Places I Love: Ruskin’s View

Ruskin's View has captivated visitors for at least a century
Ruskin’s View has captivated visitors for almost two centuries

RuskinsView 045I am going to start an occasional series featuring places I love. And what better place to start with than Ruskin’s View in Kirkby Lonsdale, England. The viewpoint, named for the Victorian art critic and painter, John Ruskin, was made famous in a watercolor by J.W.Turner (and yes, I am named after him in a round about way).

“I do not know in all my own country, still less in France or Italy, a place more naturally divine, or a more priceless possession of true ‘Holy Land’ (John Ruskin, Fors Clavigera, 1875)

Ruskin's View by Turner (photo: Bonhmas)
Ruskin’s View by Turner (photo: Bonhmas)

Every time I get home to England I visit at least once. It’s a short walk through the parish churchyard to the path that sits high above the River Lune as it winds towards the sea. The moorland, farmland, trees and river are much as Turner painted them in 1816. Perhaps the biggest change is the hot pink farm out-building — painted that color as a protest by the local farmer to planning restrictions in the Yorkshire Dales National Park!

It’s a peaceful scene. Not grand in any way but it remains as captivating as when Turner and Ruskin gazed upon it.

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