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20 Best Things To Do In The Lake District

The Lake District remains a go-to destination for the ultimate UK staycation. But what makes it so special? Here are the 20 best things to do during your next visit to the Lake District.

Lakeland Fells

The Lakeland Fells offer some of the best high-level walks in England. The highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike (978 meters) is based in the area, and is one of the most popular fells for walkers.

In addition to Scafell Pike the Lake District offers other famous fells like Skiddaw and Helvellyn and the Old Man of Coniston. All of the Lakeland Fells offer incredible views from their summits. You can go it alone, or enlist the help of an expert to guide you on your fell walking adventure.

The Lake District Wildlife Park

Just A 10-minute drive from Keswick The Lake District Wildlife Park has over 100 species of wild and domestic animals set in 24 acres of parkland.

Engaging presentations take part daily bringing you even closer to some of park’s favourite animals. There are also a range of animal experiences available to book including lemur encounters, hawk walks and alpaca walking.

Entry is discounted for our guest with 2-4-1 on adult entry and children for free.

Roman Remains

There is a wealth of Roman remains to explore during you time in the Lake District.

Hardknott Roman Fort, an outpost in the Roman Empire, was built in the second century during Hadrian’s reign. Thanks to its remote location the ruins are very well preserved. Managed by the National Trust and English Heritage, Hardknott Roman Fort is free to visit.

Other Roman remains include:

  • High Street Roman Road
  • Ambleside Roman Fort
  • Barnscar Romano-British Farmstead
  • Ravenglass Roman Bathhouse
  • Aughertree Fell Settlement

Canoeing and Kayaking

If you are looking for a leisurely way to take in the breathtaking sights of the Lake District then canoeing and kayaking are the ideal activities for you.

Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa offer guided canoe and kayaking with a qualified instructor, either on Bassenthwaite Lake on the estate, or Derwent Water.

The World of Beatrix Potter

No list of activities to do in the Lake District would be complete without The World of Beatrix Potter. Fans can meet Peter Rabbit and all his friends, as Beatrix Potter’s stories, inspired by the beautiful Lake District landscape, come to life.

The interactive exhibits at this enchanting attraction draw on Potter’s magical tales and her impact on the Lakeland conservation.

Wild Swimming

Reconnect with nature with wild swimming. This Lake District activity is perfect for those looking to try something new. Wild swimming has been proven to help reduce stress, calm inflammation and boosts your mood.

Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa offer guided a half day wild swimming package ideal for those looking for an off the grid adventure.

Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite Lake is one of the largest water bodies in the Lake District. Bassenthwaite is home to the vendace, a rare and endangered species of fish only found in Derwentwater.

The lake is positioned at the foot of the Skiddaw fells on one side and Barf, Ladies Table and Sale Fell on the other side. The four-mile-long lake is ¾ mile wide and offering stunning view on for walkers on those who take to the water.

Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa looks directly out on to Bassenthwaite Lake.

Ambleside

Ambleside is a small town based in the Lake District popular with tourists thanks to its shops, cinema and accommodation. Ambleside marks the head of Windemere, England’s largest natural lake.

The town offers a great deal of activities for all the family to enjoy, including Wray Castle, Townend, Tarn Hows and Coniston.

Ullswater

This stunning lake is surrounded by mountain scenery to the south and gentle hills to the north. Ullswater is the second largest lake in England at seven and a half miles long, but less than a mile across.

It is also the 3rd deepest lake it the country at 250 feet deep. Whether you take in the views by foot or vehicle, you are guaranteed a picturesque scene.

Stone Circles

There are four stone circles in the Lake District, with all of them being free to visit. All have a mysterious purpose.

Castlerigg Stone Circle has 38 large stones, some standing at 3 metres high. Cockpit Stone Circle is a circular stone bank 27 metres across, with larger stones set in the inner face.

Swinside Stone Circle has 55 stones, up to 3 metres high which like Castlerigg, dates back to the Neolithic period. Burnmoor Stone Circles are made up of five separate stone circles, perched on the high moorland sating back to 2000BC.

