A guide to holidays in Lake District
Home to several scenic lakes, as well as a range of dramatic hills and challenging fells, the Lake District is the perfect destination to escape to and enjoy the great outdoors.
Also known as Lakeland, over the years the gorgeous scenery has inspired a whole host of great writers, including William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Beatrix Potter, whose legacy can be seen in Hawkshead especially. It’s easy to see how the region helped them to put pen to paper, with its mesmerising, glittering waters, craggy hilltops and mountain tarns. Spanning more than 885 square miles, this patchwork of hills, woodlands, lakes and valleys has to be one of the most special places in all of Britain.
For those looking to explore the Lakes on foot, the region offers a variety of walks for all abilities. For beginners, there’s a gentle walk around the beauty spot of Tarn Hows, while at the other extreme, you can scale Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain in England.
If you’d prefer to see the region from the water itself, you can choose to kick back and relax on a traditional steamboat chugging across Coniston Water or Lake Windermere, or have a go at the various water sports on offer, from sailing to kayaking. Other popular lakes to visit include Esthwaite Water and Derwentwater, which has the lively town of Keswick nearby.
Alongside the unforgettable natural scenery, the Lake District is also home to some of the country’s prettiest towns and villages, often boasting towering peaks and tranquil waters as backdrops. Tucked away in a valley is Hawkshead, where medieval squares are lined by 17th century buildings, and the Beatrix Potter Gallery can be found. Just a few miles south you’ll find Grizedale Forest, with several woodland trails throughout as well as the popular Go Ape attraction, featuring high ropes, segways and more.
Close to Coniston Water you will find the village of Coniston, with the Old Man mountain standing proudly in the background. Coniston’s most famous resident is John Ruskin, an artist and philosopher, and his legacy can be seen at the local museum and at his former home, the Grand House of Brantwood. The beauty spot of Tarn Hows can be found nearby, while the Coppermines Valley makes for a wonderful day of walking, with industrial remains decorating the landscape.
Lake Windermere is the Lake District’s largest lake, and also the most popular. Several of the region’s biggest towns can be found around the edges of the water, including Windermere, Bowness-on-Windermere and Ambleside. With a wide range of amenities and facilities, these towns are all excellent places to base a holiday in the Lake District and to explore the wider region.
After a long day of exploring the Lake District, there’s no better way to relax than to retire to one of the many country pubs found across the area, making it perfect for a self-catering holiday. You can also shop to your heart’s content at the many independent boutiques lining the streets of the towns, as well as the flagship store of popular homeware company Lakeland – and don’t forget to try the region’s specialty, Kendal Mint Cake.
If you’re inspired to spend your next break in the Lake District National Park, take a look at our full collection of Lake District holiday cottages and find the perfect place to stay.