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During your trip to the Lake District National Park, you’ll be inundated with wonderful things to do and places to visit, ensuring a fun-packed trip whether you’re travelling with the kids, a group of friends or just you and your partner.

Explore charming towns and villages, majestic lakes, and exciting attractions and activities. The Lake District is full of unique heritage and wonderful events, not to mention plenty of enticing walking routes you could discover during your holiday.

Read through this list of 10 things to do in the Lake District to begin planning your next trip!

1.Holiday beside Lake Windermere

Everyone should make a beeline for the legendary Lake Windermere, the region’s largest lake boasting a wealth of water sports and attractions on its banks.

Ambleside to the north and Bowness-on-Windermere to the east of the lake are two of the top places to stay on a trip to this magnificent lake, both offering a great selection of cottages and activities.

Visit the World of Beatrix Potter, Brockhole on Windermere or Treetop Lake District for fun family days out or hop aboard a boat to spend time out on the water. If you are more sporty, have a go at kayaking, SUP or wild swimming in this popular lake. 

Cottage nearby: Satter Knotts, Near and Far Sawrey (sleeps 8 + 3 dogs)
Windermere

2.Walk up Helvellyn

The twin ridges of Striding Edge and Swirral Edge make up the 3,117-foot-high Helvellyn, the highest summit in the Helvellyn Mountains.

There are several routes up this impressive Lake District fell, ranging from challenging to more manageable climbs. Why not follow this route up Helvellyn from Thirlmere? This walk begins at the popular reservoir Thirlmere and leads you past some outstanding views.

If you do not have a head for heights but still enjoy fresh air and the great outdoors, there are plenty of routes around the base of this majestic mountain range so you can still stretch your legs and discover this phenomenal region on a relaxing stroll. Keep an eye out for animals and birdlife to see what you can find before heading out for a well-deserved pub lunch.

Cottage nearby: North Cottage, Ambleside (sleeps 2)
Helvellyn

3.Step inside Beatrix Potter’s home
 

Beatrix Potter bought her home of Hill Top with the proceeds from her very first children’s book, ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’, and wrote many of her other classics while living here. Today, visitors are welcome to visit the house which is managed by the National Trust.

It contains some of her original drawings and illustrations, and every room contains a reference to one of her stories. Take a walk in the cottage garden where vegetables, flowers and herbs all grow, and see her charming kitchen and sitting room, all well maintained as though Beatrix Potter still lives in this beautiful cottage.

If you can’t get enough of Beatrix Potter’s wonderful stories, head across the water to Beatrix Potter World at Bowness-on-Windermere. At this interactive family-friendly attraction you can see her magical characters come to life, visit the Peter Rabbit Garden and relax in the café. 

Cottage nearby: Springwell Cottage, Hawkshead 2 miles (sleeps 4 + 2 dogs)
Beatrix Potter

4.Enjoy days out in Newlands Valley

Despite its proximity to busy Keswick and Derwentwater, Newlands Valley is known as one of the quietest and most tranquil destinations in the Lake District. Escape to this corner of the UK for a peaceful retreat and enjoy picnicking, watching the sunrise, long winding walks and paddling in streams in this idyllic Lake District location.

If you are a fan of Beatrix Potter, you’ll be pleased to know this valley has close associations with her as it was used as the backdrop for 'The Tale of Mrs Tiggywinkle' and she sketched locations here such as Catbells. 

Ensure you head to Stair - the main settlement in the valley - for fun at Newlands Adventure Centre and to dine at the only pub in the valley, Swinside Inn.

Cottage nearby: The Woodsman Cabin, Nr Ulverston (sleeps 6)
Catbells

5.Discover the Lakes on a road trip


By foot is a peaceful way to explore the area, bike is always a great fun way to travel, but car allows you to see as much of this fantastic region as possible during your trip. The Lake District’s unique landscape of undulating fells and valleys offers up some excellent driving terrain.

Honister Pass is a top place to head to in the car and will take you all the way up to Honister Slate Mine. Coniston to Eskdale via the Duddon Valley will take you through lots of challenging mountain roads but rewards drivers with unforgettable views. Meanwhile, Ambleside to Ullswater via Keswick will lead you past many of the region’s great lakes – not one to miss!

