Fun things to do in the Lake District

Fun things to do in the Lake District

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02 August

How much time do you have to spare for your next holiday? If you want to make a real dent on the list of best places to visit in the Lake District, Cumbria, you’ll need a few months. The Lake District National Park will spoil you with natural delights and refreshing attractions. You can’t turn away from the whimsical lakes and mountains in England’s adventure playground. One moment, you’re flying through Grizedale Forest on a zip line; the next, you’re scaling rocks or trying to stay dry while paddleboarding on Lake Windermere. Discover some of the best things to do in the Lake District.

Lake Windermere

For a magical day out, visit Lake Windermere, one of the best lakes in the Lake District. It is the largest natural lake in the UK and gives you the ideal blend of water fun and land activity. It’s the perfect place for a day out to enjoy the pleasant breeze and gentle waters of Lake Windermere. Hire a rowing boat and experience the thrill of drifting along the curves as you enjoy the outdoors. Are you feeling a little less adventurous? Go on a Lake Windermere cruise and experience spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. No matter where you start your cruise in Ambleside or Bowness, the voyage offers magnificent views of the mountainous backdrop and secluded bays. You can find windsurfing centres on the shores if you are a thrill seeker.

Scafell Pike

Ready for an adventurous hike? Then hiking Scafell Pike should be on your list of things to do in the Lake District. Standing tall at 978 metres, Scafell Pike isn’t just the highest mountain in England, but it’s also a war memorial. Even though you’ll struggle with tough terrain, climbing to the top of the rocky summit is worth it. You can watch the magical panorama of the Lakeland fells unfold before you in all directions. Marvel at the mountains in the Lake District, like Great End, High Raise and Helvellyn. To the north, you can discover some of the giants of England, including the formidable-looking Kirk Fell. Remember to check out Wastwater, the deepest lake in England, surrounded by a glaciated valley. When the weather is favourable, you can view the 30 peaks and lakes in the Lake District. A great reward for your hard work!

Ambleside

A stone’s throw away from Windermere’s northern bay is Ambleside, packed with parks, historical monuments and beautiful scenery. If you’re looking for the best Lake District walks, Ambleside provides magical spots that have sparked the imaginations of people like William Wordsworth. On your hike, stop by Waterhead Village, a beautiful town near Windermere Lake with walking paths that snake off to the woodlands. Are you seeking tougher terrains and an excuse to lace up your hiking boots? Ambleside is overlooked by Loughrigg Fell, England’s tallest hill, rising to 335 metres. While the hill is small compared to Lake District giants, the surrounding Red Bank Depression makes it magical. If spending a night out at the Lakes is on your bucket list, Ambleside is the perfect place to camp under the stars. You can set up camp on the Loughrigg Fell and gaze at the sky full of stars. If you want to explore some history, visit the 17th-century Bridge House. The quirky residence is the most photographed building in Lake District National Park.

Helvellyn

Hiking Helvellyn Mountain is one of the top fun things to do in the Lake District for walkers and hikers. For the best walks in the Lake District, choose one of the routes leading to Helvellyn Peaks. Approaching the peak from the eastern slopes is exciting and provides an array of views. You start from Glenridding, and the slopes are marked, making them easy for you to follow. If you’re looking for a challenging hike, pass through Striding Edge, a thin ridge no wider than a knife’s edge. Striding Edge stretches from the Hole-in-the-Wall to the massif for about a mile, making it one of the most challenging scrambles in the Lake District. Despite the challenging hike, the incredible views make the experience worth it. At the base of the ridge is a beautiful lake, Red Tarn, winding down a valley providing beautiful landscapes. A climb up the summit can be combined with a hike along the Swirral Edge to Catseye Cam, making it a circular route since the eastern arms of Helvellyn curve to a semi-circular form.

Grasmere

Renowned as the home of William Wordsworth, Grasmere is one of the most popular places to visit in the Lake District National Park. The charming village is set alongside Grasmere Lake and shrouded by a panorama of mountains and fells, providing an atmosphere that romantic poets love. Whether hunting for the best lakes in the Lake District or looking for a treat of gingerbread, Grasmere offers an adventure of a lifetime. One of the top fun things to do in the Lake District is to visit the hometown of William Wordsworth or stroll along the old cottages and Victorian villas beside galleries, shops and hotels. The first thing that will catch your eye when entering the village is St Oswald’s Church, with a spire towering above the historic buildings and thatched cottages. Aside from visiting the Dove Cottage, you can celebrate the life of William Wordsworth by sponsoring a wild shrub or bulb at the Wordsworth Memorial Daffodil Gardens. As you explore Grasmere, the sweet scent of gingerbread wafts in the air, and you can pop into the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop for a taste.

Derwentwater

When seeking fun things to do in the Lake District, take a detour at the Derwentwater, located south of Keswick within the Borrowdale Valley. The lake is three miles long and one mile wide, making a circular walk around it possible. You will be drawn to the hiking routes that take you through viewpoints overlooking the lake. A famous viewpoint on the shore is Friars Crag, where you can sit on the bench and soak in the stunning views across Derwentwater and the Jaws of Borrowdale. Don’t miss the sunsets from the viewpoint, and marvel at the sun as it sets behind the mountains of the Lake District. Derwentwater is also popular for water activities like kayaking, rowing and paddle boarding. If you’re looking for the perfect picnicking spot, the pebble beaches and dappled woodland provide a serene and magical atmosphere. Don’t forget to enjoy a cultural evening at the theatre by the lake, dancing the night away or watching the exciting performances.

