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!
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:
1) Hike Its Many Mountains –
There’s a lot of things to see in the Lake District, but its characterised by mountains! Therefore the first of my five things to do in the Lake District is to go 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).
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) Visit The Town of Ambleside –
One of the most picturesque places in the Lake District is the small town of Ambleside, the first stop on our trip.
Located at the head Lake Windermere, the small town is the perfect medley of narrow backstreets, contemporary cafes and quirky 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!
Other towns in the Lake District worth a visit are: Keswick, Grasmere, Cartmel and Ravenglass.
3) Drive Along Hardknott Pass –
The most nerve-racking, and slightly frightening, excursion on our trip was a drive along Hardknott pass. It’s one of the steepest roads in the country, with a gradient of 33%. Thankfully my dad has driven along it several times before so knew all the sharp corners and blind summits!
Although not for the faint-hearted, the drive is great fun if you’re looking for an adrenaline surge. Plus (as with everything in the Lake District) the views along the narrow road are amazing!
4) Drink 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 ‘5 things to do in the Lake District’. Even the smallest Hamlets in the area have a pub (or two) that provide refuge and hydration for walkers. One of the most Idyllic we visited was the Wasdale Head Inn, situated at the foot of Scafell Pike.
5) Tour Cumbria on a Miniature Steam Train –
Something a little gimmicky, but certainly a Lake District must do, 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).
This is a great Lake District attraction if you’re visiting with kids or just looking for something a little bit different to do!
I’ve only mentioned 5 things to do in the Lake District in this post, but there’s plenty more! This fact and its beautiful scenery mean there’s no doubt in my mind that the Lake District 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 ‘5 Things To Do In The Lake District’? Let me know in the comments below!
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