Celebrated guide book writers, Lonely Planet, are publishing a book to celebrate their 40th birthday, featuring the 200 most beautiful places in the World as voted by their readers.
One of the 200 is the Lyth Valley, a hidden corner of south Cumbria that is unspoilt by modern development.
The valley is famed for its damsons and the white tree blossom that greets visitors in the spring. There is even a festival dedicated to the humble damson, held in April.
Lyth is a pastoral landscape of pure delight, a view virtually unchanged in decades. The damsons grow in small orchards, divided up by traditional drystone walls, the valley itself edged by huge limestone escarpments. During the spring a carpet of bluebells covers the woodland floors, and gorse bushes add their vibrant yellow to the greenery.
There are two fabulous viewpoints that can be walked from our self catering cottages to take in the glorious view.
Scout Scar offers probably the most magnificent views over the Lyth Valley and Morecambe Bay. The ground under foot is almost as spectacular – a limestone escarpment above deciduous woodland. Helsington Church is towards the southern end of Scout Scar, with a viewpoint taking in a stunning panorama of the Scafells and Coniston fells across the Lyth Valley.
Whitbarrow has panoramic views of Morcambe Bay, looking down the valley over Cark and Cartmel and the peninsula of Grange-over-Sands. A bridleway from the village of Witherslack is an easy route to the top with a view almost too rewarding for the effort involved in getting there.