A superb national park that spreads across 885 square miles in the Northwest, the Lake District is nature’s gift to England and Cumbria’s heart. Created by glaciers more than 15,000 years ago, this majestic natural wonder attracts visitors with 16 glacial lakes and a spectacular display of fells, moors, and lush valleys. If you decide to explore the Lake District of England, you’ll get to admire the highest mountain in England, the beautiful Scafell Pike that reaches an altitude of 978 meters, as well as numerous other glorious mountain views.
Moreover, the park abounds in historical attractions, most of them situated in the southern half of the region. While the south of the Lake District is more popular with tourists in love with literature and history, the north is quieter and attracts mostly hikers and nature seekers. The Lake District can easily be discovered by train and the romantics and daydreamers insist on exploring it this way for an unforgettable experience. Here is what you can do if you decide to explore the Lake District of England:
Discover the magic of fell walking
The most popular activity in the Lake District, fell walking is a great way to discover the region’s breathtaking views. Fell walking is pretty much hiking, the word fell originating from the Old Norse word “fjall” which means mountain. You will find several fell walks for intermediate hikers that will take you up the hills but the most rewarding hikes are the long and exhausting ones. This is where the spectacular views of the regions U-shaped valleys, and rugged rocks await. One of the most popular trails is the Catbells High Ridge Hike, great for hikers of all ages. The peak is only 451 meters high but offers dramatic views.
Admire the lakes
With 16 lakes to choose from, you will probably find it hard to prioritize. You can start your exploration journey with a stop at the most popular lake in the Lake District: Lake Windermere. Measuring about 16 km, the lake is best admired from a boat. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can jump aboard the Haverthwaite Steam Railway and discover the Leven Valley.
The idyllic Derwentwater awaits in the northern region of the Lake District, only 10 minutes by foot from Keswick. Book a one-hour tour of the lake with Keswick Launch Co. and admire the lake in all its splendor. The impressive Ullswater is the second largest lake in the region. This beautiful body of water is guarded by the superb Helvellyn Mountain and pampers hikers with lovely views when they take on the 1887 Lady of the Lake or the 1889 Raven trails that start from the quaint village of Pooley Bridge.
Spend your time outdoors
The Lake District is a destination for outdoorsy travelers. The region offers plenty of fun outdoor activities for the entire family, so it would be a real shame to stay put. Fishing is a favorite pastime in the Lake District. There’s no surprise here considering the plethora of lakes and rivers that adorn the land. Make sure you have a fishing license before throwing your rod into the water.
If fishing is not your thing, try swimming. Freshwater swimming or wild swimming, as the UK folks call it, is allowed in almost all the lakes, except Haweswater, Thirlmere, and Ennerdale Water. Keep in mind though that the water can be very cold! Cycling is at its best in the Lake District with trails for every type of cycler. From quiet countryside lanes to mountain trails, the Lake District National Park is a cycling paradise.
Take to the waters on a Lakeland Steamer
A vacation destination above all, the Lake District offers the superb opportunity to cruise on a Lakeland Steamer. Cruising in the Lake District was quite the trend back in the Victorian days and has continued to attract visitors ever since. The steamers have been refurbished and create a romantic setting for beautiful moments. Windermere Lake Cruises welcomes travelers with 16 vessels that vary from Victorian steamers to small motorboats. Ullswater Steamers attracts history lovers with historic vessels and stops at different attractions along the way.
Step in the footsteps of famous writers
Due to its majestic beauty and dramatic views, the Lake District has been a muse for many English writers. William Wordsworth has spent his childhood in Cockermouth and travelers can now visit his family home. Moreover, he wrote some of his more appreciated masterpieces at Dove Cottage, a superb house open to visitors. The daffodil fields that were a muse for his wonderful poem “I wandered lonely as a cloud” await at Ullswater in the spring. These lands were muses for Beatrix Potter too. The writer spent many years at Windermere and wrote many stories at Hill Top, including the famous Tale of Peter Rabbit.