It was a poet who wrote one of the first guidebooks for the Lake District. That itself speaks volumes about the beauty of it UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in England’s northwestern county of Cumbria.
Inspired by his stunning landscape, William Wordsworth, in addition to having written some of his best famous poems written during the stay in the region a Guide to the Lake District As early as 1820, this triggered a wave of tourist activity that has not stopped since then.
Nor is it surprising that the Lake District played muse to many before and after it. Anyone who visits this region is immediately impressed by its romantic setting. The charm of the area, however, is hidden in the name itself. With around 16 lakes in the country, the Lake District is also the largest national park in England.
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While Wordsworth romanticized the idea of uncovering the splendor of rugged fells (local name for small peaks) and glassy lakes, Alfred Wainwright literally went one step further.
After spending a brief vacation in the Lake District, he moved here forever. He took on a work assignment and spent his free time planning routes that would cross these Cumbrian Fells. His compilation from 1952, ‘Picture Guide to the Lakeland Fells’ published as seven volumes still inspire hikers today.
Given its nomenclature, it’s not difficult to understand why the Lake District is one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations. The views of the lake are quite spectacular and reason enough to plan a trip to this beautiful part of the world.
While some lakes are easily accessible, most require short walks that lead to postcard views. After all, hiking is one of the most important activities in the Lake District. T.Arn Hows from Coniston, Orrest Head from Windermere, and Latrigg from Keswick are perfect for hiking, although they are peppered with some gradual climbs. For the experienced hiker, there are a variety of walks, including one Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England.
Hopping around villages in the area is another favorite pastime in the Lake District. However, you will find that most of what the area has to offer is located near the towns of Keswick, Ambleside, and Bowness-on-Windermere. These are located on the shores of Lake Windermere and form a perfect starting point to penetrate deeper into the landscape.
Although the Lake District in the UK attracts many tourists, given its vastness, it isn’t difficult to find solitude. If you venture a little off the beaten path, you will discover secluded spots that are incredibly beautiful.
An unspoiled gem in the Duddon Valley is this Ulpha Bridge that serves as a beautiful backdrop in the national park. It is the starting point for many breathtaking hikes and, on a mild summer day, ideal for sunbathing along the river. The Derwent water is another incredibly beautiful place with a large lake and small uninhabited islands. Pick an island and a canoe for a day trip to an almost private picnic area. Of the many attractions in the Lake District, this is by far the most romantic and intimate.
But it’s not just about the great outdoors in the Lake District. Here you will find stone circles from the Neolithic Age, remains of the Roman Empire and ruins of abbeys, churches and castles. Due to its location on the border between England and Scotland, there was some unrest in the Middle Ages. The landscape is interspersed with many ruins.
CastleriggIn addition to a story dating back to 3000 BC. Dating back to the Neolithic Age, it also features one of the most dramatic stone circle locations in the country. The remains of the 2nd century AD Roman fort in Ambleside make for an exciting visit.
For a more recent and comparatively well-preserved story, drive up the steep, narrow street Shap Abbey, founded in the 12th century, is well worth your time. In the Western Lakes region is the Muncaster Castle is a well-preserved historic house that was built around the 13th century but is believed to stand on top of Roman ruins from AD 79! Today it is a repository for medieval artifacts and impressive Victorian gardens.
Unknown to many, the Lake District also has an industrial history. The 300 year old Honister Slate Mine is a place that uses a mix of traditional and modern methods to extract and manufacture slate that adorns the roofs of many houses. The tours here take you through the current work of the mines.
While it is easy to get lost in the history and topography of the Lake District, the allure of its literary connection cannot be resisted. The Dove Cottage Located near the village of Grasmere, it invites you to follow in Wordsworth’s footsteps and gain insight into the life he lived here between 1799 and 1808. The quirky museum next door is jam-packed with manuscripts and memorabilia from the famous Lake District poet for book lovers.
Near Sawrey’s village, Beatrix Potter lived and wrote many of her children’s classics, including the Stories from Peter Rabbit. Your 17th century house with a slate roof called The Mountain peaksis furnished with original furniture, framed paintings, dishes and a rocking chair. Most fun is when scenes in her books come alive in and around the house.
All of these tours can be exhausting, but the Lake District has a cure for it too. Numerous atmospheric inns and charming pubs in the villages are a perfect refuge at the end of a long day. If you choose more remote villages it is not difficult to find a cozy private corner with spectacular panoramas.
The only attraction in the Lake District that many look forward to is a piece of gingerbread Grasmere gingerbread. Made from an original recipe by Victorian chef Sarah Nelson, it’s a sweet cross between a biscuit and a cake with a tangy sheen. This bakery is located in the village of Grasmere, from which it takes its legendary name.
At the end of the day, wherever you look, you’ll find a quintessentially English experience in the Lake District.
About the author: Namrata is a writer for Ticker Eats the World. Getting lost in the labyrinths of historic cities is your ideal vacation. She has a penchant for unique and unusual experiences and loves slow travel. She writes about her personal travel experiences on her blog happypheet.in. You can also follow your travels further Instagram.
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