In this special edition of Countryfile John Craven visits the Lake District and looks back at some of the best transport-related stories on the programme.
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The Lake District, a land of superlatives.
It's home to England's highest mountain...
..its deepest stretch of fresh water
and its longest stretch -
Windermere, jewel of the Lakes and a tourist magnet.
Every year, 16 million people come to the Lake District National Park
and they all have to get here
and once they're here, they've all got to get around.
In this special edition of Countryfile,
I'll be looking at different modes of transport.
And hopping on to some of them.
And while I'm here, I'll be looking back at some of the best ways
to travel that we have featured on Countryfile.
Keep your head down, that's the key, isn't it?
Like the time Matt learnt the ropes off the Furnace Peninsula.
Let's go sailing!
Or when Julia saddled up in Grizedale Forest.
'And what happened to me when I revisited my youth.'
Riding like the wind!
The Lake District is a unique corner of England.
Nearly 900 square miles of dramatic scenery,
fells and valleys that stretch as far as the eye can see.
My journey begins at Windermere's southern tip.
I'm travelling north by steam train, historic boat
and sheer effort to get to Orrest Head for a view that inspires
everyone who climbs to the top.
There are all sorts of ways to get round the Lake District
but the vast majority of visitors come by car.
And it's been that way ever
since the internal combustion engine was invented.
The gradients here were used for testing the first cars
and the Lakes themselves provided perfect conditions
for the water speed record-breaking attempts
of Sir Malcolm Campbell and his son Donald.
Both men are commemorated in the Lakeland Motor Museum.
Altogether, they captured 21 world land and water speed records.
Donald was tragically killed
attempting to break 300 miles an hour on nearby Coniston Water
one cold January day in 1967.
But they weren't the only ones to travel the Lakes in unusual craft.
This vehicle could also go on water
but it would never break any speed records.
It could, though, do seven knots out on the lake
and 70 miles an hour on the roads.
Engineer Chris Lowe is going to tell me all about it.
-It looks more car than boat.
How do you make it waterproof?
Well, there is a lever on each door here, which squeezes this
large rubber seal, and then once you're in the water,
just down here, is a little handle that engages the propeller.
-Oh, right. And it works, does it?
Did anybody actually use it round here?
There was an identical one on Belle Island
in the middle of Windermere, the only inhabited island.
The owners there wanted to go north up to Ambleside.
In the lake, up to the north, out they come.
Or wherever they fancy going that morning.
-And do you just steer it with the normal car wheel?
It just steers with the wheels in the water.
It has no separate rudder.
So, not very precise then?
Not particularly but OK on a quiet lake.
Not so good in the North Sea.
-Good for escaping the police if you want to.
You have got a lot of traditional family cars here, haven't you, Chris?
Yes. Most of our customers, they don't want to see Ferraris and
the like, they want to see the car they grew up in the back seat of.
The car their uncle had,
those family holidays from the 1950s and '60s.
-Like this A35, eh?
-Complete with folding boat.
But if you couldn't afford a full-size car,
you could always go with a motorbike and sidecar.
Traditional 1950s family transport.
Dad and Mum on the motorbike, and then the youngsters in here.
-In the days before seat belts.
Well, as a young man, I couldn't afford a car
but I did love my motorbike.
It wasn't anywhere near as big or as powerful as this one
but last July I went to the Isle of Man, famous for its TT races,
for a little ride down memory lane.
I was in my late teens when I first came here to watch the TT races.
I came on my bike and this was it. My BSA Bantam 125.
Not very fast but I was tremendously proud of it.
And that is my sister sitting on the back there. She didn't come with me.
I came with a pal who had a much bigger bike,
and he had to keep stopping so I could catch up.
And, for old times' sake, I want to get back on one.
Well, I never thought I would see one of these again.
It's your lucky day, John.
As you might expect, there is no shortage of bikes on the island
and vintage bike collector Tony East has
brought along a couple of classic Bantams from 1949 and 1953.
I don't think today's generation realise just how important
Bantams were, Tony, to the likes of you and me.
No, they were absolutely vital.
-Everybody used to go to work on them.
-All you could afford.
-And they were all this green colour, weren't they?
-And everybody wanted a Bantam.
-There's me on mine.
-Well, that's absolutely fantastic.
-Did you have one?
-Yes, I had one.
Did you come to the Isle of Man to watch the races?
Yeah, I used to come in the '60s.
I'd go round the circuit - not on race days, of course -
like everybody does.
But the Bantam was a bit slow going up the mountain.
There were some dodgy bits, weren't there?
-Remember that bridge?
-Yeah, Ballaugh Bridge.
Over 30 miles an hour over Ballaugh,
particularly on these things, and you'd leave the ground.
Years ago, they used to station a police sergeant there with
his white helmet, with his stick, and you went over too fast - whack!
On your backside, just to teach you a lesson.
And there were some pretty flash bikes around, weren't there?
Not just the ones competing but the spectators bringing theirs as well.
-They looked down their noses a bit at us Bantam riders.
Us Bantam riders, yes.
