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Victorian ladies used to ascend Skiddaw on pony, nowadays it's still as popular but it's now done on foot. The highest summit in this part of the Lake District may be over 3000ft (914 m), but it has a benign face to it, allowing many walkers to reach the summit. Before you arrive at Thirlmere, St John's in the Vale is reached - a pretty side valley with a very prominent rocky buttress ahead. This is Castle Rock immortalised in Sir Walter Scott's poetic romance, The Bridal Triermain. Thirlmere - one of Lakeland's major lakes - is flanked by steep fells on either side which are cloaked in impressive forest. There are gentle forest rambles to be had or for the more strenuously inclined, there are a number of challenging walking routes to the summit of Helvellyn - one of the Lake District's most popular mountains. Close to Thirlmere and nestling in the shadow of Helvellyn is Wythburn church - a simple structure but one which inspired 2 of the lake poets, Wordsworth and Coleridge to write about it in verse.