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Dublin in a day – What to do in Dublin for a day

The Republic of Ireland’s capital city of Dublin is a must visit. Although relatively small in size, Dublin is a city deeply rooted in history! Therefore, there are lots of exciting things to see. Couple this with amazingly cheerful locals and a drinking culture that brings the city alive at night and any visit to Dublin is sure to be an excellent one!

Although I’d recommend spending at least two days in Dublin (you can read my full Ireland Itinerary here) its highlights can be experienced in one jam-packed day!

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What do in Dublin for a day –

what to do in dublin for a day

Do a Free walking tour –

One of the best ways to explore Dublin in a day is to join a free walking tour. By doing so you can visit many of the cities top attractions, whilst learning about their history. I’d thoroughly recommend ‘Generations Tours’ as I found their tour to be incredibly informative on my own visit to Dublin!

Dublin attractions you’ll see on a walking tour would include:

Christ-Curch Cathedral – Located in the medieval heart of Dublin, Christ-Church Cathedral is a must visit when Dublin sightseeing, not only does it have beautiful architecture but also rich links with the Vikings!

St Patricks Cathedral – Is the biggest church in Ireland (and arguably the most sacred) as its supposedly where St Patrick baptised the first Christian Celtics. 

Dublin Castle – Is another building of major importance within Dublin. Amongst other notable moments in Ireland’s history, Dublin castle became the stage for southern Ireland officially becoming independent in 1937.

Dublin Castle - Places to visit in Dublin

Visit One of Dublin’s Parks –

Most walking tours last for around 3-hours. Following this, you may want a bit of downtime. Dublin has countless beautiful parks and green spaces that can be enjoyed. Perhaps its most famous is Phoenix Park (also home to Dublin Zoo). However, if you only have one day in Dublin I’d recommend visiting St Stephen Green which is much more central.

visiting St Stephen Green - free things to do in dublin

Located at the end of the famous Grafton Street you can even do some shopping on your way to relax in its beautifully manicured lawns.

Catch a Glimpse of the Spire of Dublin –

When asking locals what to see in Dublin, many will suggest a look at the Spire of Dublin. This 120m high stainless steel ‘needle’ is certainly the quirkiest of the cities attractions. Love it or hate it, the spire is something that is quite hard to miss (even if you’re just touring Dublin in a day) because of its location in the middle of O’Connell Street – the cities main thoroughfare.

Dublin in a day - take a look at the dublin spire

Tour Trinity College –

One of the top places to visit in Dublin is Trinity College, which was founded in 1592. The courtyard of this prestigious university will take you back in time, as cobbled paths and beautiful old buildings make you forget that you’re in the heart of a busy city.

Places to visit in dublin - Trinity College (outside)

However, most people visit Trinity College to see one thing: the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is an ancient manuscript featuring one of the earliest surviving copies of the four gospels. The exhibition only takes about an hour and a half to tour so it is perfect if you only have one day to spend in Dublin! You’ll also get to see the colleges stunning old library as part of the tour!

TOP TIP: to minimise waiting, prebook your tickets to see the Book of Kells online!

Visit the Guinness Storehouse –

I wouldn’t be providing the best answer to the question of what do in Dublin for a day if I didn’t suggest a visit to the Guinness Storehouse – Irelands most popular tourist attraction.

St. James’s Gate Brewery started making Guinness in 1759 when Aurther Guinness famously signed a 9000-year lease! Today part of the factory can be toured and its an incredible experience!

best things to do in dublin - tour the guinness storehouse

If you visit the storehouse, you’ll learn how Irelands most famous export is made, along with how to correctly taste it and the history of the Guinness family. What’s more, you can take in the view of Dublin from a sky-bar (free pint in hand). Because of this, the storehouse is definitely one of the best things to do in Dublin!

Drink at Temple Bar –

You should end your one day in Dublin by drinking at its most famous establishment: Temple Bar pub. Although the pints here are incredibly expensive (€8) the atmosphere in the pub is brilliant, as is the live music! Making a visit one of my favourite activities in Dublin.