They'd forgotten that they'd probably owned them in the past.
I think they stopped being made in the early '60s.
But the noise of the engine is something I'll always remember.
-Yes, you do.
-Any chance of going for a spin?
-Of course there is.
ENGINE REVS NOISILY
Well, it's 50 years since I last rode a BSA Bantam
but they do say you never forget how to ride a bike.
Let's hope they're right.
This is fantastic!
Oh, the years are rolling back.
This is instant transport to the days of my youth.
The freedom that the Bantam gave us all in those days.
We must be doing about 30 miles an hour now.
-This is life, isn't it?
This is really moving as far as a Bantam's concerned.
Riding like the wind!
Whoa, bending it over a little bit.
Not done that for a while.
I had forgotten just what fun it is. What great fun.
'And I'm not the only one who thinks so.
'For the last 105 years,'
these quiet island lanes have been overrun by leather-clad bikers
ready to take on the challenge of the TT course.
Not for nothing has it been called
one of the greatest motorcycle sporting events in the world.
What I would love to do is re-ride the 37-and-three-quarter-mile
course like I used to all those years ago.
But I have only ever been round it on a dear old Bantam,
so maybe this time something a little bit more powerful.
Something like this. A Supertrike.
Now I can let somebody who really knows the course
do the driving and I can sit back and enjoy.
As a passenger for once, I get to admire the views.
And what views they are, whatever the weather.
The course snakes through picturesque villages and stunning countryside
and up towards the summit of the island's only mountain, Snaefell.
'It's bends like this, known as the hairpin,
'that challenge the most experienced of riders.'
-Exhilarating, Andy. Thank you very much indeed.
-It's my pleasure.
-It really makes you realise, doesn't it,
just how demanding this course is?
Yes, it's 37 and three quarter miles long and it's very much
man and machine against the course.
And it seems to me to be much faster than it was in my day.
Certainly, there are certain things being done to the course
all the time that improve the speed and improve the safety
of the course as well, which is the most important thing.
So, what's the top speed these days?
They're doing well over 200 miles an hour in certain places.
Around here is roughly the fastest part of the course,
coming down off the mountain.
-Well, onwards, Andy.
There's no doubt that on race days the Isle of Man is a great
showcase for motorcycling skills.
But the Lake District can provide its fair share
of thrills on two wheels.
And you don't need an engine to experience them.
Long before the car was invented,
people were travelling round the Lake District by bicycle.
Well, bikes really opened up the Lakes, didn't they,
-to ordinary people?
There was a huge boom in cycling in the 1880s.
This is a Penny Farthing that the young gentlemen tended to ride.
They'd bring them up on the train and travel the route ways
of the Lake District, enjoying the scenery.
-And for the, shall we say, more sensible gentleman...
..you have three wheels on your tricycle here.
A safety version of the Penny Farthing, really?
-Absolutely. It's a little difficult to get on.
-How DO you get on?
You turn backwards and then you put your right foot on the right pedal
and lift yourself up into position.
-It's not so easy, is it?
-Certainly not. Not all that comfortable either.
-Have you worked out the steering?
-No, no idea.
-As you turn the handle, say, clockwise...
..the front wheel turns one way and the back wheel turns the other.
Very simple. And how did you know where to go?
Because there weren't guides in those days, were there?
They had little guide books.
It shows you the steepness of the hills.
Very important, especially on something like this.
And also the locations of the friendly inns,
cos not everybody liked the newfangled bicycle and tricycle.
-They thought they would scare the horses
and they were more old-fashioned, like their horses and carriages.
And cycling in the Lakes is still as popular as ever.
Just beyond those fells, there is the Grizedale Forest,
the Lake District's biggest stretch of woodland
and, last August, Julia went there and jumped into the saddle to see
just how much fun you can have on two wheels.
'Grizedale is famed for its excellent cycling,
'with bespoke cycle tracks both on and off-road. '
There are about a dozen trails for riders of just about every ability.
Beginners, riders in good health, it says here,
proficient mountain bikers, experts.
And this is a sinuous, adrenalising section
of single-track descent with a leg-burning climb.
Oh, no thank you.
Sounds like really hard work.
'I'm off to explore the flatter parts of this enchanting forest
'and, best of all, I get to soak up the views along the way.
'And, no, not just those views.
'There are some rather more curious ones here too.'
MUSIC BOX MUSIC TINKLES
That's quite spooky, isn't it?
I know what Matt Baker would say now.
He'd say, "That's a bit of a wind-up."
In 1977, Grizedale became the UK's first forest for sculptures.
Very ahead of its time.
Many of the early sculptures have decayed
but the Forestry Commission is working
with the next generation of artists
to develop new works.
They are beautiful.
Fantastic piece, isn't it?
What does it represent then, Hayley?
Well, I think the real sort of inspiration behind the work is
the forest environment itself.
All the sculptors that came here have made pieces in response
to particular locations that they found.
-And it's carved out of wood, isn't it?
A lot of the artists that came here
made work from natural materials in the forest.
So wood and stone are the most often found materials.
