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Don your skipper's hat & grab the oars of a classic boat0
A lake cruise is all well and good, but for the full up-close-and-afloat treatment, you could do worse than grabbing the oars of a traditional wooden rowing boat and drifting off across Derwentwater. Keswick Launch Company, located at the northeastern end of the lake, can provide you with the vessel. From here it's roughly 500 metres to the opposite side. Keep an eye out for Lingholm Estate (where Beatrix Potter used to spend summers) on the western shore and the Catbells summit beyond. Boats are available from Easter to the end of October.
After a morning on the water, refuel at the Bluebird Café0
A lakeside setting, floor-to-ceiling windows, sheltered terrace and views across Coniston Water make the Bluebird Café an absolute must for lunch, dinner or even just a post-walk coffee and slice of cake. It's from here that the National Trust's Steam Yacht Gondola launches - we recommend you don't do one without doing the other.
Hardknott Roman Fort - wilderness setting with wild views0
Climb the Hardknott Pass, England's joint-steepest road, to a remote outpost of the Roman Empire. Hardknott Roman Fort was built during the reign of Hadrian and today you can explore its well-preserved stone walls. The winding pass will test your driving skills, but it's worth it. On a clear day there are views as far as the Isle of Man from the top. But when a mist descends it only adds to the drama of the surroundings. You may well wonder how Roman soldiers would have felt when they first arrived at this bleak spot on a cold, damp day.
Join the pack (temporarily) at Predator Experience in Ayside0
Don't worry, it's all perfectly safe! This is a chance to get up close and personal with a wily beast that hasn't roamed these lands for centuries. Joining the pack for a walk through woodlands and forests, you'll learn the intricacy of social ranking and the subtle art of canine communication. It's up to you whether you join in the howling.
Short but sweet lakeside route. A Wordsworth favourite0
Fed by the River Rothay and surrounded on all sides by high fells, Rydal Water is famed for its Wordsworth connections: the poet lived in nearby Rydal Mount from 1813 to his death in 1850, and the view over Rydal Water is said to have been his favourite in all of Lakeland. The 3-mile walk around the lake at shore level - taking around 90 minutes at a gentle pace - is an easy way to appreciate its tranquil beauty. Rydal Mount is open to the public every day (except Monday-Tuesday, November-February) - be sure to pay it a visit.View on map Visit site Walk a Circuit around Rydal Water as recommended by @TheAA_UK #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Top-notch food & views to match at Coogan & Brydon haunt0
Since Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon sampled course after course of the Holbeck Ghyll's 2-AA-Rosette food in their BAFTA Award-winning 'The Trip', the hotel and restaurant has achieved the same cult status as the TV show itself. With panoramic views, stylish dining rooms and a menu that showcases "David McLaughlin's dazzling abilities" (AA Hotel Guide 2015), the restaurant is as popular as ever, so be sure to book ahead. Dishes might include pressed terrine of guinea fowl, venison loin with celeriac and juniper, and a millefeuille of raspberries with vanilla panna cotta.
You'll find it just next to England's deepest lake & highest mountain0
Make a pilgrimage to St Olaf's, said to be the smallest church in England. Sheltered by a ring of yew trees at the end of the Wasdale road, the setting is magical, with Scafell Pike (England's highest peak) towering above and Wast Water (England's deepest lake) covering the valley floor below. Services are held weekly in summer and monthly in winter. Befitting of its mountain setting, the church has close ties with the climbing community. There's a stained-glass dedication to climbers that died in WWI and the graveyard holds the remains of those that lost their lives on the surrounding peaks.View on map Visit site Visit the Smallest Church in England - St Olaf's as recommended by @Travelzoo_UK #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
How about a massage & a glass of bubbly in the hot tub?0
On the shores of Derwentwater and surrounded by mountains, Lodore Falls Hotel is the perfect place to relax and recharge your batteries. This 4-star Borrowdale hotel has a spa that offers massages, facials and beauty treatments. There are also indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an outdoor hot tub, a sauna, a gym and a tennis court. The AA-Rosette-awarded Lake View Restaurant serves up lunch and dinner, with an emphasis on local produce, while you can also explore the 40 acres of grounds, home to the waterfall that gives the hotel its name.
Dress up, build a foam castle and run wild on the Windermere shore0
This National Trust property on the western shore of Windermere is full of surprises. Despite its appearance, the building is not a real castle at all, but a mock-Gothic private home dating from 1840. Children's author Beatrix Potter spent a summer here when she was 16 and the property's latter-day incarnation is, like Potter's books, designed squarely with kids in mind. There are no floor-to-ceiling paintings and priceless antiques - instead you'll find a range dressing-up and den-building areas, plus an adventure playground with rope swings and family-friendly gardens. We recommend combining this outing with a cycle along the Windermere shore.
