Category Archives: England

How did the Needles get their name?

The western tip of the Isle of Wight peters out in a series of three jagged rocks known as the Needles.  You might think they owe their name to their sharp edges but it turns out there used to be a fourth, needle-shaped, rock called Lot’s wife, as shown in Isaac Taylor’s map of Hampshire published in 1759.  Continue reading How did the Needles get their name?

Eco-cabin in Cumbria

Unique architect-designed woodland hideaway, designed with both eco-consciousness and comfort in mind with views overlooking Windermere. The sleek cabin occupies its own small woodland where you can watch red squirrels from the windows. A short walk to the pubs and shop at Sawrey. From £500 for the week (low season – and only sleeps two). Visit the Love shack (not sure about that name)

Also check out this barn for rent in Cumbra

Portuguese Man O’ War reach Cornwall

A group of eight Portuguese Man O’ War were found strewn on Tregantle beach near Whitsand Bay. Experts say they expect more to be brought in by prevailing winds. Daily Telegraph. These creatures, which are not actually jellyfish but a species called siphonophores, live in warmer waters than those around the UK but global warming is believed to be pushing them further north – ever closer towards Britain. They can in extreme cases provoke a cardiac arrest and death in particularly sensitive persons.

It is also interesting note that  Portuguese Man O’ War have also been seen increasingly more often on the coasts of Spain.

Note the English and Spanish etymology comes from the creature’s air bladder, which looks similar to the triangular sails of the 15th.century Portuguese man-of-war Caravela latina.

Dragonfly rescue

A third of Britain’s dragonfly species are under threat of extinction.  Why?  The problem is threefold: pollution, pesticides and habitat loss.  So the opening of a Dragonfly sanctuary in Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire, is timely.  In a pristine environment of ditches and ponds, 21 of Britain’s 42 species can be seen. Read more in the Guardian.

National Trust campsite in Lake District

The location is hard to beat – a few minutes walk from Wastwater, England’s deepest lake, and at the foot of Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. Wasdale campsite is in a perfect location for walkers or those simply looking to escape crowds and trappings of civilisation (no mobile signal).  Good facilities and friendly staff.  More information at the National Trust.

On the origin of the Lake District

The area we now call the Lakes was once much wilder. Continue reading On the origin of the Lake District