Drawing 121: Windermere at Low Wood

Direction of view: NW

Notes: One of the most familiar views in Lakeland.  Taken from the small garden opposite Low Wood Hotel.  Surprisingly, this picture does not occur in any of Wainwright’s other published works.

Comments: I first took this picture on slide film on 29th June 1977.  Peter Messenger and I had spent the night in a tent on the summit of Helm Crag, and were up very early, taking this picture around dawn!  Mist lay in the valleys below, but soon cleared with the sunshine.  We then had one of our greatest bonanzas of sketches snapped – 14 in the day in Ambleside and Great and Little Langdale, then over the passes to Eskdale.   The image on the left below is Peter’s photograph.

I first took this photo on a digital camera on 29th December 2013, on a day out in Lakeland with Sheelagh Hughes Hallett.  I was using a tripod, and a small spirit level which fits into the camera hot shoe, to ensure the camera is level.  (I subsequently bought a Sony Alpha 7 camera, which has this feature built in to the viewfinder).

The flowerbed and path in the foreground of the sketch are still there; but beyond them in 2013 were iron railings along the lake shore, and a boat pier jutting out into the water.  Following major development of the Low Wood Hotel in 2017 – 2019, there is now a marina opposite the hotel, with yachts moored and associated paraphernalia.