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I am lucky to live within an hours drive of the lake district and we go there regularly mainly to walk in the hills but we've also visited various tourist attractions as well.
I've holidayed in various places in the world and the lake district really does still amaze with it's stunning beauty!
Obviously there are the very touristy places such as Ambleside where you don't really sense the peace and tranquillity of this national park, however, you don't have to go far to find it. Around Grasmere, for example is lovely and is only about 10 minutes from Ambleside and easy to get to by car and bus.
For me the more remote (and hence somewhat difficult to get to) places are my favourites. The wastewater area is wild and wonderful. You can still see red squirrels here. There's fewer tourist attractions around there but if you like walking (even just gentle strolling - there's plenty of low level walks to do) then this is a paradise.
Ulswater is also very lovely - a little more touristy but still beautiful, here you have the steamer to take you on the lake.
Unfortunately the reason the Lake District is so beautiful is the weather and it does get a lot of rain but if you plan your trip carefully with some rainy day activities, you'll still be able to make the most of your stay.
I spent a few days in the Lake District recently with my dad staying at a lovely place called the Cuckoo Brow in in Far Sawrey (much recommended, even though there is no review category on here for it). My dad works as a coach driver so he knows most arts and parts in these places so we got to see a great deal of it while we were here.
For those who don't know, the Lake District can be found in Northern England in the district of Cumbria and, as one can imagine, is littered with lovely picturesque lakes, hills and small, picture book pretty towns. It is a popular location with hillwalkers with some of the hills being over 3000 feet (or so I was told although I tend to avoid hillwalking myself)! For the less adventurous, there are plenty of walks that aren't so strenuous and the tourist information offices have plenty of books and leaflets available telling of all the walks in the area (there was even information on walks that can be done easily with pushchairs that avoid styles etc.). While driving around we seen many people walking on the roads and as the roads are relatively quiet, this is possible with a bit of care, although there are a few blind corners on some of the windier roads so walkers need to be cautious.
England's largest National Park can be found here in the Lake District and it really is an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The most well known of the lakes is probably Lake Windermere and the town of Bowness on Windermere and the nearby town of Windermere are often full of tourists, particularly in the summer season. Bowness is a particularly good place to head if you fancy a trip on the Lake as there are loads of boat trips up for offer here and even rowing boats and small motor boats to be hired.
There are also quite a few unusual shops and so for the shopaholic, a wander round the town will be productive. In Windermere the flagship store of Lakeland can be found which sells homewares and baking goods and is worth a look for people who enjoy spending time in the kitchen.
Keswick is another lovely town to visit and is very picturesque. Again, there are a few unusual shops here and also quite a few museums in or nearby such as the Puzzling Place and the Pencil Museum. Kendal is also worth a visit and has a small museum and is the home of the famous Kendal Mint Cake, a favourite with hill-walkers due to its high energy content. We also visited the small town of Hawkshead which was small but again, very picturesque and visited the Lakes Aquarium on the banks of Windermere.
For the outdoorsy types, there are plenty of things to do such as walking, hill-walking, canoeing, sailing or cycling and for the those of us who prefer a less active holiday and who have already enjoyed all that the towns have to offer there are plenty of museums and tourist attractions such as the Lakes Aquarium, The Pencil Museum, the Rum Story and the Puzzling Place.
There didn't seem to be much in the way of public transport round here. We did see a few buses but they were rare and I don't know if this improves in the peak season. Relying on a car to get around is great in terms of seeing most of the area but parking charges are in place everywhere (even at night) so it becomes very expensive over the course of a few days.
All in all, I'd recommend a visit. It is a beautiful place and there is plenty for everyone to do.
A couple of times a year we go to the Lake District for a midweek or weekend break, and stay in a cottage. The cottages are always beautiful, and have 'real' fires to create a cosy atmosphere during the cold evenings. In the past we have stayed near Keswick and Bowness on Windermere, and as well as being home to some cute shops and restaurants, they are also fantastic for a variety of sports, especially walking.
The geography of the Lake District is such that whether you enjoy a gentle climb or a good hike, you are sure to be able to find somewhere close by that will satisfy your urge. The landscapes are so rugged and raw, too, that it is not difficult to picture the glaciers that slid through the area and carved out the crevices and fissures that are commonplace. As well as the wandering dry stone walls and rambling farmhouses that can be glimpsed from up high, walkers are also treated to views of waterfalls and streams, wild sheep and goats and wayward villages interspersed over long vistas.
While in Keswick we tackled part of the Latrigg route, which is classed as a medium climb, being as it elevates walkers up to heights of 1000 feet, and can take up to three and a half hours to complete. The Latrigg route is gloriously scenic, and took us past an old water mill, through quiet woodland and over wandering ridges with views over the misty hills. Some aspects of the trail are quite demanding, and it is essential to be equipped with walking boots that have good grips and are comfortable, as well as plenty of water and some food.