Dublin in a day - Drink at temple bar


SIDE NOTE (museums) –

If you’re planning to experience Dublin in a day then it is unlikely that you’ll have time to visit one of the cities museums, due to all of the aforementioned things that there are to do in Dublin. However, if visiting museums is top of your list then Dublin has you covered. Most of its museums are free and highlights include:


Dublin in a day (where to eat) –

During your one day in Dublin, you’ll no doubt want to stop for something to eat! One of my favourite places for lunch in Dublin is  Dollard & Co, an independent food hall and Deli, with a fantastic menu. On my visit, I opted for rotisserie chicken which was some of the best chicken I’ve ever had… It was even better than Nando’s. 😉

Alternatively, if you’re near O’Connell street, another great place to eat in Dublin is The BakehouseThis cute little cafe does fantastic sandwiches and jacket Potatoes!

one day in dublin - where to eat

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Dublin is a fantastic city to visit and I hope this post gives you a good idea of what to do in Dublin for a day! However, there is sooo much more to do… For example, with more time in the city, you could visit Kilmainham Gaol Prison, or take a day trip to the beautiful area of Glendalough.

In this way, I’d recommend spending as much time in Dublin as possible. But, if you are forced to explore Dublin in a day, then the above list will allow you to make the most of your time!

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Thinking of heading to Galway too? Then check out my post on the charming city HERE.

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Budget Ireland Itinerary – 5 Days In Ireland

Being British, you’d have thought I would have visited Ireland by now. After all, it’s so close! However, (like most) I have a tendency to neglect destinations on my doorstep… It took a recent invitation from a friend to prompt me to visit the ‘Emerald Isle’. Our Budget Ireland itinerary was as followed:

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Budget Ireland Itinerary: Day One (Dublin) –

Our flight from London arrived in Dublin at 8am (you can imagine the ungodly time we had to get up to arrive that early!!). Considering our hostel check-in didn’t open until 3pm, we had a solid 7hours before we could settle down for a power nap. Thankfully our good friend caffeine came to the rescue and supplied us with energy so that we could spend this time exploring Dublin.

Budget Ireland Itinerary - Dublin

CHECK OUT MY MORE DETAILED POST ON WHAT TO DO IN BUBLIN HERE!

Where to Stay in Dublin (on a budget) –

As with any capital city, accommodation in Dublin is on the expensive side. Therefore in order to keep our 5 days in Ireland as cheap as possible, we decided to stay in a hostel. Our hostel of choice was Barnacles Temple Bar. It has an amazing location, beating that of many hotels, and the staff were super friendly and helpful. Further, our room was clean and comfortable, more so than other hostels I’ve stayed in! The only downside is that they only offer mixed dorms, which may put some solo travellers off.

Despite this, Barnacles is certainly one of the best hostels in Dublin!


Budget Ireland Itinerary: Day Two (Galway) –

Galway to Dublin

We woke up early on our second day in Ireland to travel from Dublin to Galway. The best way to travel around Ireland is by hiring a car! Unfortunately, this also happens to be the most expensive! Therefore, if you’re visiting Ireland on a budget you’re better off getting the bus…

There are several different bus companies that offer regular services between Galway and Dublin. However, we chose to travel with CityLink as they seemed to offer the most frequent buses for the lowest price (just €10 for a return)! I was thoroughly impressed with the service which was bang on time. What’s more, the coach was very comfortable and had excellent WiFi (all a girl needs for a two and a half hour drive). 😉

Galway to Dublin - Galway Harbour

Galway Harbour

Once we’d arrived in Galway we spent the rest of the afternoon taking in the Irish charm of this more traditional city. I instantly fell in love with Galway! The atmosphere was electric and the people amongst the friendliest I’ve ever met.

In this way, even if you only have a few days in the country, Galway is a must visit and should be included on every Ireland Itinerary.

