Claims to fame:
The Lake District, in England's Northwest, is a vast national park, carved out by glaciers about 15,000 years ago. It has:
- four mountains over 3,000 feet including England's highest
- about 50 lakes and tarns, including England's biggest and England's deepest
- connections with leading literary figures, including Wordsworth, Coleridge and de Quincey.
- been attracting visitors for hundreds of years - dating back to intrepid lady diarist Celia Fiennes in 1698
- inspired England's most famous fell walking guides - The Wainwright Guides.
Lakeland statistics and superlatives:
The Lake District is England's only true mountain region. The national park covers 885 square miles (33 miles north to south, 40 miles east to west) - about 85 percent of the area of Rhode Island.
Among its outstanding features:
- Windermere, England's biggest natural lake is 10.56 miles long, a mile wide and about 220 feet deep.
- Wastwater, England's deepest lake has a surface 200 feet above sea level and a bottom 50 feet below sea level.
- Scaffell Pike, at nearly 3,209 feet, is England's highest mountain - called a fell - and considered to be one of the hardest of the UK's high peaks to get to.
Cities, Towns and Roads in the Lake District:
Although the Lake District is England's most densely populated national park, there are no cities,large towns or major road routes. The M6 Motorway skirts the eastern edge of the national park and passes through, or near, these regional gateway cities and towns: Keswick at the head of Derwentwater, and Windermere, are the largest towns with good facilities for shopping, tourist information and accommodations.
Fell Walking in the Lakes:
The word fell comes from the Old Norse word fjall for mountain. One of the most popular pastimes in the the Lake District is fell walking. The challenges range from hills around Keswick and Derwentwater that are little more than modest uphill walks of a couple of hundred feet, to difficult scrambling hikes to the top of Scafell Pike.
Because the Lakeland fells are virtually bare and preside over vast, U-shaped valleys, the rewards of fell walking are the spectacular views.
Alfred Wainwright and the Lakeland Fells.:
Between 1952 and 1966, Alfred Wainwright, considered by many to be the father of fell walking, set out to walk 214 Lake District Peaks and write about them in seven, carefully handwritten and illustrated walking guides. These books have now become British classics.<p> In the summer of 2007, to mark the centenery of Wainwright's birth, six million people watched the BBC2 Series Wainwright Walks. Walking in Wainwright's footsteps opens up some of the best routes and views in the Lakes.
- A Pictorial Guide To The Lakeland Fells - Compare Prices
- Wainwright's "Eight Lakeland Walks" is now available as a podcast. Compare Prices
The Lakes are linked to:
- William Wordsworth -
- Beatrix Potter-
- She often visited and wrote many of her famous stories around Windermere.
- See orginal watercolors at The Beatrix Potter Gallery
- Visit Hill Top, where many of the stories were written
- Arthur Ransome -
- He based Swallows and Amazonson an island in Coniston Water.
- See the Ransome exhibit at the Museum of Lakeland Life in Kendal
The Lakeland Steamers:
When to go:
Summers are crowded in the Lake District. There are few roads and those are narrow and wind through valleys and mountain passes so traffic can be a real problem during July and August. Go, if you can, in spring or autumn, when the color of the landscape is at its best.
Winter also has its charms - there is little snow, except on the highest ground and the lakes don't usually freeze. Steamers on Lake Windermere and Ullswater cruise all year round.
Keep in mind though that winter fell walking is only for well equipped walkers with plenty of experience. Some of the higher road passes can ice up in winter.
Five More Cool Things to Do in the Lakes:
- Visit a great garden- Try the National Trust gardens atAcorn Bank or Sizergh Castle
- Snoop around a house - like Arts & Crafts influenced Blackwell or the 400-year-old farmhouse, Townend
- Sniff out some fish - at the Aquarium of the Lakes
- Go underground - at Rheged, the world's largest grass roofed building, a tourism center with shopping, exhibitions, family fun and loads of movies about the Lake District on a giant screen.
- Make your mark - at the Derwent Cumberland Pencil Museum charting the history of the pencil from the discovery of Borrowdale graphite in the 1500s.
See views of the Lake DistrictNot sure whether you'd enjoy a visit to the Lake District? These pictures will give you some idea of what to expect:
Day Trips to the Lake District to Buy Direct
- Beatrix Potter's Lakeland and Wordsworth Tour
- Rail Tour to the Lake District and "The World of Beatrix Potter"
- Ten Lakes Spectacular to Ullswater, Borrowdale, Buttermere and Beyond
- The High Adventure - High Mountain Passes Spectacular
Longer Lake District Tours to Buy Direct
- Three Day Lake District Discovery
- Three Day Beatrix Potter Experience
- Three Day Lake District High Adventure
- Four Day Lake District Discovery
- Four Day Beatrix Potter Experience