Located entirely within the county of Cumbria in North West England, the Lake District National Park is one of the most popular breaks for people across the UK as well as for overseas visitors. With 21 lakes (including 12 of the largest lakes in England) and 3,105 kilometres (1929 miles) of rights of way, this is truly one of Britain's breathing spaces. A UNESCO World Heritage site, and England's largest National Park, the Lake District is famous for its associations with William Wordsworth and other Lake Poets, and also with Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin.
National Park Information Centres
Staff at Information Centres in Keswick, Bowness and Ullswater are happy to help you make the most of your stay and can help guide you through the many attractions within the Lake District. Windermere Tourist Office is another good source.
Lake District Main Attractions
Tarn Hows is a man-made, stunning beauty spot. In Victorian times, a beck was dammed, creating the tarns you see today. The Hows are the surrounding small, wooded hills, simply beautiful. Tarn Hows embodies the true quintessential English landscape you read about in the many poems and stories of the Lake District.
If you enjoy a challenge then the 978 metre high (3208 feet) Scafell Pike (England's highest mountain) will be right up your street. The starting point for most is from Wasdale head, making your way to Wasdale is a delight in itself, as the route takes you alongside Wastwater, a stunning lake surrounded by Red Pike, Kirk Fell, Great Gable and of course Scafell Pike.
Coniston Boating Centre
Coniston is famous as the lake where multiple speed record holder Donald Campbell died during a water speed record attempt in 1967.
Rydal Mount & Gardens
Located in the heart of the English Lake District, Rydal Mount & Gardens lies between Ambleside and Grasmere, commanding glorious views of Windermere, Rydal Water and the surrounding fells. Still in the ownership of the Wordsworth family, Rydal Mount was William Wordsworth’s best loved family home for the greater part of his life from 1813 to his death in 1850 at the age of 80.
Dove Cottage and The Wordsworth Museum
Situated on the edge of Grasmere village, Dove Cottage was the home of William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy Wordsworth from 1799-1808, his great creative period.
Bought with the royalties from her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter left Hill Top to the National Trust. The 17th-century farmhouse is open to the public as a writer's house museum. The house is shown as Beatrix Potter herself would have lived in it (a stipulation by Beatrix Potter), and is sometimes described as a ‘time-capsule’ of Beatrix Potter’s life . The address is Hill Top, Near Sawrey, Hawkshead, Ambleside, LA22 0LF.
Castlerigg Stone Circle
Located near Underskiddaw, Keswick, Castlerigg Stone Circle is one of the oldest stone circles in England, constructed about 3000 BC in the Neolithic period. More than 30 meters in diameter, the circle originally had 42 stones (38 have survived), some more than two meters high.
Holker Hall & Gardens
Set in 25 acres of award-winning gardens and parkland, Holker Hall is the present-day home of Lord and Lady Cavendish and their family. The west wing of the house is open to the public.
Holker Hall and Gardens is located in Cark-in-Cartmel, Nr Grange-over-Sands, approx' 5 miles south of the A590 (the main A road between Kendal and Barrow-in-Furness).
Lake District Towns
Windermere and Ambleside
At 10.5 miles long, Windermere is England's largest lake. Windermere is also the name of a small town (not to be confused with Bowness-on-Windermere, one of the busiest places along the shoreline, and the main port of call for cruise boats.
Sitting at the north end of Windermere lake, a mile inland from Windermere lakeshore, Ambleside is one of the most popular towns in the Lake District. The nearest tourist information centre is Brockhole - The Lake District Visitor Centre (see below).
The village of Grasmere is located in the centre of the Lake District. Grasmere takes its name from the adjacent lake and has associations with the Lake Poets, one of whom, William Wordsworth, lived in Grasmere for 14 years.
The market town of Keswick is located just north of Derwentwater, in the centre of the Lake District. Keswick is multiple award-winner of England's most dog-friendly town. Local attractions include Castlerigg Stone Circle, boat tours of Derwentwater lake (a 10-minute walk from the centre of town), and the Theatre by the Lake.
Brockhole on Windermere is located on the eastern shore of Windermere, just off the A591, between Windermere village and Ambleside.
The Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre is home to an adventure park with a range of activities including mini-golf, zip-lines, kayaking and archery. Nearby is the Treetop Lake District Activity Centre offering vertiginous rope obstacles for all ages high in the treetops.
Other areas of interest
There are many other things to do and the in the Lake District including Furness Abbey (Barrow-in-Furness LA13 0PJ), Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway (Haverthwaite Station, Ulverston, LA12 8AL), Lakeland Motor Museum (Backbarrow, Ulverston, LA12 8TA), Fell Foot Park (Newby Bridge, Windermere, LA12 8NN), Grizedale Forest (Grizedale, Ambleside, LA22 0QJ), Brantwood House and Gardens (Coniston, LA21 8AD), Ravenglass Roman Bath House (Ravenglass, CA18 1RW), Muncaster and Gardens (Ravenglass CA18 1RQ), Allan Bank (Grasmere, Ambleside, LA22 9QB), and Ullswater Steamers (The Pier House, Glenridding, CA11 0US)