If walking is not your thing, there are many, many other sporting activities that one can participate in while in the Lake District. One of the most popular activites is sailing, particularly on lake Windermere. I have been sailing on the lake about five years ago, and while it is true that the glorious expanse of water, framed by lush foliage and a rolling sky is fun, it does get very, very busy, and the traffic on the water can dampen your enjoyment somewhat. Other options include rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing and mountain biking. There are many companies that offer deals on these sports, including River Deep Mountain High, who offer courses in a wide range of activities, some over several days, and Key Adventures, who specialise in fishing, archery and clay pigeon shooting. If you are on a budget you may prefer to go it alone in some activities, and take your own bike or fishing paraphernalia and spend a couple of days indulging in said pastimes at your own pace.
Whether you enjoy high octane sports or something a little more laid back, the Lake District has a lot to offer. Covering a large area, there is so much to see and so many different terrains to enjoy, so getting bored of the sights is not really an issue. It is best to plan to spend at least two days in the Lake District if you want to get the most out of your time there. Unfortunately the weather is not always ideal, so as well as packing some sturdy footwear you should also take waterproofs and gloves and hats to keep the chill off. The Lake District is one of the best places in the country for sporting activities, and you are sure to have an unforgettable time.
I have always had a soft spot for the Lake District. As a child I have fond memories of holidays in the Lakes with my family in a caravan. I also loved the Beatrix Potter books so the connection to the area always fascinated me. This meant that when me and my other half were looking for a cheap camping holiday in the UK I immediately decided I wanted to return to the Lake District and as my other half likes to think of himself as an outdoors man he was easily persuaded by this option.
For our stay in the Lake District we decided upon a small campsite in Eskdale, due to its remote but fairly central location. It was a lovely site, part of the camping and caravanning club, it was in a lovely location with great, clean facilities. The staff were very helpful and if you are a club member its very cheap per night (in fact we paid the £30.00 yearly membership fee as it worked out that much cheaper) and the weeks camping cost us around £100. Around the campsite were a couple of local pubs which although not particularly cheap were very welcoming.
I do have one plea to all of you out there and that is if you are not a confident driver don't go too far off the main roads in the Lake District. The roads at times are so tiny and we regularly came across people driving massive cars who couldn't judge their space very well and we would often be left with centimetres of space before we would either fall down a massive cliff or bash our car into a low stone wall (which we actually ended up doing because of some idiot!) I would definitely describe some of the roads in the Lake District as more thrilling than a rollercoaster!
For example on the way to the campsite we went through Hardknott Pass, sounds pretty scary right? That's because it is! I have never been on such steep, narrow and winding roads, so high up with no barrier (also just to note sheep like to sleep along this road and don't generally like to move out the way once settled, adding to the challenge). At some points along that drive I genuinely feared for my life we were that close to the edge. However, there was obviously some sadistic enjoyment to be had out of it because a couple of days later both me and my other half wanted to drive along Hardknott Pass again. We came to the conclusion that Top Gear need to stop going to far away countries and do a test drive down that road!
We wanted to make this a holiday that was as cheap as possible. It meant that we didn't spend money on expensive tourist attractions and opted for wandering around towns and villages and absorbing the atmosphere. This meant in a day we could visit a couple of areas. This was really nice as we got to see lots of different places throughout the Lakes and during our time there we didn't visit a place I didn't like, though some were a lot busier than others. As well as built up places we did do some small walks out to waterfalls and as we had brought our own bikes rode out to some other spectacular scenery, which were both really enjoyable (though very active). However, the sting in the tail for us with the Lake District is that almost wherever you are, parking will cost you and it's not always cheap.
Whilst there the one touristy thing that I wanted to do was linked to Beatrix Potter. I had managed to get some discount vouchers for two National Trust properties. We visited the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead and Hilltop which is nearby. The Gallery was really nice and well worth the visit to look at some original Beatrix Potter artwork. However, Hilltop I was dying to see and was so disappointed that I'm glad I didn't pay full price to visit (something I didn't envisage myself saying!) When you buy a ticket for Hilltop its on a timed entry basis, when we arrived we were told we could go in the house about fifteen minutes later. This was not a problem and we had a look at the gardens and took some photos. When our allocated time came we were allowed in to the house to find it full up with people who had entered earlier. The problem being that although they time your entry they don't bother with your exit, this led to too many people being inside quite a small cottage. We quickly looked round but I couldn't spend too long there, even though its so charming as you can see where some of the pictures from her books came from, the place was just too busy and I left feeling annoyed but glad I hadn't paid much money.
On one day of our holiday we opted for a proper hike up in to the hills (could well have been mountains) behind our campsite. It was something I had been looking forward to and we set out at around 9am armed with an ordinance survey map, compass and waterproofs though with clear blue, sunny skies I was hoping not to need them. The walk itself was tough but pleasant enough and soon enough we stumbled upon a huge lake. It was such an amazing sight as it was just the two of us with such amazing scenery. However, by about 11am the clouds had begun to set in and with my other half being one of those 'lets just see what's over that hill' person we carried on and soon found another lake and made our way down a massive hill to explore. The clouds soon brought lots of rain and even with my waterproofs I was quickly soaked through and we sought shelter in a local inn we managed to stumble across by chance, as although we had brought food the weather meant we couldn't eat it. We had hoped the rain would have stopped by the time we had eaten and although it was lighter it was still miserable.
