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Things to do in Lake District

Things to do in  Lake District

Welcome to Lake District

With its tumbling green hills and glittering lakes, it’s easy to see why the Lake District stimulated the imagination of Romantic poet William Wordsworth in the 19th century. England’s largest national park offers an abundance of outdoor tours: Cruise on Lake Windermere, visit the birthplace of legendary English author Beatrix Potter, or hike to the craggy summits of Scafell Pike Mountain and Skiddaw. In the historic villages that pepper the park’s perimeter, literary museums and English pubs abound. Near the market town of Keswick, the Castlerigg Stone Circle emanates mystery and dates back to 3,000 BC. And the quaint villages of Grasmere and Ambleside are perfect places to roam aimlessly. Travelers short on time can cover 10 of the Lake District National Park’s lakes in one day on a sightseeing tour, while visitors enjoying longer stays can opt for multi-day packages that also cover the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, Wrynose Pass, and Hardknott Roman Fort. Don’t be deceived by the Lake District’s tranquil atmosphere: Thrill seekers can get their adrenaline fix during Ghyll Scrambling, which involves sliding and jumping your way down a fast-flowing river. The close proximity of the UNESCO-listed Hadrian’s Wall and Vindola serve to broaden the knowledge of history buffs. After inhaling lungfuls of Lakeland’s unspoiled air, you’re bound to feel renewed and connected to England’s natural landscapes.

Top 15 attractions in Lake District

Derwentwater

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Affectionately nicknamed “Queen of the Lakes,” Derwentwater is a quintessential Lakeland spot. With the Cat Bells fell to the west, Friars Crag promontory to the east, and Borrowdale valley to the south, the lake offers a variety of stunning vistas, while its marinas, islands, and hiking trails provide plenty of activities for visitors.More

Scafell Pike

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Towering 3,209 feet (978 meters over the Lake District National Park, Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England.  The peak is one of a string of high fells that run between Wast Water and Buttermere lakes, including the nearby High Stile, Red Pike, and Great End. More

Wray Castle

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With its battlements, turrets, and arrow-slit windows, the neo-gothic Wray Castle is straight from a storybook. Originally built in 1840 for a Liverpudlian doctor and his heiress wife, the estate once served as a vacation home for the family of children’s author Beatrix Potter and is currently owned by the National Trust.More

Castlerigg Stone Circle

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Castlerigg Stone Circle is one of Britain’s most impressive examples of Neolithic stone circles, dating back some 5,000 years and predating Stonehenge. Add to that the majestic backdrop of Skiddaw, Blencathra, and other mountains, and you can see why this site has drawn admirers for millennia.More

Hardknott Roman Fort (Mediobogdum)

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Built in the second century, Hardknott Roman Fort sits at the summit of a steep mountain pass. Remnants of old walls, a parade ground, and a commander’s villa still stand, though they are somewhat upstaged by panoramic views of Eskdale Valley and the surrounding mountains.More

Wastwater

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With a depth of 243 feet (74 meters, Wastwater is England’s deepest lake. Not only that, but it sits in the shadow of England’s highest peak, the 3,209-foot (978-meter Scafell Pike, which rises up to the northeast. The scenery here is among the most wild and dramatic in the Lake District, with scree slopes towering over inky waters.More

Bassenthwaite Lake

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At 4 miles (6.4 kilometers long and 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometers wide, Bassenthwaite Lake is among the biggest in the Lake District. Surrounded by gentle fells and without a single settlement on its shoreline, this tranquil lake offers hiking, wild swimming, and bird-watching opportunities, with fish-eating ospreys coming here to hunt.More

Muncaster Castle 

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For 800 years, this stately pile overlooking the Eskdale valley has been—and still is—home to the Pennington family. Built in the 13th century, the castle has been expanded several times, most recently in 1885. Visitors can explore sumptuous state rooms, 77-acre (31-hectare gardens, and observe birds of prey at the Hawk and Owl Center.More

Rydal Mount

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The furniture, books, and personal possessions of William Wordsworth still sit inside Rydal Mount, where the Romantic poet lived from 1813 up until his death in 1850. Visitors can explore the house, which is owned by Wordsworth’s descendants, and wander the landscaped gardens, which were largely designed by Wordsworth himself.More
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Lindeth Howe Hotel

Lindeth Howe Hotel

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Built in 1879, this 34-room hotel served as a vacation rental for the family of Beatrix Potter, the author and illustrator responsible for Peter Rabbit. Potter fell for Lindeth Howe and eventually went on to purchase the property. Inside, you can admire references to the hotel’s literary heritage, including a book wall and animal-inspired details.More