Looking for ideas of things to do in Galway? Then read this post. 🙂

Where to stay in Galway (on a budget) –

After enjoying our time at Barnacles in Dublin, we decided to book into its sister hostel in Galway. The location of Barnacles Galway is also fantastic (the branch really knows how to find good spots). It’s situated on Quay Street, which is essentially the bustling heart of Galway and where all the best pubs/restaurants can be found!


Budget Ireland Itinerary: Day Three (Day Tour From Galway) –

Galway is situated just an hour and a half away from the Republic of Ireland’s most famed tourist attraction: The Cliffs of Moher. Although it is possible to reach the cliffs by public transport, we opted to see them as part of a day tour from the city.

Such tours are normally quite expensive and therefore not suitable for a budget Itinerary. However, I stumbled upon Lally’s Tours when researching the cliffs and noticed the company offered an 8hr tour of the area surrounding Galway for just €24.

tours of ireland cliffs of moher

I would highly recommend this tour as Lally (the driver) has superb knowledge of the area and pulled out all the stops to give passengers a fantastic day! Sites we saw included: Dunguaire Castle, the Aillwee Caves and, of course, the famous Cliffs of Moher (which are really as beautiful as everyone says)!

Dunguaire Castle

Dunguaire Castle

However, I was most blown away by ‘The Burren’ (one of my must see places in Ireland). The Burren is simply a vast karst landscape of limestone which features countless fascinating and mesmerising rock formations, including what appears to be a natural pavement.

The Landscape was best summarised by Edmund Ludlow who stated that in the Burren ‘there is not enough water to drown a man, enough wood to hang one, nor earth enough to bury him.”

TOP TIP: I would highly recommend taking the time to step away from Ireland’s cities to ‘discover’ the countryside. My day touring the rural areas of County Clare/Galway was by far my favourite day in Ireland! There’s just something so magical and unique about the landscape. 


Budget Ireland Itinerary: Day Four (Galway to Dublin) –

We woke up early on our fourth day in Ireland and jumped on a Citylink bus back to Dublin. Once back in the city we visited some of the attractions that we had missed out on, on the first day of our trip! This included going to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College and touring the Guinness Storehouse.

Trinity College - Things to do in Dublin

No Dublin itinerary is complete without a visit to the storehouse as the Guinness family helped shape a lot of the cities history! I thoroughly enjoyed our self-guided tour through several different floors of the magnificent old factory.  The highlight was no doubt the ‘sky-bar’ where we got to enjoy a free pint overlooking the city.

This said I did find the tour to be a little overcrowded as we often had to queue to enter different parts of the store-house. However, since its the most visited tourist attraction in Ireland, this could only be expected!

Must see places in Ireland - Guinness Storehouse

TOP TIP: Make sure you prebook your tickets to the Guinness Storehouse as popular times sell out quickly! Whats more, tickets are much cheaper if purchased online.

We ended our day in Dublin by continuing to sample its alcoholic offerings at Temple Bar. This pub, although VERY touristy is another must visit in Dublin.


Budget Ireland Itinerary: Day Five (Tour From Dublin) –

Sadly my friend had an early morning flight, meaning the last of my five days in Ireland was spent travelling solo… Since I hadn’t made any plans I decided to book a last minute tour to see some of Dublin’s more rural areas.

Day tours of Ireland appear to be very affordable as the one I chose was again only €20. I took an open top bus to the beautiful Malahide Castle and then onto the town of Howth (which you’ll see from above as you fly into Dublin)!

Budget Ireland Itinerary - Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle

Book the same tour here.

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We found that Ireland can easily be travelled on a budget! Its main cities and towns have plenty of hostels to stay in and public transport is affordable and reliable!

However, with hindsight, I would have loved to have spent more time exploring Ireland. If possible I’d recommend spending at least 7 days in Ireland, meaning that you could include visiting destinations that we missed out on. An example of such an itinerary would be:

Days 1&2) Two days in Dublin

Day 3) A Day Travelling To Galway and exploring the Burren

Day 4) Travel by bus to the Cliffs of Moher and the Arran Island, staying in Doolin

Day 5) Travel by bus to Kilkenny (approximately 2 and a half hours)

Day 6) Take a tour of Kilkenny National park

Day 7) Take the bus back to Dublin and then onto Glendalough.

