A Long Way

It does seem that every year I end up driving all around the country and continent. This summer I drove to the Lake District for a few days of mountain walking. It is literally the other end of the country from me. If I travel about 50 miles from where I live I would be in France and my destination in the Lake District is about 25 miles from Scotland.

Then I drove to the middle of Germany. This means crossing the Channel, crossing France, Belgium, Netherlands and then half of Germany to pretty close to where the old border was with East Germany. This is about 400 miles as the crow flies. I have such a great time while there that the driving is perfectly worth it.

The only place not included this summer is a trip to Cornwall, another end of this country and maybe I need to correct that.

The total for these two trips, excluding driving around while there was 1658 miles or 2652km.

Busy South East

A few weeks ago when I was in the Lake District I would occasionally look at 360Radar to see what was flying close by. I found it curious that there was quite a lack of aircraft flying compared to Kent, where I live normally. Now, the south east does have the three London main airports and most air traffic heading to the continent. Have a look at the two following views and decide for yourself. Both are the same area of land and they are taken within a minute of each other. I think the difference is striking.

Lake District Air Traffic
Lake District Air Traffic
Kent Air Traffic
Kent Air Traffic

Of course, this communication could be entitled:

There’s a lot more planes where there’s a lot more airports


This is another in the occasional series of mountains conquered. On a Sunday morning I awoke and headed out from Keswick to Dodd Woods to the east of Bassenthwaite Lake. This peak is a western foothill of Skiddaw range and not too high at 1612 feet or 491 metres which makes it number 174 of the Wainwrights.

This peak had a very clear footpath all the way and was a nice little walk. It is one of the last strongholds of the red squirrel and a good vantage point to see ospreys of the feathered kind when they are in this country.

View from near the summit of Dodd with Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake
View from near the summit of Dodd with Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake

There’s a monument at the top of Dodd to two scout leaders.

Memorial on Dodd and Bassenthwaite Lake
Memorial on Dodd and Bassenthwaite Lake

Lakes Or Ponds

I had a lovely run in my home area of Essex. I was born in the centre of the Essex plateau and raised near the borders with Hertfordshire. I actually went to school in Hertfordshire and my best mate had the Essex / Hertfordshire border at the bottom of his garden.

Here’s the run.
[I did have an iframe linking to the MapMyRun website but it doesn’t seem to be working so here’s a snipped version.]

Run Route

I took a couple of photos of the lakes/ponds from near the southern most part of the route. I also saw some sloe berries so I might be making some sloe gin soon.

Here’re the lakes.

Eastern Lake
Eastern Lake

And the other:

Western Lake
Western Lake

Here’s a snapshot from my phone giving you an idea of the OS map.

The Lakes

These bodies of water got me thinking about ponds and lakes. What’s the difference? These things could be ponds but they seemed too large for that and yet they are most definitely smaller than any of the Great Lakes in North America [although I suspect that they are really seas]. Thank goodness for Wikipedia.

I spoke too soon. Wikipedia doesn’t help. There is no internationally agreed definition of the difference between pond and lake. Large things are definitely lakes and small things are definitely ponds but where the line is, no-one agrees. It’s probably somewhere between 2 and 5 hectares. I think my favourite definition is:

bodies of water where light penetrates to the bottom of the waterbody

There’re plenty of ways of setting a distinction. Some depend on surface area and some on depth, others on plant growth. This is a pretty cool thing to look into. As for the Great Lakes, they are lakes. It turns out that lakes have to be surrounded by land. The Great Lakes are named correctly. The Caspian Sea is not. I love learning.

[I should point out that while writing this I was discussing it with my family and my mother pointed out the definition of a lake before I had even looked it up. Well done mum!]