As we werent a hundred percent sure exactly where we were, we decided to retrace our steps and walk back the way we came. However, on the way back the whole walk changed, paths had become streams which soon lead to soggy feet and by the time we had made our way up to higher ground the rain had become torrential again with visibility being poor from low clouds and fog. Lucky for us with our compass it was easy enough to make sure we were going in the right direction. However, when it came to a turn in the road I insisted it was one way (the way we had came) and my other half insisted it was the other (the way the compass was pointing and his gut instinct that I was wrong). I lost the argument and we ended up getting lost on a route we hadn't seen before, my other half being stubborn and convinced it was the right way. However, we persisted with the compass and as the weather cleared (luckily) we saw we had made our way to a hill about half a mile further down from the campsite and arrived to our tent safe but completely soaked through. This just shows that men should not be trusted when they think they are right! Though that's true, in seriousness, this shows how easy it is to get caught out in the Lakes when you choose to do a hike no matter how prepared you are, we had planned to hike for a few hours instead because of the weather and getting lost we were out for well over ten hours.
I still love the Lake District though when it's a holiday not paid for by your parents you realise just how expensive it can be. Apart from some very scary roads, some rainy weather and very busy places (particularly when the weather was nice) I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, the locals were always very warm and friendly and the scenery was spectacular, I'm sure I'll return in the future. Especially because it's the only holiday I have ever been on where I have lost weight!
Anyone who's been kind enough to read the rest of my reviews will have noticed that I've been reviewing mainly mountains and national parks. I've been putting off this review because I knew it would be a big one - the Lake District is such a huge area, and with so much to write about! But this is the place that I learnt to love the outdoors, and so I knew I had to write this in the end, if only in the hope that it might persuade a few people to try this amazing place for themselves.
I apologise that this is a bit of monster, and also that it probably needs for detail - I hope to have got the main points across, and I'll tackle the places mentioned more completely later on. I hope this review is helpful to you!
- What and where?
The Lakeland National Park is located in Cumbria and at 885 square miles is the largest as well as the most celebrated of England's National Parks. Founded in 1951, it is a magical, glacier formed landscape consisting of lofty fells, narrow ridges and the many deep lakes that gave the region its name.
The landscape of the Lake District supports a specific group of animals, those that can cope with the hard conditions and can make a life on the high peaks and rushing rivers. In terms of large mammals, walkers can often see herds of red deer on the mountain sides in the quieter areas such as the Dalemain Deer Park on the Knab in the far eastern fells. Another treat in the same area is the small population of fell ponies, which occasionally appear on the ridges of such road less valleys as Fusedale, made safe from the walkers below by steep slopes of scree. The fells and lakes are also rich in bird life. The poster species are the osprey, seen from the RSPB viewing point above Lake Bassenthwaite during the Summer, and the golden eagle which often frequents the Haweswater reservoir. But if you are just out walking, you have a good chance of seeing other raptors like buzzards and kestrels, or the smaller species of finches and tits in the conifer plantations and crows spinning dizzily on the wind. And of course, for the lucky few, there is the glimpse of a red squirrel bouncing along the drystone walls.
It would also be churlish to talk about the Lakes without mentioning sheep, as you would be hard pushed to go five minutes without seeing one! I challenge anyone to go to the Lake District and not adore the Herdwick sheep!
- Notable towns
The largest towns in the region are actually outside the National Park boundaries, specifically Penrith and Kendall. Within the park itself, Keswick is probably the largest town, and a very attractive honeypot, although at the moment still recovering from the recent floods. Ambleside is another large settlement, and is near to the National Park Visitor Centre and Brockhole for those looking for information about the Lake District. Otherwise, most Lakeland settlements are quite small, like Buttermere and Pooley Bridge, with small shops, pubs and the odd bed and breakfast.
Obviously the main factor that draws tourists to the Lake District is the opportunity to walk in such a beautiful environment. There are countless well marked trails, both high level and low level, and walks can be tailored to all abilities. The area of the park means that you can spend a long time without covering the same ground more than once, although most walks bear repeating several times - I have been walking in the lakes since I was four years old, and there are still many hills that I'm yet to climb. The size of the park also has the other advantage that it is relatively easy to lose people. You can park at the low level, strike out into the hills and not see more than ten people in a day outside of the summer season.
- Key Summits
The 'big four' Lakeland hills are those over three thousand feet, in order of height Scafell Pike (England's highest mountain), Scafell, Helvellyn and Skiddaw. How fun these mountains are to climb depends on the route taken. Scafell Pike has a trudging up and down route which is both exhausting and dull, and only to be approached by the most determined peak bagger. Experienced walkers would be better to take the corridor route, which although more challenging is also a lot more fun! Helvellyn is a fabulous mountain, which can be climbed either on the easier route from Thirlmere or along its steep ridges (not for rookies!). All of these hills take a significant amount of effort, although they should not be out of reach for anyone with a good level of fitness and a bit of mountain sense.
As well as these four, there are several mountains which miss the three thousand metre cut by only a few hundred metres. One of these is Blencathra and her accompanying seven ridges, which mean you can climb the same mountain several times without walking in your own footsteps, while another is Great Gable, possibly my favourite mountain. Like Scafell Pike, the joy you get out of climbing Gable depends on the root taken. There is one walk you can do out of the Borrowdale valley which involves scrambling up a waterfall, walking across Green Gable and Brown Crag, before going through the evocatively named Windy Gap and scrambling up the side of Great Gable. We started this walk in sunshine, but by the time we reached Great Gable the clouds had descended and visibility was only a few metres. We ended up tracking across the rocky summit in a completely white world, with only the occasional gap in the mist revealing the valleys miles beneath us.
