A Guide to Visit Lake District and the Best Places to Stay
The Lake District in the heart of Cumbria is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with so many breathtaking vistas. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the Lake District is the most visited national park in the United Kingdom. Let’s follow The Broad Life to know more about this national park and prepare for your next trip to the place.
About Lake District, England
Located in the northwest of the country, close to the border with Scotland, the Lake District is currently the UK’s largest National Park with a total area of about 2,362 km2. With an altitude of nearly 1,000 meters above sea level, this national park is a gem with many lakes, forests, and majestic mountains. True to the name Lake District, there are 16 lakes with 150 high peaks, more than 50 valleys, 6 national nature conservation centers, and hundreds of ancient towns scattered creating picturesque scenery. Also, it’s home to England’s highest mountain – Scafell Pike, and the deepest Wast Water.
Alongside the top travel destinations in the cities in England, The Lake District in the summer months is considered a top tourist attraction with excellent scenery and climate. Its timeless landscape is crystal clear lakes with shimmering waters that reflect mountains and thousands of vast forests. This is the ideal place for weekend picnics, or to satisfy the passion for trekking and hiking of sports followers. Coming to the natural landscape of the Lake District, you will feel like time is standing still, only you are alone standing in the middle of the vast mountains and forests.
How to Get to Lake District National Park
There are different ways that you can choose to go to Lake District:
A. By Car
With a desirable location in Cumbria’s beautiful countryside, the easiest way to get to and around Lake District National Park is by car. Just off the M6 motorway, the drive to the Lake District from London takes around 5 hours. Since the high-speed Virgin takes less time than this, you can choose to catch the train to Oxenholme. Then, you rent a car from there so you can explore more of the lakes at your leisure.
B. By Plane
All nearby airports are about a 2-hour drive from Lake District National Park. The nearest airports are Manchester, Liverpool, and Glasgow. They have flights to European cities with daily non-stop flights. From any of those airports, the easiest and cheapest way to the lake is to arrange a pick-up from where you are staying.
When to Visit the Lake District?
The Lake District National Park is a popular British tourist destination and a year-round destination, with its landscape changing beautifully throughout the seasons. The coldest weather falls between November and February. It’s when you can expect plenty of rain but also plenty of opportunities to enjoy cozy traditional pubs. In contrast, August is the hottest month with average daytime temperatures reaching 30oC.
Winter has an average of 20 days of snow. In spring, daffodils carpet the stunning landscape. While in autumn, the area is filled with color.
Lake District Attractions to Visitors
With many attractions, the Lake District has so many things to do. It is divided into three areas west, north, and south. Among the most famous lakes here are the two lakes Windermere and Grasmere. However, the interesting thing is that this park has only one main lake – Bassenthwaite Lake. Also, there is the highest mountain in England – Scafell Pike located in this area.
Aira Force Waterfall
Like other waterfalls in Northern England, the word “Force” in its place name reflects a Viking legacy dating back some 1100 years.
Ambleside is a great place to spend a few hours wandering around the lovely shops. Furthermore, just a short walk from the center of town is the Stock Ghyll Force, a stunning 70-foot waterfall in springtime when daffodils bloom.
Actually, this area is very popular with hikers due to the excellent walking paths around Ambleside. Hence, don’t forget to bring your hiking shoes!
Town of Bowness-on-Windermere
The 500-year-old town has entered many classic British literary works. If your budget is good, you can rent a sailboat to go along the lake and enjoy the landscape. When needed, you can anchor at a certain wharf to admire your favorite scenery.
From Lake Windermere, you can see the space surrounded by small forests, several majestic castles, and vast parks of flowers. Walking on the ancient paved streets, you will see gardens full of flowers, which are unique works of art.
The Village of Grasmere
There are a few cottages located by a stream in the Lake District National Park. Here you will be amazed by the traditional houses of the English highlands. To illustrate, they are small, low houses built of stone and roofed with a kind of reed. Yet, this built-on-stone architecture is different from the townhouses outside the town.
The village has only a few dozen houses located around a small lake, which is also where ducks live. The road to the village has flowers covering the trails, mushrooms growing everywhere, and fish can be seen swimming under the mossy stone bridge.
Visiting the stunning Grizedale Forest, you will not only discover fascinating views all around but also find an ‘outdoor gallery’ of contemporary art.
