Situated in the North West of England, Cumbria is a large area with the Lake District National Park to the South West of the county.
The Lake District is made up of numerous lakes, mountains and traditional villages all unique to there own. This post is to guide you through the most visited places throughout the Lake District and things you would not want to miss when visiting.
Starting from the North of the Lakes is Bassenthwaite, one of the largest of the lakes in the National Park. It is home to to the vendace fish, a rare and endangered species found only in Bassenthwaite and Derwentwater.
There are no towns around this lake but is a popular spot for sailing boats. There is however the popular Trotters World of Animals, a 25 acre wildlife park which houses over 100 species.
One of the most popular towns to visit in the Lakes. Sat on the edge of Derwent water, is packed out in the summer months when crowds come from all over the world to see this classic Lake District town.
You can walk right round the lake or take the Derwentwater launch (boat) for super views of the mountains around the lake. If you are feeling energetic you can go and summit the highest mountain looking down at Keswick, Skiddaw.
The town itself is an outdoor persons paradise with high tech walking and outdoor clothing shops, country pubs with some great menus and views of the mountains, lake and houses made from the local lakeland slate. Keswick has it's own pencil museum, cinema, Beatrix Potter shop and the famous Frias chocolate
Head down to the lakeside to feed the many ducks, swans and geese which live here. A crazy golf course is also down on the lakeside surrounded by pretty flower gardens and a National Trust shop.
The town Centre holds markets on Thursdays and Saturdays selling local produce and arts. On the western side of the town is an indoor swimming pool which is great fun if you get there for when they set off the wave machine.
If nature is your thing, the Whinlatter forest park is a must. The best known place for bike riders in the North, Whinlatter also offers nature trails and tree top adventure which include rope bridges, Tarzan swings and zip slides up to 40 feet up in the trees. The visitors center offers souvenirs, a cafe bar and views over Grizedale Pike. A must do adventure for any family. Look out for the protected red squirrel, the Grizedale red kites and Osprey.
Grasmere & Rydal
Moving down to Grasmere, another popular Lake District town which was famously associated with poet Laureate. A good spot for walkers as the fells here are usually green and inviting, easy to access and brilliant views of the lake and village from up above. Helm Crag is one of the most popular walks but you may also want to take a look at Stone Arthur, Silver How and Loughrigg Fell.
As you park your car and enter the village you will probably notice the aroma from The Gingerbread Shop. Next to St Oswalds Church, The Gingerbread Shop recipes date back from 1854 when Sarah Nelson rented this old school room and the recipe is still a secret today.
Grasmere is also well known for the Heaton Cooper Studio and the fine artworks by the family. Grasmeres most famous person is of course William Wordsworth who live here and is today buried in St Oswalds churchyard. You can reach the shores of this small lake and head down to the shingle shoreline just below Deerbolts Wood. Look out for wild deer, ducks, wrens and dippers or hire a rowing boat from the near by Faeryland tea rooms.
Only a 20 mile ride from the M6, Ambleside is a small town but has plenty to offer. Situated at the North end of Windermere the start of Kirkstone Pass and the gateway to Langdales. Jump on one of the Windermere Iron Steamboat Company's flotillas which run all year round and take the voyage to Bowness.
The Armitt Museum collects artifacts from the Neolithic and Bronze ages as well as roman material found in and around the town. The Museum also holds over 10,000 titles in the library from life and times throughout the Lake District. Ambleside's most famous view point is accessed from Skelghyll Wood, part of the National Trust property, for those that want to catch a good photo.
Do you remember the Braithwaites? Their unique little house known as Bridge House was lived in by the Braithwaites and still stands today after locals from Ambleside raised funds to restore it in 1928.
Windermere and Bowness
Part of the largest and most visited place within the Lake District, Bowness is all about ice creams, swans and boats. There are shops, restaurants, cafes and country pubs galore.
Whatever the weather throws at you, you can guarantee a good time and the people of Bowness will take good care of you. A Peter Rabbit and Friends Shop has also been trading here for over 20 years.
The promenade is the first place to start and find the best views of the lake and mountains. Get on the Nab Ferry also known as the 'floating bridge' which takes you across Windermere for those spectacular views, saves an hours drive around the lakeside and you get to see the 'Hill Top', home of Beatrix Potter. The Ferry also holds 18 cars should you want to drive off from the other side.
A must see here is the Worlds first 'Virtual Dive Bell' at the Lakes Aquarium where fearless divers drop down into murky depths of an African lake where creatures wait to surprise you. This virtual voyage moves through different continents and lets you discover hundreds of creatures from around the lakes of the World. Surprisingly nobody gets wet!
There are endless options when it comes to finding holiday homes in the Lake District and you are guaranteed to get a real taste of this wonderful part of the United Kingdom.