Of course, walking isn't just about peak bagging, or who would go walking in England?! There are many wonderful smaller hills commanding fabulous views, such as Hallin Fell and Catbells, or you can chose to shun the high fells in favour of a relaxing wander around the lake paths of Buttermere or Ullswater. The lake paths are brilliant because, being low level, they can be used as an introduction to walking for younger children, for an easy day's wander with a picnic, or as an alternative for days when bad weather makes the higher peaks off limits.
- Just a warning
At the risk of sounding preachy, I'm going to add this note to all of my walking reviews. Mountain weather and mountain ground are both unpredictable: however easy your planned walk, do not go out without a good map and compass, tough shoes and serviceable waterproofs. Walking and the outdoors are incredible, but they are also very powerful - make sure you treat them with respect!
- Other activities
For those who aren't into walking, or who fancy a little more variety, there are also plenty of other activities on offer. For a start, you can try something on the water - there are steamers on Ullswater, Coniston, Windermere and Derwentwater, and possibly others, or you can take out a sailing boat, motorboat, rowing boat or kayak. The region offers climbing for those who come equipped (and climbing courses for those who would like to learn), or there are plenty of easier places for those who just prefer a bit of easy scrambling or rock hopping. I've also seen plenty of people fell running, which is impressive if a little crazy, pony trekking and hang gliding. For those of a less energetic frame of mind, you can just for a drive and soak up the view. Be warned, though - the problem with mountains is that they specialise in steep gradients and sharp corners. Particularly 'interesting' roads are the one at Honister pass and the monster climb up to Kirkstone. Most cars will be fine with it, but it takes concentration!
- Notable attractions
If you have a rainy day the Lakes has a healthy dose of history. The Lake Poets are well known, and a visit to Dove Cottage near Grasmere is a lot of fun. There is also Beatrix Potter's house, or you can spend a day on one of the big estates such as Dalemain, which is a beautiful old pink stately home the estate of which still covers a large chunk of the Far Eastern fells. Just outside the National Park is Rheged discovery centre, which has an IMAX cinema and hosts exhibitions, usually with an outdoor theme. You can also try the Aquarium of the Lakes, which is unusual in being an entirely freshwater themed aquarium. For those who fancy something different, you can visit the Honistor slate mines, or have a go at their Via Ferrata. This is effectively like rock climbing, but with fixed cables and ladders which you can clip into, so making it suitable for beginners. All trips on the Via Ferrata are guided should be booked in advance.
The Lakes has become such a tourist area that you are spoilt for choice with accommodation. You could try camping, which is undoubtedly the cheapest option, and there are good campsites all over the national park. Alternatively for the money minded traveller, there are 23 youth hostels in and around the National Park, including the famous Black Sail, which is only accessible on foot. For those looking for a little more luxury, there are countless cottages, bed and breakfasts and hotels available, but I'm afraid I can't comment on these - we've stayed in the same cottage, the Fold at Hallin Bank in Martindale, every year and love it far too much to try anywhere else!
To sum up - bad points and good points
So after all that, the good points of the Lake District: stunning scenery, a huge range of walking, great wildlife, friendly people, well developed trails, plenty of accommodation and things to do on a rainy day. On the flip side of the coin, the beauty of this park does make it busy. Attractions can be packed in the summer season, and if you are after one of the big fells, you may need to arrive early to get into the car parks. But these are just little things which can generally be planned around.
I could never recommend anything other than that you should visit the Lake District. It is an inspirational place of unbelievable beauty, and one which I don't think I could ever fall out of love with. I've tried to give useful information in this review, but the fact is that you don't really get it until you've been there: like Dartmoor, and the Peak District, and other pieces of wild country, it just gets into your blood. You only need to stand on a high peak once, the wind the only noise around you, mountains and lakes and sun and sky bursting away in every direction, and you'll be hooked. So give the Lakes a go. You won't be disappointed.
- Further Information
The undoubted king of Lakeland writing is the late Alfred Wainwright - his books give a mountain by mountain break down of the whole Lakeland region, with practical information, great drawings and some very wry comments that will raise a grin. If you need a good map, the Ordnance Survey has a collection of detailed English Lakes maps which cover specific areas and can be bought from their website.
Thank you very much for reading :)
I absolutely love the Lake District - I don't live too far away (about an hour and a half), so have the odd (long) day trips there, but have also holidayed for the odd week with family staying at the fantastic White Cross Bay - which I can highly recommend if you are thinking about visiting the Lake District (see my review on South Lakeland Parks - www.southlakelandparks.co.uk).
The Lake District is England's largest National park and includes Scafell Pick, Keswick and Windermere. The setting of the Lakes is Stunningly Beautiful but there is also a large cultural heritage there. There are traditional food such as the Cumberland sausage and Kendal mint cake, old traditions such as hound trailing and rush-bearing and it was the home of my many of our nation's favourite writers: William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter and the creator of Postman Pat - John Cunliffe.