Perfect spot to recreate that iconic wooden jetty shot0
Run a Google images search for "Coniston jetty" and see what happens. It's an emblematic Lake District scene and one that most snappers who visit the area will want to recreate. There's no single place to do so, but if you spend a little time exploring the eastern shore of Coniston you'll find somewhere suitable - Rigg Wood is a good starting point. The other advantage of shooting from the eastern shore is that (if conditions allow) you can get the Old Man of Coniston in the frame, with the sun setting behind it.
Recommended by respected Lake District photographer, Stuart Holmes.View on map Visit site HOT TIP! Photo Opportunity at Coniston Eastern Shore as recommended by @Travelzoo_UK #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Climb waterfalls & slide down streams. The wetter the better0
Firstly, you're probably wondering what on earth 'ghyll scrambling' is. Put simply, it's the process of climbing up and abseiling down mountain streams (or “ghylls”) and waterfalls, and jumping into pools of water. This 3-hour trip, run by Crags Adventures, is a good introduction; it takes place in Stickle Ghyll, located in the pretty Langdale Valley in the southern Lakes, and gives you the chance to take on plenty of obstacles and climb some big waterfalls. It sounds extreme, but it's suitable for most ages, all safety equipment is supplied and you can opt out of any challenges that don't suit you.
Top-rated farm shop & tearoom overlooking a milking parlour0
Low Sizergh Barn has a lot going on. Part of a working dairy farm three miles south of Kendal, it packs in a shop, craft gallery, farm trail and tearoom overlooking a milking parlour. It's a favourite with families and a great place to stock up on local produce. We recommend stopping in for afternoon tea - at 3:30pm every day, the farm's cows come in to be milked and the tearoom's gallery windows will give you a bird's-eye view of the whole thing.
Easy to learn and fun for all ages - welcome to SUP0
Stand-up paddleboarding (or SUP for those who want to sound like they know what they're doing) is the art of standing on an oversized, ultra-stable surf board and propelling yourself across the water with a single-bladed paddle. You could of course do this on pretty much any lake in the region, but we reckon the small and manageable (not to mention seriously pretty) Buttermere is a great place to start. Lake District Paddleboarding offer a range of courses in different locations and if you want to get out on your own, hiring a board is easier than you might think - all are inflatable, and come with a small wheelie bag/rucksack, a pump, paddle, leash and buoyancy aid.
Explore Hill Top, the inspiration for many of the author's works0
When children's author Beatrix Potter died in 1943, she left Hill Top (in the village of Near Sawrey) to the National Trust, on the strict proviso that everything be left the way it was. They remained faithful to her wish and the result is this frozen-in-time treasure trove of all things Potter. It gets busy here in the summer and you might have to queue, but it's worth it to see the place where characters such as Tom Kitten, Samuel Whiskers and Jemima Puddleduck were created, and to find the locations that inspired so many of the books' illustrations.
Big rewards for those with sure feet & a head for heights0
This 8-mile route to the summit of one of the Lakes' most iconic fells is exciting and challenging, but not prohibitively so if you're a confident walker - indeed, there's a reason it's one of the most popular ridge walks in the UK. The start point is the village of Glenridding at the southern end of Ullswater - from here you head west along the Striding Edge (extra care is required along this knife-edge path) to the mountain peak, before descending by the Swirral Edge, past the Red Tarn and, eventually, back to Glenridding. At this point, you should reward yourself with a meal and/or drink at the Traveller's Rest. And if you need a bed to rest your weary bones, we recommend the Inn on the Lake and the Best Western Glenridding. Note: given the nature of this walk, we recommend (as always) that you check the local weather forecast before setting off.View on map Visit site Climb Helvellyn via the Striding Edge as recommended by @MikeBrockhurst #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Novices & Nigellas are all welcome at Lucy Cooks in Kendal0
You can choose from dozens of courses at this cookery school, located between Windermere and Kendal. Everything from butchery to baking and Japanese to Italian is on offer, or for something a little more traditional, there's a Taste of Cumbria option. Fancy something a little less immersive? Lucy's is now open on Friday and Saturday evenings for a Dine with a Difference experience, at which the chef dispenses some hints and tips before serving up a 3-course set-menu dinner.
Meet aquatic creatures from near & far at the Lakes Aquarium0
This aquatic attraction in Newby Bridge (at the southern tip of Windermere) is small but nicely formed, making it a great option for those with younger children. There's plenty packed in here, with sections for both local and exotic species, plus daily talks, hands-on activities (meet the reptiles for example), and otter feeds. To make a real outing of it, we recommend combining your aquarium visit with a Windermere cruise - tickets for this are available through Windermere Cruises.
This westerly spot is home to 100 species of wildlife0
Grab your binoculars and go hunting for Squirrel Nutkin in Ennerdale, a wild upland valley half an hour's drive from Whitehaven and Cockermouth. It's home to 100 different species of wildlife, including a colony of 80-120 native red squirrels that inhabit the woodlands to the west of Ennerdale Water. Visit in spring or autumn when they are most active, and keep an eye out for stripped conifer cones - a sure sign that squirrels have been foraging nearby. You can help conservationists by reporting sightings here. There is free parking at Bowness Knott and Bleach Green.
