Insider's Guide to Lake District

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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Lake District Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, July 2014

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That classic tourist-industry truism, ‘something for everyone,’ could have been coined with England’s Lake District in mind. A faultless combination of impossibly beautiful scenery, impressive literary history, and endless outdoor adventure opportunities, this popular region will keep you busy no matter what your tastes.

From enormous lakes, sky-scraping mountain passes, ancient townships and stone circles, through to William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter – the attraction-packed Lake District in England’s green northwest is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. But don’t take our word for it: come see for yourself!
 
Day 1: Too Many Lakes is Never Enough

Obviously, the Lake District is so-called for a reason. Strewn with lakes, mountain tarns and streams, its natural, watery splendor has launched a thousand postcards! England’s largest and longest lake (12 miles/19km) is Windermere. With several picturesque villages and towns along its shores, Windermere is an action-fiend’s dream: take your pick from sailing, swimming, wake-boarding and more. Resting at the foot of England’s highest mountain, Wastwater is arguably the region’s most scenic lake: walking trails allow you to explore its stunning surrounds up close. Visit the ancient township of Keswick and see rare wildlife at Derwent; and revel in the untouched beauty of less visited Bassenthwaite Lake.

Day 2: Literary Journeys

Long beloved by writers and artists, the Lake District’s literary pedigree will satisfy the most demanding bookworm. Grasmere Lake and its environs are William Wordsworth country: the Romantic poet immortalized the area with his lyrical verse and, over a century later, millions of visitors continue to flock to his former home, Dove Cottage. Such is Grasmere’s idyllic beauty, you might be inspired to pen a masterpiece yourself! Beatrix Potter is another Lake District luminary whose enduring legacy attracts travelers from around the world. Rambling the lush countryside around Lake Windermere, you’ll soon understand how she dreamed up timeless favorites like Peter Rabbit and Squirrel Nutkin.
 
Day 3: Hit the Heights

Lace up those hiking boots – it’s time to discover the wild charms of the Lake District’s mountains. Follow in Roman Emperor Hadrian’s footsteps, traversing dizzying passes, exploring the vast remains of ancient Hardknott Fort, and enjoying fantastic views of Upper Eskdale, Scafell and Scafell Pike, England’s highest peaks. Hitch a ride on the miniature Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, and don’t miss spectacular 14th-century Muncaster Castle. Home to the same family for 800 years, it’s a veritable treasure chest of art and antiques, with internationally acclaimed gardens and, apparently, a gaggle of resident ghosts.

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