Lake District Travel Guide

Lake Windermere, Lake District - © Stephen Dawson

Overview and Attractions

The Lake District travel guide looks at local visitor attractions and places of interest for visitors in one of the most popular destinations for holidays in the UK. The area guide features travel information on local transport and travel, entertainment, events, facts & figures, maps and accommodation.

The Lake District region is located in Cumbria in north west England, it is blessed with natural scenery few places come close to. The majority of the region is covered within the Lake District National Park, established as one of the first National Parks in the UK.

There are some famous lakes such as Lake Windermere located in a landscape of rolling hills and mountains. The area is a hikers dream with many hiking trails and great walks available for walking enthusiasts.

The scenic Lake District National Park is the best known attraction in Cumbria; it was one of the first national parks in the UK having been designated one back in 1951.

The Lake District area covers approximately 900 square miles and includes a number of lakes, valleys and towns and villages each with its own distinct character.

The national park includes the highest mountain in England; Scafell Pike along with the deepest lake; Wastwater. The national park is the largest in England and Wales and the second largest in the UK after Cairngorms in Scotland.

There is plenty of history in the park with over 200 scheduled ancient monuments and over 20 conservation areas, it is also the most visited national park in the UK providing visitors with so many places to go and things to see, for visitors deciding what to see and do can be a tricky task.

Visitors to the Lake District can do as much or as little as they please, you can serenely go around the many charming Lakeland towns and villages, explore the areas history including exploring local castles and historical houses.

There are a variety of attractions to discover including a numerous events that take place during the course of the year offering something for the whole family.

The market town of Kendal is located close to the M6 motorway providing a gateway to the Lake District. The town is well connected to the road and rail network making it a popular destination for visitors to the area.

Historically the town was a centre for woollen textiles, carpet manufacture and shoe making. The town is famous for being the home of Kendal Mint Cake, the local buildings made from grey limestone have earned the town the nickname of the ‘Auld Grey Town'.

Local attractions include Kendal Museum that includes collections of local archaeology, geology, history and natural history from the UK and around the world.

The ruins of Kendal Castle thought to date back to the late 12th century, Castle Howe and Albert Hall Art Gallery located inside a Grade I listed building with a number of renowned collections housed inside. The Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry explores the history of the Lake District and its people through the centuries.

Kendal includes a mix of shopping facilities and local amenities including with traditional shops, contemporary shopping areas and markets. There are a number of eateries, traditional pubs and a choice of restaurants.

The local countryside around Kendal is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, discovering its beauty is best done by walking around and exploring. There are the historical villages of Bourbon and Kirkby Lonsdale, with both having a number of historic sites to explore.

The town of Ambleside is located close to Lake Windermere; the town is a popular destination for tourists to the area with a choice of accommodation facilities and amenities including a choice of pubs, restaurants and shops.

Local attractions include the Armitt Museum where visitors can explore local history that includes books, manuscripts, paintings and more including an area for Beatrix Potter.

Other attractions include the 19th century St Mary’s Church and historic Bridge House, one of the most photographed buildings in the Lake District; it is currently used as an information centre for the National Trust.

Rydal Mount & Gardens located in the neighbouring hamlet of Rydal is the historic home of poet William Wordsworth; guided tours are available for visitors.

The town of Keswick is located close to Derwentwater in the Lake District National Park. The market town is centrally located making it an ideal base from which visitors can explore the area, the town is surrounded by the scenic fells of Catbells, Skiddaw and Grizedale Pike.

The landscape offers visitors with a number of walks to suit all abilities where visitors can explore the local area up close.

Local attractions include the Pencil Museum, Thornthwaite Galleries, Mirehouse Historic House & Gardens, Puzzling Place and Whinlatter Forest Park that is popular with walkers and mountain biking enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy a scenic cruise on Derwentwater.

Bowness-on-Windermere is located next to lake Windermere, historically the town was a small fishing village, over the years the advent of the railways helped the town grow and today the town is one of the most popular in the lake district.

The town is a popular destination for those visiting the area and attracts many visitors especially in the summer where the streets a bustling with activity.

The historic town includes a town centre that offers visitors a wide range of shops and amenities including a choice of accommodation, eateries and restaurants and local pubs. Local attractions include the 15th century St Martin’s Church and the Windermere Streamboat Centre that includes historic collections of motor and steam boats.

The Penrith area has the Lakes’ most popular walk, the walk up Helvellyn peak that is a great favourite for visitors who enjoy exploring and for walking enthusiasts. Penrith town has Penrith Castle, dating back to the 14th century and was built as a defence against raids from the Scottish, it is surrounded by parklands.

Lake Windermere is one of the best known natural attractions in the Lake District and is the largest of the lakes in the area. A great way to see and enjoy the best of the lake is for visitors to enjoy a boat trips, where visitors can take a closer took at the outstanding natural beauty of both the lake and the surrounding countryside.

There are various attractions in the area to suit a range of tastes, these include Buttermere Ayrshire Ice Cream located on Syke Farm in the village of Buttermere where visitors will find a plethora of ice cream flavours, the tearoom serves homemade cakes and scones.

The gift shop sells a variety of local crafts and gifts; the farm provides visitors with an ideal place to enjoy afternoon tea, cakes and ice cream.

The Lake District has plenty to offer visitors with so many things to see and do for the whole family it is easy to see why the area is a firm favourite among visitors. There are year round attractions, whilst some attractions are seasonal typically in summer so it is worth checking to see if a specific attraction is going to be on when planning your visit.

The area can be used in a relaxing break and equally in something more energetic, the choice is yours.

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