Today’s Thirlmere is a reservoir, larger than the natural lake Wordsworth described. The cause of one the first battles in modern environmental politics, it was built by the Manchester Corporation in the 1890s. When Thirlmere was enlarged, the farming communities of Wythburn and Armboth were engulfed, leaving little behind. The bridge Wordsworth describes no longer exists. However, Wythburn Trailhead remains a popular starting point for walkers following Wordsworth’s steps up Helvellyn. Photo: Paul Westover.