Lake District Rundown
Travel to the jaw-droppingly beautiful Lake District and you will soon be asking for a quill in order to write inspired poetry like Wordsworth and Coleridge, because that’s what they did when they came here. Switzerland and the French Alps pale into insignificance next to the mountain ranges to be found here, including the UKs highest peak – Scaffel Pike. The pretty towns of Windermere and Bowness sit by the side of Lake Windermere and have to be highlights of a trip – as are the places where Wordsworth lived, such as Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount. But don’t abandon the abandoned slate mines around Honister and the ruined abbey of Furness, because they are worth taking in too.
When you arrive in the Lake District, leave the digital world behind you (you know you can) and walk to your hearts’ content. Pack your best hiking boots and a flask of tea and don’t worry, walking routes are well maintained and often even have steps for the very steep parts. Make sure to stop off at the Mortal Man pub in Troutbeck though.
LAKE DISTRICT TOP 10
10. The Wordsworth Museum The great poet’s letters and manuscripts, as well as portraits of the old Romantic himself.
5. The World of Beatrix Potter is packed to the hilt with all things related to the famous children’s writer.
9. Cars of the Stars Motor Museum Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Herbie and a Batmobile. Plus – KITT from Knightrider! Totally unmissable.
4. The Glass House restaurant Featured on Gordon’s Kitchen Nightmares, but now quite good actually.
8. Aquarium of the Lakes Pikes, and diving ducks, but as ever, it’s the cheeky otters who steal the show.
3. Ambleside is a good place to amble. Serious hikers try the 10 mile Fairfield Horseshoe via Nab Scar walk.
7. The Museum of Lakeland Life An Edwardian street scene with spinning, bobbin-making and mining exhibits.
2. Kendal Museum boasts creepy stuffed animals so make sure you don’t get locked in at closing time.
6. The Pencil Museum See the world’s largest pencil here – 8 metres from tip to point. It’s bigger than yours.
1. Windermere Lake Cruises Vintage boats dating back to the 30s are ready to take you on a leisurely cruise around the lake.
LAKE DISTRICT EVENTS
Keswick Film Festival and Film Club take place in mid February at the Theatre by the Lake, a Lake District highlight.
Cockermouth Georgian Festival is in late April/May at the Cockermouth Market Place and Main Street in the Lake District.
The Feast of Flowers is an annual Lake District event which takes place in April/May. If you know your azaleas from your rhododendrons, then head to Muncaster Castle Gardens.
Jennings Keswick Jazz Festival takes place in the Lake District’s May event at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.
The Festival of Fools takes place May to June and features jesters who perform at this Lake District five day event. See the Fool of Muncaster be crowned and hope it’s not you!
The Lakelander Vintage Steam Train Journey is a long-running Lake District event which runs from April through to August on selected Saturdays and travels the Cumbrian coast.
The Keswick Beer Festival starts early June at Davidson Park. Lake District eventing at its best.
The Lake District Summer of Fun features events right across the area with circus workshops, magic shows etc in August
Halloween Week sees ghostly goings on at the Lake District’s Muncaster Castle plus face painting and a light and sound show in late October
Christmas as the Castle in November and December when Muncaster Castle in the Lake District is dressed up for celebrations.
WHEN TO GO
· It does snow up on the mountains during the winter, but the fell heights are snow free during the rest of the year. Hill fog is common though – so make sure to check the weather forecast if going on a hike.
· The Lake District has a maritime climate which means there are only moderate changes in temperature throughout the year. Average temperatures in the valleys are from around 3°C in January to 15 °C in July. Up in the mountains, the temperature variations are more pronounced.
· The Lake District is the wettest part of the UK. Sprinkling Tam receives over 5000 mm of rain per year, the most in the British Isles.
HOW TO GET THERE
· The Lake District is easily accessible by road with the M6 skirting the county to the east. From Manchester the journey time is around one and a half hours to reach Cumbria and from London it takes around five hours. National Express supplies a regular service to most of the popular Lake District villages and towns – and links to many smaller places. From London Victoria journey times are roughly six and a half hours, with a variety of prices depending when you travel.
· There are a number of airports within two hours of Cumbria – Manchester International, Liverpool, Newcastle and Glasgow are connected via the M6 motorway and range of public transport connections.
· Let the train take the strain with Virgin, First Trains and Northern Rail all running good services – for Keswick and the Western Lakes alight at Penrith, and for Kendal and the Southern Lakes Oxenholme and Carlisle for Carlisle and Hadrian’s Wall Country.
In a country that teems with idyllic pastoral landscapes, the Lake District of England is perhaps the most exquisite. The popular vacation area in the North West of England was fair enough after all, to lure and inspire the likes of William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats and Lord Tennyson. In other words, some of the best poets in history came to the shire county of Cumbria to find precisely the right words.
As any keen student of English Literature can attest, or fervent reader of famous former resident Beatrix Potter for that matter, that they did. The Lake District is indeed the land of Peter Rabbit and all his furry friends, come to vivid, spectacular life. From miniature towns to the lakes, rivers and wildlife of Lake District National Park, the foremost mountainous region of England is a place of magnificent beauty. Even non-poets are sure to agree.
The Lakes District receives more annual rainfall that any other area in England, though amounts can vary greatly from one place to another.
- Winter (December to February) 0-6°C
- Spring (March to May) 4-12°C
- Summer (June to September) 10-18°C
- Fall (October to November) 4-11°C
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