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Famous FolkChris Bonington

Many famous historical people have connections with South Lakeland - either because they were born there, or some of their most memorable works were done there. Follow in the footsteps of great literary characters who all lived in the Southern Lake District and whose homes you can visit.

See where William Wordsworth lived, the major English poet who helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature. For over sixty years the Lake District was to inspire Beatrix Potter, the creator of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck and a host of characters loved by children all over the world. John Ruskin, writer, watercolourist and philanthropist, was regarded as one of the greatest figures of the Victorian age and produced some of his finest work in the solace of our surroundings. Likewise, Arthur Ransome will always be known his best work, the Swallows and Amazons series of children's books about the school-holiday adventures of children in the Lakes.

Who could talk about the Lake District without mentioning Alfred Wainwright, fell walker, guidebook author and illustrator? Use his detailed guidebooks which have become the standard reference point for tackling the 214 fells of the area. Our folk are also not short of a sense of humour! Stan Laurel, the comic actor, writer and film director famous as the first half of the comedy team Laurel and Hardy was born in Ulverston, where you will find a museum dedicated to his life and works.

With our great rock faces it is hardly surprising that we have some magnificent mountaineers. Chris Bonington, whose career has included 19 expeditions to the Himalayas, lives locally and is a popular and engaged member of the community. Dave Birkett has since taken up the mantle and is one of the finest the climbers the Lakes has ever produced.