Along with the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef, England’s Lake District has become a UNESCO World Heritage site. This corner of North West England covers 885 square miles of hills and stretches of water. The Lake District is home to Windermere, England’s largest natural lake and Scafell Pike, its highest mountain, and has inspired painters and writers for generations.
It’s long been protected. In 1845, the poet Wordsworth led a fight to prevent the railways encroaching into the Lakes. His protest included writing a sonnet:
Is then no nook of English ground secure
From rash assault?
Wordsworth, who had grown up there, was the Lake District’s greatest champion especially in poems such as Ode to Daffodils, written about Gowbarrow Park.
The irony is that Wordsworth helped make the Lakes one of the birthplaces of tourism when he published a guidebook in 1820.