The UK’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Site sprawls over an impressive 229,200 hectares and is emblematic of one the nation’s favorite past time, walking.
With a landscape of mountains and ranges that never seem to end and lakes of sparkling blue waters, it is easy to see how the Lake District National Park has for years become a source of cultural and artistic inspiration. But while literary greats including William Wordworth and Beatrix Potter gave the region its creative association, it is the millions of people each year who visit the various peaks and mountains that truly gives life to the place.
It is the simplest of activity to partake in, just to walk. Be it around the lakes, through the villages, up the mountains or across the ranges, the national park has endless options that is suitable for any level of fitness. But of course, the geography is equally as exciting for lake cruises and kayaking as well as intense biking and swimming.
To just simply absorb the natural magnificence of the landscape, we recommend easy walks and cultural explorations of the little villages. Soak in the sun during the warmer months and enjoy a generous serving of ice-cream from English Lakes, the producer of locally-churned goodies from the area’s cows. And if you feel like it, try your hands at being a farmer for the day tending to the livestock.
A cosy little bed and breakfast right on one of the smaller lakes Crummock Water, serving as a great base to explore the surrounding areas. Family-run with intimate service and homely facilities, the rooms are charmingly appointed with really comfortable beds that we are still dreaming of. Dinner service is by request and remember to save room for the excellent desserts. Mountaineering guide services are available. www.woodhousebuttermere.uk
Luxury camping accommodation in a secluded corner of the National Trust Campsite with gorgeous views of Bowfell and Langdale Pikes. Each tipi is structured on a wooden platform and comes with a stove, sheep skins, lanterns, fairy lights and logs. Designed as a gathering space, the tents are meant to sleep up to four and all you need to bring are sleeping bags and a sense of adventure. www.basecamptipi.co.uk
Brimstone at Langdale
A stylish luxury getaway reminiscent of a ski chalet complete with a personal assistant service to help with any requests. Perfect for couples or small groups of adults, the property has a recently-opened spa to work away the aches from day-long walking and exploration. Lounge and indulge on the spacious balconies with views of the never-ending mountains. www.brimstonehotel.co.uk
Kirkstile Inn Buttermere
A favorite with the locals for both its hearty yet modern take on British pub food. The classic steak pie comes in the form of layered pastry sheets with meat filling ala the Italian lasagna while the pea soup is served with delicious focaccia-inspired rolls. The sticky date pudding is an absolute must-try and the homemade custard deserves an encore. www.kirkstile.com
Great North Pie
This cozy little store in Ambleside is home to the some of the best pies in the UK. Winner of multiple awards at the 2015 British Pie Awards, chef Neil Broomfield creates unique recipes every season so there is never a fixed menu. For spring summer 2018, the Swaledale beef mince and onion pie is a must-try with an interesting cinnamon twist while the spinach and cheese pie with nutmeg works for non-meat eaters. www.greatnorthpie.co
A Lake District institution with a long history and a panoramic view over Ullswater, the restaurant has a one-star Michelin rating for its exceptional use of local produce and an impressive cellar. Menus are served for both lunches and dinners but be sure to try its Sunday lunches offering a taste of the British tradition. www.sharrowbay.co.uk
The main highlight for most visiting Lake District is the magnificent walk to the top of UK’s highest peak. With a total ascent of 1012 meters arriving at the highest point at 978 meters, it takes an average hiker about 8 hours to complete. It is a great full-day walk and above-average level of fitness is required to complete the hike but with the right guide and proper equipment, most can finish the hike. www.scafellpike.org.uk
Hill Top House
With the arrival of animated movie Peter Rabbit in cinemas this year, it is no surprise that the frenzy for the beloved cartoon character has picked up again. Hill Top House, a stone’s throw away from Hawkshead, is the farmhouse where Peter Rabbit’s creator Beatrix Potter lived. The late English writer and illustrator had based the character’s kitchen garden off this property, the green patch a big attraction with adult and young fans alike till this day. Entry is by timed ticket and reservations are recommended. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hill-top
Castlerigg Stone Circle
For some pre-historic marvels, head on to Castlerigg Stone Circle, one of the most atmospheric and dramatic British stone circles sites in the region. With a backdrop that looks something straight out of a Tolkien fantasy book, these 5000-year-old stones overlook the Thirlmere Valley. The purpose and construction of the stone circle is shrouded in mystery as archaeologists have yet to figure out its actual origins but is widely considered to be a Neolithic period meeting place. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/castlerigg-stone-circle