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Young People


The Lakeland Dales


About this book:

  • ISBN: 978-1-910237-20-5

  • Published: 2016

  • Price: £24.00 + postage

  • 250 pages

  • Illustrated with 181 colour, black & white photographs, drawings and maps.

  • Cover photograph – Newlands Valley by Val Corbett

Also by Robert Gambles

Man in Lakeland (1975)
Exploring the Lakeland Fringe (1989)
The Spa Resorts and Mineral Springs of Cumbria (1993)
Walks on the Borders of Lakeland (1995)*
Yorkshire Dales Place-Names (1995)
Walks Round Windermere (1997)
Echoes of Old Lakeland (2010)

Reflections from the Lakes (2019)
Escape to the Lakes
Lake District Place-Names (2013)
Words from the Wildwood: Cumbria’s Ancient Place-Names (2017)

Translated and Edited
Espen Ash Lad: Folk Tales from Norway (2014)

* Lakeland Book of the Year Award winners



‘A useful and very readable guide for the discerning visitor and resident’ Newsletter of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society.
‘A volume that expands our horizons, widens our perspective and broadens our knowledge… It is firmly rooted in an encyclopaedic knowledge of Lakeland and its history and the forces, natural and human that have shaped its evolution… A vigorous and evocative investigation of Lakeland’s lively past.’ The Keswick Reminder
‘Its very readable and well-illustrated narrative will be enjoyed by both general readers as well as Lakeland specialists… You can’t do better than invest in this volume.’ North West Evening Mail
‘A must for teachers and students and Lakeland lovers worthy of the name.’ Cumberland News
‘A very readable and well-illustrated narrative… A most enjoyable volume .’ Lakeland Walker
‘Wordsworth first emphasised the different character of the various Lakeland dales and Robert Gambles successfully captures these variations for the modern reader.’ Professor Ian Whyte, Lancaster University.

Robert Gambles takes us on a journey round the spokes of the Lake District wheel bringing out the different character, history and stories of each dale. You will all have your favourite and this book is full of little known gems of history, geology, literature and the attractions presented to the first tourists.
Buttermere was never the same again after the first lady of quality to cross Honister Pass in 1794, the Hon Mrs Murray reported that the Buttermere Inn was ‘quite acceptable, admirable ale, bread and cheese and a joint of mutton’, though she was less impressed by the bed linen and brought her own. She also turned up at the King’s Arms, now the Patterdale Hotel, but was obliged to pass the night in a chair by the kitchen fire ‘there not being a bed in the house fit to put myself on’.
We may think we know our dales but this volume will inform and entertain for a long time whichever area you are exploring either on a first foray or as a regular visitor. Conserving Lakeland (Friends of the Lake District)

About the Author:

ROBERT Gambles was born and grew up in Derbyshire. He was a scholar of St John’s College, Oxford, where he took an Honours degree in Modern History and a post-graduate Diploma in Education. He also has a Licentiate Diploma in Music. His professional career was spent in Education, mainly in Ely and Liverpool.
He acquired a love of the Lake District early in life and he has lived in Cumbria in his years of retirement during which he has explored the whole district and written a number of books and many articles on various aspects of its history. These have included Man in Lakeland: 4,000 Years of Human Settlement; Out of the Forest: The Natural World and the Placenames of Cumbria; Walks around Windermere; The Place-names of the Yorkshire Dales; The Spa Resorts and Mineral Springs of Cumbria; The Story of the Lakeland Dales and Echoes of Old Lakeland. Two of his books: Walks on the Borders of Lakeland and Escape to the Lakes: The First Tourists have won Lake District Book of the Year awards – and now Robert is a three times winner!
The author has also pursued his interest in a wider national history and a critical study of some of the well-known stories from British history was published in 2013 under the title Great Tales from British History, and was decribed by The Guardian as ‘hugely enjoyable’. Through his Norwegian wife he acquired a special interest in the life and history of Norway: Hayloft recently published his acclaimed Espen Ash Lad a collection of Folk Tales from Norway.
A keen but pragmatic interest in conservation and the protection of the natural environment has always featured in his philosophy of life and he was for many years a Trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Friends of the Lake District. He has also worked as a volunteer for the National Trust.


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Robert Gambles and Hunter Davies at the 2017 Lakeland Book of the Year Award

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