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Visiting the Lake District, England
The Lake District has a beauty unmatched, and has always held a special place within English history. As an area of extreme natural beauty and wildlife the area created what people referred to as the 'Lake Poets', notably William Wordsworth. The area became highly popular in the 19th century by the writings of these poets, and remains a popular tourist destination to this day.
Located in the north west of England, the Lake District is England's largest National Park with an area roughly 40 miles from north to south, and 30 miles wide. As such it's not governed by a single authority and is not technically a 'visitor attraction' as many other parks are. It is simply an area of England that is protected and regulated. The standard to which the countryside is maintained is astonishing and leaves a near fairy tale look in many areas. The area is fairly remote, but there are several sizable towns and many small hamlets scattered throughout the park. The area's name comes from, most obviously, the fact it contains a great deal of large lakes. These lakes are a result of ice sheets left from the last ice age several thousand years ago. You can see this clearly in the many lakes and depressed landscapes.
There are three main tourist offices within the park, at the largest towns of Keswick, Ambelside and Windermere. The best thing to do once in the park would be to head straight for a tourist shop and grab yourself one of the free maps they offer. They are usually very helpful so feel free to ask them any questions or even suggestions for what you might see within your time frame.
Depending on the time of year, there is generally an abundant amount of sights and activities going on throughout the park.
Ambleside- Located near the the middle of the park, on the northern edge of Lake Windermere, and nestled in the middle of picturesque countryside. With beautiful scenery and an abnormal amount of pubs for its small size, Ambleside is by far my favorite park town. The house of William Wordsworth is in a nearby town called Rydal. The small town also houses the University of Cumbia, so there is a significant student presence.
Keswick- A small market town in the north area of the park. Sights of interest in the town: Theater by the Lake (official headquarters of festivals in the park), Pencil Museum (traces making of pencils in the area), Castlerigg stone circle (prehistoric stone circle).
Windermere- Located near the eastern shore of Lake Windermere (the largest Lake in England) there are a number of museums, but the main attraction is the lake itself, offering great view as well as boat tours and water sports.
Muncaster Castle- Home to the Pennington family for over 800 years, the privately owned home offers tours of its beautiful 14th century great hall as well as other parts of the castle.
Hiking in the Lake District is the only way to truly experience the serene landscapes. Even if you only have time for an hour hike, it is well worth getting out of your car and off the beaten track into a the countryside. The locals are overly accommodating and welcoming to all travelers.
There are hikes ranging from 2 hours to 2 days with a multitude of ranging difficulties to accommodate any hiker.
One of the greatest things about the Lake District is the ability to walk easily through the countryside stopping town to town as you go, restocking supplies, hitting the pub, using the restroom, whatever. If you have any time at all I highly recommend grabbing a map and just town hopping through the countryside.
An easy hike that I did which I recommend went from Windermere to Ambleside (about 5 miles), trailing along and above the long lake, passing through beautiful sheep land and winding through ancient forests.
Camping is welcome in the lake district, so there are plenty of sites to chose from. This link below will provide all the necessary information you need for your trip.