A weekend in the Lake District, England

Lake District National Park in England is a stunning expanse of natural beauty that attracts millions of visitors each year. Renowned for its picturesque lakes, forested valleys, and rugged fells (hills), it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated for its breathtaking landscapes and cultural heritage. The park is famously associated with the Romantic poets like William Wordsworth and artists who were inspired by its serene beauty. It’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities like hiking, boating, and cycling. The park’s rich biodiversity, including rare wildlife and flora, coupled with its historical sites like ancient stone circles and quaint villages, make it an essential destination for nature lovers and history buffs alike.

Lake District

When to go

The best time to travel to Lake District National Park largely depends on personal preferences and the activities you’re interested in. Summer (June to August) offers warm weather, making it ideal for hiking and enjoying the lakes. However, it’s also the busiest season. For those who prefer a quieter experience, spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) offer cooler, often drier weather and fewer crowds, with the added beauty of spring blossoms or autumn foliage. Winter has its charm too, with snow-capped mountains and fewer tourists, though some facilities may be closed, and the weather can be quite unpredictable.

Lake District National Park doesn’t charge an entry fee, making it accessible to all. The park has several key entry points, including popular towns like Windermere, Keswick, and Ambleside, which are well-connected by road and public transport. Windermere, for instance, is accessible via train from major cities like Manchester and London. Once in these towns, visitors can access the park by foot, bike, or local bus services.

What to do in the Lake District

Inside the park, the top sights include Windermere, England’s largest lake, perfect for boat rides and water sports. Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, offers challenging hikes with rewarding views. For a gentler experience, the Tarn Hows area provides easy trails with stunning scenery. Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere celebrate the poet’s life and works. Adventure seekers can enjoy activities like rock climbing, mountain biking, and paragliding.

Getting around the Lake District

Getting around the Lake District can be done by car, but to truly experience the beauty of the area, many visitors prefer walking or cycling. The park offers an extensive network of footpaths and bridleways. Public buses are available, linking major towns and attractions. For a unique experience, consider a boat trip on one of the lakes.

Gilpin Hotel & Lake House
Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

Where to stay in the Lake District

Accommodation in the Lake District ranges from luxurious hotels to cozy B&Bs and self-catering cottages. Camping and caravan sites are also popular for those wanting a closer connection to nature. Notable stays include the historic Langdale Chase Hotel on Windermere and the tranquil Lodore Falls Hotel in Keswick, which offer stunning views and excellent amenities.

Two of the best boutique hotels in the Lake District

Gilpin Hotel & Lake House – Windermere

The Gilpin Hotel & Lake House is a haven of luxury nestled amidst the stunning surroundings of the Lake District. This family-run hotel offers a seamless blend of comfort and elegance, featuring 25 individual bedrooms, each with its own unique charm. The Lake House, located just a mile away from the hotel, boasts six exclusive suites, a private lake, and stunning gardens. With two AA Rosette dining, a champagne bar, and a variety of spa treatments available, guests can indulge in an unparalleled experience of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Another Place, The Lake
Another Place, The Lake

Another Place, The Lake

Situated on the shores of Ullswater, Another Place, The Lake redefines the concept of a country hotel. This boutique hotel combines the tranquility of the Lake District with the comforts of home, offering 40 individually designed rooms, each with panoramic views of the lake or the surrounding fells. The hotel’s dining options feature locally-sourced ingredients, while the Swim Club wellness center provides an array of treatments for guests to unwind. Whether it’s taking a dip in the indoor pool, exploring the lake on a paddleboard, or simply sitting by the fireplace with a good book, Another Place, The Lake ensures a memorable stay for all its guests.

Where to eat

Dining in the Lake District is a treat, with many restaurants, cafes, and pubs offering local Cumbrian specialties. From fine dining at Michelin-starred restaurants like L’Enclume in Cartmel to traditional pub fare at The Drunken Duck Inn near Ambleside, there’s something for every palate.

Guided tours are available in the Lake District, ranging from half-day to full-day excursions, and include walking, bus, and private tours. Official guides are knowledgeable about the area’s history, geography, and wildlife. The cost varies depending on the type of tour and duration, with group tours generally being more affordable than private tours.

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