Guide to the Lake District
The Lake District is one of the most beautiful parts of our nearest neighbour but it is often overlooked in favour of the urban centres of London, Manchester or Liverpool when it comes to a break away. This year, we suggest packing up the car and taking a holiday with a difference to this most scenic of locations.
About the Lake District
The Lake District is the largest national park in England and Wales. The area became popular in the 18th century, as an area of scenic beauty, and played an important role in the literature from this period.
Most famously, it was the home of William Wordsworth, who based his poem ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ on the daffodils on the shores of Ullswater. Children’s author Beatrix Potter also called the Lake District home, setting many of her ‘Peter Rabbit’ tales in the area.
Today, the lakes, surrounding hills and picturesque villages are the dream holiday destination. There is every outdoor activity imaginable, from gentle walks to challenging hikes, mountain biking, sailing, pony trekking and much more. If museums, markets and cosy pubs are more your thing, there is plenty on offer too.
It is a beautiful location for a family holiday or romantic break away.
The lake district: what to see
The list really is almost endless, we have listed some highlights below:
Orrest Head: if you are looking for a family friendly walk, this could be it. This short walk at 3 miles with only a slight incline, is suitable for everyone.
Helvellyn: one of the top rated hikes for experienced walkers (adults only), the view from the top will not disappoint. Just be aware the ridge near the top is very exposed so not one for a particularly windy day.
Windermere Lake Cruises: relax and watch the world go by from one of several boats that transverse the largest of the lakes, Windermere.
You can even make a day of it by combining a cruise with entry to the motor museum or aquarium.
Wordsworth: for literary fans, a visit to this part of England would not be complete without spending a few hours in the former home of this geat author and poet.
Lakeland Motor Museum: a must for car lovers, this museum houses over 30,000 pieces of motor related memorabilia. Highlights include the oldest surviving TVR, a tribute to the Isle of Man TT and an entire exhibition on the Campbell Bluebird.
Lake District Wildlife Park: filled with animals of all sorts, your family can learn all about a range of birds, mammals and reptiles from hawks to meerkats to monkeys.
The World of Beatrix Potter: meander your way through sets complete with all your favourite characters from the stories of Beatrix Potter. Taking less than an hour, the tour is suitable for all the family including toddlers and wobblers.
The Lake District: hotels
On a budget
Elterwater Hostel: if you want to stay in the heart of the Lake District but don’t have the budget, this could be a great option. The hostel is close to the Beatrix Potter and Wordworth Museums and surrounded by walking trails for all levels of fitness. They also offer a selection of homemade meals that visitors rave about.
Low Wray Campsite: located on the grounds of Wray Castle, this National Trust camp site offers a wide selection of accommodation from pitch space for your own tent to pods or luxury safari tents, complete with wood burning stoves.
Low Wood Bay Hotel: located on the shores of lake Windermere this family (and pet) friendly hotel comes complete with an indoor pool and leisure centre. It also offers a baby-sitting service, if you and your partner would like an evening out without the little ones.
On a blowout
The Samling Hotel: renowned for its excellent food, this boutique hotel with Michelin star restaurant is in a stunning location overlooking lake Windermere. The hotel is a combination of Georgian and contemporary with earthy tones that complement the surrounding countryside. Two of the suites are also pet friendly.
The Gilpin: if you are planning a very special break in the Lake District and are looking for something different, the Gilpin Hotel could be it. Each of the 25 bedrooms have lake views however 6 are truly spectacular with private cedarwood hot-tubs. It has to be seen to be believed.
The Lake District: cottages
If you would prefer to self-cater, there is no shortage of options. Below are only a few of the unique properties available:
Eller How House: this self-contained wing of a Regency Villa, sleeps 6 and is full of old world charm. Located in a tranquil part of the Lake District this home away from home is only a short distance from many of the highlights of the area including walks on the southern fells, the historic village of Cartmel and Beatrix Potter’s former home at High Sawrey is only half an hour’s drive away.
Rough Fell Lodg: spend a few days in the lap of luxury in this fully accessible log cabin on seven acres of private grounds, complete with outdoor hot tub with views over the surrounding countryside. This cosy bolthole comes complete with log burning stove and open plan living to make it the perfect location for family or a group of friends, no matter what the weather.
The Lake District: how to get there
The Lake District is one of those destinations where having a car is a necessity. Bring your own by taking the ferry with Stena Line from Dublin to Holyhead. The Lake District is an easy three-hour drive from there with the picturesque towns of Wigan and Preston to stop in along the way.
We look forward to welcoming you on board.