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10 Hidden Views in the English Lake District

Updated on March 31, 2012

What's so special about these views then?

Places to visit in the Lake District: Every year somewhere in the region of 14 million tourists visit the English Lake District and many of them visit the same places: Windermere, Ambleside, Keswick etc. As someone who's lucky enough to live in Cumbria and just a stone's throw from the Lake District National Park I wanted to show you some of the places that are a little more off the beaten track so that next time you visit you can see more of what Cumbria has to offer.

And once you're done with the Lake District then what about the rest of the country? Here's 10 places to visit in Britain that are a little off the main tourist track.

1. The Dock Museum, Barrow-in-Furness

Not inside the National Park but definitely worth a visit.
Not inside the National Park but definitely worth a visit.

But it's indoors!

Yes, The Dock Museum in Barrow-in-Furnessprobably isn't what you had in mind when you booked your holiday in the Lake District, but if the weather turns a bit soggy then it's a great place to spend an afternoon and what's more it's all free. An interesting history of Barrow and its shipbuilding past and a wonderful little cafe. What's not to love?

2. Crummock Water

A hidden gem in the North of the Lake District.
A hidden gem in the North of the Lake District.

Living in Buttermere's Shadow

I always feel a little sorry for Crummock Water as it finds itself living in the shadow of Buttermere which is right next door. A short drive from Cockermouth will bring you to this peaceful gem of a lake and a short 20 minute stroll up Rannerdale Knotts will give you this amazing view.

3. Rannerdale Bluebells

A stunning display every April.
A stunning display every April.

But don't Bluebells grow in woods?

Usually they do, yes, but not in this case. This is truly one of the most amazing views in the Lake District. Each April this hillside near the Rannerdale Knotts comes alive for a few days with the most amazing display of Bluebells. Hardly a tree in sight to spoil the view of this blanket of blue. But you need to time it right, they're only at their best for a few days and then it's all over for another year.

Getting your feet wet!

Throughout the summer organised walks take place across the bay.
Throughout the summer organised walks take place across the bay.

4. Morecambe Bay

Morecambe Bay lies to the south of Cumbria and at low tide is a beautiful expanse of dangerous quicksand and hidden channels. It is famous for its cockles and ferociously quick incoming tides. Throughout the summer guided walks take place (tides permitting) where you can cross the bay and, usually, raise money for a good cause. It is incredibly dangerous to try this alone and you should only ever venture out there as part of an officially organised event. It's quite an experience to stand in the middle of the bay a good 2 miles from "land" in any direction. Be warned though, it may be flat but it's a 9 mile walk through soft sand so not for the faint hearted.

5. Levers Water

Well worth the walk!
Well worth the walk!

Hidden by an Old Man.

When visiting Coniston in the heart of the Lake District many people will venture up the Old Man, and that's a fine climb with fantastic views, but a short detour will bring you to Levers Water. With its steep sides and waterfalls it's a glacial tarn straight out of the text books. You can take a more direct route from Coniston and on a fine day enjoy a well earned picnic on the banks of the lake with stunning views of The Old Man himself.

6. Scale Force

A straightforward, if rather boggy, walk.
A straightforward, if rather boggy, walk.

Just one of hundreds of wonderful waterfalls.

If you're taking my earlier advice and heading for Crummock Water then take some decent waterproof boots and head around to Scale Force. There's a straightforward if rather boggy path from Buttermere which winds along Crummock Water before doubling back up to Scale Force, considered to be the highest waterfall in the Lake District. Both Wordsworth & Coleridge had good things to say about it, so who are we to argue with them?

7. Windermere Cloud Inversion

An unusual view of a popular spot.
An unusual view of a popular spot.

Not one for the summer visitors.

If you're visiting the Lake District during the autumn or winter then you may well be lucky enough to spot one of these - a cloud inversion. If it's a cold and misty morning down in the valley then you may just be in luck. If you're staying near Windermere then the easiest spot to aim for is Gummer's How - there's a free car park and an easy (20 min) walk up to the summit. You'll need to be up there early though so my advice is to pack a flask of hot coffee and some sarnies and get there around 7am for a spectacular breakfast.

8. Kentmere Reservoir

The source of the River Kent tucked up in the hills north of Kendal.
The source of the River Kent tucked up in the hills north of Kendal.

If you fancy a long easy stroll.