This would be timber from the forest and it is a carved piece
and it has actually been preserved by being wet all the time,
believe it or not.
It's a bit counter-intuitive but because it doesn't get wet
and then dry out, that's actually making the wood last longer.
And how many pieces have you got
scattered around and throughout the forest?
There are about 60 works in the forest at the moment.
If I wanted to do a tour of every single work of art within the forest
how long do you think it would take me?
Well, we reckon about three days to get around all of them
so it's maybe a holiday rather than a day visit
-if you want to see all of them.
-Favourite? Your favourite?
Oh, there's lots.
Lots for different reasons as well and at different times of year.
But I think the work behind this is fantastic
cos all the excitement and drama of the landscape
has been incorporated into the work.
-Can we just have five minutes just to look at it?
Just five minutes, though.
If I want to make it round to the rest of them
I'd better get pedalling.
Grizedale Forest has dozens of purpose-built biking trails
for all abilities.
Well, I've had a little whirl on the red trail
and I have to say, I think that's probably about my limit.
That is the much tougher black trail, the toughest of them all,
and I'm going to leave that to the professionals.
I don't want to scrape my knee.
It hurts when you get the grit under your skin.
This trail is a magnet for adrenaline junkies.
The pros can pick up speeds
of more than 40 miles an hour down these runs.
Local biker Paul Noble runs a bike shop in the heart of the forest.
I know I said that this was a tough track but, really,
how tricky is it, Paul?
It's not that unsafe once you've learnt how to look after yourself.
But it'd be dangerous if you were a novice
-and tried to have a go?
-Absolutely. Yes, absolutely.
If you just turned up here on any old bike and threw yourself at it,
you'll end up in a pile and it won't be nice.
It's a real community project, this, isn't it? Built with love.
It was indeed, yeah.
It was something that the locals wanted and they really badly wanted
and the Forestry gave them permission to build it
and helped with it and it turned out it was a real community project.
We had lads as young as 12
and people as old as 60s helping out with it.
It's a superb addition to the forest, no doubt.
Oh! Speedy Gonzales!
It certainly looks great fun whizzing downhill but...
If you don't fancy struggling up these hills by pedal power
and sitting for hours in a car just doesn't appeal,
well, you could always let the train take the strain.
The next stage of my journey revisits the glorious age of steam.
The Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway is run as a tourist attraction now
but in its day it serviced a thriving industrial centre
right here at the southern end of Windermere.
Day-trippers and holiday-makers soon cottoned on
to the delights of this place, and they flocked here
from the mill towns of Lancashire and from far beyond.
And they still come.
In fact, people come here from as far away as China
to travel on these historic trains. And it's not hard to see why.
After the line closed in 1967,
it was bought by the manager of a Lancashire cotton mill, Austin Maher.
I'm here to meet his son, Mike, who's now the managing director.
Mike, how come your dad bought a railway, then?
That's a very good question. I think opportunity knocked, really.
He was always very enthusiastic, right from being a child,
very enthusiastic railwayman.
He had a railway at the bottom of the garden, practically.
As he got older, and had the ability
to buy himself a camera, he set off filming
locally and elsewhere on the basis that steam was going to die out.
This was about 1960.
He didn't just take pictures of steam trains, he took pictures of you too.
He did, yes, some delightful pictures of little me. Yes.
And you have more or less now inherited your father's enthusiasm
-for steam trains.
-I appear to have done, yes.
I think I talked myself into it, really.
When I first started at the railway in 1981, my dad bought me
a chainsaw and I started tidying up
because at that time you wouldn't have been able to see anything.
The trees were brushing the side of the train, really.
We managed to push it back to the fence line and now we've got a view
and I don't get my chainsaw out very often now, I am pleased to say.
There's something magical, isn't there, about a steam train?
People always have the windows open. You can smell the smoke.
The grit and the smell of sulphur, yes. They are magical things.
Steam trains live on,
captivating the minds of people of all ages and of all nationalities,
especially those of us lucky enough to remember them in all their pomp.
But transport doesn't need to be from a bygone age
to lure people into the countryside,
as Ellie discovered when she headed to Loch Lomond,
the winter before last.
Not many people brave these waters at this time of year.
Biting cold and rain keep the hordes of tourists away,
leaving it unusually peaceful.
But even cold weather like this doesn't deter the locals
because they found an eco-friendly way of breathing life
back into the loch on a winter's day.
These electric scooters are a more familiar sight around cities,
but here in Scotland they've found a new use for them - offroading.
Right, it's my turn now.
Apparently, it's one of the best ways to see the loch.
-All right there, Ben.
So get me started on one of these.
Right, first things first, you need one of these to protect your head.
You stand with your feet on each of these contact points.
If you start to lean forward slightly and move your weight
beyond where the wheels are touching the ground,
-it'll start to roll forwards.
-Off I go!
-It's got no brakes.
..so if you kept going, you might get wet.
-So, if you just centre your weight again.
-Just stand up a bit more.
There you go. Are you going to take me to see the sights?
-Yes, we'll go for a ride along the beach, round the woods.
-Let's do it.