Cottage nearby: Thornthwaite Rowan, Keswick (sleeps 4 + 2 dogs)

Honister Pass


6.Follow in the footsteps of Wordsworth


The Lake District has inspired many artists and writers. After visiting Beatrix Potter’s home, why not discover all the places that William Wordsworth frequented?

The most famous attraction associated with the writer is his once home of Dove Cottage in Grasmere where you can see a collection of his manuscripts.

Over in Cockermouth, National Trust-managed Wordsworth House and Garden is the place where Wordsworth grew up and is now set up how it would have been when the youth lived here with his parents, siblings and servants. It’s interactive with a daily children’s trail, dressing up clothes and ghosts in the downstairs cellar.

Finally, Rydal Mount House and Gardens is where Wordsworth lived from 1813 until his death in 1850. You can book tickets to explore the house and beautiful gardens landscaped by Wordsworth himself.

Cottage nearby: Carr Crag Cottage, Skelwith Bridge (sleeps 6 + 2 dogs)

Dove Cottage

7.Explore Keswick and Derwentwater

For a relaxed stroll, why not start your walk in charming Keswick? Set on the banks of Derwentwater, there are plenty of delightful routes you could follow that will take you down past the lake itself or into the quaint surrounding countryside. The Derwentwater Walk is a 10-mile route leading around the full circumference of the lake on relatively flat and easy paths through woodland and down to the lake’s shoreline.

While near Keswick, you could also stop by the Derwent Pencil Museum, see optical illusions at Puzzling Place, or venture over to the Castlerigg Stone Circle. After a day out walking or visiting quaint local attractions, there’s a delightful mix of places to eat in Keswick too.

Cottage nearby: Garth Cottage, Keswick (sleeps 4)

Derwent Water

8.See the sights at Tarn Hows

This beautiful corner of the Lake District makes a wonderful outing for families with young children and buggies, as well as anyone with limited mobility as there is an accessible circular track that runs for about 1 ¼ miles through countryside, taking in exquisite mountain views.

Meet livestock along the way - the rare Belted Galloway cattle and more common Herdwick sheep can be seen grazing on the tarn - and keep an eye out for local wildlife too. This area is taken care of by the National Trust who offer an all-terrain mobility scooter so the park can be enjoyed by everyone. There’s a trail run to conquer for more active travellers, not to mention fantastic views that anyone can discover during a trip. Coniston and Hawkshead are the local towns where you can stay or eat after your visit to this scenic natural space. Don’t forget your camera!

Cottage nearby: Hole House, Wray (sleeps 6 + 2 dogs)

Tarn Hows

9.Hike your way around Great Langdale

Known for its epic walking routes, the valley of Great Langdale covers over 12,170 acres with much of the land in the hands of the National Trust who maintains ten farms in this beautiful location. Impressive fells surround this valley offering up plenty of challenging walks for you to get your teeth stuck into – this is a region for true adventurers seeking a challenge!

Follow the Langdale Pikes Walk to venture along the fells: Pavey Ark, Thunacar Knott, Pike of Stickle, and Harrison Stickle. Challenge yourself with a hike from Dungeon Ghyll over the Fells to Ambleside, or for a slower-paced trip to Great Langdale, enjoy an easy circular walk around Elterwater.

Cottage nearby: Badger's Walk, Skelwith Bridge (sleeps 2 + 1 dog)

Great Langdale


10.Head to a special event

Plan your holiday around a special event or find out what’s happening in the Lake District during your trip. There’s lots going on throughout the region for you to discover!

The Great North Swim takes place at Windermere and sees hundreds of swimmers cross the great lake, while the Westmorland County Show in Kendal boasts livestock shows, children’s activities and stalls to peruse. Visit a local village fayre during the warmer months or seek out Christmas markets when the weather turns cooler.

Cow

Stay in a cottage in Cumbria with holidaycottages.co.uk and enjoy an unforgettable retreat with your friends and family. 

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