Home of the Lakes' longest purpose-built bike trails0
Whinlatter Forest in the northern Lakes is home to the area's longest purpose-built bike trails and the Quercus route is a particular highlight. On this 8km blue-graded trail (meaning its moderately difficult) you'll find a flowing single track with gentle berms, rolling jumps, wide gradual climbs, plus some more technical features for adventurous riders.
Drama, music & comedy, all within steps of Derwentwater0
Just a stone's throw from Derwentwater's north shore, the 400-seater Theatre by the Lake does more than just drama (although it does plenty of that). As well as visiting and home-produced shows, here you'll find music, dance and comedy, a summer season of six plays and a Christmas show. It also hosts the Keswick Film Festival in February, the Words by the Water Literature Festival in March and the Keswick Jazz Festival in May.
By the fire in winter, on the terrace in summer: win-win0
Set in 15 acres of quiet grounds, the Inn on the Lake hotel is a charming lakeside spot for afternoon tea. Orders are taken daily from 12-5pm and the generous spread includes finger sandwiches, pork pies, mini trifles and homemade scones, cakes and biscuits, accompanied by a pot of tea. In good weather, find a seat on the terrace to make the most of the “superb” views of Lake Ullswater (The AA). In winter months, cosy sofas, 360-degree vistas and a crackling fire await in the Orangery. Combine your tea with a tour of the lake - the steamboat's Glenridding dock is 10 minutes' walk from the hotel.
Take in mountain views aboard the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway0
Travel from the Cumbrian coast to the foot of Scafell Pike on this narrow-gauge steam railway. Affectionately known as La'al Ratty (little railway in the old Cumbrian dialect), it follows the route of a Victorian iron ore railway. Starting at Ravenglass, the Lake District National Park's only coastal village and home to Roman ruins, it heads up to Boot, seven miles away and over 200 feet above sea level. You can get off at any of the request stops and go for a walk, or stay on board and take in the stunning scenery as you travel towards some of England's highest mountains.
Explore the childhood home of the Lakes' most famous son0
William Wordsworth's name is synonymous with the Lake District. This house in the Cumbrian town of Cockermouth, just beyond the northwestern Lakes boundary, is the childhood home of the romantic poet, and is designed to look as it would have done when he grew up there in the 1770s. Knowledgeable staff are on hand to talk you through all the exhibits.
Wet & wild ride with the Head to the Hills team0
Wild Swimming has exploded in popularity in recent years and this excursion, run by open-water swim specialists Head to the Hills, is a great way to find out what all the fuss is about. After meeting in the village of Ambleside, you'll don wetsuits, get a quick briefing, then head off on a short hike before plunging into a secret swimming venue. From here you'll head downstream to Windermere, along banks of bulrushes and reeds, looking out for kingfishers, otters and pike along the way.
Activities galore & fun for kids - whatever the weather0
This family-focused official Visitor Centre packs in just about every Lake-tastic feature you might care to imagine - landscaped Arts & Crafts gardens that stretch down to the Windermere shore, an adventure playground, mini golf, plus bike and boat hire. We recommend hiring a bike at Brockhole, jumping on the ferry over to Wray Castle and exploring the western shore of Windermere on two wheels.
Recommended by Jan Shorrock of Cumbria's Living Heritage.
A gentle 1.5-miler, perfect for families & wheelchair users0
Situated in the low-lying hills between Consiton and Hawkshead, Tarn Hows is a less rugged alternative to many Lakeland walks. There's a flat, man-made path around the lake and getting round it should take you roughly 45 minutes. Don't let the man-made bit put you off though - the setting is exquisite and the views to the Langdale Pikes draw photographers from all over. The gentle gradient, ample parking and excellent facilities at this National Trust property make it a great option for families with small kids and buggies, and wheelchair users. We recommend you bring a picnic. Oh, and plenty of change - the parking is pricey.
Dalton-in-Furness attraction where you can hand-feed tigers0
Just beyond the southern border of the Lake District, in Dalton-in-Furness, the South Lakes Safari Zoo is home to a bewildering array of animals. Here you'll see hippos, rhinos and giraffes, free-roaming lemurs, monkeys of almost every species, and condors and vultures in the walk-through aviary. If you're brave enough you can even hand-feed the big cats. Little wonder this place is such a big hit with kids.
Recommended by Lakes-based journalist Kathryn Clarke.
No experience required - join Go Canoeing for a guided tour0
What better way to see England's largest lake than by kayak? With Windermere Canoe Kayak, you can set off on a 2-hour tour from Bowness-on-Windermere, during which you'll paddle serenely around the central islands while taking in epic 360-degree views of the surrounding fells. No previous experience is required and all equipment is provided. There's a range of boats available, which can accommodate one, two, three or more people. And if you need to refuel afterwards, the Ryebeck Hotel down the road does a mean lunch or afternoon tea.
