Ask anyone who’s been on holiday to the Lake District and they’ll all tell you it’s one of the most stunning places to enjoy a British break. With swathes of countryside and of course, vast lakes that reflect the luscious surrounding like mirrors, you’ll need to pinch yourself to believe the scenery here is real. Our Lake District travel guide is here to give you the low-down.
When to visit
The Lake District is a year-round destination, with an ever-changing landscape that’s beautiful throughout the seasons. The coldest weather falls between November and February when you can expect plenty of rainfall but also abundant opportunities to enjoy cosy traditional pubs. The winter has an average of 20 days of snowfall and in Spring, daffodils and bluebells carpet the landscape, while in Autumn, the region is awash with colour. August is the hottest month with average daytime temperatures reaching the high teens.
How to get there
The Lake District is well connected to the rest of the UK, with the M6 motorway running to the east of the region. You can drive to the Lake District from London in around five hours and from Manchester in around 1.5 hours. Car hire is available in various locations.
West Coast train services run from London and Glasgow to key railway stations such as Penrith, Carlisle and Oxenholme while Windermere, Kendal and Staveley also have stations. National Rail run coach services across the region and Manchester is the nearest airport.
Why visit the Lake District
The Lake District National Park comprises 16 spectacular lakes which have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status and each offers their own unique characteristics, from dramatic woodland and hidden beaches to historical islands once occupied by Romans and Royals.
Cumbria’s glorious coastline is a stone’s throw away from the Lake District and idyllic beaches such as Haverigg Beach and Walney Island Beach are well worth visiting. Around 26 miles of coastline are within the Lake District National Park itself – check out the quiet seaside village of Ravenglass.
Playing home to 28 hectares of woodland, hundreds of fells (hills) and the largest mountain in England, Scafell Pike, the rolling landscape that surrounds the lakes is quite a spectacle. Check out Grizedale Forest for scenic bike rides and read our blog for some of the best walks in the Lake District.
Food and drink
Cumbrian sausage and Kendal Mint Cake are just some of the culinary delights that have roots in the Lake District. Try a local ale from the Keswick Brewing Co. and take a day trip to the Cumbrian coast for some hearty fish and chips. Read our blog for more foodie inspiration in the Lakes.
Out of the 16 lakes that cover the Lake District, Ennerdale Water is among the most overlooked, but make the journey here and you’ll find yourself in one of the most tranquil, remote places in the region.
Visit the hamlet of Little Langdale and across the Slater Bridge, you’ll find the Cathedral Quarries, a series of inter-linked tunnels that are popular with climbers. The biggest talking point of these caves is ‘The Cathedral’, an otherworldly 40-foot-high chamber that wouldn’t look out of place in a fantasy film.
Cartmel Village shop
This charming little shop in the historic village of Cartmel has become an institution for sticky toffee pudding. They’ve been home-baking these gooey cakes for 20 years and they don’t disappoint. The shop sells cheeses and other local produce too.
Go wild swimming
There’s no better feeling than swimming right next to nature and many of the lakes and tarns in the Lake District are suitable for taking a dip. Practice caution when entering a lake and check the safety advice on the National Park website before you go.
Visit Beatrix Potter’s house
Visit Hill Top, the former home of Beatrix Potter. This beautiful 17th-Century farmhouse is where the children’s author wrote 13 of her books and it’s surrounded by beautiful gardens and countryside. Inside, the collections of her belongings form a ‘time-capsule’ of her life.
Explore the Grizedale Forest Sculpture Trail
Visit the scenic Grizedale Forest and not only will you discover sensational views of the surrounding Fells, you’ll also find an ‘outdoor gallery’ of contemporary art.
See Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum
Regular guided tours run at this quaint Lakeland cottage on the edge of Grasmere, the former home of William Wordsworth. Filled with the hundreds of personal possessions, it offers a fascinating peek inside the life of Britain’s most famous poet. The museum houses some of his original letters, manuscripts and journals.
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