Beginners Guide to the Lake District

1 February 2023

With the cost-of-living crisis hampering many people’s holiday plans this summer, why not consider a cost-effective domestic holiday to one of the UK’s treasures, the Lake District?

lake district lake

Cumbria, in the north of England, is home to the world-renowned Lake District. This protected national park is home to many wonderful holiday locations that delight thousands of holidaymakers annually. However, the hundreds of nature walks that give visitors easy access to the untamed, natural beauty of the county make the Lake District Iconic. With so much to see in this popular holiday destination, planning what you want to see will help you choose where to book your stay. Our helpful guide will help reveal some highlights and help you decide where to start.

Grasmere: Tranquil Calm, and Abundant in Gingerbread

Grasmere village

Grasmere is a humble village near the heart of the Lake District and embodies many characteristics that draw people to Cumbria. This secluded village maintains a wonderfully vintage quality that has changed very little in over a century whilst providing modern conveniences for visitors.

These impressive hills surround the village and nearby woodlands, seemingly protecting this picturesque area from the modern world elsewhere in the county. Grasmere is commonly rated as one of the most attractive villages for those looking for quaint cafés, craft art galleries and a peaceful aura. There are a few places better to visit than your luxury holiday cottage in the lake district.

Grasmere Tourist Attractions

It is not just its beauty that has made Grasmere a popular place to visit; it also has a claim to many tourist attractions. For example, the famous poet, William Wordsworth, lived in Dove Cottage, a building that still exists and perhaps is inspiring other poets today.

Grasmere is also home to a famous Gingerbread bakery. Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread shop has been internationally recognised as the source of the best gingerbread in the world since 1854. Their unique mix of ingredients has biscuit lovers lining down the street to buy a delicious portion. Due to its popularity, it is currently a third-generation family business that only closes a few days of the year.

Keswick: Dog Friendly, Watersports and Walks

Keswick Derwent lake

Keswick is a highly active area of the Lake District and a fantastic place to sample some of everything the national park offers in one convenient location. One of the largest towns in the county, this prestigious location has a range of high-quality restaurants, cafes, and artisan bakeries to keep you well-fed during your visit.

Depending on when you visit, Keswick will be home to many festivals celebrating art, music, culture, and the nature surrounding it. For example, the Keswick mountain festival is an annual event where passionate hill and mountain climbers celebrate outdoor exercise in one of the most beautiful places in the UK.

Keswick Famous Sights To See

The main attraction of Keswick is Derwent Lake, situated near the bottom of the town. This expansive lake offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and mountains and convenient ways to see them.

Explore your views by renting one of the many power boats available for hire and travel around the lake at your own pace. Alternatively, there are regular public transport ferries you can buy tickets for to visit secluded areas around the lake that would be otherwise difficult to reach.

Ashness Bridge is one of the most painted bridges in the world and is easy to visit this way. Taking this public ferry to the number two stop is a short walk to this historical location captured in many pieces of art. Additionally, your return trip will take you on a circular tour of the entire lake, where you’ll see various locations and backdrops of famous movies such as Swallows and Amazons and Star Wars VII: Force Awakens.

The lake is the centre of most attractions in Keswick, with the nearby abundance of circular hill walks suitable for beginners and experienced hill walkers alike. Keswick inspires return visits as initial holidaymakers to grow their confidence and tackle new walks further from the town or more daunting ones, such as the infamous Scafell Pike at the far end of Derwent Water.

Lake Windermere: Historical and Childlike Wonder

Windermere lake district

Lake Windermere connects several great locations at its water’s edge. Whilst these are easily accessible via a car, a large public ferry also regularly transports people from one town to the next. This allows one to easily visit many of these tourist attractions after parking at just one of them.

Newby Bridge: Steam Railway Ride

A steam train railway at the very bottom of Lake Windermere is an unusual form of public transport. Newby Bridge Platform is one of two vintage stations on the Haverthwaite heritage steam railway. Getting on board here, you can enjoy a fantastic steam train ride roughly 3 miles long until you reach the Haverthwaite station, café, and engine shed museum. With return journeys regular during the tourist season, this attraction is a convenient way of seeing more nature outside of your car.

Bowness: Vibrant NightLife

Further up the lake, you’ll find Bowness-on-Windermere. This town has been a popular attraction for UK holidaymakers since Victorian times. Numerous parks and walks are nearby, but the high street makes this town special. Commonly shortened to just Bowness, this town is filled with tourism-friendly places to eat, drink and party late into the night.

Windermere: Home of Beatrix Potter

Heading a little further away from the lake, you’ll find Windermere town. This town has a more modern railway station that connects to the national network for nearby cities like Carlisle and Lancaster. Along with a range of fabulous restaurants for fine dining, this town has a singular attraction in the whole county, the home of Beatrix Potter. Author of 23 classic children’s stories, including the Peter Rabbit series, you can visit her former home in Windermere and soak up the nature that inspired her.

Lake district holiday cottage

Luxury Lake District Holiday Cottages

Mill House offers the most satisfying experience with our luxury cottages with hot tubs conveniently placed in the lake district. Visiting the Lake District is often an unforgettable trip for holidaymakers new to the national park. We hope this guide helps you create similarly beautiful memories. Availability of our luxury cottages books up quickly, so if you’re eager to explore this part of Cumbria, book your stay today and avoid delays.

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