Weekend Escapes with Warwick Davis: 1x4

Lake District

In episode four, the Davis family visit the Lake District where Warwick tries out ghyll scrambling, they take a trip to a pencil museum and receive a blessing from the Druid Archbishop of Cumbria.

The Lake District is the largest national park in England, covering an area of 885 square miles and is an area the Davis family visit regularly. Warwick says: “I’ve got memories of coming here as a child in the caravan with my mum and dad and it rained the entire time. I also came here with my school on a school trip and I think that’s really what gave me an absolute love for this place. It’s absolutely stunning. I think if you asked any of us, we would say this is our absolute favourite place in the world.”

The family arrives at a campsite in Keswick and after setting up their tent, Warwick heads off to try his hand at ghyll scrambling. This involves climbing or scrambling down freezing cold mountain streams and rocky crevices whilst only wearing a wet suit. Warwick, who can’t swim, admits he is having second thoughts. He says: “I wanted to push myself really and test my sense of adventure but I’m severely lacking in that this morning now I’m here so I’ve just got to get on with it I suppose and squeeze into a wetsuit.”

After half an hour of ghyll scrambling Warwick is wet and shaking with cold.

He says: “I’m glad I did it. I’m not going to be in a rush to do it again – it’s just one of these things you can tick off the list to say you’ve done I suppose.”

Next it’s off to the Pencil Museum for some more sedate fun. The Pencil Museum in Keswick opened in 1981 and is one of the Davis’ family’s favourite places to go in the Lake District. As well as containing interesting facts about pencils, the museum also has commemorative pencils, interactive displays and a huge selection of pencils on sale. Warwick explains: “It may surprise you but there’s an awful lot to learn about the humble pencil!”

The Lakeland Country Fair near Torver is the Davis’s next destination. At this traditional event, the family enjoy ferret racing, a ‘best stick’ competition and Warwick is given a lesson in making the local delicacy Cumberland sausage. Warwick is also asked to referee a traditional Cumberland wrestling competition and to judge the wrestlers costumes.

The last stop on their tour of the Lake District is Penrith where they visit Long Meg and Her Daughters, a stone circle which is 100 metres across. Long Meg is the sixth biggest stone circle in North Europe and here the family meet a group of druids including the Druid Archbishop of Cumbria who gives them a blessing in the centre of the circle.

Warwick says: “I think this is one of the highlights so far for me. These are the places I imagine being when I’m all stressed out. I think where do I want to be now, on a hill top in the Lake District, exactly where we are. It’s nice.”

May. 02, 2014

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