Late October and a glut of short breaks. After our weekend in the Peak District I took a couple of days off at the end of the following week for a short break in Coniston.

On our way up to the village we stopped off at Niberthwaite before driving up the narrow road along the east shore of Coniston Water. Our main reason was to have a look at this fellow


One of Anthony Gormley’s iron men. It almost looks like one of the statues from “Another Place” on Crosby beach (which is less than 100 miles tot he south) has wandered off for a break in the Lake District. He certainly seems to be peering longingly over the water towards the fells!


Nibthwaite is a very small, but ancient, settlement right at the south east end of Coniston Water. It’s less easily accessible than the west side of the lake. Anthony Gormley’s family regularly visited and stayed in a house in the hamlet

In the Cumbrian lakes I reconnected with the landscape that has influenced English Romanticism from the time of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge onwards. A landscape that contains the same drama as Argyll, but at a far more concentrated scale where in one day, having left our cottage in the morning, it was possible to walk through bracken and woodland up onto fells and out onto Wetherlam and the Old Man of Coniston and from there be able to see out west to the sea and Morecambe Bay; a great spreading landscape of water, forest, rock and meadow. The dialectic between far horizons and the intimate zone of the body that was established in the early 1980s is most potently expressed in the series BODY AND LIGHT from the early 1990s, ten years later. (Interview with Anthony Gormley in 2010)




Another visitor to Nibthwaite was Arthur Ransome, the author best known for his series of children’s books, Swallows and Amazons. When he was a boy,  he used to stay with on a farm here with his family

Looks like he left Swallow  behind. (We saw Amazon too, later that afternoon)


4 thoughts on “Nibthwaite

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