When Richard Hammond was 17, he found a stretch of the Lake District so picturesque it made him cry. The television presenter was walking coast to coast and had climbed to the top of Haystacks, a hill overlooking Gatesgarth farm and Buttermere. “I’ll never forget looking down, seeing the white and black dots and hearing whistling and shouting, and knowing the farmer was working his dogs and sheep,” he recalls. “I had a little weep, because it was perfect.”

Hammond has returned to Buttermere often, but he has now revealed that when he came close to death in 2006, after a crash while filming for the BBC motoring show Top Gear, his mind travelled there too. In a video made in March, but

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