The Lake District features in many tourists’ itineraries, but what is it that makes it so enticing? From dramatic mountains and tranquil lakes, to atmospheric villages that display their great literary heritage, these seven reasons are sure to inspire you to travel to the Lake District this summer, too.
It’s the Lake District’s dramatic landscape that so many people fall for. As many as 200 hill and mountains rise from the national park, with England’s highest peak among them. Scafell Pike rises to 3,210 feet, and a number of the others aren’t far behind. Of course, visitors don’t need to climb these peaks to appreciate their grandeur; the view from below is just as majestic.
Unsurprisingly, one of the greatest draws of Lake District National Park is the wealth of tranquil bodies of water that are dotted throughout the landscape, some of which span vast areas of the land. The largest is Lake Windermere at a far-reaching 14.8 square kilometres. Walk along the lake’s peaceful shores and see the reflection of the surrounding mountains in the water.
The Outdoor Adventure
The abundance of natural beauty within this national park naturally comes with countless opportunities for exploring it. Visitors to the area set out on hikes, cycle along scenic trails and go fishing in the lakes. On Lake Windermere, visitors can also step aboard one of the sightseeing boats for a scenic lake cruise.
Historic villages and small towns can also be found within the Lake District. One that attracts the most visitors is Ambleside; complete with Roman ruins, this atmospheric town lies on the northern shores of Lake Windermere, making it a convenient addition to the itinerary. The medieval village of Hawkshead is also well worth a visit. This quintessentially English village was where William Wordsworth went to school, and where Beatrix Potter’s drawings are on show.
In fact, Beatrix Potter is another reason why many people visit the Lake District, the area having been the author and illustrator’s home. Now owned by the National Trust, the writer’s 17th century farmhouse, Hill Top, is open to visitors. Gain insight into her life through the items she owned, and the idyllic cottage garden, which along with the surrounding landscape inspired many of her stories. There’s even greater reason to visit this year as July 2016 marks what would be her 150th birthday.
The Tea Rooms
Within the region’s villages and towns, visitors can stop off for tea and cake in traditional English tea rooms. Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel by Lake Windemere offers a cream tea in elegant surroundings. Once owned by Beatrix Potter, the hotel is surrounded by lush gardens, which are perfect for a post-cream tea stroll.
The Public Houses
Whiling away some time in a traditional public house is certainly one experience to have in England. And even better if it’s a pub located deep within the English countryside. Stop by one of the Lake District’s many pubs before returning to the capital.
Each of these sites can be visited throughout the summer months on the Lake District & Afternoon Tea day-trip from London. And if this doesn’t leave you with enough time, opt to stay the night in one of the Lake District’s hotels.
Cover image of Lake Windermere © iStock / Chris At. On the jetty © Visit England / Rich J Jones. Lake cruise © Visit England / Richard J Jones. A village in the Lake District © iStock / tugodi. A view over the Lake District © iStock / Chris Hepburn.