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A GUIDE, &c.
THE increased facilities of railway communication have, as might have been anticipated, caused a great addition to the visitors of the delightful scenery of the Lakes. Nor are these exclusively confined as formerly to the higher classes-to those members of the Aristocracy who, when Parliament rises, rejoice to escape from the whirl and bustle of a London season to hold communings with Nature in her loveliest forms and stillest haunts. The railway, like all the products of a growing civilization, is a great leveller; and, availing themselves of its cheap and speedy facilities of transmission, the sons of trade and commerce hasten to leave for a brief space the dusty and crowded streets of our large towns, and duly equip themselves for a tour among the lakes of Westmoreland and Cumberland. Rightly considered, this, and all other evidences of a love of external nature among our town population, are of pleasing augury. That in an age so practical, so bustling and so money-making, as ours-in which every inhabitant of our great towns seems living at high pressure—the appreciation of the beautiful in nature
should display itself in so many shapes, may indeed be a subject of congratulation, even amongst those whose former almost exclusive enjoyment of the exquisite scenery of the English lakes should seem to be now for the first time trenched upon.
As a great majority of our lake-visitors approach from the south, so a variety of circumstances usually induce them to make their first halt at Lancaster. Here they see, for the first time, the bold blue hills of the north, among which their fancy already delightedly wanders; while the picturesque situation of the town, the grandeur of its ancient castle, and the beautiful views with which the town and neighbourhood abound, usually dispose them to make a short stay here, before they enter upon the glories of the promised land. No traveller, however much pressed for time, who gave a small portion of it to the county town and its vicinity-to an examination of its varied beauties of sea and mountain, of bay and river,-ever yet repented the time so spent. The want, however, has been greatly felt of some "GUIDE TO LANCASTER," describing, at greater length than the generality of Guides to the Lakes, the objects of interest within the town, and the best points of view from which the adjacent scenery may be observed. With the view of supplying this want the present publication has been undertaken.
VIEW FROM THE SCOTFORTH ROAD.
One of the finest views in England is that seen from the great South road, near the first mile-stone from Lan
caster. Before the railway had drawn travellers from the turnpike-road this view, bursting unexpectedly upon the stranger, was calculated to excite his liveliest admiration
and delight. Many were the post-chaises that used to stop, at the command of their occupants, upon the brow of the hill, while they gazed upon the varied beauties of the landscape. The passenger by the railway-train, who has missed this view, should by all means take an easy stroll" up the Greaves," as it is called. He will pass the Railway-Station on his way, which he will leave to his right. About a hundred yards beyond the station, at a row of houses called " the Pointer," he should turn round to view the Castle, which is no where seen to such advantage as from this spot. It forms a grand and massive pile of building, and seems built upon an eminence in the midst of the town which it commands. The large square, or Lungess tower, with its keep, reposes in the centre, in kingly majesty, closely surrounded by outer walls, having, at intervals, their turrets and battlements. The Gateway Tower, the finest architectural structure in the Castle, is seen to perfection here. It is that part of the Castle nearest the spectator, and frowns upon the surrounding buildings with its corbels and over-hanging battlements, in a manner becoming its high office and antiquity. The lofty tower of the Church, and the large eastern window, also mingle with the towers of the Castle; and seen from this spot the whole forms a pile of building of a strength and compactness of a mingled harmony and majesty—that cannot fail to charm the eye. The mind, too, is involun
tarily carried back to the times when the proud barons of old, the earls and dukes of Lancaster, lived here in almost kingly state, surrounded by a retinue, and exercising a hospitality, that challenged the wonder and admiration of those days.
Some writers, who yet allow that Lancaster Castle is one of the finest objects in the Kingdom, are perverse enough to complain of the integrity and usefulness of the structure. In the place of these magnificent towers, occupying a commanding site, and conveying the idea of vast strength, they would have ruined walls and crumbling battlements overgrown by ivy, and speaking of partial demolition and decay. Such are not our notions of the requirements of the picturesque, nor will they be those of the majority of intelligent visitors. The associations of baronial splendor—of feudal haughtiness--of princely hospitality—and of the pomp and circumstance of chivalry —are recalled much more vividly by those seemingly impregnable walls, than by any of the broken lines and dismantled battlements of those who hold that
Till use is exiled.
Beauty never dwells
Long, therefore, may the proud Norman Keep, the magnificent Gateway, and the rest of those ducal towers rear their mighty heads, untouched by the tooth of time or of neglect.
Pursuing our walk on the great turnpike-road, we come a quarter of a mile further, by a gentle ascent, to the brow of the hill, where our tourist approaches the end
of the walk we have prescribed for him. The sister turrets of the Castle and Church, already described, make an admirable centre, or principal object for the eye to rest upon. Behind this are the blue waters of the Bay of Morecambe, about eight miles in length and nine in breadth—over whose opposite sea-line the white houses of its villages may be distinctly seen. Right and left of the Castle, in two distinct groups, are the mountains of Cumberland and Westmoreland, which lie, far away in the distance, like couchant lions, giving an air of inexpressible repose and beauty to the the picture of which they form so complete a back-ground. Still further to the left or westward of the Westmoreland range of hills lies Black Combe, like a huge whale just putting to sea; and, at the foot of Black Combe, the peninsula of Furness sends out a long low strip of land which seems almost to convert the Bay into a vast lake. A little to the left of the Castle the silver Lune emerges; and runs in a southerly direction, past the spectator, to the sea, hidden from view, however, by some undulating hills at his feet. Westward of this unseen course of the Lune, just discerned over the high lands beyond, the waters of the Irish channel are visible. Behind the spectator are the broad estuary of the Lune, and the vast tract of level land forming the blue Fylde; while the effect of the whole scene is remarkably heightened by the beauty and picturesque appearance of the clouds. Such are the principal objects that make up this fine panorama of mountain, cloud, and sea it is a picture which, seen as it is under ever-shifting combinations