Greetings to all visitors! The Lake District in Cumbria is a stunning region that showcases some of the most awe-inspiring natural beauty in the world.
It is the birthplace of two famous names in British literature, Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth.
It offers a wealth of attractions, including 16 lakes (as well as numerous smaller bodies of water known as tarns), England’s tallest mountain, and breathtaking vistas.
Every year, this picturesque corner of northwest England draws in over 16 million tourists captivated by its charm.
It’s no surprise, as there is plenty of things to see and do.
Many visitors to the Lake District begin their journey in one of the many towns and villages scattered throughout Cumbria, surrounded by lakes and hills.
Each town has its unique character and history, making the area genuinely one-of-a-kind.
The North West
The north-western regions of the Lake District are often overlooked by tourists, who tend to flock towards Windermere.
However, many locals cherish this region’s hidden gems, which are abundant with pristine and untainted landscapes.
Despite the high tourist season, there are still secluded spots in the northwest fells where you can find peace and solitude for miles.
Nestled along the banks of Derwent Water, the charming town offers a prime location for exploring the nearby attractions of Thirlmere, Skiddaw, and Cat Bells.
With its unique blend of boutique shops, captivating sights, and a variety of dining options, it’s no wonder the town is a popular hub for Lake District travellers.
From taking a scenic lake tour to delving into the history of pencil making and savouring local fare at the weekly market, this small, lively town has something for everyone to enjoy.
Cockermouth, located just a few miles outside the Lake District National Park, has experienced a revival since the 2009 floods.
Known as the birthplace of William Wordsworth, this charming town is conveniently located near several iconic destinations such as Buttermere, where you can climb Haystacks, and nearby lakes, including Crummock Water, Loweswater, and Bassenthwaite.
Explore the town’s rich history and take advantage of its proximity to some of the Lake District’s most breathtaking natural wonders.
The North East
The northeast region of the Lake District has been moulded over centuries of farming, with vast expanses of typical moorland used for grazing.
As a result, this area boasts some of the most challenging mountain ascents, such as Helvellyn and its famous Striding Edge, as well as Blencathra and the unique Z-shaped Ullswater lake.
Additionally, the area is home to the Haweswater reservoir.
Penrith, a historic market town rich in heritage, offers a wealth of ancient ruins and artefacts from Neolithic, Roman, and Medieval times.
With a charming collection of independent shops, Penrith is the perfect starting point for exploring the nearby Ullswater and its historic steamers and Haweswater, where you can conquer the summit of High Street, a fell once trodden upon by Roman soldiers.
Tucked away in the heart of the Helvellyn mountain range, Glenridding is a small yet significant hub for avid hikers.
This picturesque hamlet, located at the southern end of Ullswater, serves as a starting point for many daring adventurers who seek to conquer England’s third-tallest mountain and its neighbouring peaks.
With its rich history of triumph and tragedy, Glenridding is a must-visit for those seeking an authentic outdoor experience in the Lake District.
Located outside the Lake District National Park, the county town of Cumbria, Carlisle, is a popular destination for visitors due to its location on the Hadrian’s Wall trail.
Once the site of many battles between the Scots and English, Carlisle has evolved into a lively city with a thriving central shopping district and various attractions, including its Norman castle.
The South East
The southeast corner of the Lake District National Park is the most visited and popular destination for tourists.
It gained popularity in the Victorian era due to the arrival of the Windermere branch railway line.
This region boasts rolling hills and sparkling lakes surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.
It is home to some of the most popular attractions in the national park, offering an unforgettable experience for all visitors.
Grasmere, situated north of Ambleside, boasts famous attractions such as Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread shop, Dove Cottage, the Wordsworth Museum, and Allan Bank.
In addition, Rydal Mount can be found just south of the village.
With its abundance of Lake District charm, local shops and tea spots, Grasmere is a must-visit destination.
Kendal, Cumbria’s second largest town, serves as the entrance to the southeast of the Lake District.
Conveniently located near the M6 and just outside the national park, Kendal is known for its famous Kendal Mint Cake and the Kendal Calling festival.
In addition, this lively town offers a variety of shopping centres and houses one of the UK’s oldest museums.
Nestled between Coniston Water and Lake Windermere, Hawkshead is a charming village that houses the Beatrix Potter Gallery and the prestigious Hawkshead Relish Company.
In addition, the village provides the perfect base for discovering the nearby Grizedale Forest Park, with its abundance of walking and cycling trails and exciting high and low ropes courses.
Coniston Water and its eponymous village, famous for inspiring Arthur Ransome’s “Swallows and Amazons,” attracts many hikers drawn to the Furness Fells, which offer challenging climbs up the Old Man of Coniston and Swirl How’s ridges.
Coniston Water also offers scenic cruises, and ale enthusiasts will enjoy the Coniston Brewery.
The popular tourist destinations of Bowness and Windermere, two small neighbouring towns, draw large crowds annually.
Visitors can cruise on Lake Windermere, explore the enchanting World of Beatrix Potter, or indulge in a lakeside shopping experience.
Ambleside, situated on the northern shore of Lake Windermere, and the nearby miniature village and lake of Grasmere provide visitors with a rich history and stunning natural beauty.
Here you can visit William Wordsworth’s former home, take a steamer from the terminal, and embark on guided walks through some of the renowned Wainwright fells.
The South West
Ravenglass, once a Roman port, is now a peaceful hamlet and the only coastal area in the Lake District National Park.
Its steam railway line transports passengers into the heart of Eskdale Valley, making it a popular destination for visitors.
With numerous campsites in the vicinity, Ravenglass is a convenient starting point for accessing Wast Water, the beginning of the ascent to Scafell Pike.
Although not part of the Lake District National Park, the Furness Peninsula boasts many attractions for visitors, including the South Lakes Safari Zoo, where one can get close encounters with exotic animals from around the world.
The peninsula, situated in Morecambe Bay, contains several significant nature reserves and the historic Ship Inn on Piel Island.
(Fantastic selection of holiday cottages across the Lake District.Available to book now.)