As England’s largest National Park, the Lake District is the perfect place for exploration, enjoyment and adventure
With so much to see and do, planning a trip to discover the Lake District can become overwhelming as you try and cram in as many activities as your time allows.
We’ve put together a simple guide to help you plan your visit to this spectacular landscape.
From family fun to unique places to grab a bite to eat, it’s time to find out why over 17 million people flock to this picturesque location all year round.
1. Family Fun at the Lakes
The Lake District is the ideal place for a family friendly break, with plenty of activities designed to keep all ages entertained. Head to Windermere and the South lakes to enjoy a ride on the famous Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway before meeting the UK’s largest collection of freshwater fish and aquatic life at the Lakes Aquarium. If your little ones are more like little monkeys, the Treetopnets Adventure in the High Trees is fantastic choice. This exciting network of giant trampolines and walkways up in the trees is fun for the whole family, with stunning views across the woodland.
Head North and enjoy a really wild time at the Lake District Wildlife Park, situated on the Armathwaite Hall Estate. With over 100 species of animals, you can spent your day meeting meerkats, watching the ring tailed lemurs play and even taking a hawk for a walk. Get even closer to nature at the Foot Park Trekking Center, where over-5s can enjoy a pony trek through the North Lakes.
2. Get your walking boots
As you can imagine, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the Lake District on foot. Lake District walks cover everything from relaxed strolls to scenic picnic spots, to adrenaline filled high ridge scrambling adventures. If you’re looking for a ‘bucket list tick’ then a trip to Scafell Pike is a must when visiting the Lake District. At 3,209ft, Scafell Pike is England’s highest mountain and well within the reach of most walking abilities. The views from the top are simply stunning, just remember to pack a picnic as you can expect to spend around 6 hours on the mountain. Another famous Lakes District trail climb is the Coniston old Man. At 2,634ft this Lakeland fell takes you through old copper mines and quarries as you head for the summit.
Take a peaceful stroll through ancient woodland towards the beautiful Aira Force waterfall in Ullswater. This 65ft waterfall can be viewed from bridges above and below, although the rugged paths aren’t suitable for pushchairs – you can also experience the view by boat thanks to Ullswater Steamers.
3. Truly Unique Museums
If you’re looking to spend at least some time indoors during your break, a trip to one of the Lake District’s many unique museums could be just the thing for you! Keswick is home to the famous Pencil Museum, home of the world’s first pencil and just 30 minutes drive from the Howbeck. This is a fantastic attraction for the whole family, the kid’s will love getting creative in the Art Studio and definitely won’t forget seeing the world’s longest colour pencil.
Those looking for a real laugh will love the Laurel and Hardy museum. Based in Ullswater, the birthplace of Stan Laurel, this once private collection has expanded into a fantastic exhibit for fans of the famous duo. Head a little south of Lake Windermere and explore the fantastic state of the art facilities at the Lakeland Motor Museum. With plenty of exhibits from motor vehicles to scooters and even pedal cars, this is much more than just a car museum!
4. The Taste of the Lakes
Wherever you are in the Lake District, chances are you’re not far from a cosy country pub or a perfect picnic spot. The cuisine in the Lake District is as diverse as the landscape itself, you can find Michelin starred restaurants, trendy boutique cafes and celebrated gastro pubs serving freshly sourced local cuisine. The Dog & Gun in Keswick is the perfect spot for hearty food after a long walk, with roaring fires and an ever changing selection of real ale!
For a real taste of the lakes, a trip to the Lakes Distillery is a must for anyone looking to sample award winning spirits while enjoying a tour of a working distillery. Situated close to Bassenthwaite Lake, there’s plenty of things to see, do and taste during your visit. Enjoy a guided tasting tour or treat yourself to a full day working with the team in The Stillman Masterclass. Don’t forget to head to the modern Bistro for lunch during your stay, with locally sourced dishes and the chance to dine al-fresco in the beautiful courtyard.