The cool, clear Lake Windermere is unbeatable! As well as being amazing scenery that is hard to beat, the lake is also important for the natural habitats of the water, the Crayfish, Schelly and Charr. Lake Windermere is a nutrient rich lake which helps them survive.
As well as the beautiful waters, Windermere also provides many natural woodland walks, which provide homes for the many plants and animals in the area. This mix of Lakes, Forest, farmland, fells and human activity is what makes the Lakes so special.
There is so much to do in the Lake District, it has the highest concentration of outdoor activity centres in the UK. It is the place to be find mountaineering and fell walking. There is also a wide number of recreational walks from Beatrix Potter landmarks walk to Wordworth's "Guide to the Lakes". The peace and tranquillity that can be found on these walks is fantastic. There is an enormous sense of space and freedom.
The historical information you can gather along the way is also very interesting, did you know that there have been people in the Lake District since the last ice age, this is reflected in the landscape with traces of the prehistoric and medieval field systems.
There are so many different things to do in the Lake District, which along with the Scenery is why I love it - you are never bored and as someone who likes to be on the go all the time, this is perfect! With so much space it is possible to walk, cycle or ride to your heart's content.
Our littlest one was just turned 2 (so was still in a buggy some of the time - particulary on long walks) when we stayed at the Lake District, and there were still several "Miles Without Stiles" walks, including: Friar's Crag, Keswick, which is a route alongside Derwentwater with amazing views of the central mountains, lake shoreline and woods. And Tarn Hows, which is a circular walk round a beautiful tarn with views of mountains and lots of woods for the kids to play in.
If that is not what you fancy then there are also a wide array of tourist attractions to see:
* Lakes Aquarium at Lakeside - We went and it only took us about an hour and a half to get round it, but for the littler ones it kept there interest and it was really interesting - afterwards you can sit by the Lake and have an Ice Cream.
* Blackwell - the Arts and Craft House near Bowness-on-Windermere
* Fell Foot Park near Newby Bridge - This is a great place for a Picnic.
* Graythwaite Hall Gardens
* Holehird Gardens Patterdale Road
* Lakeland Limited next to Windermere railway station
* Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway from Lakeside
* Old Laundry Theatre
* Stott Park Bobbin Mill
* Windermere Steamboat Museum
* Winderemere Lake Cruises - This was a lovely day out, it is colder then I expected so take a cardigan but very enjoyable.
* World of Beatrix Potter - I loved it here, the kids loved it here - interesting, engaging, just great!
There is also: abseiling, rock climbing, archery, balloon flights, boating, a cinema, cycling, golf, crazy golf and pitch and putt, horse riding, houndtrailing, orienteering, rowing, sailing, steam railway, and swimming.
As you can see we all thoroughly enjoyed our holidays (and days) in the Lake District. We will all definitely be returning and high recommend it as a UK destination!
If your into the great outdoors, this is the place for you!
The Lake District is a giant playground for walkers, climbers and many others young and old. There are several Lakes as you may have guessed, probably the most well known is Windermere, a great place for water sports and there is a lovely little town there as well.
If your into walking/climbing there are loads of fantastic mountains to suit all standards of walker. Some of the best are: Helvellyn, Blencathra and the highest peak in England, Scafell Pike.
If your not quite so adventurous there are several qaint little towns and villages. Ambleside is delightful, Keswich is great for outdoor shops and pubs.
If you go up midweek or off season you can really enjoy a day in the mountains in peace. However in the summer or on back holidays the area can get very crowded as looses its appeal.
Overall would say there is something for everyone here, amazing views wherever you look! Get your self there as soon as possible!
An absolutely fantastic holiday destination. We had the best holiday ever here last May.
We stayed in a cottage on Lake Conistion, with its own beach and canoe. We canoeing every day to Wild Cat Island (of Swallows and Amazons fame).
We climbed four mountains during our stay and every one of them with magnificent views. It was grest to start climbing at 8am, get to the top of a mountain (Scafell, Coniston) by 11am and be down before the crowds descended.
We went on the North Face mountain bike trail in the woods next to Conistion. This was absolutely immense. Really not for the faint hearted. I'm into biking but this was something else. They only recommend using top quality bikes, which you can hire there, and they mean it. I severly damaged unbranded mountain bike!
Went to Beatrix potters house, this was quaint and cosy. I loved the cottage garden and beehives. I wouldn't neccesaily pay though - we're national trust members so got in free.
Obviously our week was helped along by a rare week of British sunshine, but I reckon we would have had just as much fun had it rained.
You cannot sum up such a varied and wonderful place with so much to offer in such a short space.
In 2000, me and my family all moved up to Penrith which is a small town just outside of the lake district as we have a 23 foot boat on Ullswater which is a lake near Penrith. We got our boat Ginfizz around 1995 and back then we lived in Rochdale but the trip to and from the marina could often get tiresome and boring and we have always liked Penrith so we decided to move there.
I have always loved the Lake District and have always thought it is a beautiful place to be. The Lake District is called such because of the vast number of natural lakes dotted around the place. They are all different sizes. Some of the largest of these lakes include Ullswater, Windermere, Bassenthwaithe Lake. There are around 18 main lakes, but there are also several smaller tarns and reservoirs around. Many of the lakes are different. Windermere is a very public lake with many people coming to it for holidays and many people have boats on this lake. Ullswater is similar but quieter with fewer boats on it. Smaller lakes like Brotherswater are just empty lakes and no one sails on them.