Neolithic site with Helvellyn backdrop. A sunrise favourite0
This collection of 38 free-standing stones near Keswick dates from around 3000BC and is one of the earliest and more dramatically sited stone circles in the UK. To capture this Neolithic monument, we recommend getting there for sunrise or sunset - but be warned, it's a hot ticket among photographers, so you shouldn't expect to have it to yourself. Don't let that put you off, though - the eerie beauty of this spot and the Helvellyn backdrop make it worth a visit whether you're carrying a camera or not.
Recommended by noted Lake District photographer Martin Lawrence.View on map Visit site Don't Miss This Photo Stop: Castlerigg Stone Circle as recommended by @Travelzoo_UK #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Have a quick lesson & 'throw your own' pot at Gosforth Pottery0
At this working pottery near Wasdale in the western Lakes, you can have a go at “throwing your own pot” - that means sitting behind the potter's wheel and fashioning your own creation by the way. And if that sounds too much like hard work you could always select a pre-thrown item and paint it yourself. Then, if you're disappointed with the results, you can head straight into the gift shop and buy something that's been hand-crafted by an expert.
Family-friendly, traffic-free bridleways & knockout views0
This family-friendly route stretches for four miles in either direction between the car-ferry terminal at Far Sawrey and Wray Castle. It's an easy ride, with traffic-free bridleways and knockout views across Lake Windermere. It should take 1-2 hours, or a little more if you stop somewhere en route for a picnic - and we recommend that you do.View on map Visit site Cycle Windermere's West Shore @golakes as recommended by @Ntsouthlakes #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Find out why L'Enclume in Cartmel was the UK's No1 in 20140
It's hard to get a reservation at Simon Rogan's L'Enclume in Cartmel - so much so that if you really want to go, you might have to secure this booking first, then build the rest of your Lakes getaway around it. That's what happens when The Good Food Guide names a restaurant as the finest in the country and gives it a perfect score of 10 out of 10 (Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal were the only others to match that). Two Michelin stars doesn't hurt either. So if you do get in, consider yourself lucky and try not to ask for ketchup.
Recommended by Matt Williams of Explore South Lakeland.
A high-flying, twin-seater experience like no other0
A trip in one of Roger Savage's gyroplanes (2-seater aircraft that look something like a mini helicopter), will connect you to the flying experience like almost nothing else. It's also an opportunity to take in a view of the Lake District that's usually reserved for birds. If you've got the nerve, you'll even have the opportunity to take the controls. Take-off is from an airstrip in the village of Berrier, between Penrith and Keswick.
Save up to 70% on outdoor gear & more at 16 factory outlets0
When it comes to drawing up a Lake District itinerary, we wouldn't recommend you put shopping anywhere near the top. However, this 16-strong outlet village where you can get discounts of up to 70% is definitely worth knowing about - even if you just need to find a replacement pair of walking boots.
4-miler taking in geological gems & an ancient hilltop fort0
Pioneering fell-walker Alfred Wainwright described this area as the "finest square mile in Lakeland". High praise indeed, given the competition on offer. This route takes in the ancient hill fort of Castle Crag and an old quarry where a wetland habitat has sprung up since its closure. Be sure to stop at Peace How, a small summit that was purchased for the nation in 1917 in order to provide soldiers returning from World War I with a place to rediscover a sense of tranquillity. The National Trust has a downloadable map and step-by-step instructions (see link below).
The River Deep Mountain High team will teach you the basics0
Picture the scene: the wind gusts, rushes through your hair and fills the sails of your one-man sailing boat as the little vessel cuts a neat path through the water and the mountains steeple above you. Sound good? Then you'll you need to learn how to sail to make it a reality. That's where River Deep Mountain High come in - these guys run regular half- and full-day courses on both Windermere and Coniston (both of which are noted for their reliable winds), that'll have you doing your best Ben Ainslie in no time. Courses suitable for anyone aged six and up.
The Mortal Man: a must for pre-, post- or mid-walk drinks0
With Windermere to the south, Ambleside to the east, and the rugged fells of the Troutbeck Valley towering above it, the location of The Mortal Man is hard to top. And the beer garden, where you can sit among wild flowers looking at the view and contemplating this geographical perfection, might be one of the finest in the country, let alone the Lakes. Should the weather take a turn for the worse, rest assured that the log fires and cosy nooks and crannies inside will make up for it.
Binoculars at the ready at RSPB reserve Haweswater0
Keep your binoculars at hand and your eyes skywards if you're in the Haweswater area of the Lake District and you might just spot England's only remaining golden eagle. There are several viewpoints across the Riggindale Valley from which you can watch the affectionately named Golden Boy "sky dancing" - a series of dives and rises aimed at attracting a mate. With only 400 breeding pairs thought to remain in the wild (all but one in Scotland) it's a rare chance to spot this magnificent bird with its 6ft wingspan in its natural environment.
