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UK Lake District Short Breaks

Updated on June 9, 2010

Lake District Short Breaks in Beautiful Scenery

The beautiful scenery in this National Park in north-west England has alway made Lake District short breaks popular. The Lake District takes its name from over eighty glacial lakes and mountain tarns, and also several man-made reservoirs. Around twenty of these lakes are usually considered to be significant - most of them ending in "mere" or "water." The most well known are:

Bassenthwaite, Buttermere, Coniston Water, Crummock Water, Derwent Water, Ennerdale Water, Esthwaite Water, Grasmere, Haweswater, Loweswater, Rydal Water, Tarn Hows, Thirlmere, Ullswater, Wast Water and Windermere.

Many of the major towns and villages are located on, or very close, to one of these lakes, which is one of the reasons that Lake District short breaks are so popular. Stay in a nice hotel, stroll through a quiet market town and take a walk along the side of the lake against the backdrop of the magnificent scenery. It's what keeps some visitors coming back time after time.



Windermere is the biggest lake and few would argue that it is the most well known of the lakes. It is a significant size being about eleven miles long and a over a mile wide at its widest point. Windermere has always been popular for Lake District short breaks. If you are travelling from the south into the Lake District, you will arrive at Windermere first and the main resorts, such as Ambleside, Bowness and Windermere are located around it's edge. Boat trips and sailing are very popular, and prior to restrictions on speed boats, water skiing too. At several places around Windermere you will find canoes, rowing boats and other craft for hire, so if you are the active type, there is always plenty to do on the lake.

The three towns of Ambleside, Bowness and Windermere all offer a wide variety of holiday accommodation for Lake District short breaks. From “country house” style hotels, through “olde worlde” country pubs to relatively modest “bed and breakfast” in a private house. The luxurious hotel may cost you £150 ($225 in June 09) or more for a sumptuous room for two, with a full English breakfast, and the use of a leisure club. In the modest B&B you will more likely pay £60 for two, including breakfast, but whichever accommodation you decide upon for a Lake District short break, choose carefully and you will not be disappointed. Generally speaking, the competition between the hotels in this area, keeps the standard high, and if you search for special offers and packages on the internet, you can get very comfortable accommodation at a good price.

Derwent Water
Derwent Water

Derwent Water, and Pencil Making

Derwent Water, sometimes known as the “Queen of the Lakes” is often considered by visitors to be the most magnificent of all the lakes. The countryside is not dominated by the higher peaks, but tends to be more gentle and “easy on the eye.” Combine this with the wooded islands dotted around the lake and it makes for incredible natural beauty. If you wish to stay nearby, then Keswick is the obvious choice for Lake District short breaks. It is overshadowed by mountains such as Grisedale, Helvellyn, Saddleback, Skiddaw and Scafell. But if walking and climbing are too strenuous then Keswick has plenty to keep the visitor occupied as it is a very well established tourist town and has been for many years.

Keswick is the biggest town within the boundaries of the national park but still only houses around 4,500 people so it has a very intimate feel. Needless to say, in the summer, this figure is greatly inflated by temporary visitors enjoying Lake District short breaks, and longer stays. There is the usual selection of shops, pubs, cafés and restaurants that you would hope to find in a small market town, as well as a small theatre, and the famous pencil museum! Keswick has been renowned for the making of pencils for hundreds of years using local graphite, and you can find out all about their history and production in the pencil museum.

Kendall, And The Mint Cake

Some thirty miles to the south of Keswick, is the much larger town of Kendall. Often called the “Gateway to the Lakes” many visitors travel through Kendall as it is only a few miles from the M6 motorway. With a population of about 28,000 it is much larger than Keswick and if you want somewhere bigger with a greater choice of shops , restaurants and accommodation, then Kendall may be a good choice for Lake District short breaks. All the lakes are within a short drive and if the weather is poor, then there are several shopping arcades and retail parks where you can spend some time.

Think of Kendall and many people will think of Kendal Mint Cake. Joseph Wiper put together the original recipe for the Everest conquering, mint flavoured energy bars, and it has been made by several companies over the years.

Camping and Caravanning

There are of course, many more small towns and villages offering Lake District short breaks in a wide variety of hotels and guest houses. But get away from the towns, and for the “rugged adventurer”, or just those on a strictly limited budget there is a good selection of camping and caravanning sites. Just like the hotels, there is a huge variety in the facilities offered, from sites with little more than a tap in a field, to larger, well maintained sites with modern facilities. Once again only you can choose what best suits your needs – the well appointed holiday park for the whole family? Or the basic camping field for the outdoor enthusiast.

Lake District short breaks are available for all age groups, and to suit all budgets. Search the internet for the best prices, and special offers, and enjoy yourself in the is beautiful corner of England.

Lake District Short Breaks - Comments

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  • frank furt profile image

    frank furt 6 years ago from Europe

    Mike, This is a useful Hub. And a useful addition to it might be a note about the weather. Visitors might like to know that the Lake District (Borrowdale in particular) has the highest rainfall in England, so a brolly or a good anorak with taped seams is a must.

    As you rightly point out, Kendal has only one 'l'.

    Forgive me if I recommend some nice self catering holiday cottages with flexible short breaks at

    You are right that Greece is very different from Lancaster. A pint of milk is more expensive, for one thing, and VAT is now at 23%. Still, it has its attractions.

  • bigmikeh profile image

    bigmikeh 8 years ago from UK

    Thanks Sufidreamer - life in Greece must be very different to life in Lancaster!

  • Sufidreamer profile image

    Sufidreamer 8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

    Nice work, bigmikeh - I was born in Barrow-in-Furness and spent most of my life near Lancaster, so the Lakes are close to my heart.

    I love Keswick - it gets a little busy in the summer, but there are plenty of nearby places for a little peace and a fine pint of bitter :)

  • bigmikeh profile image

    bigmikeh 8 years ago from UK

    The last time I was on the Hardknott Pass I got a puncture, in the pouring rain! I got soaked!

  • Amanda Severn profile image

    Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

    The Lake District is one of my favourite places. I've seen mountains elsewhere in Britain and Europe, but none compare to those in Cumbria for beauty and atmosphere. Last time I was there, I took the kids to see the Roman Fort on Hardknott Pass. I'm constantly impressed by the tenacity and endurance of the Roman Legionaires who, after making a long and arduous journey all the way from the foothills of Dalmatia still felt it worthwhile and necessary to build a fortress on this remote and inhospitable mountain-side. Perhaps they fell in love with Cumbria too?

  • bigmikeh profile image

    bigmikeh 8 years ago from UK

    Too true - it can be very wet. Keeps the lakes full though!

  • Singular Investor profile image

    Singular Investor 8 years ago from Oxford

    The Lake District is an excellent place although it can be a bit wet ! I've read BTW that linking your hubs together and putting up a 'news' capsule is a good idea for bringing in more passing trade :-)

  • bigmikeh profile image

    bigmikeh 8 years ago from UK

    Yes, it is a lovely area. And thanks for becoming a fan!

  • KCC Big Country profile image

    Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

    The Lake District is breathtakingly beautiful! I've been to Lake Windermere and Keswick. Cattlerigg Stone Circle is my favorite place in the whole world! Thanks for sharing this info!