Oh just a little side story, Brotherswater was once called Broadwater until during the 19th century, two brothers died in the lake and the name was changed in memory of them. Not many people know this but actually 4 people died in this lake, and they were two pairs of brothers. It seems more of a coincidence that anything but that is what it says about this lake.
Many people come for holidays in the Lake District as it is such a beautiful place to be and has some lovely little towns and villages such as Keswick, Windermere (town next to the lake Windermere), Glenridding and Buttermere. Most of the towns and villages have lovely cafes and restaurants and there are some lovely hotels to stay in.
One little fact that many people do not know is that even though they are all lakes, only one is actually called a lake. Most of the lakes either have mere or water in the name but people often put Lake after the name, e.g. Ullswater Lake, but actually the only lake with Lake in it's name is Bassenthwaithe Lake. This is a good little trick to play on people, ask someone how many Lakes there are in the Lake district and people are bound to say something like 'oh there are loads of lakes, about 20 or something' and you say, 'nope, just one' hehe.
The Lake District is quite known for some bad weather. Cumbria, which is where the Lake District is found, is known for often being cold and wet, and this is often true as many of the lakes and surrounding areas are filled in with fells which trap clouds and with all the lakes, it can soon start to rain. But its not always as bad as people make out, sometimes it can be lovely and warm. But you never know with British weather of course, but if you do come to the Lake District, make sure you come prepared with rain gear.
If you live in the UK and are wondering where to go for a holiday but you do not want to travel abroad, visit Cumbria and the Lake District and i'm sure you will love it. Its brilliant for walkers and climbers, but there are several outdoor activity centres where you can do windsurfing, sailing, and other sports and activities. Even if you are not really into these sorts of holidays, its still worth a visit, even just for a weekend as it really is worth seeing the beautiful scenery.
The lake district is truly a unique place in the world. Sure there's places such as the Rockies, and it's true that mountains over there do indeed dwarf those of the Lake District. But when it comes to views, size doesn't necessarily matter. In the lake district, you can walk for half an hour and have a completely different view whereas in Canada it takes hours just to get round the side of a single mountain.
The sheer handiness is a massive bonus too. They are easily accesible from anywhere in England, and from the North they are just a simple drive of no more than an hour or two.
In the Lakes there's something for everyone. If you're not into walking, or have a disability, there's plenty of things to do at places like Ambleside, what with all the Tea Shops, Museums and little boutiques, not to mention boat trips on Windermere.
If you can get there this summer, go!
The lake district is one of my favourite locations, if you have never been you will be awestuck at its jawdropping beauty
Nestled in the northwest of England in the county of Cumbria, the lake district is home the englands highes mountain and deepest lake (Scafell Pike and Wastwater respectively)
Surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountain scenery you will find in the British isles and little valleys housing tiny cottages and farmhouses built in the traditional green slate Lakeland is famous for.
Most visitors head for Windermere and Ambleside and while this is a nice introduction, I urge you to ventrue further afield as there are some stunning gems hidden here, Langdale for instance.
Wasdale is a pain to get to but is the proud owner of the most beautiful image in Britain, when you drive aorund the bend and see the mighty giants of Kirk Fell, Great Gable, Yewbarrow and Pillar looming over Wastwater, there is no more a stunning view
The Lake District has some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery in England. Below the craggy mountains are pretty towns and villages nestled in the valleys. The southern Lake District is quite gentle with some rolling hills but it gets more rugged to the north and west.
Windermere is the first town reached when entering the Lake District from the South. It is a small town and ideal for parents with children, with a wide range of accommodation and a lake where rowing boats can be hired.
Ambleside is the next town along the main road, and is small with a good range of shops. Ambleside is ideally situated to explore the Lake District, both by car and by foot.
Keswick is a large town though surprisingly compact, with a big choice of shops including a couple of supermarkets and lots of shops selling walking clothes. It is very much a natural town, with the locals being very friendly towards tourists and walkers but the town itself being completely unspoilt. The centre of town has an unusual building, the Moot Hall, which houses the Tourist Information Centre. There are lots of good walks accessible from near Keswick, such as the mountain of Skiddaw (931 metres), and above Bassenthwaite Lake, which is a couple of miles north of Keswick, there is an Osprey viewing station in the summer.
Other pleasant villages in which to stay include Grasmere, home of the famous gingerbread (http://www.grasmeregingerbread.co.uk/), Hawkshead, and Coniston. The Cumbrian Tourist Board at http://www.golakes.co.uk/ has a big choice of accommodation and information about what to see and do.
The Lake District is excellent walking country. The paths are mostly rocky and pleasant at any time of year, though of course in winter snow and ice can be a risk and the mountain forecast is a necessity since conditions can be so much worse on the tops. Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England at 978 m, is well worth the challenge, as is Skiddaw and Coniston Old Man. Coniston Old Man is even walkable for children, as I did it when I was younger, though I think the children would have to be used to walking or they would find it too hard. Helvellyn and the ridge which leads to it, Striding Edge, is a good, challenging walk with excellent views but you either need a head for heights or an ability to ignore heights when on Striding Edge, because there is a sheer drop on both sides. I myself am not fond of heights and being on Striding Edge makes me nervous but the trick is just to not look, to look at the rock ahead and ignore the view seen from the corner of the eyes. I have been on Striding Edge a few times now and a couple of times I've seen people frozen with fear on the Edge, scared to move.
