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  • Writer's pictureDan & Lois Gardner

Our Top 12 Things To Do in The Lake District

Without a doubt The Lake District is our favourite place in England. It's full of majestic mountains, beautiful valleys, glistening lakes, woodlands and wildlife. Every time we visit, an immediate feeling of calm and peace seems to fall over us, whilst surrounded by so many forms nature. It's just like nowhere else - at least for us.

The Lake District is ultimately a place to enjoy a walking holiday. If you aren't into walking or hiking, or nature, then you won't fully appreciate what The Lake District has to offer in our opinion. However if you do enjoy walking, and you enjoy nature, and you enjoy regular pit stops at the pub, then The Lake District is the perfect place to go.

To help inspire your own trip, here are 12 of our favourite things to do in the Lake District.


1) Newlands Valley

Newlands Valley is regarded as one of the most picturesque, calm and quiet valleys in The Lake District. We've stayed in Newlands Valley almost every time we've been to The Lakes, and it makes a excellent base for exploring the wider area.

2) Buttermere Lake

Our favourite lake in The Lake District for sure. Such a calm, quiet and beautiful water, surrounded by forests, hills and mountains. We've lost count to how many times we have come to Buttermere Lake, but it simply never gets old. The perfect place to sit by and have a flask of tea of coffee (or whisky), whilst appreciating the silence. There's a lovely circular walk around the lake itself as well, which takes approximately an hour to complete.

3) Aira Force

Aira Force waterfall falls from 70 feet high, below a stone foot bridge that arches over it. The waterfall is hidden amongst the rocks, moss and trees of a forest full of life! It's one of our favourite walks to do, passing ancient trees, refreshing streams and beautiful colours within the wild park landscape.

4) Watendlath Tarn

Watendlath Bothy is another impressive site owned by the National Trust, which sits next to the Tarn under the same name. To get here you need to travel by car, down a single lane which is very, very narrow, with passing places. There is a car park next to the farm where you can start your walk from. It's one of our favourite walks in The Lakes, very peaceful and quiet alongside the tarn and then up further into the hills, offering some beautiful vantage points.

5) Wrynose Pass & Hard Knott Pass

The craziest, steepest winding road you may ever drive on. But we would 100% recommend it still! These mountain passes are some of the most spectacular we've ever seen. Between the insane inclines and declines of Wrynose & Hard Knott Pass you can find ideal places to pull over and climb some mountains! You really feel like you're out in the wild here! It's great!

6) Tarn Hows

Another tarn, another beautiful walk. There are a few different circular routes that take you around the tarn. On a sunny day we can't think of a better place to set up for a picnic by the water.

7) Cat Bells Hike

The Cat Bells is a fell in The Lake District with a height of 450 metres. It has a short, sharp, steep incline, but it's so worth the effort for the incredible views of Derwentwater and the mountain ranges that surround you. We could see all the way through to Newlands Valley were we usually stay. Highly recommend this fell hike.

8) Slater's Bridge & Cathedral Cave

Just a short walk from Little Langdale and you can pass over the famous 300 year old Slater's Bridge and then up into the Cathedral Cave for some exploring! The walk is only about a mile and a half, so it's ideal for families, or just something less strenuous to finish off your day.

9) St Bees Coastal Walk

Typically when you think of the Lake District you don't think about beaches or the coast at all. But on one of our last trips to The Lakes, we decided to see what the Cumbrian Coast had to offer, and we wasn't disappointed! We started at St Bees Beach Seafront and headed North up onto the cliffs. We only ventured as far as Fleswick Bay on this occasion, but it was a great little walk to get there.

10) Take a Boat Out On Windermere Lake

A great way to spend a morning, out on Windermere Lake with a flask of coffee, or a cheeky 11am glass of wine! It's a massive lake, so keep an eye on your watch to give yourself enough time to get back before your allocated time is up. The boat hire cost us around £65 for an hour.

11) Visit A Few Cumbrian Towns

You can't go to The Lake District without visiting a few charming Cumbrian Towns. There are some really lovely places to stroll round if you wanted to take a day or two off from hikes. Plenty of nice pubs, shops and little cafes to find! A few of our favourite towns that we can recommend are: Ambleside, Grasmere, Coniston, Cockermouth & Keswick.

12) Small Train From Dalegarth to Ravenglass

From the miniature railway station of Dalegarth you can travel to the coastal village of Ravenglass. The scenic train ride takes around 40 minutes. We didn't find a huge amount to do in Ravenglass, but there was a pub restaurant we ate lunch at after walking around the little village for a while.

Hope that this has given you some Lake District inspiration for the future! Let us know if you have any of your own recommendations in the comments below.


Thanks for reading.

Dan & Lois

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