Lake District is a traditional agricultural area that has been exploited to its strength since ancient times. Although this area has been exploited for a long time and is located close to many industrial cities, the Lake District still wastes natural resources and maintains a peaceful atmosphere. To this day, Lake District National Park has captivated many authors, poets, and painters.
In fact, Lake District receives approximately 18 million visitors each year. Farmers working in the area hope that UNESCO will make the Lake District more attractive to international tourists. However, they also hope that UNESCO will help oversee tourism activities and conservation efforts in the national park.
What to Eat in Lake District?
Truly, Lake District National Park is more than just a paradise for those who love to explore the great outdoors. Along with secret nature trails and scenic hikes, it is also famous for a number of great foods. Whether it’s a recipe passed down through the generations, or a quality dish that has built a reputation over the years, foodies from across the UK come to Lake District to enjoy quality foods at the place.
Yes, Lake District is home to many regional specialties including Cumberland Sausage, Kendal Mint, and Grasmere Gingerbread. However, there are also newer twists on the traditional flavors to enjoy, with Kendal Mint Cake Liqueur and Damson ketchup,… Below we share some typical and traditional dishes in each region of the national park.
Invented by Sarah Nelson in 1854, the award-winning Grasmere Gingerbread claims to be ‘the best gingerbread in the world’ and attracts foodies all over the UK. The compelling quality of gingerbread is that it’s still baked daily according to her original sweet, spicy, and super-secret recipe. It’s sold at the Sarah Nelson church, which is renovated into a Grasmere Gingerbread Shop now.
Fruit of the plum family. It has grown in the Lyth Valley since the 1700s. Although available throughout the UK, the particularly delicious, unique flavor of those grown in the Lyth Valley thanks to Cumbria’s perfect climate. They are harvested in September and used to make a multitude of delicious local products such as gin, cakes, jams, chutneys, and cheeses. There is even an annual national fair held to celebrate these unique fruits!
The exceptional quality of Cumbrian sausage is that it is one of the very few products to be awarded the PGI label. To elaborate, this label was created to protect the reputation of local food and will only be enacted if the EU agrees that the product has characteristics or qualities that are a result of the region associated with it.
Cumberland sausages have a long, rolled appearance and are sold by weight or length. It is traditionally made from Cumberland pigs, which once became extinct in the 1960s, and flavored with herbs, spices, and pepper.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Francis Coulson created the original Pudding Sticky Toffee recipe in the 1970s. Another popular pudding recipe comes from Cartmel, who originally only sold their famous pudding at the Cartmel Village Store in Lake District National Park.
Kendal Mint Cake
Another top-secret recipe, Kendal Mint Cake has been a Cumbrian delicacy since it was created by Joseph Wiper in 1869. Its high energy content means it has become food for mountain climbers for many years. Even, it is carried to Mount Everest! Due to growing demand, Romney’s began producing homemade Treacle Toffee and Fudge, as well as brown, white, concentrated, and chocolate-coated versions of the world-famous original Mint cake recipe.
The Best Places to Stay in Lake District
Here are suggestions for some great places that you can stay while traveling to Lake District National Park:
With one of the best views of Lake Windermere in the Lake District, Holbeck Ghyll is a great place to stay for first-timers. There are several popular walking routes that start right at your doorstep, or if the weather is unfavorable, you can hide in the spa. Rooms are playfully named after Beatrix Potter characters and either overlook the lake or face back into the street.
The Gilpin Hotel
The Gilpin Hotel offers the ultimate luxury getaway, with just 28 rooms, two award-winning restaurants, and a soccer field! For the ultimate in luxury, the five Spa Lodges come with their own built-in spas complete with outdoor hot tubs overlooking the moors.
The Forest Side
Combining a Michelin-starred restaurant with luxurious rooms, the heart of Forest Side is the food. No vacation here is complete without enjoying a locally inspired menu. By the way, the well-known Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread Shop is not far from the Forest Side.
Another hotel with stunning views and another with a Michelin-starred restaurant, you certainly can’t mistake it for Samling. With a view of Lake Windermere, you can eat and sleep with a beautiful view of the lake.
Just across the highway from the Lake District, head to Malabar for a cozy ride. Make yourself comfortable here, from a hearty breakfast to a bottle of vino from the cellar.
With stunning landscapes, mountains, lakes, and pretty towns, it’s no wonder that Lake District has become the muse of poets and writers like William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.
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