So, if you're thinking of visiting the Lake District, I'm sure you'll find it enjoyable whatever the weather, because it really is a place with fantastic scenery all year round, and with brilliant walks, great food and an excellent choice of accommodation, you couldn't really ask for much more.
Just a few places in the world have astonishing power. This is the power to have a hold in your mind when you are away from them, a hold that makes you feel that you are incomplete when you are not there. Some people may feel that they have to travel halfway around the world to find such magic, but for me it is the Lake District that does this most of all.
For a start, for most people it is quite tricky to get to. That is a good thing. On the same principle that all good things come to those who wait, then all good places have to have a tinge of inaccessibility about them. All right, so you generally head for the M6, and then head west, towards Grange-over-Sands, or Kendal or Keswick, but these places are only on the edge, and you've already travelled quite far. Once you decide to head for the middle, where the best bits are, then the roads get narrower and steeper, and in some cases, they simply stop. From then on, you walk.
But even if you can't get into the Lake District, if perhaps you are whizzing up or down the M6, you still get tantalizingly wonderful distant views of the mountains. I shall always remember one such sight as I motored down from Scotland to southern England, the sun setting in gold above those hauntingly beautiful peaks.
If you love climbing mountains, then there are hundreds of them. Each one has been climbed and brilliantly catalogued by A. Wainwright in his fabulous series of books "A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells". I have not climbed every one, but I have gone up a few, and each ascent has been deeply rewarding and enjoyable. Some have been quite frightening, especially in sudden mist - Scafell Pike the first time I went up, and Helvellyn too - and some have given me memories that will last for ever.
If you are there on a fine day, the views are fantastic. But you need to pick your days wisely, as the mountains do not give away their secrets easily and are quite often shrouded in cloud, often frustratingly so when there is fine weather just fifteen miles away. If you go up on a day like this, you must take emergency equipment, including compass, mobile phone, and have a plan for what to do if lost.
But if climbing mountains is too energetic for you, then the bus or your car will take you through valleys of incomparable beauty. The Langdale Valley is one such, and the various passes, such as Honister, Wrynose and Hardknott, are awe-inspiring.
The lakes are very beautiful, each one having its own distinct character. Windermere is the biggest and most popular, often busy with boats. Those in search of peace and majesty should travel to Ullswater or (difficult journey, this) to Wast Water.
Like many lovely places, the Lake District does get busy, especially in summer weekends. I was lucky enough to work about 90 minutes' drive from the heart of Lakeland, and so could visit during the week if I could contrive an afternoon off. And although there might be many people up on the fells, they are big enough to accommodate thousands without anyone bothering anyone else!
One very special thing happens every year on Remembrance Sunday. Upwards of 300 people choose to brave the raw November weather to climb one of the finest peaks - Great Gable. At the top, at 11:00, there is a brief ceremony of remembrance and gratitude, held since 1924, to the members of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club in recognition of the work they did in securing the rights of everyone to walk freely on these wonderful mountains.
Lakeland is a deeply emotional, special part of our wonderful country. If you have never been, go there quietly and listen to the hills. And then whisper the news to a close friend. I've been away for three years and get shivers just thinking about the next time I could be amongst those lakes and mountains.
And now (May 2009) I have been away from the Lakes for four years, and still miss them greatly. Driving past last Easter, albeit on the way to a lovely holiday in Scotland, was tantalising in the extreme. Having lived so near, I think I would find it hard to have to pay for a holiday there, though - but I suppose if I put my mind to it then 3 hours' drive to get there is possible on a long summer's day...............
This is a picturesque, scenic & beautiful area of Brittan and if you go there you just won't want to come back.
I used to live in the Lake District when I was a little girl and then I moved down south at the age of five, ever since I have always come back to the Lake District up to two times a year as I can seam to stay away.
This corner of England is just beautiful and is a must visit at least once in your life time.
WHAT IS IT LIKE IN THE LAKE DISTRICT.................
Well to put it this way you know when you have arrived as all of a sudden you are hit by a beautiful hilly land surrounded by mountains of some great height and beauty and at the bottom of the mountains are the most beautiful crisp blue lakes that you would be quite happy to jump in to on a hot day.
This picturesque land is breathtaking and stunning, it's quite hard to find the right words as all you can say when you first get there is WOW.........I am still saying this after 17 years and I know what it looks like if I shut my eyes and want to go to a good place.
WHAT IS THERE TO DO......................
Well to put it this way there isn't anything to do in the basis of going on a clubbing holiday / trip so all you people out there that are looking to go clubbing etc, I advise you this isn't the place to go.
But for all you people out there that like a relaxing holiday but also like to enjoy the mountains and do a good strong hike or a leisurely stroll around the lake then this is the place for you.
If you visit the pebble streets of Keswick there is a town centre which has a range of shops from hiking gear to Boots chemist and there are many bakeries about for you to eat in or take out. Its not like your average town centre like Norwich or Peterborough for instance its more like an old style town and it makes you feel like that you have just stepped back in time with the old slate buildings and the friendly atmosphere.
