The Lake District
North West England
The Lake District in north-west England is a glorious place to visit. It is unbelievably scenic and although some of its towns and villages can be thronged with tourists it is still possible to find solitude amongst the hidden valleys and craggy mountains.
‘The Lakes’ are the playground of northern England at weekends. A good tip is to try and time your visit to arrive on a Monday and leave before Friday evening. This way you will avoid most of the crowds.
We have great Lake District information in this website, just go to any of our two selected towns where you will find all your links:
The 'District' covers a total area of nearly 885 square miles (2,292 km2) and its valleys and mountains are a result of glacial activity. All the land in England higher than three thousand feet (915 metres) above sea level lies within the Lake District National Park, including Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England.
Here are mirror calm lakes and majestic mountains
The mountains rise majestically between wide U-shaped valleys. Mirror-calm lakes and tarns in the valleys are fed by little streams tumbling down the bare mountains and rushing under little stone bridges.
Hill farms with grey slate roofs and white-washed walls dot the valleys, their traditional dry-stone walls criss-crossing the hillsides. Along the valley floors narrow roads wind their way through old oak woods skirting the lakes’ foreshores. Sometimes the trees meet across the road in a leafy tunnel and small deer can be seen grazing in the glades.
In this part of the world the local Cumbrian dialect has influenced place names. The word ‘water’ or ‘mere’ is used instead of ‘lake’ as in Windermere or Rydal Water. ‘Fell’ is the name for a mountain and ‘how’ means a hill or mound. ‘Dale’ means a valley, for instance Borrowdale, ‘beck’ is a stream as in Troutbeck and ‘force’ indicates a waterfall. ‘Pike’ means a peak as in Langdale Piles and ‘thwaite’ means a clearing.
Part of the ‘Lakes’ charm is the unusual names. Who wouldn’t want to visit somewhere called Skiddaw, Catbells or Buttermere? Or take on the challenge of steep mountain Passes bearing the names of Hardknott, Wrynose or Honister? These roads are particularly narrow and steep, with tight hairpin bends.
Accommodation - Search & Book through Hotels.com here:
Home to famous writers, poets and artists
It is no wonder that the ‘Lakes’ was a favourite spot for writers, poets and artists. Beatrix Potter’s home of Hill Top at Near Sawrey attracts thousands of visitors eager to see the objects and places she used to illustrate her popular children’s books.
The three homes of William Wordsworth, Wordsworth House in Cockermouth Town, Dove Cottage at Grasmere Village and Rydal Mount & Gardens at Ambleside Town, also attract many visitors.
Walk the Fells or Sail, Row or canoe the lakes
Sightseeing and walking over the fells are popular activities but many people come to the ‘Lakes’ to enjoy motor-less water sports on the many lakes. Windermere and Keswick on Derwentwater are two favourite locations for sailing, rowing and canoeing.
Two amazing Heritage Railways for all the Family to Enjoy
A more leisurely way to enjoy the beautiful scenery is to board a sightseeing launch or take a trip on the heritage Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway.
A great favourite with adults and children is the 1 ft 3 in (381 mm) gauge Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway that runs from Dalegarth down the Esk valley to Ravenglass Village on the Cumbrian coast.
Pretty Villages and small towns
There are several small towns in the area with Windermere and Keswick being the largest. Kenda Town is a pretty spot and easily accessible from the M6. Accommodation all over the region is abundant ranging from quality hotels, through bed and breakfasts, self-catering to camping and hostels.
The mountains and valleys naturally divide the area into different sections connected via narrow, twisting roads.
Tip When considering where to base yourself bear in mind the natural topography of the area, what you want to do and which sites you wish to visit.
Mountain Goat MiniBus Tours
One way to enjoy this beautiful and wild place is to join a Mountain Goat Tours minibus day tour and let the driver handle the road conditions.
- By Bus
The Cumbria County Council has an excellent bus travel website at Web: Bus Timetables/ Cumbria
- By Rail
The Lake District is well served by train services from all over Britain. The Windermere branch line joins the West Coast Main Line at Oxenholme near Kendal. The West Coast Main Line connects London, Birmingham, Manchester, liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh. For timetable, seat availability and tickets, please go to Web: National Rail Enquiries
There is a direct very frequent rail service from Windermere station to Manchester City Airport, with journey time of about 2 hours. For details go to the National Rail Enquiries website above.
- By Coach
National Express Coaches run London (Victoria) coach station and Ambleside, Kendal, Windermere as well as a number of other Lake District destinations. For routes, timetable, seat availability and ticketing to to Web: National Coach - Cumbria
- By Car
The M6 Motorway skirts the Lake District and is an excellent means to getting to its major towns and villages. That Motorway runs from Glasgow in the North to Birmingham where it joins the M5 running to Exeter in the South. Many major Motorways intersect the M6/M5 including the M40 through Oxford to London and the M4 which runs from near Llanelli in South Wales through Cardiff and onwards to London.
If driving from London to The Lake District, we recommend exiting London's M25 Ring Road at Junction 1A onto the M40 past Oxford and through Banbury joing the M42 Birmingham Ring Road at Junction 3A and head West to take the M5 North at Junction 4A. Then continue northwards to join the M6 past Stoke-on-Trent, Preston, Lancaster to Junction 36 to join the A590/A591 to Kendal and Windemere.
Journey time London/Lake District is in the vicinity of 5 to 6 hours depending on time/ day of week and holiday period.
Google Maps - Lake District