, I might be able to go a bit further afield.

From → Ambleside

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