Recommended by Beth Pipe, aka the Cumbrian Rambler.
Explore 30,000 automotive exhibits at this riverside attraction0
Located on the banks of the River Leven in Backbarrow, at the southern end of Windermere, this place is a mecca for petrol-heads and a must for anyone with even a passing interest in the automotive world. Vintage cars, motorcycles and bicycles from every era take centre stage, alongside rare and unusual memorabilia, and there's also an exhibition dedicated to record-breaking speed demon, Sir Malcolm Campbell. The museum runs a handy shuttle bus from the lake for anyone arriving by boat. We recommend you set aside two hours to do it justice.
An easily conquerable summit, suitable for all ages0
Described by Alfred Wainwright as “a family fell where grandmothers and infants can climb the heights together,” Catbells is conquerable by almost all and hugely popular as a result. This 3-mile route takes you from Little Town to the summit and back down via a different descent, and promises views of Skiddaw, Derwentwater and Keswick.View on map Visit site Walk from Little Town to Catbells as recommended by @Travelzoo_UK #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
From the shore to the Langdale Pikes is the must-shoot view0
On a sunny day, Blea Tarn is one of the most idyllic spots in the Lake District, and is perhaps the top place from which to photograph the stunning Langdale Pikes. The view is best when the lake is still, so it's a good idea to get up there early in the morning; head to the southern end of the lake, so you can shoot across the water with the Pikes ahead of you and the woods to your left. The Pikes will reflect off the lake, their summits bathed in a golden glow. Then why not celebrate taking the perfect picture with a pint at the nearby Three Shires Inn?
Recommended by Lake District photographer Adam Burton.View on map Visit site Blea Tarn is a great Photographic Spot says @adamburtonphoto as recommended by @Travelzoo_UK #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Sleep out under the stars for the ultimate overnight Lakes experience0
There are loads of campsites to choose from throughout the Lakes, but nothing beats the feeling of dropping off the radar, pitching your tent on a remote fell and watching the sun set (and rise) over the surrounding mountains. The intrepid will want go it alone and find a suitably secluded spot, but remember, you should always seek the permission of the land owner before setting up camp. See here for some sensible advice on the subject. Alternatively, you could join a dedicated excursion - Team Walking run 2-day tours with a qualified mountain leader, for which they supply tents and most of the required equipment. You just need to bring a sleeping bag and food.
Bowness attraction where the author's characters come alive0
Not just Peter Rabbit of course - all of Beatrix Potter's favourite characters, including Jemima Puddleduck, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Benjamin Bunny, are here at this Bowness-on-Windermere attraction. Favourite scenes from her books are brought to life, there's a garden for kids to explore (a winner at the 2014 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, no less), and a surprisingly good tearoom. A firm favourite with kids and big kids alike.
Cartmel Village Shop: the birthplace of a classic pudding0
There are plenty of good reasons to visit the pretty Cumbrian village of Cartmel on the southern edge of the Lake District, but none quite so compelling as the existence of the Cartmel Village Shop, aka the "home of sticky toffee pudding". Others around the country have made similar claims of ownership, but forget about that for now - this place has been lovingly hand-crafting this decadent dessert for decades now, and it's beyond brilliant. We recommend you clear a space in the car and buy as much as your freezer back home can cope with.
A kids' favourite, with 6 rides to choose from0
Lakeland Pony Treks offer a range of fully supervised trips, from half-an-hour to full-day rides, catering for everyone from total novices to experienced riders. If it's your (or your children's) first time on horseback, you could hardly choose a better place to start - the centre is squirrelled away at Limefitt Park in the Troutbeck Valley, so you'll be assured of top-notch views along the way (just make sure you don't fall off while taking it all in). Riding hats are supplied - you just need to make sure you show up in sturdy footwear (no trainers).
Where poems were born and history was made0
Whatever the weather, there's always something to do in the Lakes, and Dove Cottage is a good one for a rainy day. It's where poet William Wordsworth lived from 1799-1808 and it was during this time that he wrote most of his poems. You can take a guided tour of the house and gardens, and visit The Wordsworth Museum, which displays his original letters, journals and poems.
Recommended by Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland & Lonsdale.
Make the most of some of the country's clearest skies0
With low pollution levels and clear, dark skies, the Lake District is a stargazer's dream destination. Anywhere that's largely free of light pollution will make a great spot to test out your astronomical skills, but few places are better than the Ennerdale Valley in the western Lakes. There are few roads here, but one of the few that there is leads to the Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre, an accredited Dark Sky Discovery site. They also have a hostel and camping facilities here. We recommend downloading a stargazing app such as SkyView, which will allow you to point your phone at the night sky and instantly find out what's around you. Even better - no data connection is required.
