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Stone handaxe
THIS small handaxe is one of the most beautiful in the British Museum. It is made from quartz with attractive amethyst banding, a difficult material from which to make tools because it is extremely hard. The toolmaker would have had to hit with considerable force and accuracy to remove flakes. Such a high degree of difficulty makes the thin, symmetrical shape of this piece a masterpiece of the toolmakers’ art.
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Chapel House Farm, Stonethwaite, Borrowdale, Keswick, Cumbria

Chapel House Farm's campsite is an uncomplicated place consisting of a single open field where the Stonethwaite and Derwent Valleys join forces to form Borrowdale, and like anywhere in this valley, the view is astonishing.
Stonethwaite Campsite, Stonethwaite, Borrowdale, Cumbria

Head south down Borrowdale and you'll notice the valley growing narrower and narrower until the road hits the little village of Stonethwaite and simply gives up. From here a stony track heads bravely on a further half-mile to the campsite before it too is defeated - here the valley closes up completely and only footpaths prevail.
Lanefoot Farm, Thornthwaite, Keswick, Cumbria

There's a pitch to suit all tastes at Lanefoot Farm. Love views? Park yourself in the big open field with a stonking vista of Skiddaw.Taking the kids? Head for the cosy family field. Seen the weather forecast and fancy a bit of shelter? Pop into the back garden of the farmhouse and find yourself a quiet spot among the trees.
Sykeside Camping Park, Brotherswater, Patterdale, Cumbria

Sykeside is one of those campsites that are all about the views. Situated in the midst and mists of the Lake District's Dovedale Valley and surrounded by the fells of Dove Crag, Hart Crag, and Fairfield, it offers glorious mountain vistas wherever you decide to pitch - and the Lakes themselves are enticingly close by.
Side Farm Campsite, Patterdale, Penrith, Cumbria

Side Farm Campsite just might be one of the most perfectly scenically situated campsites on the planet. It can be found on the eastern side of the Lake District, comfortably sandwiched between the steep slopes of Place Fell and the sylvan shores of Ullswater - the second largest, but most enchanting, of the region's lakes. The view across it happens to be one of the most compelling and beautiful sights in England, and to simply be able to open your tent every morning and look out at this astonishing vista is reason enough to stay a substantial while at Side Farm.
Cillside Farm, Glenridding, Penrith, Cumbria

The phrase 'location, location, location' definitely rings true at Gillside Farm, a site sitting pretty up in the Ullswater Valley. You can relish one of the finest views in the Lakes standing here, in the shadow of Helvellyn, and looking out across the reaches of the valley. You're free to set up camp wherever you like; you can even sleep within earshot of the moss-lined beck that tinkers eagerly past the field. The site's split into two, with canvas campers in one field overlooking the valley, and the caravans across the road under tree cover.
Thirlspot Farm, Thirlmere, Keswick, Cumbria

Another nigh-on perfect little Lake District site. Not perfect in terms of efficiency, immaculate coiffure, or all-singing all-dancing facilities; perfect in that simple feeling of well-being, which seeps into the soul on your arrival.This might have something to do with the mountainous backdrop that manages to wield an emotional power over us. One such pile of potential life-enhancing rock stands tall and proud right behind Thirlspot Farm. It's called Helvellyn, and there are several different ways to its summit from the campsite, each challenging, but each life-affirming in many ways.
Dalebottom Farm, Naddle, Keswick, Cumbria

Dalebottom's name describes it perfecdy in a purely physical sense (it's at the valley bottom), but is oh so inadequate when you throw open your tent flaps of a morning and gaze out at the surroundings. In fact, the effect is just as efficacious if performed in the evening, or any time of day, as this simple farm campsite is encircled by nothing but natural Cumbrian beauty; most of it poking skywards.
Castlerigg Farm Camping Site, Castlerigg, Keswick, Cumbria

Keswick is undoubtedly the tourism focal point in the northern half of the Lake District, and there are a good number of campsites to be found within reach of the bright lights of Hiking City. Some are big corporate places, others club sites bursting at the seams, and most require booking years in advance to get a pitch in the peak periods.
Skiddaw House YHA, Bassenthwaite, Keswick, Cumbria

Welcome to the highest hostel in Britain - 470 metres up on a high pass in the northern Lake District, only accessible on foot or (at a pinch) by bicycle. Skiddaw House is an isolated 200-year-old former shooting lodge and sometime shepherds bothy. Its campsite, a two-minute walk away, is diminutive in the extreme - a tiny patch of grass inside the ruins of what may have been a stable (no one really knows). However, the walls, such as they are, do give a bit of protection from the wind. Happily they don't block out the views, though, which are astonishing.