Lake District

The Lake District has it all, stunning scenery, picture-perfect villages, and plenty of opportunities for thrill seekers too.

The Lake District is made up of 19 tranquil lakes and 25 summits including England’s highest mountain, the formidable Scafell Pike. Whether you think of the peaks and pools of water as your natural playground or the perfect setting for a relaxing break, you won’t be disappointed. With an abundance of flora and fauna, it’s no wonder that William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter were so inspired when they penned their much-loved works in the region and now you can see why for yourself.

Between basking on beaches (yes, we said beaches) and scaling Scafell, why not feast on local delicacies including Cumberland sausage, Kendal mint cakes and Hawkshead Relish? For a real flavour of the National Park, you might want to take a stroll through the region’s quaint villages and enjoy a drink in one of many centuries-old pubs. Taps at the old-world inns are filled with local ales brewed just a stones-throw away.

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Activities on the water in the Lake District

You can’t visit the Lakes without heading for the water. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to mean submerging yourself in cold water in the middle of the English countryside, then again, why not?

  • Zip into a wetsuit - You can find watersport centres on Windermere, Coniston, Ullswater and Derwentwater. Activities across the four lakes can vary but there’s something for everyone. There’s water-skiing, wakeboarding, canoeing and kayaking if you feel like braving the water but no-one’s judging if you’d rather stay dry and try your hand at sailing a boat instead.
  • Take a boat cruise - If you don’t fancy yourself as a skipper, you can always sit back and take a steamer or boat cruise. Services from Windermere, Coniston, Ullswater and Derwentwater make multiple stops along scenic routes so you can take in the picture-postcard surroundings at your leisure.
  • Hit the beach - When you think of the Lake District you probably don’t picture crashing waves and sandy beaches but perhaps you should. Some 26 miles of coastline frame the western edge of the National Park offering plenty of opportunities for horseback rides, seal watching or a day with your bucket and spade.

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Restaurants and dining in the Lake District

It’s not all trail mixes, energy bars and flasks when you ramble around the Lakes. Ask any local and they’ll tell you about gastro pubs nestled by the water and some of the best producers of food and drink that you can find anywhere in the country.

  • Hole in t’wall - The oldest pub in Bowness earned its distinctive name thanks to a thirsty blacksmith who knocked a hole in the brickwork for easy access to a pint. If you’re not charmed by the story behind the inn, there’s always the lure of Cumberland sausage served with all the trimmings to tempt you through the door. What better place is there to sample the UK’s only protected sausage recipe?
  • Baba Ganoush Soup Kitchen, Kendal - This Kendal favourite serves up dishes designed for less conventional tastes. Expect smoked bacon poutine, spaghetti carbonara frittatas and other delicacies that take your tastebuds on a journey far away from the National Park. The kid-friendly café is perfect for the casual diner and affordable too.
  • The Hazelmere Café & Bakery - If no trip to Cumbria is complete without a visit to a tea room, The Hazelmere Café & Bakery is a must-visit. The menu includes Yorkshire curd tarts and the obligatory Cumberland sausage n’ mash but it’s their attention to afternoon tea and specialist blends that makes the venue stand out from the competition.

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Places of interest in the Lake District

If the Great British weather doesn’t hold up during your Lake District escape it might be time to head indoors.

  • The World of Beatrix Potter - Found in the heart of Bowness-on-Windermere, this family attraction explores the charming world of Beatrix Potter’s short stories. The little ones can enjoy a performances of Potter’s much loved tales and there’s even a chance to meet Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck themselves.
  • Wordsworth museums - You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to literary attractions in the Lake District. Poetry fans can visit the home of William Wordsworth in Grasmere’s Dove Cottage. After a guided tour of his humble limewashed home, why not try the nearby Jerwood Centre, a Wordsworth Museum exhibiting manuscripts, portraits and landscapes from the Romantic himself.
  • Castlerigg Stone Circle - We’ve all heard of Stonehenge but what do you know about Castlerigg in Keswick? English Heritage describes it as ‘perhaps the most atmospheric and dramatically sited of all British stone circles’. It’s also one of the oldest and believed to have been made around 3000 BC.

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Hikes, cycle trails and other adventures in the Lake District

The Lake District doesn’t disappoint land lovers either. There are plenty of cycling routes, bridleways and other opportunities to get some exercise in the great outdoors.

  • Walking in the Lake District - Whether you’re a hiking newbie or a seasoned rambler the Lake District has plenty of paths on offer to suit all walking abilities. There are even 48 ‘Miles without Stiles’ routes scattered throughout the park that are suitable for people with limited mobility. Take a guided tour or follow the map yourself, the choice is yours.
  • Cycling in the Lake District - Thousands of tourists head to Cumbria every year to take on the county’s cycling paths. Why not join them and pedal your way through winding country lanes or take things off road on a mountain bike with decent suspension. If your new to life in the cycle lane we recommend taking the leisurely routes starting from the visitor centres at Ambleside, Bowness or Coniston.
  • Rock climbing and abseiling in the Lake District - If you prefer a bit more of an adrenaline rush you could always try a spot of rock climbing or abseiling. You’ll find qualified instructors at Mountain Journeys in Ambleside or Mere Mountains in Flookburgh. For something more suitable for the kids but equally as fun, why not try a junior tree top trek at Go Ape, Grizedale Forest.

More Destinations

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