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ennerdale moraines-1.jpg

Aerial view of the moraine field at the head of Ennerdale, looking north from above Black Sail Pass.

From Scafell’s towering volcanic crags to the deep lake-filled glacial valleys of Wasdale and Buttermere, the Lake District possesses an extraordinary variety of scenery in a relatively small area. This dramatic landscape has inspired writers, climbers, painters, and all who seek the solitude and beauty of the high fells – and wish to understand the forces that have shaped this unique place. 

Whether you are already familiar with the area, or visiting for the first time, this book will answer all your questions and enable you to ‘read’ the landscape as never before. The authors explain, in non-specialist language, how the region’s rocks were formed, how glaciers and rivers sculpted the fells and valleys, and how human interaction with geology and climate has helped to create today’s Lake District.

Key features include:

  • Hundreds of superb photographs, including unique aerial views and panoramas

  • The use of modern examples to explain geological concepts

  • Easy-to-understand explanations of how Lakeland rocks formed, and how the geology affects the landscape

  • An exploration of the long human story of Lakeland landscapes, including the first hunter-gatherers, Viking settlers, Elizabethan miners and today’s hill farmers

  • Guided excursions to seven easily accessible geological locations

  • A dedicated website, with a Google Earth photographic guide to all the main localities mentioned in the book, additional field excursions, a glossary of technical terms, and other resources:



Part 1 Natural Forces

  1. The Birth of the Lake District

  2. Sculpting the Landscape with Ice

  3. Sculpting the Landscape with Water

  4. Time Travel

  5. Making Lakeland’s Rocks

  6. Geology and Scenery


Part 2 Humans, Geology and Landscape

     7. The Prehistoric Landscape

     8.Wool, Walls and Wood

     9.From Crags to Riches

     10. Protecting a Fragile Landscape


Part 3 Excursions 

  1. Eycott Hill Nature Reserve

  2. The Skiddaw Granite in Sinen Gill

  3. Volcanic Rocks in Seathwaite

  4. Around Tarn Hows

  5. Coniston Copper Mines

  6. Beatrix Potter’s Silurian Country

  7. A Limestone Landscape at Whitbarrow Scar


Further Reading

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