Buttermere Valley

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Flanked by grassy peaks, this scenic glacier-sculpted valley includes three lakes: Loweswater, Buttermere, and Crummock Water. With easily scalable fells such as Haystacks, pretty lakeside footpaths, and natural wonders including Scale Force Waterfall—the highest waterfall in the Lake District—Buttermere is prime turf for walkers.More

Crummock Water

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Craggy peaks rise up around the clean, clear water of this large stream-fed lake, creating a postcard-worthy panorama. Scenic walking trails run along part of the shoreline and into the surrounding fells, leading to overlooks and beauty spots including Scale Force, the highest waterfall in Cumbria’s Lake District.More

Carlisle Castle

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In the heart of Carlisle town, Carlisle Castle is a Norman-built castle that played an important role in the history of both England and Scotland. Used as a defensive stronghold and a prison, a visit here will take you a thousand years into the past.More
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Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

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Originally built to carry iron ore from the mines to the coast, the tiny Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway has been chugging through the Lake District since 1875. Ride the railway between Dalegarth and the coastal town of Ravenglass to admire landscapes that encompass sheep-dotted pastures, woodlands, ridges, and rocky outcrops.More
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Furness Abbey

Furness Abbey

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Furness Abbey is a former monastery dating back to 1123 and is today one of the finest Medieval ruins in Britain. Throughout the Middle Ages, it was a stronghold of the wealthy, influential Cistercian order and today the ruins offer a fascinating insight into the past.More

Trip ideas

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Recent reviews from experiences in Lake District

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Great tour guide, Tony...
Amy_P, Nov 2022
Mountain Goat Full Day Tour: Ten Lakes Tour of the Lake District
Wonderful way to see the beautiful Lake District
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Wonderful 8 Lakes tour
Sanford_F, Oct 2022
8 Lakes and Magnificent Scenery - Afternoon Half Day Tour
Tim with English Lakes Tours, gave us a great experience.
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Great way to see the Lake District.
Paul_S, Sep 2022
Mountain Goat Full Day Tour: Ten Lakes Tour of the Lake District
We only had one full day in the Lake District, so we thought this tour would be the best way to see the most sites in the shortest time.
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A Day Well Spent!
Lynn_W, Aug 2022
Beatrix Potter Afternoon Half Day Tour with Expert Guide- includes entrance fees
We loved seeing the sites that were captured in her stories and illustrations, to see them in real life was just amazing.
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Best tour of Lake District
farhat_s, Aug 2020
4 hour Private Lake District tour
We look forward to see you again in future.
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Would recommend
Iram, Aug 2020
The High Adventure: Full Day Mountain Goat High Mountain Passes Tour
Get to see a lot of the Lakes.
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Fantastic experience. A wonderful...
sharon.hayes253, Nov 2015
Beatrix Potter's Half Day Lake District Tour Including Lake Cruise
A wonderful way to see the district and learn about her life.
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Amazing full-day tour of the stunning Lake District with a fantastic guide!
Jane_H, Aug 2022
Mountain Goat Full Day Tour: Ten Lakes Tour of the Lake District
We really enjoyed the day and would 100% recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see some of the most beautiful countryside in England.
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All about Lake District

When to visit

While rain is common in the Lakes, it has the benefit of making the region extremely atmospheric. Visit from April through July for optimal sunshine; temperatures reach about 52°F (17.5°C). Spring also brings swathes of flowers—March’s daffodils are a highlight. August offers the same warmth as July but more crowds, while December and January bring crisp, snowy days that add drama to the landscapes. The region also hosts numerous events from May through September, including Keswick’s Jazz and Blues Festival.

Getting around

Renting a car is the most convenient way to explore the Lake District’s landscapes. That said, you’ll have to navigate steep lanes, and the roads and parking lots are congested in the summer. Extensive local bus routes offer a scenic way to reach the prettiest towns and the lakes, where you can join hop-on hop-off cruises. Guided tours are ideal for leisurely sightseeing, and the area’s many walking and biking trails are popular with hikers and cyclists.

Traveler tips

While most tourists visit Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top house and garden in Far Sawrey, then hurry off for more sightseeing, it’s worth lingering in the area to visit Esthwaite Water. Just a short walk away, this glassy lake is wonderfully tranquil and, from April to September, offers electric-boat safaris to spot ospreys. Hire a craft—with or without a guide—to cruise the lake and spy these magnificent birds, or simply watch for them from the waterside Boathouse Cafe.

Lake District information

Number of Attractions

27

Number of Tours

114

Number of Reviews

2,296

Currency

USD
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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