The Lake District's connections with William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter draw a large number of fans to the region
Things To Do
Go walking and mountaineering in the Lake District, either taking a gentle stroll around a lake or following in Wainwright’s illustrious footsteps travelling east-west. For climbers, scaling the heights of the fells is a real challenge, with Scafell Pike being one of the high points.
The Lake District is so wild and scenic that it has inspired poets, landscape artists and photographers over the centuries. The Lake Artists Society, founded in 1904 by John Ruskin’s secretary, the artist WG Collingwood, still holds two art exhibitions a year, in Penrith and Grasmere, where you can see how The Lakes inspires today’s artists. Try a little photography and wildlife-spotting yourself and we think you’ll end up with the best holiday photos you’ve ever taken.
Who can resist a ride on a steam train? Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway offers steam train rides from the only coastal village in the Lake District.
Take a tour of National Trust land and historic houses in the Lake District, including Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top and The Beatrix Potter Gallery, where you’ll be able to see her charming original drawings of Peter Rabbit and other characters. If that’s all a bit too cute for you, why not walk like a Roman centurion along Hadrian’s Wall from Carlisle?
From London, take the M6 north. Leave the motorway at junction 36 for Kendal, or junction 40 for Penrith, junctions 42, 43 and 44 good for roads into Carlisle. If you’re travelling across from the east coast to the west, you’ll need the main A66 trunk road.
For a truly scenic drive, try the winding A686 from Penrith in Cumbria to Haydon Bridge in Northumberland. It is often thought of as one of the UK’s best driving roads and offers amazing views.
The tiny roads within the Lake District do get congested at peak times of the year, so you’re encouraged to use buses or trains to get around once you’ve arrived and pitched your caravan. However, if you enjoy driving, some of the most challenging drives cross mountain passes, such as Hard Knott and Wrynose. But of course, you must remember that in bad weather, some mountain roads may be closed.