I’ll definitely be returning to Ireland to visit Kilkenny National park and the Arran Islands especially as both look even more magical than the Burren!

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Guide To Dulwich Village, London

A recent family wedding took me to Dulwich Village, a small area of South London that (as its name suggests) is more like a countryside village than a city neighbourhood. Two stops on the tube from London Blackfriars, it’s an underrated area of London that you simply don’t want to miss!

Therefore I’ve compiled a quick guide to Dulwich Village, London that contains everything you need to know…

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Getting to Dulwich Village –

Dulwich Village is part of a larger area of London that consists of West Dulwich, East Dulwich and Herne Hill. Out of the four, Dulwich Village is the only neighbourhood that doesn’t have a tube station. However, the other areas stations are all within walking distance. Therefore, there are many different ways to get to Dulwich village! I recommend checking the Transport for London Tube Map to plot the best route!

guide to Dulwich Village

On my visit, I got the tube to Herne Hill and then walked through the picturesque Brockwell Park to Dulwich Village. Just outside the station, I found a fabulous food market, which occurs every Sunday. It’s worth visiting in its own right and made for a fantastic introduction to the area.


Things to do in Dulwich Village –

Dulwich picture gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery –

The Dulwich Picture Gallery is thought to be one of the best galleries in London. First opening its doors in 1814, it’s actually the first purpose-built gallery in Britain. Although I didn’t have time to visit myself, the gallery is said to have a fine collection that brings in art lovers from far and wide.

Wander Beautiful Streets –

I spent the majority of my time in Dulwich Village wandering through its beautiful streets. Along its main road, sweet-smelling bakeries and flowershops enticed my senses. I also found that there are plenty of boutiques and independent stores to browse in.

Dulwich Village London

However, my favourite spots in Dulwich Village were the leafy backstreets. Line with Chestnut trees and white picket fences, I found myself staring at picturesque cottages wondering how part of central London could possibly be so Idyllic.

Living in Dulwich Village - Dulwich Village houses

FUN FACT: If you’re now thinking of living in Dulwich, you may need to rethink your grand plan as Dulwich Villages houses sell for at least £1.5 million…  

Visit Dulwich Park –

For an even more rural escape, you can head to Dulwich Park. Characterised by hidden paths, mill ponds and horse riding trails, Dulwich Park is the perfect place to spend a little time away from city life. I simply spent the rest of my afternoon sat under an ancient oak tree people watching… A fine afternoon indeed.

Dulwich Park

Guide to Dulwich Village - Dulwich Park


Guide to Dulwich Village Restaurants –

Only spending two days in Dulwich Village, I was sadly only able to sample a few of its culinary offerings. 🙁 However, I can thoroughly recommend two spots:

1) Rocca: Located on Dulwich Village high street, Rocca is surely one of the best restaurants in Dulwich. Not only is it in a fantastic location, it also serves some of the nicest Italian food around!

Dulwich Village Restaurants: Rocca

2) The Crown and Greyhound: if you’re looking for a more quintessentially British food experience then the Crown and Greyhound is the place to go! Located steps away from Rocca, this Dulwich Village Pub is one of the few remaining grand Victorian pubs in the country – it also sells pretty decent burgers.

Dulwich Village Pub

Where to Stay In Dulwich Village –

Dulwich Village can be so easily reached from other, more affordable, parts of London. I’d, therefore, suggest staying elsewhere, as hotels in this exclusive neighbourhood come with quite a high price tag! This said, with a wedding to attend, my family and I opted to stay in Dulwich Village… Mainly so we didn’t have to wander far once a little intoxicated. 😉

The Crown and Greyhound (mentioned above) is also a hotel. It is where my family and I stayed and I would definitely recommend it! My room was spacious, clean and opened onto a gorgeous courtyard, which was much appreciated as we stayed on a surprisingly warm evening.

