England's Lake District, also known as Lakeland, is located in Cumbria. Named for the 16 glacial lakes that rest among its moors, fells and green valleys, this beautiful area attracts many nature lovers and history buffs. It has also inspired some of history's greatest writers and poets, such as Beatrix Potter, John Ruskin and William Wordsworth.
If you're travelling to the Lake District, here are the top 7 places to visit in Cumbria.
Lake District National Park
Lake District National Park includes some of the country's largest lakes, tallest peaks and most beautiful scenery. The area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, boasting opportunities to hike in the Newlands Valley, take in views from Sphinx Rock or enjoy a historic boat ride in the park's many lakes. You'll also find several villages with activities and places to visit, as well as trails through the tranquil scenery.
Lake Windermere is one of the best-known lakes in the area. You can take locomotive rides on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway through the Leven Valley, enjoy lake cruises on the glassy surface to take in views of the countryside or hire rowboats to explore the lake and the River Leven. You can also visit the large Lakes Aquarium, which features freshwater fish and a fun playground for young children.
Castlerigg Stone Circle
The Castlerigg Stone Circle is one of over 300 stone circles in England. It boasts 38 stones aligned with surrounding fells in an atmospheric location. Unlike other stone circles, which are Bronze Age burial sites, the Castlerigg Stone Circle dates to the Neolithic period. For the best views and photo opportunities, visit the site at sunset.
Coniston Water is found on the eastern slope of the Old Man of Coniston, a mountain above the lake and nearby village. You can take a ride on a historic steam gondola or hire a boat to explore the lake. Scenic boat rides stop at Brantwood, the home of John Ruskin, a prominent mind from the Victorian era. You'll find fine art and objects collected during his travels along with pieces that offer a glimpse into his work, as well as spectacular gardens on the property with views of the fells and lake. The Ruskin Museum, located in the village, chronicles the history of Coniston going back to the Stone Age.
Derwentwater is a tranquil lake in the northern portion of Lake District National Park. Catbells ridge, Friar's Crag viewpoint and the stunning Borrowdale Valley surround it. You can explore the lake and scenery on small boats that stop along interesting points on a 1-hour ride, stopping to wander down quiet lakeside trails until you catch the next boat. You'll also like the Pencil Museum, a unique museum featuring the history of pencil manufacturing and the mainstream use of graphite in the area.
Ullswater is one of the larger lakes in the park. Located in the shadow of Helvellyn Mountain, Ullswater boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in all of the Lake District. Ullswater offers historic boat rides that leave from the charming village of Pooley Bridge, as well as extensive hikes around the lake. Aira Force, a massive waterfall with a stone-arch bridge, and Maiden Castle, a hillfort with gorgeous views of the Ullswater Valley, are highlights of the lakeside trails.
The 17th-century farmhouse at Hill Top is an idyllic location that inspired Beatrix Potter's many works. She left the house and farm to the National Trust under the condition that the home and all of her belongings remain as they were when she lived there. You can explore the home and see artefacts that inspired her stories, such as the dollhouse for 'The Tale of Two Bad Mice', the desk where she worked and more. Outside, you'll find a garden with a unique collection of flowers, vegetables, fruit and herbs.
Lakeland is one of the most attractive areas in all of Cumbria, boasting everything from beautiful nature activities to historic attractions. If you're planning an itinerary of places to visit in the area, why not peruse these Lake District hotel options to make the most of your experience?