A HOST of golden daffodils may be the first image that springs to mind when thinking about the literature of the Lake District.

However, a team of researchers at Lancaster University has been using the latest in digital technology to shed new light on writing about the landscape of the Lakes.

Funded by the British Academy, academics in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences have been exploring whether the use of digital maps, and Google Earth, may open up new ways of thinking about written accounts of travelling through Cumbria.

Visitors to their website www.lancaster.ac.uk/mappingthelakes can take a virtual tour of the Lakes following in the footsteps of two of English literature’s most famous writers: Thomas Gray, the author of ‘Elegy written in a country church-yard’, and the Romantic poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

In his celebrated Journal, Gray records his experiences of touring the Lake District in the autumn of 1769. In August 1802, Coleridge embarked on a nine-day walking tour of the region; and, in his Notebooks and letters, he offers what is generally acknowledged to be the first written account of a rock-climb, as he describes dropping down the face of Broad Stand on Scafell.