Dulwich Village Hotels

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To summarise, Dulwich Village is an area of London like no other! I fell in love with its beautiful streets, green open spaces and ‘old world atmosphere’… I’m now off to start saving my millions so I can move in. 😉

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Best Campsite In the Lake District

My last post on Earth’s Magical Places was:  ‘5 things to do in the Lake District UK’. This covered all the things you could do on a trip, or holiday to the very beautiful national park! But, it left the question of where to stay in the Lake District unanswered…  Therefore today I’m going to share with you information about the ‘best campsite in the Lake District’, Church Stile Holiday Park. 

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There are lots of accommodation options in the Lake District. From Boutique hotels and holiday cottages to Inns and campsites… Whilst I’d normally opt for a cosy hotel room, my dad (who’s been visiting the Lake District for years) convinced me that you can only fully appreciate the area by camping. Since most people visit the Lake District to discover its natural beauty, it only seems right to ‘sleep under the stars’.

Lake District Mountains - wasdale head pub


Our Campsite of Choice –

There’s an abundance of Campsites in the Lake District, but one my dad has returned to again and again is Church Stile Holiday Park.  Therefore, he thought it the perfect base for our short trip!

Located in the tiny hamlet of Nether Wasdale, Church Stile is as idyllic as it gets.  Dry stone walls and fields stretch out as far as the eye can see. Meanwhile, fells and mountains frame the landscape, making for one hell of a backdrop!

best campsite in the lake district

More than this, its location is fantastic for walkers! Some of the Lake Districts most famous mountains are just a stone’s throw away from the campsite. Great Gable, Yewbarrow, Scafell and Scafell Pike (the highest mountain in England) are all within walking distance.  The beautiful Wastwater lake is also nearby!

On location alone, Church Stile could easily be named the best campsite in the Lake District. 🙂


Facilities –

The small, but friendly campsite consists of several perfectly maintained fields as well as several different spots for campervans – all of which were surprisingly free of mud when we visited in early April.

 

Other important facilities for campers such as the toilets, showers and the washing up area were all very clean. A nice little extra is the campsites very own farm shop which sells handy things such as bread and milk but also local produce.

This said Church Stile’s crowning jewel is the small selection of static caravans it has available to rent… Now I know I started this post by stating that the Lake District is best experienced by ‘sleeping under the stars’ but, I never said you couldn’t do that in style ;).

Where to stay in the lake district uk

SIDE NOTE: Church Stile is also a dog-friendly campsite in the Lake District as we saw many fellow campers enjoying the park with their four-legged friends. 🙂 

Being a 20-year-old high(ish) maintenance sort of girl, my dad surprised me by booking one of the campervans for our trip. He obviously did not think I’d cope well being stuck outside in the Lake Districts somewhat unpredictable weather, and he was probably right.

The static caravans for me provided the perfect balance! Staying on a campsite allowed us to appreciate the peace and tranquillity of the area, and enjoy the community vibe of camping. But the static caravan allowed us to stay warm, dry and very comfortable. Three things that don’t usually come with camping in the UK.

I’ve always had the preconception that static caravans are all old, musty, and perhaps decorated with frilly curtains and one too many cat ornaments. Thankfully, however, the ones at Church Stile were super modern! Ours had a spacious living area and full kitchen, which were both immaculate. There were also two full sized bathrooms and bedrooms. I’d certainly say we experienced glamping in the lake district.

glamping lake district


Location –

There’s not much to the village of Nether Wasdale within which the campsite is situated. It consists of little more than a few houses and a small community church. Despite its small size, there are actually two pubs/restaurants within the village.  Both serve delicious food, meaning that you can save your packet meals for another day!