Ben leads loch safaris on these and I need the practice,
as later I'll be racing Matt on one.
It's a funny thing cos it's now being associated with
the skateboarding crowd,
which isn't necessarily what you'd expect from these things.
Generally, it's the people that snowboard, skateboard,
BMX, skiers, they're the ones that want to try the new stuff.
The good thing is they're not noisy, not churning out fumes,
-they're not petrol-based.
-No petrol, they don't churn up the ground
cos you can't wheelspin them.
If you manage to do a wheelspin, you're doing something wrong.
-How fast do they go?
-Oh, dizzy speeds!
Let's just say, hypothetically speaking,
I wanted to beat somebody at a race -
Matt Baker - what would be your tips for me to win?
We could sort something out that means that you will definitely win.
-That's more like it.
Don't tell Matt, but the speed of these scooters can be restricted
to a measly 6mph.
Now, Ben has promised me a spectacular view of Loch Lomond.
Oddly, though, he seems to be taking me to the nearest tee.
But this is no ordinary golf course.
It's part of the national park and we've been given special permission
to explore it in this way.
Ho-ho! Look at the view!
-Incredible, isn't it?
-That's awesome, even on a rainy day.
-Almost makes me want to convert to golf.
I love that!
The site of this golf course is so special
it has its own countryside ranger, James Elliott.
-Hi, James. How are you doing?
-Hi, Ellie, how are you?
Apologies for the random arrival. I'll have to power this thing down.
What are you doing here?
I'm planting some oak trees here along with some other
native broadleaves just to replace these Sitka spruce
that have been recently felled.
What's wrong with the spruce? Why have they come down?
Spruce are actually non-native to Britain.
They provide pretty poor habitat for wildlife.
Oakwood, on the other hand, has the most biodiverse habitat in Britain.
You've got quite an unusual job - you're a ranger at a golf course.
That's quite specific, isn't it?
Yes, it might seem unusual, but when you think about it,
this golf course takes up a very large chunk of land.
Only a proportion of that is actually used for the game of golf.
The rest of it, we've got woodlands, wetlands, native grasslands.
And the landscape here is amazing.
Where we are at the moment is
right on the boundary between the Highlands and the Lowlands.
So, going back 450 million years ago,
these were two different continents.
They came together and if we look at the islands going right across
the loch, that's the crumple zone of where these two continents met.
-It's amazing, isn't it?
-Yes, it's fantastic.
It's all very well admiring it from up here,
but it's time to get myself back to shore for the big race.
Look at this, Highlands... Lowlands.
Lowlands. SHE LAUGHS
And Ben is going to be our umpire.
You are going to love this.
-Where is the other half of your quad?
-Oh, no, no!
-This is completely different. Do you want a quick lesson?
-I do! Why not?
Why not two more wheels? So stand on first.
-How do you go forwards, then?
-Lean your whole body forward.
-We're going to go for a race, if you're up for it.
Where are we going to race? First round the loch?
No, first to the end of the big, big puddle.
-Ben is going to start us off.
-Oh, hello, Ben! I didn't see you there!
Can I get you both level, so it's a fair, even playing field?
-Are you ready?
-And there's the lean.
-Yeah, have some of that!
-I'm slowing down.
-Do you want me to wait for you, Matt?
How do you make it go faster? I'm hanging over the bars, it keeps...
-I'm leaning forwards and it's...
-It's a first on Countryfile!
-I'm beating Matt at something!
-Here comes a puddle!
Ooh-la-la-la-la! I win! Woo-hoo!
Ooh, here he comes, slowly. WHISTLES
Proper leaning forwards, this is rubbish!
How were you going that fast?
-Do you know what, Matt?
-I've got to tell you something.
-Go on. Have you got a little trick?
-I had the limiter taken off mine.
-You're kidding me.
-It's dirty play, it's dirty play!
-What a surprise.
Right, can we swap now and I have a go on one without the limiter?
It's only fair.
Well, this train's got a limiter on it,
it's only allowed to do 25 miles an hour maximum.
Usually it's round about 17 miles an hour.
Time to see the grass grow.
I'm on my way through the Lake District,
following a route that's been travelled for well over 100 years.
The railway was built to link up with the steamers on Windermere.
They were also a product of the Industrial Revolution.
At the time, not everyone was pleased about them.
In the 1840s, one of the Lake District's most famous residents,
William Wordsworth, campaigned vigorously against plans
for Windermere to have its first steamer.
He didn't get his way
and the steamers have been plying their genteel trade ever since.
In a moment, I'll be following in royal footsteps as I hop aboard.
Before then, here's what's still to come
on this special travel edition of Countryfile.
We look back at Matt's turn in a very special boat.
That thing is going at the pace of nature though,
that's the beauty of it.
-The pace of the wind, yes.
Remember when Ellie took to the Pennine Way
with one of our greatest poets?
And we journey again in style with Katie on Evesham's Blossom Trail.
For me, part of the appeal of this trail
is the picturesque countryside that it passes through.
It is incredibly pretty.
