Best Places To Visit In The Lake District
The Morning Mist Hangs Over Grasmere Lake
Walks in Grasmere Lake District
Enjoy your Holiday From the Comfort of a Caravan in The Heart of Nature
Places to Visit in The Lake District
I first visited the Lake District some years ago with my husband, needless to say, I was blown away by the sheer natural beauty of the area. Some of the best places to visit in the UK can be found in the Lake District.
I loved the lakes, the hills and mountains, the vast open spaces, the beautiful desolate beaches and the timeless small villages with their fascinating history. After our first visit, we decided to return to Cumbria for more than just a short break. Since then, we've traveled widely, including four years in the Caribbean, but often, our thoughts would return to England and the hills and lakes of Cumbria.
On our return to the UK a few years ago, we visited Windermere, and like so many visitors before us, we decided to make the Lake District one of our regular British holiday destinations. And so, this summer, we hitched up the old caravan, dug out our walking boots and returned to the Lakes on a caravan and walking holiday.
The Lake District National Park
The Lake District also referred to as the Lakes or Lakeland is one of Britain's best-loved treasures. The spectacular breathtaking scenery of the country's largest National Park is situated in North West England lying within the modern county of Cumbria, shared historically by the counties of Cumberland, Westmorland, and Lancashire.
The Lake District National Park was established in 1951 and is arguably England's most scenic region. It's a major destination for holidaymakers not only within the UK but from all around the world.
Holidaymakers visit the Lakes for many reasons, the rich cultural heritage, the peace and quiet, the chance to wander lonely or not, to participate in a host of outdoors activities such as hiking, climbing, canoeing and wild swimming in the numerous lakes, rivers, and tarns. But above all, they visit for the outstandingly diverse landscape and the sheer natural beauty of the area.
The National Park is an area of glaciated mountains, including England's highest mountain 'Scafell Pike' 978 m (3,209 ft). The Lake District National Park occupies 885 sq. miles and stretches from the gateway at Windermere to the South, to Penrith in the North.
The Lake District has enthralled and inspired writers and artist for generations, it is where some of the most famous 19th-century Romantic poets found their muses.
Some of the best places to visit in the Lake District are:
- Windermere, the largest natural lake in England. Wray Castle is one of many built around Windermere by wealthy industrialists and where Beatrix Potter spent her summer holiday in 1882. The area around Rydal Water provides easy walks for young families, easy hiking trails and some amazing picturesque views of Grasmere lake. In the spring, daffodils and bluebells add something special to the experience. A boat trip on Lake Windermere is a must. On the northern end of the lake is Ambleside and its outlying villages and hamlets, worth the trip if only to wander through Dora's field.
- Kendal, Levens Hall house and gardens, Sizergh Castle, The Quaker Tapestry Exhibition Center, Kendal Castle and the Museum of Lakeland Life, are all worth a visit. Lakeland climbing center provides all weather award winning family attraction.
- Grasmere, a visit to Dove Cottage, home of William Wordsworth during his most inspired and productive years, will allow you to tick this one off the bucket list. Guided tours are offered. The Wordsworth Museum beside Dove Cottage has a permanent display of the poet's life history through pictures, maps, manuscripts, letters and much more.
- Hawkshead, Sawrey is where you'll find the delightful Hilltop house and garden of Beatrix Potter. Visitors can walk in her footsteps by following the paths where the writer and illustrator of children's books regularly walked. The cottage still contains many of Beatrix Potter's favourite things and appears as if she had just stepped out.
- Buttermere provides easy relaxing walks in one of Lakeland's most beautiful valleys. There are lakes, fells, woodland, and farmland.
- Keswick on Derwentwater and the northern lakes covers half of the Lake District National Park. Keswick in the Lake District is the perfect retreat for the whole family with activities for all ages. There's museums, walks, lake cruises, mountain climbing and much more. Castlerigg Stone Circle is among the earliest British circles; it was raised around 3000 BC during the Neolithic period. This ancient stone circle is one of the most dramatic, atmospheric and impressive monuments in Britain, with it's stunning views. From within the circle, it is possible to see some of the highest peaks in Cumbria, Skiddaw, Grasmoor, Blencathra and Helvellyn.