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I hope this post answers your question of where to stay in the Lake District UK! I certainly enjoyed my time at Church Stile Holiday Park and would recommend it to all… Hence the post title: ‘the best campsite in the Lake District’. 🙂

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The best way to experience the Lake District England UK is by camping! One of the best campsites lies in the western part of the Lake District, and its certainly worth a visit. So pack your travel bag and tent as this post reviews where to stay in one of Englands best national parks. #Travel #UK #England #Camping #LakeDistrict #Glamping #Tent #Hiking

Top 5 Lake District Activities

The Lake District National Park is located in North West England, in the county of Cumbria. Despite often being overlooked by tourists, it’s one of the most beautiful parts of the UK!

the Lake District UK

I recently spent a long weekend in the western part of the Lake District with my dad. He’s been visiting the area since he was a teenager and therefore showed me some of the best things to do, thus here are my top 5 Lake District activities:

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1) Hiking Its Many Mountains –

There’s a lot of places to see in Lake District, but its characterised by mountains! Therefore the first of my top five Lake District activities is hiking.

The park is home to 150 high peaks and at least 200 fells – including Scafell Pike (the highest mountain in England). In this way, there’s a summit that can be reached by all levels of fitness! On my own trip, we tackled Middle Fell (which reaches 582m) and then the majority of Great Gable (899m).

Things to do in the lake district - scafell and scafell pike

Scafell and Scafell Pike

Both these hikes were incredibly rewarding when we reached the top, not only due to the sense of accomplishment but also thanks to breathtaking views!


2)  Visiting The Town of Ambleside –

Lake District days out don’t always need to involve hiking, the area is full of adorable towns and villages. One of the most picturesque places in the Lake District is the small town of Amblesidethe first stop on my own trip.

Located at the head Lake Windermere, the small town is the perfect medley of narrow backstreets, contemporary cafes and quirky Lake District attractions – such as ‘Bridge House’ (the most photographed building in the Lake District).

There’s also more walking shops and camping stores than you could dream of, so it’s the perfect place to pick up any last minute hiking gear! In this way, Ambleside is definitely one of the best places to visit in Lake District.

Other towns in the Lake District worth a visit are: Keswick, Grasmere, Cartmel and Ravenglass.

Best places to visit in Lake district Ambleside


3) Driving Along Hardknott Pass –

One of the more nerve-racking, and slightly frightening of the Lake District activities, is a drive along Hardknott pass. This is one of the steepest roads in the country, with a gradient of 33%. Thankfully my dad has driven along it several times, so he knew all the sharp corners and blind summits when we tackled it together.

Lake district attractions Hardknott pass

In this way, although not for the faint-hearted, the drive is one of the most fun things to do in the Lake District if you’re looking for an adrenaline surge. Plus (as with everything in the Lake District UK) the views along the narrow road are amazing!

Things to do in the lake district Hardknott pass


4) Drinking In A Classic English Pub –

My dad wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t recommend a trip to a classic English pub in my list of  ‘Lake District activities’. Even the smallest Hamlets in the area have a pub (or two) that provide refuge and hydration for walkers.

One of the most Idyllic pubs we visited was the Wasdale Head Inn, situated at the foot of Scafell Pike. I would recommend it as one of the best places to go in the Lake district for a drink!

Places in the Lake District wasdale head pub

Looking for the best place to stay in the Lake District? Check out my post on Nether Wasdale’s campsite (where my dad and I chose to stay).


5) Tour Cumbria on a Miniature Steam Train –

Something a little gimmicky, but certainly one of the best things to do in the Lake District, is the Ravenglass and Eskdale Miniature steam railway. Starting in the coastal town of Ravenglass, the train travels steadily across the estuary and through many hills to its final stop: Boot Station in Eskdale (near the end of Hardknott Pass).

lake district activities railway line

This unique train provides the opportunity to do some Lake District sightseeing from the comfort of your seat. Plus, it’s a fun day out if you’re visiting the Lake District England with kids.

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I’ve only mentioned 5 Lake District activities, but there are plenty more things to do in the Lake District! This fact and its beautiful scenery mean there’s no doubt in my mind that the Lake District Cumbria should be on everyone’s ‘to visit’ list when in the UK!

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Check out my previous post on Cumbria: ‘A Quick Trip To Hadrians Wall’

Have any suggestions to add to my ‘Top Lake District activities’? Let me know in the comments below!

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