For the next stage of my journey,
I've stepped on board a boat with a royal pedigree.
In 1956, the Queen came to the Lake District
as part of the long-running celebrations to mark her Coronation.
And she and the Duke of Edinburgh sailed on this very boat, the Teal.
Here on Windermere,
they're still waiting for the Queen to make a return visit.
In the meantime, Windermere has visited the Queen.
I'm talking to the local man who was chosen to be its skipper
when one of its boats joined the flotilla
in Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee pageant.
He's Captain Ron Walker.
-You took part, didn't you, in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations...
-..with one of these boats?
-Yes, we had the Queen Of The Lake,
which was a traditional Windermere launch.
The other connection was that Prince Charles had been on it when he came
up to open the businesses after the floods, the floods from Cockermouth.
It was quite an experience and honour to be asked to go as skipper on the boat.
The Queen Of The Lake was hoisted out of the water
and transported by road to London, where she proudly took her place
in the biggest party seen on the Thames
since the monarchy was restored with Charles II 350 years ago.
One of my, I suppose, greatest memories
was the sheer number of people.
And there were so many umbrellas.
And every time we went under a bridge,
the enthusiasm was fantastic.
But what an honour for a Lake District boat
to be in the Diamond Jubilee parade.
It was, it was the honour of being able to go and skipper the boat.
This boat, the Teal, was built just a few miles west of here
in Barrow-in-Furness, one of the country's great shipbuilding centres.
Last summer, Matt went to Barrow to find out all about renovating
a little boat and building some very big ones.
Now, this is the Royal Navy's latest submarine.
It's nearing completion and it's absolutely massive.
'Making these magnificent machines here not only takes advantage
'of generations of local shipbuilding talent,
'but also the make-up of the surrounding land.'
The banks of the Barrow sit on a deep water channel
which means big ships and submarines can sail in and out of here
to the open sea.
This area is constantly on the move.
And this channel is only kept open
by the lads I'm about to meet.
'The crew of the Norma
'are part of a team of dredgers who work all year round
'to keep this 40-foot deep channel clear.
'I'm heading out to get a closer look at her,
'with the man in charge of the operation.'
What's Norma up to out here, Bob?
The Norma is a plough vessel.
It's about ten metres wide
and this is the final process in the dredging campaign this year.
What's been going on in the past few weeks?
The main channel dredgers are much bigger vessels
and they come in and take up the material off the bottom.
This tends to leave quite deep furrows,
a bit like a ploughed field,
-on the bottom of the channel...
-I'm with you.
-..Which we like to level off.
-That's where the Norma comes in?
That's absolutely it.
How much stuff are you taking out, then?
It's quite a lot. It's well in excess of a million tonnes this year.
'It was the clearing of this deep-sea channel
'that secured Barrow's place as the shipbuilding capital
'of this coast.
'But as Barrow rose,
'it was at the cost of its smaller neighbour, Ulverston.'
So fine were the boats that were built in Ulverston, they were sold all over the country.
But as the deep waters of Barrow lured more industrial, bigger loads,
the boatyards in Ulverston were forced to close
and up until recently,
it was thought all trace of the vessels built there
had been lost.
'That was until one woman stumbled across the story
'of the Hearts of Oak -
'the last boat to set sail from Ulverston shipyards.'
Jennifer, how did your connection with the Hearts Of Oak start?
You're not exactly a mad boat fan, are you?
I certainly aren't, no.
It quite horrifies me, really, to think of going in deep water.
The boat? Well,
we began in 1977, when I visited an old man called John Wilson,
who lived quite near us.
He told us about Hearts of Oak and showed me a picture of it.
I kept thinking about Hearts of Oak
and that she was built in Ulverston.
I thought, "Really, she needs restoring."
Did you know where she was?
Not at that stage, no.
My husband and I got on the trail
and we just kept on looking.
A series of coincidences and good luck,
and we eventually found her.
'The Hearts of Oak was built by this man,
'John Randall McLester,
'the last apprentice of the Ulverston shipyards.
'When she set sail in 1912,
'she was a thing of beauty.
'Almost a century later,
'when Jennifer set eyes on her,
'she was a weather-beaten wreck.
"Bonfire condition" probably is the best thing
we could say.
The guy who owned her said if he hadn't contacted me,
he was going to set fire to her.
'Thanks to Jennifer,
'far from becoming firewood,
'this last link to Ulverston's glorious past
'Jennifer bought her for just £1,
'but helped raise over £80,000
'to pay for three years of painstaking restoration.'
And here she is, look.
In all of her glory.
She's absolutely beautiful.
Yes, she's a wonderful boat.
Quite a history. Yeah.
And now I have the chance to set sail on her
as I hitch a ride over to Peel Island.
-How are you doing, lads, all right?
'The crew are all volunteers,
'keen amateurs who've fallen in love with the idea
'of sailing a vintage cutter.
'And I'm keen to find out more about her.'
-She was a prawner?
Morecambe Bay prawner.
-It's not too far away.
-Morecambe Bay's just over there, yeah.
We're on the corner of it.
How would she have worked and why is she the design she is?
