Lakes District Holidays
Lovers of the outdoors, one corner of Britain you won't want to miss is the Lake District. Home to a sweeping panorama of glittering lakes, rolling hills and picturesque valleys, the area commonly known as “The Lakes” is without a doubt one of the prettiest places in England and is a contender to join the World Heritage list. Famous for its associations with 19th Century cultural greats including John Ruskin and William Wordsworth, within region lies the Lake District National Park – the most visited national park in the United Kingdom. Further charms can be found in the “Auld Grey Town” of Kendal, or at one of the many other great Cumbria towns you might choose to base yourself in.
The lakes themselves are, of course, one of the main reasons people visit the Lakes District. Not only is the district comprised of 16 individual lakes, it also features 53 tarns and several “waters”. Aside from lakes, the beautiful countryside includes a collection of unique fells which have been carved by thousands of years of glacial erosion. One of these, Scafell Pike, provides the highest ground in England. On a clear day, Scafell awards visitors extensive views all the way to the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland and Snowdonia in Wales. Back on ground level you'll find wooded areas which provide habitat for a range of native English wildlife, including the cheeky native red squirrel.
Despite not having any large town to its name, The Lakes District is home to four Michelin Star restaurants including L'Enclume, The Sampling, Sharrow Bay and Holbeck Ghyll. Widely regarded as one of the best places to eat in Britain and rich with agricultural history, The Lakes present excellent traditional pubs that showcase classic British food at its best. Sheep farming makes up a big part of local industry, so don't leave without trying some local specialties including salt marsh lamb, Cumberland sausage, and Borrowdale trout. After dinner or lunch, tempt your sweet tooth with a Kendal mint cake.
Where to Stay
The Lake District's quaint accommodation options are almost an attraction in their own right, with a number of quirky boutique hotels and friendly Bed and Breakfasts. Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside and Grasmere are some of the most popular townships to stay in and offer great variety, but the smaller Cumbrian villages and even in the countryside also have their fair share of comfortable stays. The Lake District is also a popular camping destination with a long list of sites – Sky Farm, Chapel House Farm and Baysbrown Farm are a few of the best spots to pitch a tent.
Shopping isn't the first thing people think of when deciding to visit the Lake District and the region's lack of retail commerce only adds to its charm. The small towns that make up the region are all well stocked for supplies, but if you're itching for some serious spending make sure to add Carlisle to your travel itinerary. Even better is a trip further down the road to cosmopolitan Liverpool, where you will find the ever-popular Liverpool One Shopping Centre. One thing you might fancy buying is some boutique beer to take home, given that Cumbria is home to a whopping 25 local breweries!
Lake District Like a Local
The best places to catch a glimpse of the local lifestyle are the Lake Districts' towns or villages. There are a lot of charming places to pay a visit to, two of the most popular being the market towns of Ulverston and Kirkby Lonsdale. In the south, you'll find a very different flavour at the maritime town of Barrow-in-Furness and Whitehaven, a town once home to the second biggest port in England. More typical Lake District towns to visit are Kendall, Windermere, Ambleside and Grasmere, each with its own unique charms to discover.