Walking around the Lake District in winter has a huge advantage – no crowds.  And if you can deal with ever changing weather conditions, the benefit is really rewarding. I visited in January 2014 staying in a cottage in Ambleside with two friends.  Walks straight from the door led to snow covered hills, bright russet coloured bracken, waterfalls, lakes and forests. Weathered stone walls wound up and down and around on their own mission.

The few people we did meet had a penchant for wearing quirky animal hats

We got wet a couple of days.  I spent many hours cloning out rain spots from my images afterwards.  But it was worth it to see the intense colours of the landscape and huge huge skies in constant turmoil.

The weather forced us to drink hot ginger wine in Grasmere and enter St Oswald’s Church of Wordsworth fame where I found a plaque dedicated to one of Franklins crew in the Arctic.

One fine day, I learnt how to sail on Lake Windermere and on the last day of rain, I scaled up the Ambleside indoor climbing wall in the warm and the dry.