She would have typically been worked by a man and his son.
They're built like this for speed,
to get out on the tide and back on the same tide
to get the catch back
because there was no refrigeration.
Is there any significance with the red sails?
Yes, it's tradition.
And they look nice!
I believe they used to treat the sails,
the fishermen of the time, with stuff like red lead
and linseed oil.
That gave them the colour to cause them to last.
I understand there's quite an interesting technique to stop
-it from tipping over.
-Yeah! Stones - do you want to have a look?
Yeah, if we can.
Right, you just chucked it along there.
Lead would be ideal
but we can't afford lead.
-Do they go the full length of the hull?
-I might jump up there and do a bit of rope-pulling with Gordon.
Gordon, you look a picture there!
It's pleasant out here, isn't it?
You do look at home. It looks like we have a little bit of wind here.
We're actually sailing. Pleasant change.
Very gently, but we are actually sailing.
Show me the ropes, quite literally.
'I'll try and help the lads tack -
'that's moving the sail to change direction.'
Keep your head down - that's the key, isn't it?
So undo these, Gordon?
Yes, cast off the jib...
-This one as well?
-Yes. Cast them both off.
Tighten those up.
'That felt like plain sailing.
'There's only one small problem.'
-Peel Island's that way.
'So it's take two on the turning.'
Just a nice full flow in the sail.
'This time, things are heading in the right direction.'
Good, we are going the right way now.
We should be there for midnight(!)
You go at the pace of nature, though.
-That's the beauty of it.
-The pace of the wind, yes.
I think we're going a little faster than the wind
but not by very much.
Here on Windermere I'm travelling sedately up to Bowness.
Chances are it's still quicker than travelling by car
along busy lakeside roads.
I'm going to have a chat with the man in charge, Ken MacLeod.
Can I squeeze past, Captain Ken? Not a lot of room in your wheelhouse.
It's pretty tight today.
What a big wheel you have! It's enormous, isn't it?
That's the standard wheel. It's been there
since it was built in 1936.
Some of these huge cruise liners these days
have tiny little wheels to steer with.
No such technology on here.
This is chain-driven from here right to the back of the boat.
There's a cog and chains...?
It runs along the deck head
down to the rudder at the back of the boat.
Is it easy to steer?
It's fairly easy.
It does have a kick now and again, just off-centre
but then you pull it back again, it's not a problem.
-Am I allowed to have a go?
-Absolutely. It's all yours.
You've got a few passengers back there.
You just keep an eye I'm doing the right thing.
So...what should I do, then?
Avoid the shore, basically?
Avoid the shore, avoid the other vessels.
Try and keep it in a straight line.
Not a lot of traffic at the moment, is there?
It's very quiet today,
but in the summer weekends, there's a lot of yacht races -
up to 2,000 boats out there
and we have to give way to all the sailboats.
This big boat has to give way to little sailboats?
Anything with a sail on, I have to give way to.
So with lots of races going on,
-You really have to keep your eye open.
-We're OK today.
This is the perfect way to get around Windermere.
But if you're going into the countryside in your car,
do it style...
..like Katie did a couple of springtimes ago.
'I'm in Worcestershire to see first-hand
one of nature's most impressive displays.'
For me, it's one of the most uplifting signs of spring,
and Worcestershire is one of the best places to see it - blossom.
'This picturesque corner of Britain, packed full of fruit trees,
'has long been famed for its colourful flourishings.
'I'm driving the famous Vale of Evesham Blossom Trail,
'and waiting for me on the route is the mastermind behind it, Angela Tidmarsh.'
So, Angela, how popular is the Blossom Trail?
It's really popular. We've been doing this for 28 years.
It's very much a natural attraction,
so we're really guided by the weather.
As you can see, around this area, we have no blossom at the moment.
I didn't like to say, "Where's the blossom?!"
We have apple blossom coming out, but last week,
there was lots of plum blossom. It's very, very early this year,
which is surprising, given the harsh winter we had.
It started off as an eight-mile trail
and now it's almost a 50-mile trail.
So somewhere on the Blossom Trail, you will find trees in blossom.
How many people come each year?
It's so difficult to say because obviously it's a self-drive trail.
But we estimate that thousands each year come and visit.
We know we have an awful lot of coach visitors as well.
We have Blossom tour guides who can go on the coaches coming in
and this year we've got 35 guided tours going out.
We believe it is the only blossom trail in this country.
We believe there's only four in the world.
-People go to Japan, don't they?
-They do, yeah.
-Why go to Japan when you can come to Evesham?
And they only have cherry blossom there, we have all sorts.
-Cherry, pear, plum and apple.
'A little further along the trail, there are plenty trees in bloom,
'from the bright, showy pink of the ornamental cherry
'to white apple blossom.'
But what's the reason for all this?
What's the scientific explanation for blossom,
and why does it appear every year in spring?
'Horticulturist John Edgeley knows all there is to know.
'He will talk me through
'just what part this glorious floral display plays
'in turning these flowers into fruit.
'It's all about pollination.'