Take a tour & sample brews at the Keswick Brewing Co0
Check out Lakeland craft beer at Keswick Brewing Co. You can buy bottles, mini casks and gifts in the shop. Cask ales can be enjoyed in the Flying Fox Bar and are available on tour days - held on Fridays and Saturdays at 11am and 2pm during quieter months and most days during the summer. Lasting for an hour, they cost £9 per person (10p from every visit goes to Nurture Lakeland for Red Squirrel conservation) and include three half-pint tasters each. The brewery is just off Bank Street in the centre of Keswick and there's parking nearby on Otley Road.
Block out a whole day for this classic route0
"No mountain profile in Lakeland arrests and excites the attention more than that of the Langdale Pikes." Those are the words of legendary fell-walker Alfred Wainwright, and few would dispute him on this point. The names of the constituent parts are evocative enough - the likes of Pike o' Stickle, Jack's Rake and Thorn Crag sound just a teensy bit forbidding, as if only the most confident of fell-walkers need apply. Indeed, this is a hard-going walk and one that requires a reasonable level fitness. How long it takes depends on the exact route you take, but you should certainly set aside the best part of a day. Better yet, camp out along the way and split the journey over two days.View on map Visit site Take a Hike on Langdale Pikes as recommended by @MikeBrockhurst #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Master the art of casting to trout on crystal-clear streams0
If the gentle art of casting a fly to wild brown trout has ever appealed, then how about learning how on the appropriately named River Eden? That's just one of the fishing trips offered by Eric Hope of Hemingways Fishing - others include fishing for predatory pike and perch on one of the area's lakes, or even salmon. Everyone from beginners to experts is welcome - the type of trip available will depend on the time of year.
Famed for its 'lone tree' on the northern shore0
To make the most of Buttermere's many photo opportunities, we recommend you do a circuit of this pretty and peaceful lake (it should take about two hours). The shot most photographers want is of the lone birch tree on the north shore, but at the other end of the lake you'll find the equally photogenic "sentinels" - a strip of pine trees lining the lake. If you can be there on an autumn day, so much the better, as the deep oranges of the surrounding fells provide excellent contrast and boost the intensity of reflections in the water.
Recommended by John Kelly, aka the Happy Hiker.View on map Visit site Top photo stop: Buttermere @CaptureLakeland as recommended by @IamHappyHiker #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Family-run manor with activities for all ages0
It's hard to please everyone on a family day out, but Mirehouse near Keswick gives it a good go. At this estate on Bassenthwaite's eastern shore you'll find sprawling grounds that stretch from Dodd Wood to the water's edge, with woodland adventure playgrounds, a heather maze, a rhododendron tunnel and a tearoom. The house itself contains artistic works by Francis Bacon and manuscripts from literary heroes such as Tennyson and, of course, Wordsworth. The gardens and tearoom are open daily from 1 April to 31 October, but commit this following bit to memory: the house itself is only open Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday from 1:30-4:30pm. Recommended hotels in the area include Armathwaite Hall at the north end of Bassenthwaite.
Beginners & experts are all welcome. A great rainy-day idea0
If you're considering learning rock-climbing, the Lake District is arguably the most appropriate place to do it, and the Lakeland Climbing Centre is the only place to start. Ranked number one out of 35 things to do in Kendal by TripAdvisor users, the centre has a range of climbing walls, one of which (the Kendal Wall) is the tallest indoor wall in the UK, and caters for everyone from beginners to experts. They can also cater for private sessions, school groups, birthday parties, stag and hen parties, and other tailored events.
Find out which Olympian rates this as a favourite route0
The hilly 15-mile ride from Uldale to Mungrisdale is actually lake free, but also less busy than circuits closer to Bassenthwaite, and comes recommended by Olympic triple-jump champ Jonathan Edwards. Fuel up at Mae's Tea Room before you start, then stop off in Caldbeck or Hesket New Market (pictured), where you'll find pretty greens and cosy pubs before continuing down to Mungrisdale. This section skirts the outer north-eastern perimeter of the Lake District. Keen beans can loop right back round to Uldale to make this a 40-50 mile circuit.View on map Visit site Cycle From Uldale to Mungrisdale via Hesket New Market as recommended by @Travelzoo_UK #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
A lengthy stroll around the area's most westerly lake0
The most westerly lake in the Lake District and often overlooked in favour of more renowned siblings, remote Ennerdale is as close as you'll get to a hidden gem round these parts. You can get to it via two car parks on the western shore, but there is no vehicle access on the eastern side - that means fewer people and the perfect environment for dog walkers. In The Lake District: A Dog Walker's Guide, Peter Naldrett says that those "who want a lengthy challenge for their dog cannot fail to be impressed by this gorgeous circular walk around the lake". At 7.3 miles, it definitely is on the long side but it's worth it - and afterwards you can recharge at the dog-friendly Fox & Hounds at nearby Ennerdale Bridge. We recommend parking at Bleach Green Car Park.
