Travelling to the Lake District
It’s amazing to think that the beauty of the Lake District did not really attract visitors until the mid 19th century. Daniel Defoe described it as “barren and frightful”, but the sublime countryside of Lakeland is today seen through the eyes of the Romantic poets who first discovered its beauty rather than his.
The Lake District is easily the UK's most popular National Park, with some 15 million people arriving to explore its fells and scenery. And it’s truly hard to see how it could ever have been otherwise. Panoramic views of craggy hilltops, mountain tarns and glistening lakes await you at every turn, and there’s a fantastic selection of hotels in the Lake District to choose from.
Windermere remains the gateway to the sublime beauty of Lakeland. Windermere hotels place the 11 glorious miles of Lake Windermere at your doorstep. You can follow the lake as it ribbons round the gently undulating southern part of the park on a cruise.
Over on the other side of the lake, the village of Hawkshead offers literary connections aplenty, with the homes of Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. A hotel in Windermere will place these within easy reach but to take advantage of the atmosphere there are also some options to book a hotel in Hawkshead itself.
Most of the other hotels in the Lake District can be found in its three other main towns. These include the fantastic choice of Bowness hotels, Ambleside places to stay and the accommodation in Keswick. If you are looking to enjoy the tranquillity you can also find guesthouses and hotels in the remoter parts of the Lake District.
Of course, the classic Lake District hotel offers a lake view with the dramatic scenery rearing up in the distance. But, there are a wide range of choices of places to stay. Country house hotels add a touch of splendour amid acres of beautiful gardens and grounds, while Lake District country inns vary from the traditional to the gastro pub. Bed and breakfast help make you feel at home and keep the price down, while spa hotel breaks pile on the luxury and bring pampering to the fore.
From boutique hotels to hostels, there’s the perfect accommodation for your Lake District break just waiting to welcome you.
Exploring the Lake District
Heading further into the Lake District the scenery becomes wilder, and the opportunities to get away from it all on remote walks are still possible, despite the high visitor numbers. Here deep, lush, green valleys are speckled by sheep and craggy ridges create a sense of real drama as they crack the landscape open.
You can head off on mountain passes or enjoy less challenging strolls through the area. The Lake District contains some of the best walking trails you are likely to ever encounter, so do make the most of them.
An easy walk to consider is the five-mile romp around Buttermere. You’ll be surrounded on all sides with mountains and the views are never less than spectacular.
If you are up for a challenge you can take the dramatic day hike up Helvellyn, the third-highest peak in England. As you ascend the ridge of Striding Edge you will be straddling steep sides that plummet down into the wild valleys below.
And the highest peak in England may tempt you too. This can be found at Scafell Pike. With a reasonable level of fitness this peak can be “knocked off” by anyone, and those views out to Wastwater from the top are worth the effort.
It’s not all about the walking, though. There are plenty of opportunities from your Lakeland hotel to arrange a spot of mountain biking, climbing or ghyll scrambling (exploring gorges). Lovers of adventure may like to visit the Honister Slate Mine for a thrilling chance to cling for dear life over cliffs traversed by cables!
For families the World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness is perfect for younger children, bringing her characters to life in a theme park setting. A fun day out can also be had on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway, which passes along the coast at the foot of the Scafell range. You stop off at the castle at Muncaster and can dare yourselves to handle the birds of prey in the Hawk and Owl Centre here.
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