The insects, which could be honey bees, bumble bees,
any other wild bees,
are attracted by the colour and the scent.
They're attracted down the petal into the nectary,
and as they go in, they rub the pollen on the stamens
against the stigma, which is the female part,
and either pollinate that flower
or go to other flowers and pollinate those as well.
And then that ultimately goes on to creating fruit?
It will do. The pollen germinates a bit like seed germinates
and that then will form pips
and that, in turn, will give us fruit.
For me, part of the appeal of this trail
is the picturesque countryside it passes through.
It is incredibly pretty.
'Fladbury is typical of the villages that dot the route.
'But the quaint serenity of this peaceful, idyllic scene
'belies a hidden history.'
Because in World War II, the enemy was right here.
The Germans were in our orchards, and they were picking our fruit.
'The Bloor family owned the farm here at the time.
'They could see the Germans from their bedroom windows.
'John Bloor remembers it well.'
They were prisoners of war and they came over here after D-Day
into this big camp that was built
actually for the Americans,
who were here until V-Day.
So they went and the Germans came.
How did you know the enemy was so close at hand?
We must have heard they were arriving,
I don't know how.
But this is the first lot of German prisoners to come.
I went upstairs, feeling a bit scared -
I'd never seen a German before -
and took this photograph.
-That's great, you've captured history. How old were you?
'And as soon as they arrived, these prisoners were put to work.'
They mostly worked on the farms.
We had this land here.
We employed up to 17 at one time, I think
Doesn't sound like a very bad existence
for a prisoner of war to come here and to be working on the farms.
It wasn't, really, no.
'Today, the blossom on these fruit trees
'still draws thousands of visitors to the Vale of Evesham
'The blossom may have gone for this year but all those orchards would
'still make a great subject for the Countryfile photographic competition.
'The theme for this year's competition is
'"our living landscape".'
We want pictures that capture the beauty
of the British countryside, all the wonderful life,
the fantastic scenery that you find within it.
The 12 best photographs chosen
by our judges will make up the Countryfile calendar
We'll also have an overall winner who'll be able to choose photographic equipment
to the value of £1,000.
Whoever takes the picture that the judges like best
will be able to pick equipment worth £500.
The Countryfile photographic competition is not open to professionals
and because we want every entry to be an original,
they mustn't have won any other competition.
You can send in up to four photos
and they must have been taken in the UK.
And please could you send in hard copies,
not e-mails or computer files.
'Write your name, address and a daytime and evening
'phone number on the back of each photo,
'with a note of where it was taken.
'Then send your entries to:'
The full terms and conditions are on our website,
which is where you'll also find details of the BBC's code of conduct
Our closing date is Friday, 26th July.
I'm sorry, but we can't return any entries.
If you're thinking of entering the competition,
we have some pretty useful tips coming up in just a moment.
Before that, will the weather be picture-perfect
in the week ahead? Let's find out with the Countryfile forecast.
'On this special edition of Countryfile,
'I've journeyed in style through the Lake District.
'I've glided up Windermere on a genteel steamer.
'I've trundled through the countryside on a train from a bygone era.'
'And now, in time-honoured fashion, it's...'
Shanks' pony. The best way to see the Lakes is on foot,
and I'm off up there for one of the grandest views
in all the Lake District.
'I'm heading to the top of Orrest Head,
'the first fell ever climbed by the legendary walker Alfred Wainwright.
'It's just a mile from Windermere town, but a world away.'
It's a bit of a climb,
but not as challenging as the Pennine Way,
as Ellie discovered last winter.
'Mind you, she didn't do the walk all on her own.'
Few have managed to complete the whole walk.
I won't even attempt it.
But one brave soul who did just that and wrote about it along the way
was one of our national treasures, poet Simon Armitage.
"Then it's back to the work,
"to the acid acres,
"to wade through waterlogged peat,
"trawling the breeze,
"carding the air for threads of sheep wool
"snagged on the breeze."
'Simon set off on a journey that was a lifetime's ambition
'and would test the strength of local hospitality.'
It was a bit of a gamble. I set off without any money in my pocket.
'To find out how he got on with that journey,
'I've arranged to meet him here at Ickornshaw Moor
'and we're retracing some of his last steps.'
It's a really hard walk.
It's not in any way a glamorous walk
or one of these new boutique walks.
It's a difficult slog across pretty tough terrain.
Why did you do it?
Well, the southern part of the Pennine Way
goes through the village of Marsden where I was born and brought up.
So it had always been part of my consciousness -
there'd always been this regular influx of hikers
coming through the village as I was growing up.
It was a bit odd, cos when I showed my dad what I was taking,
he said, "You don't need any of that stuff, just take a bin bag
"to pull over your head when it rains."
-Yeah, well, books, obviously some water...
-Good old-fashioned map.
-Good old-fashioned map.
-Excellent for orienteering.
-Did you need it?
I did blow it a couple of times but only for fun.
-What else have we got in there?
-Essential for a poet.
I thought I wouldn't need this
and it had to come out on day two. I got lost in the Cheviots.
-You were glad of it then?
