We had a wonderful walk today, through one of my favourite spots on earth - the Cragside estate in Rothbury, Northumberland.
Parts of it remind me of Rivendell - but as imagined by a Wagnerian (which was a fair description of its creator - the Victorian industrial colossus Lord Armstrong)
It made me realize again that the most perfect beauty comes from a combination of Man and Nature in harmony - for example the woodland paths curling around the hill (to give continuously-changing but always lovely views), channeled though cliffs and paved with rough sandstone slabs that have become sweetened with lichen; or the 'artificial' lakes which have by now settled deeply into the surrounding cliffs and trees that reflect in the placid surface.
This is absolutely true.
In fact, the most beautiful landscapes are those where the works of men and nature blend together. Fields being worked, a few patches of wood in the waste spots that have grown up themselves, wildflowers along the lane, a hill in the distance.
I love to come through a stand of ponderosa pine and see a faded oil-pump toiling in the half-dry grass. There's a homely beauty in it.
But the kind of scene you are talking about is keener, because there the things men have done are acts of love for the landscape.
As an American Anglophile, I thank you for sharing this. I always imagine England as a magical place.
When I go home today, we’re going to bake and eat hot cross buns.
@BB - Several parts of England are magical places for me too, even though I live here - including a lot of Northumberland (England's least densely populated county) which lies immediately north of Newcastle upon Tyne and immediately south of Scotland. Most of my ancestors are Northumbrian.
Now look what you've done, I showed the picture to my wife and she's already planning a vacation.
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