With a recent UNESCO world heritage site designation and over 15 million visitors annually, there’s no better time to visit the Lake District than right know. Characterised by its glittering waters, green landscape, and mountains peaks, here are 9 VERY good reasons to visit the Lake District this year.
If you give yourself just one great reason to visit the Lake District, then make it this: the scenery. Incredibly high mountains are matched by impossibly deep bodies of water known as tarns, meres, and waters. Despite being called ‘The Lake District’, very few bodies of water in the region are actually called ‘lakes’! Head to the Lake District if you love photography, or simply want to see some beautiful English countryside for yourself!
Read more: Tips for visiting the Lake District!
Hiking & Walking
Ok. Let’s just get this one out the way! The Lake District is so vast that it’s actually the largest National Park in England. As such, the region it’s full of hills, peaks, deep valleys, and mountains. This provides the perfect setting for countless hiking trails and stunning walks. So whether you want to go for a gentle walk around a water or are feeling a little more adventurous, the Lake District offers trails to suit everyone.
Cute Little Towns and Villages
Slated roofs, cobbled lanes and all the cute architecture you’d associate with a quintessentially British village. The landscape of The Lake District is dotted with small towns and villages, each with their own unique merits and vibe. Head to Coniston Water if you want to experience museums and water sports, or go to Windermere if you want a slightly busier settlement, as well as the chance to explore the world of Beatrix Potter.
The Lake District is so called this way for a reason: there are plenty of bodies of water! As a result, if you’re a lover of adventure activities then there are always plenty of water sports on offer throughout the year. Whether you fancy sailing, swimming, or simply heading out onto a mere or tarn for some kayaking, you’re sure to find a sport you love. And if you don’t want to get into the water, then there are also plenty of hiking and cycling trails surrounding the lakes and meres.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Recently, the Lake District was designated a UNESCO world heritage site. As the first National Park to be given this status in the UK, the region’s countless peaks and valleys were shaped by mountainous glaciers during the last Ice Age.
Today, the region is well-known for its abundance of wildlife, incredible local food, and as great inspiration for the post-18th-century Picturesque and later Romantic movements. Since its designation as a world heritage site, the popularity of the Lake District has only continued to grow. And so, there is no better time to visit the National Park than right now, before the rest of the crowds arrive…
From quaint houses to quirky architecture, of all the reasons to visit the Lake District, the unique architecture may not be the first thing that springs to mind. However, the locally quarried slate and charming buildings are well worth a closer inspection if you’re interested in design and exploring how human settlements interact with the stunning landscapes which so often surround them.
One of the most unusual pieces of architecture to see in the Lake District is the teeny tiny bridge house at Ambleside. Once constructed as a counting house for a nearby mill, the crooked little house has since been used as a tea room, a cobbler’s, a chair maker’s workshop and was even as a home to a family of eight! Today entrance is free and it takes just a few minutes to explore the house’s two rooms in the centre of Ambleside!
Literary Figures & Artistic Inspiration
Follow in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter (author of classic children’s books such as Peter Rabbit) or Arthur Ransome (author of Swallows and Amazons). Trace the paths these literary figures would have taken across the Lake District, explore their histories in the many museums dedicated to them in the region, or simply enjoy the beauty of the landscape which so inspired the iconic novels they created.
Read more: A quick guide to Coniston Water.
If you’re heading to the Lake District then you can expect rain. And you can expect it to rain a lot! After all, there’s a reason those hills are so green… However, if it does happen to be pouring when you visit, then there are plenty of great indoor activities to be enjoyed when it comes to Cumbria. Of all the best reasons to visit the Lake District, the many varied museums on offer may well be my favourite. In fact, the Lake District is home to several unique and offbeat museums, including ones dedicated to John Ruskin and even a motor museum.
Quintessentially British pubs & the Ale Trail
If you give yourself one bucket list item to tick off while you’re travelling the UK, make it a visit to a British pub! One of the very best pubs in the region is that of the Kirkstone Pass Inn, a precariously perched pub at 1481 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest inns in England. To the front of the Kirkstone Pass, there’s a beer garden offering breathtaking views of the Lake District landscape.
The inside of the pub is just as interesting and is home to a seemingly never extinguished fire and reputedly, several ghosts of previous residents and passersby. Elsewhere in the region, the well worn so-called ‘Ale Trail’ is an incredible pub crawl which passes by many of the best drinking establishments in the region.