Kendal

Often referred to as the Southern gateway to the Lake District, Kendal is nine miles from Windemere and 30 miles from Keswick. The town boats two castles, two museums, historic buildings and bridges, in addition to fine restaurants and public houses.

The ruins of 13th century Kendall Castle overlook the town. Kendal Castle was once home to the Parr family, whose family member Katherine Parr was Henry VIII’s sixth wife.

Buttermere and Crummock Water and Loweswater

Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater occupy the long, glaciated valley towards Cockermouth and the coast. At one time Butttermere and Crummock Water were one large lake, but have since been separated by material brought down the mountain streams over thousands of years.

Loweswater is a unique feature in the Lake District in that it is the only lake that drains towards the centre of Lakeland.

Windemere

Windemere is the largest lake in Cumbria’s Lake District National Park. It is surrounded by picturesque mountains peaks and villages, including Bowness-on-Windermere.

Windermere lake is 10.5 miles long, one mile wide and 67 metres across. With various boat trips, boat hire and water activities on offer, there is always something to do at Windermere.

Aira Force

Aira Force is an incredible example of the force and beauty of nature. Known for its impressive waterfalls and over 200 specimen conifers, Aira Force is also home to the red squirrel.

The main force falls 21 metres from below a stone footbridge and is protected by the National Trust. The spot is also famous for inspiring William Wordsworth to write a series of poems about its beauty.

Derwentwater

Keswick’s local lake Derwentwater is only a 10-minute walk from the centre of town. To the west you can see the fells of Cat Bells, and to the east unparalleled views of Friar’s Crag, then to the south you have the entrance to Borrowdale Valley.

You can take in the beautiful scenery during an 8-mile walk around the lake, or take a 50-minute lake cruise onboard Keswick Launch. With seven landing stages you can hop on and off combing a walk with a picturesque boat ride.

Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle is one of the hidden gems of the Lake District. Built at the turn of the 19th century was an impressive property with a room for every day of the year and gardens which were the envy of the north.

However, the castle was demolished in 1957, leaving its impressive ruins and gardens to explore.

With an adventure playground for children and beautiful grounds to explore, there is something for all the family at Lowther Castle.

Low Gillerthwaite

If you are looking for a great spot for stargazing in the Lake District then Low Gillerthwaite is the ideal place for you. 90% of Brits do not get to see the amazing spectacle that is the night sky due to light pollution.

Set in the heart of beautiful Ennerdale, Low Gillerthwaite rests at the feet of Pillar, Steeple and Red Pike. It boats the most spectacular night sky thanks to its remoteness, mountainous terrain and lack of light pollution.

Muncaster Castle

The haunted grounds at Muncaster Castle make them a must-see attraction when you visit the Lake District.

Believed to be built on Roman ruins, Muncaster Castle is an important part of the region’s history. Muncaster is one of Britain’s most haunted castles with haunting often occurring in The Tapestry Room. The ghost of Tom Skelton is rarely seen but continues to play tricks on staff and visitors.

Grasmere

Grasmere is a small village in Cumbria popular with tourists. Named after its adjacent lake, Grasmere has links to a number of Lakes poets including William Wordsworth who lived in the village for 14 years and referred to it as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found.”

Located at the foot of some spectacular fells, Grasmere has plenty of shops, pub and cafes to visit during your stay.

Honister Pass

Honister Pass connects Buttermere to Borrowdale valley. Rising from 11167 feet in height as its summit, Honister Pass is one of Cumbria’s highest passes.

The Honister Pass forms part of a scenic circular drive that includes Newlands Pass, Buttermere and Crummock Water.

There is also the Honister Slate Mine which offers a range of outdoor and indoor activities for all ages and abilities.

Embark On Your Next Adventure

Looking to embark on your next Lake District adventure? Take a look at our revamped activities page offering everything from fell walking and kayaking, to wild swimming and animal experiences.

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