England’s land of lakes, craggy mountains, sweeping valleys and green countryside is for adventurous travelers and nature lovers
Lake District… the name promises magic and is as self-explanatory as it sounds. Located in the county of Cumbria, the legendary Lake District National Park is the largest National Park in England and is visited by over 15 million tourists every year hankering for quintessential English beauty and countryside. The Lake District is home to 12 of the largest lakes in England, but generally, its beauty that’s of storybook quality.
All 885-sq miles of Lake District offers the finest landscape, the greenest countryside with sweeping views, sandy coastlines, and craggy mountains and hills known to the locals as ‘fells’. It’s the country’s one-stop for all outdoor endeavours, from leisurely bike rides to rewarding hill hikes, from water activities to exhilarating cross country marathons.
Best time to go
Busy seasons are throughout the summer months: prices skyrocket, and both automobile and human traffic are at their peak.
The best time to go would be through April and May or from September and October for a glimpse of spring and autumn colours.
Scale the highest mountain
Scafell Pike, the ‘highest’ peak in England standing at 3,210 feet is popular among hill walkers. The iconic mountain presents views of sweeping valleys, making it a highly rewarding expedition. Scafell Pike is accessible from Wesdale Head and moderate enough for walkers of all abilities, as long as the weather is favourable. Put aside around six to seven hours for the incline and be well equipped with hiking boots, weatherproof gear, maps, compass, and portable food and drink.
Wax lyrical at Wordsworth’s house
The Lake District has captivated the hearts of poets, artists and writers including William Wordsworth, whose work was largely inspired from the landscape.
The poet even owned a handsome Georgian home in Grasmere, his first cottage filled with antiques, priceless possessions like ice skates, his reading glasses and a portrait of his favourite dog gifted by Sir Walter Scott. The much visited, restored house opens up to a ‘domestic slip of mountain’ garden where he composed poetry, should you like to step into his shoes.
Best for hikes
Lake District is patronised by hikers addicted to vigorous and visually satisfying trails. For countryside prettiness and backdrops of green mountain spikes, the much loved Grand Langdale route takes hikers and walkers on a circular path of tracks and trails, across charming bridges, pass farms, cottages and mountain lakes that are some of the UK’s most photographed views. If you’re up for a challenge, head for the Langdale’s far end fells, Crinkle Crags, where you’ll be confronted with steep and rugged rocky outcrops stowing away pockets of scenic wonder.
Best for scenic road trips
After hours on your feet, ease into leisurely drives through Buttermere and Crummock Water, and surrender yourself to the spiritual nature. Catch the iconic twin lakes framed by dramatic fells. For a glimpse of Lake District’s last working Slate Mine, sign up for a guided tour in Honister Pass. If you want a whirlwind circuit-type trip, opt for a drive through Borrowdale to admire green fields, rolling fells, drystone walls and cob cottages.
You can’t leave the Lake District without visiting at least one of its loveliest lakes: we suggest you start at Windermere, touted as England’s longest lake. Aside from leisurely walks you can also take part in watersports of all types, like wind-surfing, rowing, canoeing, sailing and surfboarding. You could also zip over the waters in a ferry that goes all around the lake, shuttling passengers past Victorian mansions on the shoreline. Other commendable lakes include the tranquil Ullswater and Coniston Water for boating fanatics.
Before you go
Make sure you’re moderately fit to take on steep mountain climbs, winding trails and plunging declines. Lake District is also notorious for its temperamental, four-season weather conditions, so pack sturdy boots, waterproof and windproof clothing, portable snacks and water, and maps.
Photo credits: Main photo, Autumn foliage, Scafell Pike, Wordsworth's house, Grand Langdale, Buttermere, Windermere, hiking attire