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I Left My Heart In The Lake District

Updated on September 16, 2010


My Hub for 'Hub Pages Marks the Spot; week 3' is about the highlights and destinations of The Lake District, Cumbria. A place I moved to with my father when I was nine years old, I may not have been born there, and since I moved away as an adult I don't live there anymore. But home is where the heart is; and my heart definitely belongs in The Lake District!

Home to England's five tallest mountains, it's deepest lake, two national parks and countless areas of unmatched natural beauty, Cumbria is simply unique. The landscape is a wonder of nature, impressive peaks rise grandly, reflected in the calm waters of the lakes. Vast valleys and fells wait to be explored, lushly painted with every shade of green. Woods and forests nestle into the hillsides, and along the coast, sandstone cliffs meet sandy dunes, lapped by the sparkling blue of the tide.

Lake District cumbria:
Lake District National Park, Lakes, Cumbria LA22, UK

get directions

The Lake District, Cumbria. Home to some of the most beautiful wildlife and scenery in Britain.

Local Highlights.

The Lake District is arguably England's number one tourist destination, and as such, hosts a vast amount of events every year. Some of these highlights include:

The Windermere Air Show.

The Windermere Air Show is an annual event hosted by the Windermere Rotary Club, every year crowds of thousands gather on the showground at Bowness-on-Windermere to watch displays by the Red Arrows, as well as The BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) Spitfire, and many more! Its not just the many aircraft that draws a crowd from allover the country: The Air Show also provides ground attractions for the whole family, including: A falconry display, Typhoon flight simulator, a fun-fair, sheep dog demonstrations, steam trains from the local Model Engineering Society and much more besides!

Kendal Calling.

Kendal, Cumbria is probably most famous for its Mint Cake, and there's plenty of that! But a new claim to fame is drawing people from all over the country to Cumbria, that's Kendal Calling! Kendal Calling is the SouthLakes summer music festival, begun in 2006, it's a new annual event, but it's already one of Cumbria's most popular! The music festival is held every summer in Lowther Deer Park, near Kendal, and is three days of festival fun! The 2010 lineup included: The Coral, Doves, Badly Drawn Boy, The Futureheads & Calvin Harris to name but a few. (Video from Kendal Calling 2009)

Kendal Torchlight Carnival.

One of my first memories of moving to the Lake District, was standing on the street near our house, in the freezing cold on my Dad's 39th birthday. So excited, as I watched my very first Torchlight Carnival! Growing up in Kendal. the annual Torchlight Carnival became one of the most important things on my yearly calendar. My friends and I would look forward to it all year long, arguing amongst each other about where we should stand this year to get the best view. And after every last float and marching band had gone past, we would march over to the fair ground, stuff ourselves with candy-floss and ride the Waltzers until someone was sick!

Every September, Kendal's roads are closed and local businesses & organisations, schools, nurseries, charities; like the Air Ambulance service and St Johns, even churches; put together floats, dress up in quirky costumes and parade through the streets of Kendal. Holding torches, performing, singing, playing instruments, doing gymnastics, handing out flyer's and taking donations for their respective causes. They spend all year planning a theme and costumes, and as soon as one Torchlight Carnival is over, the planning starts all over again for the next one! Everyone taking part in the Torchlight Carnival works as hard as possible to out-do what they did the year before, all for the fun, and the chance to be the best float in the parade. And what does the winner get, you ask? Well the winning float gets the honour of being the number one float for that year!

Kendal Castle Firework Display.

Every 5th November Kendal, Cumbria celebrates Guy Fawkes night by holding an impressive firework display right next to Kendal's oldest building: Kendal Castle! The Castle was built in the 12th century AD, and among the best known who lived there was Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII, who grew up there before moving to London. Now the ruins of the Castle have been made safe and are open to the public.

The dramatic fireworks, set against the silhouette of this impressive 12th century Castle, are a beautiful sight to behold, and growing up in Kendal, spending 5th November at the Castle watching the display was another yearly tradition for my friends and I.

These are just a small handful of the attractions this beautiful part of England has to offer. These highlight's and many more are why millions of people flock to The Lakes from allover thew world every single year!

The Red Arrow's Display for the Windermere Air Show.
The Red Arrow's Display for the Windermere Air Show.
The Windermere Air show.
The Windermere Air show.
Kendal Calling 2010 festival poster.
Kendal Calling 2010 festival poster.
A Float in the Kendal Torchlight Carnival.
A Float in the Kendal Torchlight Carnival.
A Performer in the Torchlight parade.
A Performer in the Torchlight parade.
5th November, Kendal Castle lit up by its annual firework display.
5th November, Kendal Castle lit up by its annual firework display.
Kendal Castle in daylight.
Kendal Castle in daylight.

Destinations around The Lakes.

As you can tell from the name, The Lake District is most well known for its beautiful rivers, tarns and lakes. The most famous being Lake Windermere, the largest mere in England at 10.5 miles long. As well as lakes, Cumbria has many mountains, like Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, at 3210ft high. The Lake District also boasts a vast array of fell walking routes and public footpaths, popular with walkers from all over the country.

One of the most popular of these is along Old Dungeon Ghyll, in the Langdale Valley. An idyllic walking route which leads walkers along a picturesque trail to a waterfall known as 'Dungeon Ghyll Force.' This particular part of Langdale inspired a poem of William Wordsworth's entitled: "The Idle Shepherd Boys."

Old Dungeon Ghyll:
Old Dungeon Ghyll Lakes, Cumbria LA22, UK

get directions

Old Dungeon Ghyll, in the Langdale Valley, a popular route for walkers.

After a long day walking along the fells, most walkers like to end their journey in 'The Old Dungeon Ghyll Pub' attached to the beautiful hotel, the pub, known as; The Hikers Bar, is the embodiment of the quintessential English pub! Warm, cozy and comfy, with a coal fire, a selection of real draft ales and malt whiskey's and traditional pub food.

