Nestled in the very far North of England, The Lake District is a national park and Unesco World heritage site. If you have ever been, then you will have no doubt instantly fallen in love. For those who don’t have The Lake District on their radar, I am about to change your mind!
Here are 5 reasons to visit the Lake District!
Mind Blowing Scenery
Rumour has it that scenes in The Lake District were Tolkien’s inspiration for the Shire in Lord of the Rings! The Lake District is not only home to a vast amount of Lakes, but also stunning valleys and soaring peaks, carved out from the Ice Age.
The Lake Distict is home to Englands highest peak, Scafell Pike, which is actually a fairly accessible walk for those with a decent level of fitness. Views from the top are breathtaking, but you can find amazing views around every corner in The Lake District. On clear days, light reflects of quaint little Tarns, meanwhile England’s biggest body or water, Windermere, always looks spectacular due to it’s size! The Lakes is full of outstanding natural beauty.
During winter, mountains become sprinkled with snow and the crisp air turns leaves and grass crunchy underfoot. The Autumn months bring a stunning pallete of colour to the whole of the region with trees and mountainsides turning all shades of orange. Spring sees lambs being born, and any stroll into the countryside means you will come across cute little lambs jumping around the fields.
You wont find a tube station in sight up the Lake District! The biggest town has a population of under 5000, meaning people are few and far between. The tiny towns and villages look like they have been pulled straight out of a history book, with countless listed buildings dotted across the region. Winding alleys, tiny local shops and cobbled streets make for stunning photographs and are a welcome change for those who spend their times commuting through major cities! Escaping from the pollution and crowds of busy cities is one of the top reasons to visit the Lake District.
Ambleside offers such sights as the infamous bridge house (above), which at one time housed a family of nine! Keswick hosts a traditional market, whilst tiny villages such as Hawkshead and Grasmere have tiny old buildings which double as independent shops, cute local churches and awe inspiring back drops as mountains loom overhead.
A thriving food scene!
This is a place which prides itself on the local produce, and has produced some of the best regional delicacies and iconic treats in the UK. Many of us will have tried Kendal Mint Cake, a bar of near enough pure sugar with a strong mint taste. Love it or hate it, there’s no doubt it is firmly ingrained in the culture, and can be found in every corner sweet shop in the Lake District. This sugary bar found fame when it transpired that Edmund Hilary carried it with him on the first successful ascent of Everest.
Head to Grasmere to find Grasmere Gingerbread, a sweet and spicy treat made only in this tiny village. the Grasmere gingerbread shop itself is an experience as staff are all dressed up in traditonal victorian clothing. The gingerbread itself is made with a secret recipe that has been passed down through generations of the family, which many have tried to recreate but very few have access to the original recipe!
Not to mention there is also cumberland sausage, Cartmel sticky toffee pudding and a whole host of other local delicacies.
For dining out, visitors are spoiled for choice. Farm to table is a huge part of the ethos in the Lake District, with many pubs and restaurants priding themselves on locally sourced and sustainable farmed meat. With such a vast surrounding of countryside too, foraging is becoming a huge part of food culture in the Lake District. For those who want to sample the very best of the what the Lake District has to offer, it is worth checking out one of the several Michelin starred restaurants in the area such as Forestside in Grasmere.
For those with less extravagant taste, hearty and traditional roast dinners and pub lunches can be found in every village or town.
Vegetarians will be pleased to know there is a growing trend for cafes and restaurants that not only cater to vegetarians, but some are becoming meatless completely. Ambleside has some great Vegetarian and Vegan cafes.
The Great Outdoors
No visit to the Lake District is complete with out some form of walking. Whether you are a seasoned hiker, or prefer short rambles, there is something for everyone. Marked tracks can be found all over, and maps can be purchased at Tourist Information centres.
For those who are keen and able, there are huge iconic routes such as the 6 hour Fairfield Horseshoe loop, or the impressive scramble up Striding Edge which offers huge vertical drops and is not for the faint hearted. For those who needs something more sedate, great scenery can be found on even the gentlest of walk! Many mountains in the lakes are actually quite small and can be easily summited. There are plenty of short walks around Ambleside, as well as tarns and Lakes which can be wandered around, offering flat terrain with beautiful views.
It is not only walking that the Lake District can offer! There are plenty of well ridden routes for keen cyclists of all abilities, and you will oftne see rok climbers scaling cliffs. keswick and Ambleside both have climbing walls if that sparks your interest! With so much water around, it will come as no surprise that there are many larger lakes where you can rent rowing boats or small motor boats to do your own exploring, or if you would prefer, hop on steamer at Ullwater or Windermere to get some fine upper deck views of your surroundings.
If you are inseparable from your four legged friend, then the Lake District is the perfect getaway. With a huge number of guesthouses and hotels being pet friendly, they will gladly accommodate both you and your dog. Many places have bowls of water out for dogs, and your dog will inevitably be offered treats from local shop owners! Nearly every pub opens its doors to pooches, as well as a lot of restaurants and cafes being dog friendly!
Of course, it goes without saying that your dog will enjoy the rolling hills and great open spaces that can be found in The Lake District.
So there you have it, 5 Reasons to Visit the lake District! What are you waiting for?!
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