If I hadn't had it, the whole thing would have gone pear-shaped.
'One of the images that inspired Simon's poetry
'were the black huts dotted across this stretch of the landscape.
'They're thought to be old shooting huts.'
"Above Ickornshaw, Black Huts
"are raised against damp
"on footings of red brick,
"landlocked chalets lashed to the bedrock
"with steel guy-ropes
"and telegraph wire braced for Atlantic gales."
'It was poetry that financed Simon's 19-day journey along
'the Pennine Way.
'Having left home without any cash,
'he offered recitals in return for bed and board.'
Every night, I gave a reading.
I passed the cap around and just said to people,
-"Put in whatever you think I was worth."
And I made my way on that.
'Just beneath us is the village of Cowling,
'where one particular couple remembers this weary, weather-beaten poet
'doing a reading in their sitting room.'
He'd done 20 miles from Malham
and the last five miles was a lot of climbing,
and so he wasn't in the best condition at all.
'Well, he's back here today
'with a bit more vigour, more poetry
'and an audience ready and waiting.'
yes-men in silver wigs,
they stoop low at the path's edge,
bow to the military parade
of boot and stick.
You won't find many silvered wigs here in the Lake District,
but you will find lots of boots and sticks.
'I'm meeting a photographer who knows a lot about capturing
'movement out in the countryside.'
Jon, good to see you.
You're an expert in taking action pictures in the great outdoors.
What tips have you got for our viewers
who would like to do those kind of pictures for the photographic competition?
The first thing I'd say is just that "action"
is a very wide variety of subject.
It's not just the traditional sporting action.
I have some examples here which include
both some sporty shots but also some more general shots
which still show a lot of action movement in the outdoors.
One of the points I think this illustrates is
the patience you need, even for fast action sometimes.
How long did you wait for that one?
I was sitting at the side of the trail for at least 20 minutes.
So the message is wait, wait, wait for the right moment?
Yes, you have to be patient but also on the ball, ready to go.
What else have you got to show us?
There's a very different example of a kayaker.
One of the most important things with action photography
is the shutter speed.
If people are going to experiment with one thing on the camera,
it would be the shutter speed.
What kind of speed did you use for this picture?
That one would be, I think, a thousandth of a second.
The importance of that to me is really not so much
freezing the motion of the kayaker himself
but the water around him,
because that is what gives the shot its real dynamism, I think.
That's a beautiful photograph.
That's not maybe what everyone would consider as an action photo,
but it still deals very much with movement.
Here the exposure is something like five or six seconds.
And it gives this smoothed-out, kind of flowing quality.
Obviously, for a shot like that, you need a tripod or some means
-of supporting the camera really solidly.
-What did you use?
One of my favourite bits of photographic gear
is a very simple beanbag.
If you balance the beanbag, you can get just as stable a picture
as you can with a tripod.
Let's get to the top and see what we can see from there.
The weather's not all that promising today.
We'll see what it's like. You don't have to have perfect weather conditions
to get a perfect picture, do you?
'From the top of Orrest Head you get a 360-degree panorama,
'which takes in the Langdales,
Troutbeck Valley and even Morecambe Bay, if the weather plays ball.
And who can resist reaching for the camera?'
Well worth the climb, Jon. What a fantastic view, isn't it?
It certainly is, yes. You're in the land of great views here,
but this is certainly one of the most celebrated.
Today we've had all kinds of weather.
We've had rain, a bit of sunshine, lots of grey sky.
It's changing almost every second, isn't it?
For me, it's almost more interesting than if it was
a boring sunny day when everything's green and the sky is blue.
But if you were here taking a photograph professionally,
how many pictures would you take?
I think it's a mistake to think that
the route to success is just shooting hundreds of pictures, willy-nilly.
It's much more about thinking before you shoot.
People often say to me, "I've only got a point-and-shoot camera."
I tend to think point-and-shoot is not a type of camera,
it's a state of mind.
The mistake that people make
is not just looking and thinking before they point and shoot.
'Some good advice for anyone sending in photos to our competition.
'No matter how you get to the Lake District
'or however you travel once you're here,
'it's views like this that make it all so worthwhile.'
And that's it from the Lake District.
Next week, Countryfile will be in the Cambrian Mountains,
one of Wales' best-kept secrets.
Matt will be rounding up Welsh mountain sheep
in traditional style
and I'll be joining some of the locals
finding new ways of capturing the ancient landscape,
so hope you can join us then. Bye for now.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
In this special edition of Countryfile John Craven visits the Lake District, England's biggest national park. He makes a journey by steam train, takes a ride on a steamer on Lake Windermere and finishes his journey on foot atop Orrest Head to catch one of the Lake District's most famous views.
Whilst he journeys in style, John looks back at some of the best stories to have featured cars and boats and bikes on Countryfile. Like the time Julia took to two wheels for a hair-raising ride through Grizedale Forest. Or when Matt took to the water in the last Morecambe Bay prawn boat afloat. And John himself takes a trip back down memory lane as he returns to his teenage stomping ground at the Isle of Man TT races.