Hawkshead

Of course, a mediaeval village had to be part of the Lake District National Park. Marvel at the beauty of the idyllic and mediaeval Hawkshead. The whitewashed houses and narrow streets create a magical setting loved by famous English writers, including Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. The old Hawkshead village has been around since Norse times. What’s left of the mediaeval wool market and monasteries is the Hawkshead Courthouse, but the history is evident through the archways between the old stone houses lining the crooked streets and quiet lanes. Surrounded by major centres and fun things to do in the Lake District, Hawkshead is a good base for exploring the national park. Check out the Hill Top Farm and the ‘World of Peter Rabbit and Friends’ backdrop. Hunt down indigenous red deer and bird species at Grizedale Forest on your mountain bike ride. If you are an adrenaline junky, explore the forest canopy on rope swings, zip lines or rope-bridge crossings.

Keswick

When planning a holiday, Keswick is one of the top places to visit in the Lake District. The beautiful town sits on Lake Derwentwater and is surrounded by famous mountains in the Lake District, including Blencathra, Catbells and Skiddaw. You will never run short of fun things to do, from hiking to mountain climbing and water activities. If you are a poetry fan, you can explore the town’s connection to Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey. A popular place for you to visit in Keswick is Ashness Bridge. The stone-arched bridge dates back to the 1700s, surrounded by a beautiful landscape perfect for a photography session. From the bridge, hunt for spectacular viewpoints like the Surprise View, which provides a jaw-dropping panoramic view of the imposing mountains and Derwentwater. You can also soak up views of the lake from Friars Crag, a 7th-century hermit. If you packed your hiking boots, climb up the Latrigg Fell.

Aira Force Waterfall

Lake District National Park is dotted with rolling hills and serene lakes. Did you know this piece of heaven is also home to hidden waterfalls? The Aira Force waterfall is hidden in the lush greenery in Ullswater Valley, with a magnificent backdrop of unspoilt landscape. The rainwaters from the nearby fells run into Aira Beck and drop from a height of 67 feet. Access the waterfall from the circular walking trail that winds through the woodlands and gorges. You can also find bridges amidst the trees that serve as viewing platforms. If you follow the Gowbarrow Trail, you’ll pass by the summit of Gowbarrow Fell and enjoy breathtaking views of Ullswater Lake.

Ravenglass

Plan a visit to Ravenglass, the hidden gem of the Lake District. Far from tourist honeypots, the small village nestles on the coast, with sandy beaches extending miles to the sea. While Ravenglass is a tiny hamlet and barely noticeable, the delightful scenery and beautiful beach are well worth a visit. Ensure you ride on the historic Eskdale Steam Railway, visit Roman remains in the village, or explore the haunted castles surrounded by gardens. One of the more famous places to visit in the Lake District is Muncaster Castle, with its splendid gardens. Check out the Hawk and Owl Centre on the grounds, and grab a snack or coffee in the Owl Garden Tearoom. If you love exploring old Roman remains, visiting the Roman Bath House — the tallest Roman structure in Northern Britain — should be on your bucket list of things to do in the Lake District. The walls are 13 feet high, and you’ll love exploring the ruins and snapping photos.

Dove Cottage

Grasmere has become the top place to visit in the Lake District due to Dove Cottage. If you want to find out why William Wordsworth loved the charming village, start your Lake District trip at Dove Cottage. It has been beautifully preserved since the time Wordsworth lived there. Wander through the rooms and experience the inspiration he felt while writing his famous poems. Each room tells the story of the poet, and you can marvel at the exhibits. William Wordsworth designed the beautiful gardens around the cottage, and the wild appearance has been preserved for you to enjoy. One of the favourite parts of visiting Dove Cottage is the surrounding area, including the Town End, which looks like a chocolate box with pretty houses. Stroll along the cobbled streets and admire the oil lamp posts and quaint window displays. You can also visit the Wordsworth Museum and Shop, with a unique viewing platform of the entire Grasmere Vale.

Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle is a treasure waiting to be discovered in the Lake District. First built in the 19th century, the castle was a grand affair with beautiful gardens. When it was demolished in 1957, the outer walls remained standing. You can visit Lowther Castle and discover dramatic ruins and magical gardens with colourful flowers. The exhibitions in Lowther Castle and the ruins tell the story and history of the castle. If you’re travelling with kids, seek out the lost castle in the adventure playgrounds. Since the garden seems to go on forever, you can stop by the café to enjoy a treat.

Experience the time of your life on the Lake District Express five-day trip. The self-driven tour is the ultimate staycation to discover the beauty of Lake District National Park. Gaze upon the most picturesque landscapes in England, visit charming villages and enjoy boat trips in serene lakes. Once you see the magical villages through the eyes of renowned writers and poets, you’ll understand why they found inspiration from the serene environment. Get your hiking boots, trek through the hidden trails, and explore the fells before going on a whisky tour in the farmlands.

WeRoad Team
Written by WeRoad Team
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