Internationally known for its beautiful lakes and dales and rugged fells, the Lake District in the north-west corner of England is a delight to explore. About 30 miles wide and 40 miles in length, the Lake District, created as a National Park in 1952, and now designated as a World Heritage Site, attracts millions of visitors every year. In such a small area there is a diverse landscape of many beautiful valleys and lakes set amongst striking rocky scenery, a landscape traversed by thousands of miles of drystone walls and grazed by indigenous Herwick sheep. There are outcrops of volcanic rock in Great Langdale, of Scafell, Scafell Pike and Great Gable, which were the birthplace of British mountaineering, and for walkers there are leisurely walks around the fells, dales and lakes or the longer distance walks such as the Cumbria Way.
Bowness needs no introduction as the busy tourist centre on the shores of Windermere, with its popular lake cruises. The principal centres are Keswick and Ambleside, magnetic attractions for walkers and climbers for their many outdoor shops and cafes. The smaller town of Cockermouth on the north-west edge is a delight, as is the popular Hawkshead, with its quaint squares and alleyways. There are many small villages with attractive pubs, a number of which brew their own beer and several provide a dining experience of local and regional foods.
There are the steam railways of Lakeside & Haverthwaite and the Ravenglass-Eskdale narrow gauge railway; lake cruises on Windermere, Ullswater and Coniston Water, where there is the steam yacht Gondola. Ferry services across and around Derwentwater can be combined with summer bus services to explore Borrowdale and its surrounding fells.
Historic houses, many with literary connections, include Allan Bank (William Wordsworth), Brantwood (John Ruskin), Dalemain, Dove Cottage (William Wordsworth), Hill Top (Beatrix Potter), Holker Hall, Levens Hall, Lowther Castle, Mirehouse (Tennyson), Muncaster Castle, Rydal Mount (William Wordsworth), Sizergh Castle, Town End, Wray Castle, and last but not least, Wordsworth House, William's birthplace.
Planning a trip to the lakes and want to make sure you make the most out of your visit? Contact Lakeland Tours for a guided sightseeing tour of the best places to see in the Lake District!