Book List for a Holiday in the Lake District

4 December 2019

This is the ultimate list of books that you’ll be wanting to take on your Lake District holiday. We’ve catalogued everything, from bus maps to guidebooks to page-turning fiction. These are the titles you should take with you for your star at one of our self-catering holiday cottages.

The Boat House

The Boring Stuff that You’ll Need

For your trip to the Lake District, there are a few books and guides that might seem quite boring but having them with you will allow you to maximise your efficiency and make the most of your time on holiday.

For example, if you think that there might be some occasions where you would prefer to park and ride through the Lakes, then having a Lakes’ bus guide to hand will ensure that you are always on time for your next bus. Being prepared gives you the freedom to change your plans easily, too, so it’s well worth putting a little extra time into making sure that you have all the materials you need to make your holiday a success.

Here are some of our recommendations for making a great holiday in the Lake District:

  • An up-to-date Lake District bus map
  • Taxi numbers for the area surrounding your accommodation
  • An OS map for any walks you’re planning
  • A road map (in case the signal disappears during your drive)

Gawain and the Green Knight

Now that we’ve got the admin out of the way, we can talk about the fun literature that is set in your holiday destination. Now, Gawain and the Green Knight isn’t set purely in the Lake District, but it’s thought that his journey takes him through Ingleton and Keswick. The tale of Gawain and the Green Knight isn’t the only tale of the round table that venture into the North West of England, either, as it’s thought that Mordred grew to become King of Carlisle.

Alfred Wainwright’s Walking Guides

Alfred Wainwright was fascinated with the Lake District, and this is what drove him to walk, draw, and document, the best of it. His seven-volume Pictoral Guide to the Lakeland Fells serves as a testament to the love that people feel for this place.

If you’re interested in sharing in Alfred’s love for the Lake District, we recommend that you purchase an updated version of his walking guides or read one of our many blogs on his favourite walks. Walking routes change over time, this can be due to natural disaster or human intervention, but whatever the reason might be, you need to be sure that you aren’t going to be led into a dangerous region by using an outdated guide.

Here are some of our blogs based on some of the Wainwright walks:

Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell

4 Autumn Colour Walks in the Lake District

Orrest Head



Red Screes

Easedale Tarn


Haweswater, by Sarah Hall

If the thought of reading a medieval text doesn’t thrill you, and non-fiction isn’t exactly your idea of a holiday book, then you should consider ordering Haweswater by Sarah Hall as your read for the holiday instead.

Haweswater is the story of a drowned village in the Lake District. The real Haweswater was purposely flooded in the 1930s, and the ruins of it can still be seen today during droughts – when the water pulls back and reveals the outline of age-old pubs. Sarah Hall’s novel is prosaic and tells the tragedy of Haweswater, the loss of a peaceful community to the whims of a far-away council.

The Grave Tattoo, Val McDermid

This is the perfect novel for those who like a good scare during their free time. Set in the Lake District, this book is a psychological suspense thriller with history, heritage and plenty of fictional crimes. This book engages with the Romantic literature surrounding the Lake District from Wordsworth and his contemporaries, all whilst crafting a brilliant thriller and mystery.

It’s a page turner that will have you planning a café-crawl just to give yourself more reading time during your holiday in one of our 5-star holiday cottages near the Lake District.

The Boat House - Inside

Our Cottages

Our luxury holiday cottages Lake District are the perfect place to engage in a writer’s retreat or a relaxing reading weekend. They’re also a great place to explore the Lake District from, and when you’re tired, they offer privacy and comfort to retire to at the end of the day. Make your 2020 a year to look forward to by booking a stay with us.

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