Also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, the Lake District is a mountainous region in Northwest England listed as the UK’s 31st UNESCO World Heritage Site—the first national park to be awarded the distinction. It is England’s only true mountain region, and it is so vast at 885 square miles that it’s almost the same size as Rhode Island in the US.
England’s largest natural lake, Windermere, and highest mountain, Scafell Pike, can be found here, as well. This means that other than enjoying Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage or the World of Beatrix Potter as literary buffs, there are even more exciting adventures to embark on in the Lake District.
Go for scenic rides
Whether you opt to travel in a car or on a bike, you’ll be taking many of the same scenic roads, which are considered some of the most beautiful in the UK. You can go from town to town, making pit stops at incredible viewpoints and charming villages. Marvel at the magnificent Windermere, or go off-road on the bike paths along Grizadale Forest or Whinlatter, with several opportunities for jumps and steep descents for thrill-seekers.
The Keswick-Buttermere-Keswick route is a favourite for driving around the Lake District. From Keswick, there’s a beautiful market town located just north of Derwentwater, which is one of the main bodies of water in the national park and is quite breathtaking. Buttermere, meanwhile, is located in a picturesque location with footpaths if you want to park the car for a good stretch around the lake. Keswick is also a popular base for visitors, with an amazing selection of hotels to match different tastes and budgets.
Take a walk in the park
If you think walking is boring, then you haven’t heard of the ‘death walk’ or the Lakes’ Infinity Bridge — a long and thin high wire that lets ramblers walk over the valley, while getting blown around by the wind from side to side. It’s part of the Via Ferrata Xtreme Tour at Honister, a walking route many consider too extreme, but one with the best views of the Lake District, making the risky adventure worth taking.
But of course, there are always less nerve-wracking walking activities that are still adventures in their own right. For dog lovers, the Lake District is described by Gala Bingo as the perfect place to take your furry friends. The dramatic views and calm surroundings around Scout Scar near Kendal can be the perfect escape for you and your dog, as well as the more gentle yet stunning fells of Cat Bells or Hallin Fell. Another favourite is the iconic peak overlooking Coniston Water — referred to lovingly as the Old Man of Coniston — with its challenging yet rewarding trail with stunning views.
Enjoy the water
Water sports are very popular at the Lake District — including boating, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding (SUPing), swimming, canyoning, wakeboarding, diving, and much more. There are endless opportunities to enjoy the majestic bodies of water all around the park. The Windermere Canoe Kayak boathouse comes highly recommended, and is on the park’s largest natural lake, too. You can choose between SUPing, kayaking, and canoeing, or enjoy a combination of them all.
Canyoning is also a favourite among climbers, adventurers, and explorers. And the crystal clear waters of the River Esk attracts people from all over the UK. Stoneycroft Ghyll in Keswick is also among the best canyoning spots in the UK.
Whether it’s by land or by water, you’ll need more than just a day to explore the famous Lake District. So try and book about three days, and you’ll see get the understand why so many fall in love with one of the UK’s most beautiful patches of countryside.
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