Saturday morning was sunny for a change so we hopped in the car and enjoyed a spectacular drive over Kirkstone Pass (not long re-opened after the snow) and alongside Ullswater to the Rheged centre near Penrith.
We've never been here before, having thought it was a typical tourist attraction without much to recommend it. It certainly is a glorified coach stop, with a handful of shops, two or three cafes, a large car park and a petrol station. However, unlike most motorway services, it also has workshops, frequent events, and exhibition spaces, and it was the latter we were headed for, to see those Herdwick photos.
Rather remarkably, both the centre and the exhibition itself are free to enter. The photographs on display are truly sensational, many with an odd almost 3D effect, and all capturing the changing seasons within an unchanging landscape that sums up the central Lakes so perfectly. There were far more pictures than we expected, lining the walls of three or four separate 'rooms', along with sculptures and extracts from the photographer's own book, so it took us a good half hour to look round the whole thing.
The book looks amazing, and there were also some lovely prints and other general Herdwick-related merchandise available in a small shop nearby. Sadly, the prices were astronomical. Much as I'd have loved a framed print or a signed copy of the book, I simply wasn't prepared to pay £225 or £125, respectively, for either. Needless to say, the minute I got home again I rather wished I had...