If you fancy getting out and about but don't want to hike up the high fells then how about Kentmere Reservoir? A short drive out of Kendal will bring you to Kentmere village and from there you can enjoy a lovely walk along the valley and up to the reservoir. Kentmere Pike and Ill Bell loom large above the valley so there's plenty to look at along the way.

9. Colwith Force

A waterfall in 3 parts.
A waterfall in 3 parts.

Lurking around the Langdales

Colwith Force is a 30 minute walk from Elterwater in one of the most popular and breathtaking parts of the Lake District. It's a waterfall in 3 parts, plunging highs falls at the bottom, a midsection that lets you get close enough to feel the power and this quieter section at the top. There's a lovely circular route that starting and ending in Elterwater where you can enjoy a well earned pie and chips when you're done.

10. The Kent Estuary

Saving the best until last?
Saving the best until last?
Wainwright Pictorial Guides Boxed Set (Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells)
Wainwright Pictorial Guides Boxed Set (Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells)

The definitive guides to the English Lake District. For 13 years Wainwright walked every fell and hand wrote and illustrated his original manuscripts.


Right on my doorstep.

Remember the Kentmere Reservoir from earlier? Well here's where it ends up. The Kent Estuary is right at the northern corner of Morecambe Bay and this photo is taken from Silverdale looking across towards Kents Bank. Technically Silverdale is in Lancashire but the border runs through the village and from the hills above you get these spectacular views of sunsets over the estuary with the Lake District in the background.

So there you have it. Ten good ways to get away from the crowds and find some real gems just off the main routes. Look forward to seeing you in the Lake District! And if you're interested in finding out more about the region then please visit my blog where you'll find lots of information about local fells, walks, lakes and towns,


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    • Beth Pipe profile imageAUTHOR

      Beth Pipe 

      5 years ago from Cumbria, UK

      Thank you for the comment - it's such a wonderful place to visit with so many hidden corners to explore.

    • Vacation Trip profile image


      5 years ago from India

      Wow. Great pictures. Very well written, i enjoyed reading your hub. Thanks for sharing.

    • oujipickle profile image


      5 years ago

      Lovely hub, makes me want to get out on the hills again. I was lucky enough to experience a cloud inversion on Helvellyn a couple of winters ago, absolutely stunning. And I've always felt sorry for Crummock as well. It certainly has its own charm. There's a nice walk round it too, which I wrote a piece on here -

    • Beth Pipe profile imageAUTHOR

      Beth Pipe 

      6 years ago from Cumbria, UK

      Thanks for the Movie Master - we know we are so incredibly lucky to live here. It's been an amazing journey but never any regrets.

      Really hope you enjoy your next visit - and thank you again for your comments and votes.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is a wonderful hub Beth, I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

      We stayed in Elterwater on our visit, I will put a link to this from my walk to Skelwith Bridge hub.

      We are visiting again next year, so am keeping your hub for reference there are lots of places here I would love to visit.

      Thank you and voted up.

    • Beth Pipe profile imageAUTHOR

      Beth Pipe 

      6 years ago from Cumbria, UK

      It's a small world isn't it? I never tire of the amazing views out there. Thank you for your comment.

    • Linnit profile image


      6 years ago from London

      Lovely to see those views again - I used to live in Bolton le Sands!

    • Beth Pipe profile imageAUTHOR

      Beth Pipe 

      6 years ago from Cumbria, UK

      Thank you. I know I'm so incerdibly lucky to be living here. Hoping for some great winter shots and lots of snow soon!

    • gramarye profile image


      6 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      Beautiful country, great photos, nice hub.

    • profile image

      Northern hiker 

      6 years ago

      Great shots Beth

    • France Travel Inf profile image

      France Travel Inf 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful hub about a beautiful place. The Lake District is my absolute favorite part of England! Marked up! and interesting.

    • Beth Pipe profile imageAUTHOR

      Beth Pipe 

      6 years ago from Cumbria, UK

      Thank you! You'd need pretty long arms to drag your hand in the water from most of the pleasure boats. :-)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Lovely pictures and great hub. Voted up!

    • surfgatinho profile image

      Chris Leather 

      6 years ago from Cornwall UK

      Nice pics of a beautiful place.

      Haven't been to the Lake District since I was about 6 - then I thought it was rubbish because I couldn't drag my hand in the water from the boat!


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