17 June 2024
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The Lake District in Cumbria is one of the most popular visitor destinations in the UK. Found in the North West of England, the Lake District was designated a National Park in 1951 to preserve its outstanding natural beauty, and is Britain's largest National Park at 885 square miles (2,292 square km). The Lake District contains 16 lakes, including the largest lake in England, Windermere, and more than 150 mountains, including the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike.

Walking in the Lake District is a popular pastime, and the area offers 2,215 miles of rights of way. Walkers can enjoy the impressive sights of the steep mountains and cascading waterfalls, with the valleys filled with wild daffodils in the Spring, and rich colours in the autumn. Outdoor activities in the Lake District are well catered for, with climbing, kayaking, windsurfing, pony trekking, and mountain biking all being popular. For cycling in the Lake District, many make use of the shaded trails of Grizedale Forest. In the North of the Lake District, the scenery becomes more dramatic, and climbers can find the four peaks of Scafell Pike, Scafell, Helvellyn and Skiddaw which top out at over 3,000 feet.

For many the Lake District is popular because it offers a step back in time, with its quiet country lanes and relaxed pace of life. The pubs in the Lake District are a welcoming sight after a day of walking, and the hotels in the Lake District are perfect for a laid-back holiday, with many enjoying lake views. Visitor attractions in the Lake District include the old railway lines from Ravenglass to Eskdale and from Lakeside to Haverthwaite, the National Park's Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole and the Rheged visitor centre near Penrith, designed to blend in with the local fells. There are many fascinating museums (especially in Kendal, just outside the National Park) and literary attractions such as Beatrix Potter's home at Hill Top, near Sawrey, Ambleside and William Wordsworth's home at Dove Cottage, Grasmere. During the summer months in the Lake District, you can also enjoy many local sporting events, festivals and country shows.

The largest town in the Lake District is Keswick, positioned between Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwent Water, at the foot of one of Lakeland's most popular mountains, Skiddaw. Keswick is an attractive Victorian Town that flourished after the coming of the railway that linked Penrith and Cockermouth. In the centre of the Lake District, Ambleside is one of the most popular tourist centres. With slate houses, cottages, shops and hotels built in the Lakeland style, the town holds a small market each week, and has its own interactive exhibition of Lakeland life and times, The Armitt, exploring Lake District history from the Bronze Age. The town of Windermere, another very popular destination, is half a mile from the lake of the same name, the longest and largest lake in England, being 10.5 miles (17km) long and 1 mile (1.6km) wide at its broadest. You can enjoy a cruise up and down Lake Windermere and pleasure sailing is popular. Set amongst grassy meadows, the beautiful town of Coniston is at the head of Coniston Water, the lake where Donald Campbell made his ill-fated water-speed world record attempt on 4 January 1967 where he sort to reach 300mph in his jet-powered boat, Bluebird. Nowadays, you can hire environmentally friendly electric boats from the National Park Boating Centre.

Other Lake District Sites

Lake District Hotels - Find the perfect hotel in the Lake District.

Holiday Parks in The Lake District - Choose from a great selection of holiday parks and lodges!

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