Guide to the Lake District

England’s largest national park is awash with picture-postcard views of craggy hilltops, mountain tarns and glacial ribbon lakes. The Lake District is home to Scaffell pike – its highest mountain, Wastwater – its deepest lake and thriving towns and villages bursting with history.

A 7 day ITINERARY for the Lake District

There are so many things to experience on a trip to the Lake District that seven days may not be enough, however we have compiled the best of the best to ensure you make the most of your Lake District cottage holiday.

A magical journey

The Lake District is home to some of the most spectacular picturesque landscapes the UK has to offer, and what better way to soak up the views than with a traditional steam train journey. A trip on the Ravenglass and Eskdale will transport you from Ravenglass – the only coastal village in the Lake District National Park, across the estuary, through the rolling hills, deep forests, past seven request stops, en route to the final destination some seven miles up the line to Dalegarth which will greet you with the foot of England’s highest mountains, the Scafell Range. There is an abundance of things to see and do along the way making for a fantastic day out for the whole family. Whether you enjoy historic attractions, walking with romans, river valleys and waterfalls or mountain hikes, you will find just that in this delightful corner of the national park. After arriving in Eskdale stop by Woodland’s Tea Room for coffee and a cake and a chance to unwind in a beautiful setting.

Top 5 walks

  • Borger Dalr
  • Corpse Road
  • Coniston and Gondola
  • Greendale and Middlefell
  • Tom Gill to Tarn Hows

Beatrix Potter

Located on Bowness-on-Windemere is the wonderful attraction The World of Beatrix Potter. Simply stepping into the building will take you on a magical journey into the world that Beatrix Potter created in her books. The Lake District’s natural beauty and abundant wildlife inspired Beatrix Potter to write her much-loved stories so what better way to delve into the wonders for yourself than with a trip to the landscape that bought the books to life. A visit to this unique attraction makes for a fantastic day out for the whole family, with so much to experience on site, from a Beatrix Potter shop (the perfect opportunity for some holiday souvenir shopping) and themed tea room serving delicious home-made cakes and scones, to virtual tours and a replica of the Peter Rabbit garden and Mrs Tiggy-winkle’s kitchen. Bowness-on-Windemere is a haven for wildlife, providing some great opportunities to spot some real life animals before even arriving at the exhibition.

Dizzying heights

The Lake District National Park is brimming with fun filled attractions making it hard to choose which ones to visit during your time there, however a good place to start is Go Ape, situated in Grizedale Forest Park. This is a brilliant day out for the whole family, built on a side of a hill the adventures waiting to be experienced will be some of the most thrilling – and high! If you are brave enough to reach the dizzying heights then you will be rewarded with some of the most amazing views of the forest and surrounding areas. Enjoy the tree top adventures, allowing you to swing through the canopy of the forest, wiping out at the bottom of zip wires, fly 200 metres across the top of the Grizedale Beck and marvel at the views 18 metres up a magnificent Douglas Fir. If going off on your own independent quest is more your thing, then you and your family can get off the beaten track and enjoy your own forest adventure with Go Ape Forest Segway, an excellent experience not to be missed! The little ones certainly don’t miss out with this attraction, having a tree top Junior Adventure dedicated to the tiny Tarzans amongst us.

One for the adrenaline seekers

The Lake District National Park is brimming with the most diverse terrains and spectacular landscapes, it is important to take full advantage of them during your visit to the area, and what better way to do so than by experiencing some extreme outdoor activities. With something for all ages, Keswick extreme outdoor activities is a fun packed day out for the whole family. For the braver amongst you, you can try your hand at white water tubing or canyoning, both proving adrenaline filled excitement. You will certainly be inspired by the fun and dynamic challenges on offer in such beautiful surroundings. Holidays are all about creating memories and trying new things and Keswick Extreme Outdoor Activities could be the perfect opportunity for just that – you can learn some new skills to take back home and show off to the rest of the family. After a tiring day, you can stop by the Redfort Tandoori Restaurant, also in Keswick to take away a delicious meal to have back at the comfort of your holiday cottage.

Retail therapy and refreshments

On your last day in the Lake District a well-deserved breakfast is needed. Ambleside’s funkiest café – Apple Pie is a great choice. They don’t just do pies however, although they are fantastic! It is also a brilliant place to head out to for a delicious breakfast, from fry ups to pancakes with bacon and maple syrup all washed down with a huge hot chocolate topped with cream and marshmallows. The outdoor terrace provides a delightful atmosphere in which to enjoy your perfect holiday indulgence. After filling yourself up with breakfast, head further into Ambleside for a spot of shopping. Ambleside's streets are lined with plenty of unique independent shops and boutiques that offer home made goods or rare antiques, making for a perfect opportunity to grab some last minute presents for your loved ones back home. For an extra treat, head to the Lakes Distillery, where you can purchase the only malt whisky, gin and vodka produced in Cumbria and even take a tour.

Smell the flowers

Holehird Gardens covers nearly five acres, set on a hillside with some of the best views in Lakeland. Overflowing with rich colours and plantations speckled with a huge variety of flowers, including heather beds, a collection of rhododendrons and azaleas, house vines, peach trees and a valuable collection of orchids to name a few, not forgetting the new addition of the Mediterranean bed which includes lavenders, olive and lemon trees. This is a favourite corner for visitors to sit and enjoy the perfumed air. This really is an area of unspoilt beauty and the perfect place for a spot of ultimate relaxation, why not bring a book and soak up the sunshine in the prettiest of surroundings. Holehird Gardens adjoin a remarkably designed historical house which Beatrix Potter and her family chose to holiday in during the summers of 1889 and 1895. It really will make for a magical day out and will showcase the beauty of the Lake District in its most natural form. On your way back to the cottage, take a short detour to the delectable Grasmere Gingerbread for a delicious sweet and spicy treat!

A beautiful day for a walk

When the sun is shining, put on those walking boots and begin your journey with a trip to Low Sizergh Barn farm shop, purchase some delicious local produce for a traditional picnic, before heading out to Orrest Head in Windermere. The walk up to Orrest Head is a fairly easy, short walk which takes approximately 15-20 minutes to reach the top, but affords a wonderful view of the southern lakes upon reaching the summit. On a nice day the views surrounding you will be absolutely breathtaking and will provide the perfect spot for you to indulge in some alfresco dining and enjoy your freshly prepared picnic. The easy climb makes it a good family walk, as it shouldn’t be too much even for the littlest of legs. This route will really give you a feel for the area of extreme natural beauty you are staying in and inspire you to continue exploring everything the region has to offer for the duration of your holiday.

Afternoon tea in the Lake District

The Lake District is brimming with delightful tea rooms in which to enjoy it. We have compiled a list of the very best.

Lake District holidays

Feeling inspired? The Lake District countryside is waiting!

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