5 Things To Do In the Lake District

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!

5 things to do in the Lake District

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:

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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).

5 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)  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.

Lake District UK - Ambleside town centre


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!

Lake District Things to do - Hardknott pass

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!

Lake District Things to do - Hardknott pass 2


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.

Lake District Mountains - wasdale head pub


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).

The lake district uk - railway line

This is a great Lake District attraction if you’re visiting with kids or just looking for something a little bit different to do!

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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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38 Comments

  1. April 14, 2018 / 4:49 pm

    I agree the Lake District is one of the most beautiful places in England and I loved Ambleside too. Next time I am there I want to visit some of the other towns and ride the steam train.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      April 15, 2018 / 5:03 pm

      Glad you loved Ambleside too, it’s such a cute little town!

  2. Susan
    April 14, 2018 / 6:36 pm

    Your post has me feeling so nostalgic about my time living in nearby Chester! I loved exploring the Lake District. Will have to go back and drive Hardknott Pass though 🙂

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      April 15, 2018 / 5:02 pm

      I’d love to have it right on my doorstep, you were very lucky! Hardknott Pass is a must do for sure, it’s easy to reach from Ambleside 🙂

  3. April 15, 2018 / 8:03 am

    Dying to visit the Lake District – it looks so picturesque! I just moved to London so I’m planning a roadtrip up there next year. Thanks for the helpful post!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      April 15, 2018 / 5:00 pm

      Hope you have an amazing time! It’s the perfect place for a roadtrip 🙂

  4. April 15, 2018 / 5:44 pm

    I hope to visit the Lake District one day, and when I do I’ll come back to this post!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      April 18, 2018 / 4:34 pm

      I’m glad to hear!

  5. April 18, 2018 / 7:06 pm

    Oh my goodness that town is adorable and my boys would have LOVED to see the train! Too fun!!

  6. April 18, 2018 / 9:56 pm

    It looks gorgeous, how’s the weather there? I never thought to visit here but now I’ve added it to my list!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      April 19, 2018 / 6:19 pm

      The weathers the same as the rest of the UK, so it can be pretty unpredictable – although this makes the sunny days even more magical 🙂

  7. April 19, 2018 / 1:36 am

    Oh, this sounds like an excellent weekend destination! I love the combination of charming towns and beautiful nature. I like to spend the day hiking or stopping at interesting places and then spent the late afternoon and night in a town offering several options to eat. Seems like the Lake District has a bit of all that.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      April 19, 2018 / 6:20 pm

      Yeah, it definitely does! I love exploring quieter places too, they just offer a little bit of everything

  8. April 19, 2018 / 6:13 am

    Lake District is so pretty! I love how serene it is and the stunning views are just incridible. This is actually my kind of place, where I can explore the place peacefully without many tourist.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      April 19, 2018 / 6:21 pm

      Same here! It’s certainly an underrated spot in the UK, but that’s kind of what makes it so special

  9. April 19, 2018 / 7:12 am

    I can´t believe I never heard of this National Park. It looks so amazing and it goes straight to my bucket list. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Eniko Krix
    April 19, 2018 / 9:10 am

    We visited the Lake District in the summer very briefly on our way up to Scotland. We were blown away with its beauty, the cycling paths, hiking, sailing and kayaking possibilities. A true paradise for outdoor lovers. And now I see there are steam trains and awesome pubs as well. We need to go back during a long weekend and explore it more!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      April 19, 2018 / 7:28 pm

      It’s such a great destination for weekend trips!

  11. April 19, 2018 / 5:06 pm

    I have never been to England before but I would want to do a hike for the picturesque views and the train because I have never been on a train like this only the metro train.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      April 19, 2018 / 7:28 pm

      Hope you get to visit the UK – the train is certainly unique 🙂

  12. April 19, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    Magical indeed. Landscape is stunning, and your photos are amazing. I can totally imagine myself there. 🙂

  13. April 20, 2018 / 5:02 am

    My dad loves this area too and has been many a time but I have yet to visit. Our house has lots of photos of the Lake District. The scenery is indeed stunning and reminds me a little of my home in Ireland. Definitely need to visit soon.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      April 20, 2018 / 5:32 pm

      You should tag along with him next time for sure, it’s even better going with someone who knows the area. 🙂 I totally see what you mean about the scenery being a little like Ireland too!

  14. April 20, 2018 / 5:17 am

    I always wanted to do the Lake District. Definitely a place worth visiting. Your photos are amazing!

  15. May 3, 2018 / 11:23 am

    Hi! Sorry but why haven’t I heard of this place before? Like, for real! I love it and I am contemplating of adding it on my bucket list! So dreamy!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      May 4, 2018 / 12:39 pm

      I think most people just think of the UK’s cities rather than the countryside – but its definitely bucket-list worthy 🙂

  16. May 3, 2018 / 12:35 pm

    You have some great photos! I can’t wait to plan my trip, this looks like a unique destination.

  17. May 3, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    Your pictures are so beautiful! They definitely make me want to check out the Lake district some day, it looks stunning 🙂

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      May 4, 2018 / 12:39 pm

      Thankyou, you should visit for sure!

  18. Michelle
    May 3, 2018 / 3:05 pm

    What a beautiful region. I would love to roam the streets of Ambleside as well. It looks like a charming old town! Thanks for the great share!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      May 4, 2018 / 12:40 pm

      You’re right! Ambleside is sooo charming!

  19. May 3, 2018 / 5:07 pm

    What a great region for a non-rushed road trip. Even with the rainy weather, seems a great place to enjoy some fresh air and disconnect.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      May 4, 2018 / 12:41 pm

      It really is a great place for a road trip, you easily reach Scotland for an extended road trip as well 🙂

  20. May 4, 2018 / 9:49 am

    I always love reading post about new place 😉 Your photos have perfectly captured the beauty of the Lake District ! I’m a truly nature lover and your photos of beautiful mountains, valleys, villages, towns, coastline and of course lakes are stunning. When we get closer to nature—be it untouched wilderness or a backyard tree—we do our overstressed brains a favor. I love this feeling 🙂

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      May 4, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      Thank-you for the lovely comment! I totally agree, we should all take more time to destress in outside in nature 🙂

  21. Kanika gupta
    May 4, 2018 / 5:13 pm

    Oh my! This place is straight out of dreams. I just love how incredibly quaint it is. Those hikes and mountains can take you away from the city’s hustle n bustle to truly enjoy the nature. What a great post ❤️

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