- Coniston, Furness Fell, and Grizedale Forest are popular destinations for hill-walking and mountain climbing. Best places to visit includes the John Ruskin Museum, a real treat for fans of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons and Donald Cambell and Bluebird. Cambell broke four World Water Speed Records on Coniston Water in the 1950s and died attempting to break the world speed record for the eighth time in 1967 when his boat "Bluebird K7" crashed. Donald Cambell was buried in the new graveyard in Coniston in 2001.
For more specific information such as best hotels in the Lake District or camping in the Lake District and prices, check out the Cumbria Tourist Board.
Beatrix Potter's Hill Top House in Lake District Cumbria
Beatrix Potter World Lake District
Long before the phenomenal Harry Potter cast his first spell to conquer the world, another Potter had weaved her own special magic to captured the imagination of children everywhere.
Beatrix Potter first visited Cumbria as a child where her family spent many happy summer holidays. The Lake District is where the young Beatrix would develop her love for nature, and where she found inspiration for many of her books. With a legacy from her aunt, and the proceeds from her book 'Peter Rabbit' the writer and illustrator were able to buy Hill Top Cottage and 34-acre working farm, in July 1906, the property became her home away from London.
Hill Top is a 17th-century house built with random stone walls and slate roof, situated in the small village of Sawrey near Windermere, and is open to the public. Potter later purchased other farms in the area, to preserve the uniqueness of the hill country landscape. She also became a prize-winning breeder of Herdwick sheep and married a well-respected local solicitor by the name of William Heelis. Potter left Hill Top to the National Trust. The house, farm and nearby villages featured in some of Beatrix Potter's classic books.
The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan
The Tale of Tom Kitten
The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck
The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or The Rolly-Poly Pudding.
Illustration from The Tale Of Peter Rabbit By Beatrix Potter
Lake District, Cumbria, U.K
The Lake District National Park
Cumbria ( historically in Cumberland, Lancashire & Westmorland)
South Lakeland, Eden, Allerdale, Copeland
Scarfell Pike (978m)
2,292 km2 (885 sq. miles
Red deer, Red squirrel, Fell pony, Herdwick sheep, Red kite, Peregrine Falcon, Arctic Charr
15.8 million, Annual Day Visits 23.1 million
Lowther Castle An Aerial View
A Visit to Lowther Castle and Gardens
If you love wandering through old castle ruins, Lowther Castle near Penrith is a must, you will not be disappoint. This Gothic beauty allows the imagination to run wild. The magnificent Castle and gardens provide a relaxed and enjoyable day out for the whole family.
Built between 1806 and 1814 at the height of the romantic movement, Lowther Castle have certainly left its mark on Cumbria.
The Lowther family tree goes back to the time of Henry ll (12th century). However, the family seem to have had a rather checkered and colourful past. James Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale (1736 -1802), aka. Wicked Jimmy, The Gloomy Earl, The Toadstool Earl, and Jimmy Grasp-All was an exceedingly wealthy individual who inherited a fortune from his father and his political acumen from his grandfather and uncles.
Despite his great wealth, James was noted for being more than just a little tight with his money, he continued to add to his power and fortune by employing some rather devious political skulduggery that would make our current day expense fixing politicians look like rank armatures.
The Earl owned several mines in the area of Whitehaven but neglected to invest in making his mines safe, to the detriment of his workers and pit-ponies.
When one of James' mistresses died, the Earl could not endure the thought of having her body buried and kept the putrefying body lying in bed. When this became unbearable, he had the body placed in a glass top coffin and kept in a cupboard.
Jimmy is said to be the reason William Wordsworth grew up in virtual poverty. Wicked Jimmy owed £5000 to Wordsworth's father John, an agent to the Lowther estate. The money would have been a small fortune at that time, and was still unpaid when John Wordsworth died in 1783. However, the debt was later paid with interest by James' heir William Lowther in 1802. The most colourful and best known of the Earls of Lonsdale was the 5th Earl of Lonsdale the "Yellow Earl.
Lowther Castle was designed by a young British architect known as Robert Smirke, later, Sir Robert Smirke, a leader of the Greek Revival architecture who also designed several public building including the main block and facade of the British Museum. The architectural style of Lowther Castle has been described as an outstanding example of Gothic revival. The castle sits on 3000 acres of rolling parkland, with its turrets, towers and Gothic arches reaching for the sky, Lowther is the quintessential fairy tale castle.
