Review: Lake District – A Rare Insight by Simon Reed. Published by Destin World. £12.99

THIS is very much a book of nostalgia as it features photographs, postcards and artist’s drawings of the Lake District over the last 100 years. The villages, buildings and mountains so familiar to the tourists of today are found in a bygone age, where many scenes contain no vehicles and where roads have not been paved and are merely tracks of dirt. Shepherds with their flocks of Herdwicks, farmers on horseback, climbers on the crags, travellers with horses and carriages and passengers on the Lake Steamers are all to be found in this new publication.

In the 110 pages there are no fewer than 169 different pictures, an odd few in colour but the majority in either black and white or sepia. These pictures are taken from private collections and picture postcard images dating to the early 20th century.

The book is divided into four separate chapters; the Windermere area with 33 pictures, the Northern Lakes with 61 pictures, Peaks and Passes with 26 pictures and the Southern Lakes with 49 pictures. Such popular locations as Ambleside, Bowness, Grange-over-Sands, Grasmere, Hawkshead, Kendal, Keswick, Patterdale, Penrith and Rydal are all included as well as the various valleys, lakes and mountains which embody the Lake District.

Below each of the pictures is a narrative written by Simon Reed giving details of the photograph but also containing historical details as well. These also show how the landscapes inspired the artists, writers and poets such as Beatrix Potter, Alfred Wainwright and William Wordsworth and the places they called home.

For any lovers of the Lake District this book is a look into its past and what has, and hasn’t changed over the last century.

by John Burland