A lake, vast enough to almost meet the clouds near the horizon, yet breathtakingly beautiful and tranquil enough to stop you dead in your tracks as I was too, when I first saw it and before I could think much, took this picture!

Somewhat like the hordes of people chasing the more famous aurora borealis in the arctic circle, I accompanied my parents during the recent easter break in chasing the various picturesque locales in the Peak district when we literally stumbled upon this magnificent pocket of pristine tranquility, manifested in shimmering surface of this 2.5 miles long reservoir, called the Rudyard lake, on a bright sunny day. This man made reservoir, located in Rudyard, Staffordshire, was constructed in the late 18th century to feed the Caldon canal. In 1799, it was just a reservoir, now it is so much more - a home for canoeing, yachting and unequivocally a home for several flocks of ducks. At around three and half hours, the drive from Bromley is perhaps a tad more than reasonable but upon arrival, an amazingly welcoming and cosy teahouse makes up for more than just your weariness from the long drive. As you make yourself comfortable on its open terrace, armed with a lovely cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows & perhaps a slice of a cake, with the gentle breeze forming miniature waves that lap against the lake shorelines just below where you are seated and hordes of ducks busily going about their daily business, you are magically transported from the busy & often polluted city life to the indescribably serene and breathtaking nature at its best.

The lake is expansive and with colossal trees bordering the banks. On the eastern side, there is a small bank, ideal for camping, with a dazzling view of the picturesque lake. As my photograph shows, the lake is now a haven for budding kayakers and sail boats which dot the vast expanse of water whilst the shores on either side offer an opportunity for the nature lovers to take a lovely walk which can extend up-to almost 5 miles. I enjoyed wandering around the wooded areas to the east of the lake and could easily rake up my 10,000 steps for the day before I even realised. I found it oddly satisfying to look at the lake through the woods, as my second photograph shows, and walk amongst several types of birds and ducks who it seems were also trying to complete their daily quota of steps like I was.

A small but unique trivia: whilst all of us have surely seen interesting spots and locations named after celebrities, here in the Rudyard lake we have a pocket of nature after which a famous writer, Rudyard Kipling was named. It is said, John Lockwood Kipling and Alice Macdonald, the parents of Rudyard Kipling, who met there on a trip from Burslem. They liked the place so much they named their son after it. 

As we head towards the May bank holidays, what is stopping you from checking out this beautiful spot of English countryside at its best?