I was born in Southampton in 1949, but my parents were Lancastrians who moved down south in 1939. 

My first visit to the Lake District was when I was very young. 

We were staying with my grandparents in Farnworth and we took a day trip to the Lakes.

My memory of the experience is quite vague, but I think we must have travelled by train to Windermere.

It was an uninspiring introduction to the wonders of the region. The weather was awful and visibility very poor. 

My second trip was not until 1984. My mother had once mentioned that her paternal grandmother was born in Keswick (in 1849). I had always wanted to trace my family history so this prompted me to start some genealogical research. 

I jumped in my MG sports car and headed up-country in search of my roots. I found a room in the Chaucer House Hotel in Keswick and started exploring. 

Pictured: Chaucer House Hotel 1984

Researching family history at that time was very difficult, and I made little progress.

Genealogy is so much easier now with all the online resources that are available. 

This trip was in October and the weather was good and the autumnal scenery absolutely stunning. I felt a deep connection to the landscape and fell completely in love with the Lake District. 

Pictured: MG 1984

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, I was not able to visit again until 2006 when I stayed for a week in a self-catering property in Applethwaite. 

I was armed with a lot of knowledge about my Cumbrian ancestors this time, so visited many of the places they had lived and worked. I also achieved my first ascent of a mountain (Skiddaw) during my stay. 

My Cumbrian ancestral surnames are: Todhunter from Caldbeck and Bowness (or Bownas) from Coniston. Farming, copper mining and slate mining were their main occupations. 

Since then I have visited several times a year to explore, take photographs and just absorb the glorious atmosphere. 

My genealogy research has been fascinating and I have discovered some very interesting characters, and stories. I have contact with other related researchers worldwide who share my passion for the Lakes and the lives of our shared ancestors. 


Trevor Coucill, Hampshire.