Sprawling lakes, rugged mountains, picturesque villages, traditional pubs, historic landmarks – there a plenty of reasons to visit the Lake District. But did you know it’s also one of the best spots in England for alternative activities such as stargazing, cycling and even ghost walks?
Visit any of the towns dotted around the Lake District, and you’ll be blown away by the beauty. If you want to do more than explore country trails and waterfront villages, here are some of our favourite things to do in the Lake District.
Head to Ennerdale Valley to find the Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre, which is an accredited Dark Sky Discovery Site. On a clear night, you can see the Milky Way in all its glory. Some people have witnessed the northern lights in this rugged, pollution-free environment.
During winter, the centre hosts Dark Sky Discovery weekends to coincide with new moon phases. After a day of education and outer-space exploration, you can snuggle up next to the roaring fire, or spend the night in the centre’s hostel.
Explore a Haunted Castle
Looking to inject some spooky into your adventure? Spend the day at the 18th-century Muncaster Castle, which has been hailed as the most haunted castle in the UK. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you’ll love exploring the historic walls and its 70 acres of woodland gardens. You can also relish views of the Esk Valley, the village of Ravenglass and Scafell Pike.
Walk Around the Lakes
The Lake District, as the name suggests, is brimming with beautiful lakes. But in our opinion, the title of ‘most beautiful lake’ belongs to Lake Buttermere. You can walk around the 4km circumference of the lake in about two hours while absorbing sights of the area’s rugged mountains and fells.
When you feel a tad peckish, stop by the Syke Farm Tea Room for a nice cuppa and homemade ice-creams. There isn’t a more delicious way to replenish your energy levels.
Sample World-Famous Gingerbread
If homemade ice cream hasn’t fully satisfied your sweet tooth, head over to Grasmere to try some uniquely tasty gingerbread. Invented in 1854 by the legend Sarah Nelson, Grasmere gingerbread is a cross between a biscuit and a cake – crumbly on top and soft in the middle.
The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop currently occupies Nelson’s former cottage, which is nestled between the Wordsworth Hotel and St Oswald’s Churchyard. After the feast, dedicate a couple of hours to exploring Grasmere itself. It’s one of the prettiest chocolate-box villages in the Lakes.
Climb a Mountain
The Lake District is England’s most mountainous region. If you want to view the rolling hills, lakes and countryside vistas from above, you simply need to ascend one of the area’s peaks. Daring climbers can attempt to climb Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. If you’re not quite sure-footed enough to attempt such a mammoth task, we recommend hiking up Orrest Head. After an hour’s climb, you’ll be rewarded with a birds-eye view of Lake Windermere.
Explore Local Villages
The Lake District is home to one of the highest concentrations of postcard-perfect chocolate-box villages in the UK. And not one of them can be ignored if you want to make the most of your trip. If you’re limited for time, we recommend hiring a bicycle from the steadily growing electric bike network. Most villages have charging stations inside pubs and cafes, giving you a good excuse to stop off for a recharge and a pint.
Planning a visit to the Lake District?
Our Lake District Tour with Afternoon Tea Experience is the perfect way to explore this beautiful corner of England. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the Lake District, taking in the stunning vistas and panoramic views before heading off to indulgence in a spot of traditional English afternoon tea.