Lake District Tourist Guide
By Ximena Arce |
Learn interesting facts and find the best outdoor activities and tourist attractions in England’s largest National Park with our Lake District tourist guide.
England is full of fascinating places to satisfy all interests. You can find historic places such as the Tower of London, or enigmatic such as the Stonehenge. You can also visit interesting places in the city, like museums or the Buckingham Palace. Nevertheless, there are also places which are ideal for those who prefer to get away from the city rush. Among them, you can find all the parks that we’ve told you about in previous articles, such as the Royal Park of Greenwich. If what you prefer is precisely to be surrounded by nature as you learn more about the English geography, history, and literature, keep reading this guide to Lake District.
Lakeland in Cumbria
Lake District, also known as The Lakes o Lakeland, is located in the county of Cumbria, in Norh West England. Famous for its lakes, mountains, and forests, this place is perfect to enjoy nature as well as spectacular, breathtaking landscapes.
Interesting Facts About the Lake District
Lake District National Park includes almost all of the Lake District, and it is England´s largest National Park, with an area of 912 square miles. The park is the protagonist of many interesting facts that make it one of the most visited destinations in the United Kingdom. To begin with, it has 16 main lakes, among which you can find Wastwater, the deepest lake in England, and Lake Windermere, the longest, with a length of 10.5 miles. The Lake District also has the highest mountain in England, Scaffel Pike, with a height of 3210 feet. If that were not enough, you can also find the Hadrian´s Wall, which was built in the year 122 BC to protect the land conquered by the Romans from the barbarian tribes, and which was declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1897.
The Lake District has 4 main towns: Keswick, Grasmere, Ambleside, and Windermere. DINKtravelers recommends you to stay in Windermere or Ambleside, since they are closest to the main attractions and lakes of the park.
Outdoor Activities in Lake District
The Lake District is full of footpaths and trails, which make it the perfect place to go hiking. If you are looking for a light walk, we suggest Tarn Hows circular route, which is a 1.8 miles walk around Lake Tarn Hows. It is between 1 and 2 hours long, but you can find many rest places and benches along the way to sit and take in the beautiful views. If you want to try a more challenging route, you can choose the Alcock Tarn route, in Grasmere, which has steeper sections. This walk lasts between 2 and 3 hours, and is 3.7 miles long. If you prefer, you can also climb the 3210 feet of Scaffel Pike, the highest mountain in England. To do so, you can choose between 3 possible routes according to 3 levels of difficulty. Remember that for this challenge you will need to be well equipped and, preferably, accompanied by a professional if you are not very experienced. Other activities you can do in the Lake District are mountain biking and watersports such as canoeing and windsurf. One thing is certain, no matter the activity you choose, you will not miss the spectacular landscapes that this English paradise has to offer.
Famous Lake District Artists
Apart from enjoying outdoor adventure, when you visit the Lake District you will also have the chance to go deep into the life and work of some of the most important writers in English Literature. One of them is William Wordsworth, who lived in the town of Grasmere and drew inspiration from its idyllic landscapes to write “The Daffodils”, one of his most famous poems. Among the main attractions related to the poet is Dove Cottage, in which he lived between 1799 and 1808. In this cottage you will have the chance to admire many artifacts that belonged to the poet. Admission to Dove Cottage includes Wordworth Museum & Art Gallery, right next to the cottage. This museum houses a great collection of works related to the English Romanticism, so do not forget to enter if you want to indulge your literary pleasures.
Another site related to Wordsworth is Rydal Mount, located a few miles from Ambleside, where he lived from 1813 until his death in 1850. In this place you will have the chance to see how he lived, and to wander around his library and study. After your visit, you can walk the gardens surrounding the house and enjoy the bucolic atmosphere. Do not forget to take pen and paper, in case you feel inspired to write a poem.
The Lake District was also a source of inspiration for the illustrator and writer of children´s literature Beatrix Potter, who is famous for her character Peter Rabbit. If you want to see a storybook house, we recommend you to visit Hill Top, a seventeenth-century farmhouse located 1.2 miles south of Hawkshead, in Near Sawrey. In this house, which the author bought in 1905, she found the calm and inspiration she needed to write her most famous stories, such as “The Tale of Benjamin Bunny”. If you want to visit a themed attraction related to the writer, enter the World of Beatrix Potter, a museum located in Bowness-on-Windermere that recreates the scenes of her stories, and where we are sure you will find your inner child.
How to Get to the Lake District from Manchester & London
If you travel by plane, the closest airport is Manchester Airport, from which you can take a train to Windermere.
If you travel by train, the West Coast Main Line connects London and Glasgow with the east of the Lake District. The train connects many spots of the park such as Oxenholme, Penrith y Carlisle; however, we recommend you to arrive in Windermere, the closest town to the main lakes.
If you rent a car, you will need to take the M6 motorway. The estimated travel time is 5 hours from London and 1 hour and 30 minutes from Manchester. However, we recommend traveling by car to be your last option, since the motorway is often quite busy, and it will limit your access to the most hidden rural zones.
For transportation in Lake District, there are many bus routes that connect the main town. There are also taxi services. To make the most of your visit and see most of the lakes, DINKtravelers recommends you to hire a guided coach tour.There are many companies that offer several routes to suit your interests. Most of the times, the guides are locals who know the best places to take awesome pictures.
Best Outdoor Clothing for Lake District
The weather in Lake District is quite unpredictable. Nevertheless, we can tell you that the temperature is rarely higher than 15 °F. For this reason, dressing with layers is the best option, no matter what season of the year you visit. If you go in summer, a light jacket will be enough, but if you go in autumn and winter do not forget to take a coat.
If you plan to go hiking, pack appropriate footwear. A waterproof jacket is also advisable. The temperature on the mountains can be extremely cold, so do not forget to pack a hat and gloves.
And of course, you cannot forget your camera and extra batteries so that you do not miss the chance to take amazing postcard pictures, your trip’s best souvenir!
This Lake District Tourist guide will be your best companion to discover the beauty of the fairytale landscapes that inspired the English poets. Prepare your luggage and enjoy the best attractions and activities in England’s largest park.