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, thus here are my top 5 Lake District activities:
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).
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 Ambleside, the 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.
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.
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!
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!
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).
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.
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!