Lowther Castle and Gardens are owned by the Lowther Estate Trust, and has been in the family for around 900 years; it is currently undergoing extensive restoration. The Lowther Trust was awarded £65,000 by English Heritage for emergency repairs. This beautiful romantic ruin is well worth placing on the list of best places to visit in The Lake District.
Lowther Hall in the Early 19th Century
Lowther Fairytale Gothic Castle
The Four Lawns At Lowther Castle Flanked By Large Beds of Perennial Wild Flowers Native to the Region
Lowther Castle Ruins
Find the best routes for hiking in the Lake District
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The Lake District also known as Wordsworth country is where William Wordsworth found inspiration for the poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud". Dorothy Wordsworth who was sister to William, wrote about the Daffodils that she and William saw on a walk in Gowbarrow Park, it is these golden daffodils that are believed to have inspired the famous poem.
Cultivated Daffodils positively lights up the roadsides of many Lakeland villages in Springtime, and although these flowers are different to the wild daffodils, they are a delight to behold.
In his "Preface to Lyrical Ballad," Wordsworth says that a poet is not in need of external stimulus so that he could write a poem. Critics are still debating whether the poet did, in fact, happened on a host of golden Daffodils, or did he simply penned a poem about Daffodils, either way, millions of people the world over are very glad that he did.
William Wordsworth was born on the 7th April 1770 in a Georgian house in the Cumbrian town of Cockermouth. He was the second of five children, William shared a close bond with his younger sister Dorothy, also a Romantic poet and prose writer.
Although Dorothy did not publish her work in her lifetime, many of her travelogues, journals and poems were published posthumously.
William's father, John, was a lawyer and estate agent to the land owner, Sir John Lowther, who also owned the Wordsworth's Georgian house.
The child William at aged six, was sent away to live with his maternal grandparents in Penrith, in North Cumbria where he attended the local school.
In 1779, William Wordsworth attended grammar school in the rural village of Hawkshead near Windermere and was granted a place at Cambridge University in October 1787. He left England in July 1790 on a tour of France and Switzerland, and although he continued his aimless wandering, the poet returned to the north of England in 1794.
Wordsworth accepted the offered of a tenancy to a remote Dorset cottage, "Racedown" in 1795 where he remained until 1797. At Racedown, Taylor Coleridge became a regular visitor and was said to play a part in instigating the move to Somerset, and the large mansion of Alfoxden in the village of Holford Glen.
Wordsworth continued his wandering but returned to Cumbria. He moved to Dove Cottage in 1799 with his sister Dorothy, married Mary Hutchinson, a childhood friend in 1802, the first of their five children was born in 1803.
However, as the family grew, Wordsworth was once again forced to find a larger home, and moved to Allan Bank in Grasmere, Coleridge was by this time, a permanent guest.
William Wordsworth moved to his final home Rydal Mount in1813. Dorothy Wordsworth struggled with addictions to opium and laudanum, as her mental health deteriorated, her brother William, became her main caregiver until his death in 1850. Dorothy died in January 1855; Mary died nine years after her husband in 1859.
While, at Rydal Mount, William Wordsworth bought the 'Rash Field' next to St Mary's Church where he had planned to build a house, the house was never built.
After the death of his daughter, Dora in 1847, William, Mary, Dorothy and the gardener went down to the field between Rydal Mount and the main road, where they planted hundreds of daffodils in memory of Dora.
Dora's field now belongs to the National Trust, the most famous spot in the UK for daffodils. The area is easy to find on the main road 1.5 miles north of Ambleside at Rydal.
Wordsworth, his sister Dorothy, his wife Mary, his children Catherine, Thomas and Dora have all been laid to rest in St Oswald's churchyard in Grasmere.
Choosing the best places in the Lake District to visit is a herculean task, I find that each visitor chooses his/her special place and will swear it's the best in the Lakes. I chose some of the places that left a lasting impression, and those I'd love to visit again in the future.
The Endangered Red Squirrel
Easy Walk Path with View of Grasmere Lake
Poltross Burn MileCastle- Hadrian's Wall
From the Mountains to the Sea, Barrow-in-Furness
Peter Rabbit and Friends Came to Visit
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