The Hikers Bar, Old Dungeon Ghyll Pub.
The Hikers Bar, Old Dungeon Ghyll Pub.

However, its definitely not just the scenery of Cumbria that attracts people all year round, The Lake District boasts some of the best destinations in Britain, from Museums, to historic market towns, magnificent architecture, and hotels, offering everything form water sports to hot-air balloon rides! It would be Impossible for me to write about everything there is to see and do in The Lakes. So since I've coined myself as a lover of literature here on Hub Pages, I'm going to focus on the destinations in The Lake District synonymous with classic poetry and literature.

Over the years, many historic figures have made a home, and found inspiration in The Lake District, perhaps most famously, beloved children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter. Who was born in London, and went on many family holidays to The Lakes as a child. These holidays, and the time she spent in The Lakes were the inspiration for her first book: "The Tale of Peter Rabbit." With the proceeds from this book, Potter purchased HIll top Farm, a cottage near Sawney, just north of Lake Windermere. She owned this cottage for 38 years, and wrote many of her classic tales here. Hill top Farm is now a Beatrix Potter Museum, and has been kept just as it would have looked when Potter owned it.

Hill Top Farm, Beatrix Potter Museum
Hill Top Farm, Beatrix Potter Museum

 As well as Hill Top Farm, The World of Beatrix Potter attraction, located near Bowness-on-Windermere, and the Beatrix Potter Gallery (housing some of the original artwork for the books) in Hawkshead, Cumbria are enchanting attractions, flocked to by locals and tourists alike every day!

World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness-on-Windermere.:
World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, Cumbria UK

get directions

Beatrix Potter Gallery, Hawkshead Cumbria:
Beatrix Potter Gallery, Main St, Hawkshead, Cumbria UK

get directions

Another famous literary talent to hale from The Lake District was William Wordsworth. Born in Cockermouth, in the North Lakes, in 1770. Wordsworth's childhood home is now a national trust museum named 'Wordsworth House.'

Wordsworth House, Cockermouth.
Wordsworth House, Cockermouth.

 Wordsworth lived in Grasmere, in a place called 'Dove Cottage' from 1799 to 1808, it was here that he wrote some of his most well known work as a poet; including one of my personal favourites; "Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood." Dove cottage is now a grade 1 listed building, and an Art Gallery and Museum, which gives tours to the general public.

Another of Wordsworth's family homes in The Lakes that is now open to the public, is Rydal Mount, where the Wordsworth family lived from 1813. It is a beautiful home located between Ambleside and Grasmere, with stunning views of Lake Windermere, Rydal Water and the Fells.

William Wordsworth's final resting place can also be found in the Lake District. In the churchyard of St Oswalds Church, Grasmere. It is one of the most visited literary shrines in the world! 

Dove Cottage.
Dove Cottage.
Rydal Mount.
Rydal Mount.
William Wordsworth's grave, St Oswalds Church, Grasmere.
William Wordsworth's grave, St Oswalds Church, Grasmere.

Another famous grave to be found in The Lake District is that of Victorian Poet and Philosopher John Ruskin, who was born in London and, like Potter, inspired by his childhood holidays to The Lakes. In 1844 he retired to Coniston, and after his death, he was buried in Coniston Church yard.

Grave of John Ruskin, Coniston.
Grave of John Ruskin, Coniston.

The Lake District, Cumbria, is a magnificent place, and was a wonderful place to grow up. And for as long as this Hub is, there was so much more I had to leave out!

The Lakes has an endless supply of highlights and destinations for the whole family, you could live there for years, and still not see it all!




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    • Literature Fairy profile imageAUTHOR

      Holly Jackson 

      8 years ago from England, UK.

      I know that youthie, I stayed there once myself whilst I was hiking around the borders, Your story sounds brilliant! I love places with so much charecter and charm, and the Lakes defiately has bucket fulls! I'm glad your friend eventually saw the light (although I've often thought that boredom was something endured by boring people!) Thanks for the comment! LF x

    • attemptedhumour profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      When i was living in England i used to go on weekend trips to the Lake District. We stayed in a youth hostel about three miles north of Keswick. We'd get there late Fri' night. Arise early Sat' morning and after a hearty breakfast we'd climb the hill directly behind the hostel. The view from the top was breathtaking. Then we would descend down into the valley and have a Ploughman's lunch. Then return via a slightly different route. It was so exhilarating. Then off to the pub in Keswick that night. One night we were in the pub early and the door burst open and about a dozen people entered. One massive bloke started playing a squeeze box, with his petite wife on his lap. The whole room, us included, sang our hearts out all night. It really was a memorable night. When we got back on the Sunday night our other mates would say, "how boring" about our trip. I was back in the UK a couple of years back and one of those mates who said the Lake District was boring now goes there all the time. Better late than never i suppose. Cheers great hub

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      So beautiful photos! No wonder part of you belongs to this area!

    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 

      8 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      I love the Lake District. A great place and steeped in such History. Potter and Wordsworth. Aaah, I could see how a person can leave their heart in this place. So beautiful. Thanks for the lovely hub. Peace.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Wonderful hub - makes me want to pack my bags and head to the Lake District right away! Love the old castle and sense of history. Thumbs up!

    • Freya Cesare profile image

      Freya Cesare 

      8 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

      Indeed, nothing feels better than home. Beautiful place, Literature Fairy. Great job!

    • danatheteacher profile image

      Dana Rock 

      8 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      I love all the photos!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      I really hope to visit the Lake District someday. There are so many amazing historical sites there! Thanks for outlining them here!

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      8 years ago

      Wonderful way to capture your local history. Great pictures too


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