It's a tranquil environment with no hustle and bustle.
There is also a small zoo near to Keswick which has Monkeys, sheep, reptiles, beavers, turtles and many more and it is completely affordable at £6 per adult & £3 per child throughout the year.
There are also plenty of local pubs to eat and drink in., but I tend to go self catering as I own my own static home up there.
And finally if you think yourself to be a bit of a hiker then the obvious thing to do is go walking up the vast mountain sides. There are simple walks on Cat bells or you can do the Sheer face Scarfellpike which at one point in the walk has a sheer drop either side of you as you walk over the summit.
A LIST OF WALKS THERE ARE TO DO.........
Cat bells (easy)
Striding edge (hard)
scarfell Pike (very hard)
Hellvellin ( v hard)
Dodd Wood (casual walk)
Stone henge (local stroll)
Skidaw (v hard)
These are just a list of my favorite walks and there are many many more to choose from, but if you do decide to go walking then make sure you pick up a map and a compass as one time I went walking and ended up going through the night as I kept on going onto other mountains which can be never ending, but to my luck I can across a small valley with one farm house and they took me back, but it could have been much worse. So come prepared.
WHERE IS THERE PLACES TO STAY........
I'm not really sure of any names as I never stay in a B & B or anything as having my own accommodation up there, but I do know there is a B & B on most streets up 6 in one street and there are loads of cottages to stay in and I'm sure they are all lovely as most have a 3 star or more attached to them.
I come her every year at least once a year up to five times depending on the weather.
I love the Lake District if you haven't guessed already and I love sitting out on my balcony as of an evening watching the sunset over the mountains & my two year old daughter also enjoys coming here for her holidays and believe it or not she even walks up some of the mountains without being carried.
When I have been walking up there it is such a rush when you make it to the top and you see all the surrounding lakes, so when you get up there get your lunch out and sit and watch the world pass you by.
WOULD I RECOMEND THIS A PLACE TO GO.................
Yes you guessed it and it's a YES DEFINATELY you have to go at least once in your life to experience the breathtaking landscape, and the walks up the mountainside.
Thank you for reading my review and I hope you enjoyed it and I hope I took you to a good place just like I do in my mind.
Thank you again. xxxxxx
I sometimes stay in cottages in the lake district and i always use cumbrian cottages to book the holiday cottage.
Visit them at www.cumbrian-cottages.co.uk to see some of there great deals.
Cumbrian cottages is an agency which sells and rents holiday cottages throughout the Lake District.
As I have only used the rental side of the company I can only review this:
www.cumbrian-cottages.co.uk, is easy to navigate and quickly informs whether a property is available. It is open 24 hours a day so you can browse the vast amount of cottages any time.
All the cottages on the site are listed in alphabetical order or by reference number and the website gives a perfect description of each individual cottage, featuring images and sizes.
There are so many to choose from that you may be on-line for quite some time.
When you have made a choice of cottage then the booking process is so simple a three year old could book a weeks holiday in Keswick if they had your card details, (so hide your Credit cards).
A fee of £19 is asked for to cover insurance of your group, although this can be cancelled, but I advise against that as accidents can happen.
Then you are asked for details about yourself and how many people in your party.
Then you must give your payment details to cover the deposit, which is usually £60 per bedroom per property. Then the balance must be paid no later than eight weeks before the start of the break.
The entire procedure is effortless and with no pressure it is so easy to do.
The choice of holiday cottages is vast, there are over 600 to choose from, so I am unable to give a full list, so I do advise you to contact them via the web site, (or telephone 01228 599960, 7 days a week from 9 am till 9 pm, 5:30 on a Saturday), the staff are there to help and advise.
It caters for all walks of life and offers some fantastic cottages, from one bed roomed to mansion size eight bed roomed. Short breaks and week long holidays lets, they also offer some great late deals and bargains.
It's headquarters are in Carlisle, with two letting offices in Windermere and Keswick, both are staffed by friendly and helpful people, if a little too laid back, (but what can you expect from living in the lake District).
The cleanliness of the lettings I have holidayed at is fantastic, so I assume that all the domestic staff are professionals and all accommodations are cleaned thoroughly.
I have used cumbrian cottages several times and have stayed at several different holiday cottages.
They have lets in Ambleside, Bowness-in-windermere, Windermere, Coniston, Hawkshead, Grasmere, Keswick, Ullverston and many other locations around the Lakes, offering a variety of holiday lets, to cater for everyone from the courting couple to the massive family party at one of the larger lettings, (like the Beech Manor in Windermere which offers a luxurious accommodation for 12 people starting price from £1800, But for this you get a small palace with acres of ground).
Anyway, for a well priced pleasurable holiday, for the peace seeker or the fell walker, then you should give Cumbrian Cottages a try as they will have a place for you to let.
I do have a favourite holiday let which a go to annually via Cumbrian cottages, it is in an excellent location just outside Bowness-on-Windermere, I wont divulge the name as I don't wont it inundated, leaving it fully booked all year round.
NB. Cumbrian Cottages will also let your cottage out as a holiday home, dependent on inspection and grading.