Recommended by Nick Battle, publisher of Countryside Books.View on map Visit site Take your dog for a circuit of Ennerdale as recommended by @PeterNaldrett #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Multiple routes taking in secluded bays, islands & more0
At 10 miles long and over a mile across at its widest point, Windermere is almost intimidatingly large. To get a real sense of its size and scale, we recommend hopping on a lake cruise. With Windermere Lake Cruises, you can board at different locations along the shore (including Ambleside, Bowness, Brockhole and Lakeside Pier at the southern end), or combine your ticket with trip to a local attraction. In the summer, they even run boats that cater specifically for walkers and cyclists.
Recommended by Cumbrian journalist/blogger Ellis Butcher.
Bowness-on-Solway marks one end of this ancient marvel0
Stretching for 73 miles from one coast of England to another, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hadrian's Wall is a bold reminder of Britain's Roman history. Its western limit in Bowness-on-Solway, just north of the Lake District's topmost border, is well worth a visit. Many people use it as a start or end point for a hike along the entire length, but don't let that put you off. A day trip is well worth it, particularly if you combine it with a visit to the area's sprawling sand dunes.
Recommended by Cumbrian artist Anne Bryson.
A suitably stately setting for these magnificent birds0
The Hawk & Owl Centre at Muncaster Castle, run in association with the Hawk Conservancy Trust, is home to approximately 40 species - from tiny pygmy owls to the fearsome eagle owls. Get there at 11:30am for the daily World of Owls flying display or at 2:30pm for Sky Hunters to see raptors in flight.
Small space, lots going on - music, film, comedy & more0
This 150-year-old building set in landscaped gardens started its new life as a multi-purpose arts centre in the 1970s and has since gone from strength to strength. Music, film, comedy and more are all on the menu - at the time of writing, heavyweight comedy acts including Jimmy Carr and Ed Byrne had shows lined up.
Head to Grasmere for a sticky a treat0
Forget everything you thought you knew about gingerbread. The spicy-sweet biscuit-cake hybrid that they lovingly craft here bears little resemblance to the supermarket-bought stuff you've come to know. It's still prepared using the same recipe as when Sarah Nelson opened the premises in 1854, and that recipe remains a closely guarded secret, locked in local bank safe. Be warned though - you can expect queues almost any day of the week.
This venue does food, live music & film - all under one roof0
Bored of expensive multiplex tickets and exorbitantly priced hot dogs and popcorn? There is another way! At Zeffirellis in Ambleside (one of the 10 best independent cinemas in the country, according to The Guardian), you can get a 2-course-meal-and-ticket combo for roughly £20 a head. Of course, you don't have to watch a film to eat here (or vice versa) - you could just eat or drink at the café , pizzeria or Italian restaurant. They even do live jazz nights most Fridays and Saturdays.
Recommended by Lakes blogger Heather Cole, aka the Conversant Traveller.
For views that stretch from Blackpool to Skiddaw0
This 4-mile route, which just kisses the very southern line of the Lake District boundary, takes you from the coast, up through woods and over fells. The highlight is Hampsfell Hospice; this tower, built in 1846 to provide shelter for travellers, also acts as an excellent spot from which to take in views of Helvellyn, the Langdale Pikes and Morecambe Bay. We recommend starting (or finishing) your journey at the highly regarded Hazelmere Café in Grange-over-Sands.View on map Visit site Walk From Grange-over-Sands to Hampsfell Hospice as recommended by @Travelzoo_UK #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Combine a classic lake cruise with a famous fell walk0
With over 150 years' experience of running lake cruises, Ullswater Steamers has a fleet of five traditional vessels that operate across a network of routes linking Pooley Bridge in the north with Glenridding in the south, via Howtown in the middle of the lake. They've also recently launched a new route between Glenridding and Aira Force, home of a spectacular waterfall. Dogs and bikes are welcome for a small charge.
Historic inn with its own dedicated brewery0
For top local tipples, seek out the Kirkstile Inn, a traditional 16th-century pub in the quieter western Lakes, with excellent views of Loweswater and Melbreak hill. Recommended by The Good Pub Guide, it hosts two beer festivals a year and is the brewery tap for Cumbrian Legendary Ales. Stop in for a pint of Loweswater Gold, described by The Guardian as “the best beer in the world”, or buy a bottle or 5-litre cask to take away. They also have at least one guest beer on tap, and a selection of malt whiskies and wines by the glass. Dogs are welcome.
Includes a lake cruise & stops at noted beauty spots0
This tour, which takes place over the course of one afternoon, is an essential pilgrimage for anyone wishing to see the locations that inspired the children's author. Included in the itinerary are a lake cruise on Windermere, a tour of the medieval village of Hawkshead, a stop at noted beauty spot Tarn Hows, and a visit to the writer's former home (and setting for many of her tales), Hill Top.
