Written By Chris Young
This post was most recently updated on June 27th, 2018
“Perhaps to the Lakes!” – With these words, Elizabeth Bennett of Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice began her adventure to the Lake District. Her enthusiasm to see the natural beauty of that unique region is still appropriate today. Walk where Wordsworth found his “host of golden daffodils.”
You could easily spend your entire trip to England in the Lake District and depart without disappointment. The natural beauty of the area includes such a lot in such a confined space, from mountains to valleys, lakes to forests.
At the end of each day’s excursion, enjoy some of the finest food England has to offer. Rest in charming Bed and Breakfast hotels and hit the trails again in the morning with a hardy English breakfast in your stomach and the spirit of adventure in your heart.
Romance and history pervade the air of The Lake District and diligent stewardship of the region has preserved it for the enjoyment of visitors today. Experience the England of Romanticism, the verdure that beckoned Samuel Taylor Coleridge and set the scene for many English adventures; visit The Lakes.
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Windermere and Ambleside
The charming villages of Windermere and Ambleside cater to a large number of visitors as they take in the nearby lake, Windermere. It is a long, winding lake created in a glacial trough as two gigantic ice mountains gouged a route through the area. A very popular escape, Windermere features miles of beautiful walks, attractive village accommodations and entertainments and varied terrain.
The Windermere Walk which circles the lake, is a significant attraction. This lush, varied route includes shores, elevations and vistas that long haunt the memory. You will not manage the 45 mile path in a day though many walkers do so in four days.
Beautiful Keswick has developed into the stepping off place for many Lake area outdoor adventures from high ropes to boat tours and climbing to canoe rentals. Feed your passion for the great outdoors by participating in any of these interesting, invigorating activities. In the evening, enjoy a stroll on Keswicks historic byways and savor the wonderful, local cuisine.
Step into the Museum to read about the Lake Poets and other literary locals. Visit the memorial to John Ruskin, who was astonished by the natural beauty of the Lake region.
Feeling historic? Visit the Keswick market thereby participating in an unbroken tradition over 700 years old.
Not least among the luminaries who lived in or about the Lake District, is beloved childrens author, Beatrix Potter. This biologist-turned-author loved her time in the Lake District and set many of her delightful stories there. No trip to this national park is completed without visiting Hill Top Farm, where Ms. Potter lived and in which she placed many of her endearing characters. You can almost see Peter Rabbit, with his blue jacket flapping like a cloak as he dashes away from Mr McGregor, leaving his gold buttons behind him.
Hill Top Farm is lovingly preserved for visitors from all countries to pay their respects to this pioneering author. Follow the Beatrix Potter trail that leads you around the property and is enlivened by the descriptive boards spread along the path.
This long, pointed lake is much admired by canoeists and kayakers for its profusion of putting-in places. Coniston is noted for being one of the three lakes of the Three Lakes Challenge; an endeavor for visitors to canoe or sea kayak the length of three long lakes: Coniston, Windermere, and Ullswater in fewer than twelve hours.
If you dont feel competitive, hire a water vehicle of almost any kind and take leisurely tours of the lake. But dont expect to paddle about at snails speed in early November. That period is when the speed limit is lifted and people try to set the newest water speed record.
Kendal Mint Cake
Though they did not invent this confection, Kendal certainly seems to be its minty heart. Prized for its use as quick energy among mountaineers, this treat climbed Mt. Everest with Edmond Hillary. You dont have to be a mountain climber to enjoy it; its a lovely treat anywhere.
Not a cake at all in the traditional meaning of the work, Kendal Mint Cake is a block of mint covered in chocolate. Three distinct businesses make Kendal Mint Cake today. Why not visit each and compare the local fare?
Striding Edge, Helvellyn
Striding Edge is more like tight rope walking than mountain-climbing. To summit, visitors traverse a narrow path littered with rock shards that can cause a fall or twist. Most perilous in winter, many travelers enjoy the difficulty of this journey and are rewarded with a most picturesque display from the plateau upon terminus.
This venture is not for the faint of heart. Though not a common occurrence, people have died falling from the path. Many more have suffered injuries of all kinds, so pay attention when you take that next step!
Perhaps the largest figure in the Romantic Movement, William Wordsworth was inspired by the beauty he experienced during his sixty years in the Lake District. Indeed, he became known as a “Lake Poet”. His house, Rydal Mount, is impeccably maintained and attracts scores and scores of visitors annually.
If you have very good luck, and a healthy pocketbook, you could be married in the preserved gardens of Rydal Mount that were designed and maintained by the poet himself. What could be more romantic than to be married in the fortress of Romanticism?
Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man seem near neighbors when viewed from Scafell Pike. The walk to the pike, the highest mountain in England, is only somewhat challenging, and if your luck holds and the sun shines when you arrive, enjoy breathtaking peeks at your Celtic neighbors.
There are different routes to the top available. Choose the one that best fits your level of climbing competence. Be sure to travel with basic emergency equipment. Scafell Pike is not a place where you are a long way from help, but it is always best to be prepared.
Scafell Pike forms one part of the Three Peaks Challenge, beloved of peripatetic climbers. The other two climbs are Snowdon in Wales and Ben Nevis in Scotland. Collect them all!
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
Arthur Ransome set five of his books of the Swallows and Amazons series in the Lake District. This series features the activities of two groups of children who spend their holidays in the Lake District. Their names are taken from the small boats each group uses.
The children in the books enjoy real and imaginary adventures on and about the Lake District as their pretend games often spill over into real difficulties. The Swallows and Amazons often pretend conflict, but are drawn together to oppose real threats their united existence. This series is credited with enhancing the tourist reputation of the Lake District.