Serving as the inspiration behind many literary and art works, the Lake District is a national park known for its picturesque scenery that embodies majestic mountains, fells, woodlands and numerous lakes. Located in North West England, the Lake District is a popular holiday destination for outdoor adventures and wildlife viewing.
The Lakes of the Lake District
The Lake District national park covers a vast area that encompasses several towns, villages, mountains and scores of lakes, of which Windermere, Wastwater, Ullswater, Buttermere and Coniston are some of the most visited.
Windermere is not only the national park’s largest lake, but also the largest lake in all of England. This vast lake features 18 islands that are all teeming in wildlife such as thousands of swans, ducks and geese. Fish species like salmon, eel, trout and perch are also abundant here. Additionally, Windemere has a long folklore reputation for ghosts and mythical creatures. If you like mystery and intrigue, you may want to visit Windemere to see if you can get a glimpse of the white stallion that supposedly gallops upon the waters.
Wastwater is the deepest lake in the Lake District national park as well as in England. For this reason, it is a popular site for diving. A pictorial lake known for its breathtaking scenery, Wastwater is a great place for artists and photographers.
Ullswater is another lake known for its exceptional beauty. It is also home to a salmon spawning area and a rare whitefish, the schelly.
Buttermere is for those who want peace and quiet because it is off limits to motorized boats. Wildlife lovers will enjoy visiting Buttermere because it is abundant in bird, animals and fish species. All around the lake, you can also explore waterfalls, beaches and farms.
Coniston is one of the national park’s largest lakes and is steeped in history dating back to the days of the Roman Empire. Because it was rich in copper, the lake area features old mines and museums where you can see old artifacts.
Outdoor Activities in the Lake District
Walking along the footpaths of the District’s majestic fells, such as Scafell Pike, Helvellyn and Siddaw, is the park’s most popular activity. Other exciting things to do include lake cruises, boating (yachting, sailing, kayaking and canoeing), fishing, horse riding, swimming, cycling, mountain biking, rock climbing, archery, gorge walking and wildlife viewing. Sightseeing tours in the park offer visits to farms and historic sites like St. Olaf’s, England’s smallest church, which is constructed from the wood of an old Viking boat.
Towns and Villages in the Lake District
Significant towns like Windermere, Ambleside, Keswick, Penrith and Bowness-on-Windermere all offer accommodation, pubs, microbreweries, restaurants, theaters, museums and attractions like castles, gardens and tourist aquariums. Smaller villages that are popular among tourists are Coniston, Pooley Bridge, Grasmere, Threlkeld and Glenridding.
Getting around the Lake District
You can explore the Lake District on your own by renting a car or by taking one of the multiple buses that operate in the park. A train running along the coast between Barrow-in-Furness and Carlisle also offers transport to off-the-beaten-path portions of the park.