The district as a whole is grooved by a main depression, running from north to south along the valleys of St John, Thirlmere, Grasmere and Windermere, surmounting a pass (Dunmail Raise) of only 783 ft.; while a secondary depression, in the same direction, runs along Derwentwater, Borrowdale, Wasdale and Wastwater, but here Sty Head Pass, between Borrowdale and Wasdale, rises to 1600 ft.
This lake collects waters by the Brathay from Langdale, the head of which, between Bow Fell and Langdale Pikes (2401 ft.), is very fine; and by the Rothay from Dunmail Raise and the small lakes of Grasmere and Rydal Water, embowered in woods.
The considerable village of Grasmere lies beautifully at the head of the lake of that name; and above Esthwaite is the small town of Hawkshead, with an ancient church, and picturesque houses curiously built on the hill-slope and sometimes spanning the streets.
At Keswick the annual mean is 60.02, at Grasmere about 80 ins.
Out of his long life of eighty years, sixty were spent amid its lakes and mountains, first as a schoolboy at Hawkshead, and afterwards as a resident at Grasmere (1799-1813) and Rydal Mount (1813-1850).
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