What to Do in the Lake District, UK
“The loveliest spot that man hath found,” English poet William Wordsworth couldn’t have described the Lake District more eloquently. With its sprawling 912 square miles of majestic lakes and verdant mountain ranges, there is an abundance of nature to inspire beautiful poetry. Lakeland Tours, a tour guide in the Lake District, has detailed some of the places that are sure to leave you mesmerized.
Lake District National Park Quick Facts
The best way to go about planning your Lake District holiday is to get acquainted with all the wonders that the paradise offers. Declared a World Heritage Site, Lake District National Park showcases the best marriage of nature, heritage and culture. Its official government website records 55,690 hectares declared as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, 16,510 archaeological sites and monuments, 1,779 buildings and structures and 23 conservation areas.
Understand that it would be impossible to appreciate all of the Lake District in one visit, even if that visit lasted one year. It has 16 lakes, 53 tarns (or mountain ponds), and remarkable meres. Guidebook author Alfred Wainwright has recorded 214 English peaks, or “fells”, beautifully crafted by Lake District’s glacial erosion.
The most important thing to do in the Lake District is to visit the lakes, because with a name like the Lake District, you would be crazy to miss them. If you had to pick just one of the 16 lakes, your best bet would be Derwentwater in Cumberland Borrowdale. Voted one of Conde Nast Traveler’s Most Beautiful Lakes in the World in 2017, Derwentwater is postcard perfect, with lush greenery sloping around calm, crystal clear waters.
Because of the plethora of bodies of water strewn across the Lake District, it is easy to find a water adventure that is perfect for you. It is common to see boats for hire that take passengers to and from the lakes’ picturesque landing stages. If, on the other hand, you’re the kind who wants to be in control, canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboard are delightful ways to enjoy solitude in the beautiful lakes. Extreme watersports such as white water rafting and water skiing are also offered to adrenaline junkies. If you’re not much for adventure, lazing around the lake is a perfect way to spend a Lake District day, too.
Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England, with an elevation of 978 meters and located in the Southern Fells mountain ranges. With hikes averaging six hours, it is not the easiest climb, but those who dare are rewarded with the most exhilarating views of the Lake District and even as far as Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man. Its summit is the location of England’s highest war memorial, in honor of the fallen soldiers of the Great War in 1914-1918.
Rydal Mount is one of the Lake District’s most charming attractions and was the home of literary genius William Wordsworth in the latter half of his life. Found in his home are the family’s prized possessions and the poet’s illustrious memorabilia, including an antique encyclopedia set. Rydal Mount offers a valuable glimpse of the astounding beauty that inspired his poetry—the expansive landscaped gardens that the poet himself designed.
Stargazing at Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre
If you’re a fan of the night sky and celestial bodies, join stargazing events at Low Gillerwaithe Field Centre. Located in England’s least inhabited valley, it has zero light pollution so that the Milky Way becomes visible even to the naked eye.
Castlerigg Stone Circle
The Castlerigg Stone Circle dates back to the Neolithic age, some 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. It is one of Britain’s earliest stone circles, and is definitely among the most picturesque, overlooking the Thirlmere Valley and offering panoramic views of High Seat and Helvellyn Mountains. According to Keswick’s official website, the Castlerigg Stone Circle possesses megalithic astronomic and geometric importance, although the its original purpose for construction still remains unknown.
Derwent Pencil Museum
Definitely one of the Lake District’s quaint attractions, the Derwent Pencil Museum is a powerhouse of knowledge about one of the most trivial things in life: the unsuspecting pencil. It houses historical pencils, such as the first pencil in history and spy pencils used during WWII. The Derwent Pencil Museum also holds events and workshops facilitated by renowned local artists.
Keswick Cheese Deli
Farming is an important part of Cumbria’s heritage and along with it comes the tradition of cheesemaking on local farms. Keswick Cheese Deli stocks more than 90 cheeses sourced from local farms around the county and a small selection of cheeses from around the UK. Among its celebrated Cumbrian cheeses are Cornish Yarg from Cornwall, the buttery and nutty Blue Whinnow, and the unpasteurized Tovey from their most local supplier, Thornby Moor Dairy.
Grasmere Gingerbread Shop
If you’re on the search for the perfect Lake District treat to bring home to your family and friends, the renowned Grasmere gingerbread is an excellent choice. Its recipe dates back to 1854 and has the perfect balance of spicy, sweet and chewy, making it well loved among locals and Lake District vacationers alike.