Vatnsdslr

is the Old Norse word for Wasdale, and roughly translates as ‘valley of the water’. The valley has the deepest lake in England, the highest mountains in England, and the oldest church in England. After doffing my cap in St Olaf’s (a church has been on this site since c1550, and, due to its location, it holds the gravestones of many climbers and mountaineers), I spent the day wandering the high fells and the mountain tops …

‘I went whenever I could, and always my eyes lifted to the hills. I was to find a spiritual and physical satisfaction in climbing mountains and a tranquil mind upon reaching their summits, as though I had escaped from the disappointments and unkindness of life and emerged above them into a new world, a better world’ – Alfred Wainwright

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