65-foot falls in a woodland setting, steps from Ullswater0
The Lake District isn't exactly short of waterfalls, but Aira Force is probably the best known of them all - and with good reason. These 65-foot falls near Ullswater, which tumble through a narrow gorge below an old stone bridge, make for a picture-postcard scene in almost any weather. And don't be too quick to pack your camera away - this is red squirrel country and you never know when they'll make an appearance. To arrive in style, we recommend catching the Ullswater Steamer from Glenridding to Aira Force Pier (May-November only).View on map Visit site Aira Force waterfall nr Ullswater is a Photo Must! as recommended by @nationaltrust #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Perfect antidote to the multiplex experience0
This traditional picture house in Keswick turned 100 in 2014 and has changed little in its lifetime. Not only does it show all the latest releases, but the homely and welcoming Alhambra serves up a nice reminder of what life was like before the age of the multiplex - not to mention free tea or coffee on the way in.
Comprehensive box-ticking tour of the region's top sites0
For anyone who's pushed for time, this whistle-stop mini-coach tour of the Lake District's best bits is a good way to go. The trip starts in southern Lakeland and takes in Windermere, the Hardknott Pass, Wast Water, Buttermere, Ullswater and Castlerigg Stone Circle to name just a few. There's also a lunch stop at noted Ennerdale eatery the Fox & Hounds.
Gadgets & curiosities including the Anti-Gravity Room0
This little world of curiosities lies at the top of a flight of stairs on Museum Square in the centre of Keswick. The shop and Puzzle Area are free to enter, but we recommend you stump up the small fee to enter the main exhibition zone. Here you'll find all sorts of optical illusions, interactive brain-teasers and even an “anti-gravity” room. A great rainy-day option and a favourite with kids. Plus, you can even bring your dog.
Recommended by the team at English Lakes.
A testing 9-mile ascent of England's highest mountain0
For confident walkers, taking on England's highest mountain is an itch that will need scratching at some point - this route from the village of Seathwaite in the Borrowdale valley is one of the most popular and picturesque. At nine miles miles and taking approximately six hours, this is a walk we would only recommend for those with a decent level of fitness. And don't bother on anything other than a fine, clear day - for one thing it wouldn't be safe, but also you'll be deprived of something truly special. The views from the summit are nothing short of epic. As with all walks, a decent map will be required - Trekking Britain has an excellent step-by-step guide, along with detailed maps and GPS files (see link below).View on map Visit site Walk from Seathwaite to Highest Peak Scafell Pike as recommended by @Travelzoo_UK #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Treat yourself to lunch on the lake or a champagne cruise0
Privately chartering a luxurious, skippered sailing yacht, just for you and your guests (2-10 people), is hard to top. The yacht itself has three double bedrooms (should you need them), a large saloon, two bathrooms, a fully functioning kitchen and deck space to drink your champers on. Impulse Charters offer VIP days, lunch, afternoon tea (a particular favourite) and champagne cruises, and do pick-ups from lots of different locations on Windermere.
Essential survival skills to unlock your inner Ray Mears0
OK, you might need more than a day to get up to speed with Ray Mears and Bear Grylls, but this fun and practical introductory session will give you an excellent grounding in the skills needed to survive in the wild. Knife work, wood collection and preparation, knot tying, shelter building, tree and plant identification, and fire lighting are all on the agenda. Minimum age: 10. Meeting point: Noble Knott Car Park, Whinlatter.
A firm favourite with both locals & tourists0
This cosy bakery in the Western Lakes was founded by Shaun and Chrissy Bryant, self-taught bakers who moved to the quiet village of Broughton-in-Furness in 2011 and reached the final three in ITV's "Britain's Best Bakery" competition just a year later. The property changed hands in early 2015, but new owners, Mike and Alison, continue the good work, baking a good selection of pies, cakes and loaves, and serving up breakfast, light lunches and teas in the café - recent visitors have raved about their French toast.
Explore the caverns, then cross the wire bridge... if you dare0
There are adventures available both inside and out at Honister - you can descend underground for a guided tour of the still-operational mine or you can take on the Via Ferrata. Just in case you're wondering, the term is derived from Italian and translates as “iron way”. In this case, that means an exposed adventure climbing course made up of permanently fixed cables, metal ladders, cargo nets and wire bridges strung 1,200 feet above the valley floor. It's either totally exhilarating or terrifying depending on your point of view.
Recommended by the team at Visit England.
Open-water swim accessed via a jump from the cliff above0
This west-facing rocky outcrop overlooking Ullswater has developed something of a cult following among wild swimmers and it's easy to see why. It's secluded yet relatively easy to reach, but best of all is the plunge from the crag into deep, clear water below. There's also a small shingle beach where you can have a brew and watch the sunset. To get there, take the ferry to Howtown and then follow the path southwest for roughly a mile.
Recommended by the team at Wild Swimming.View on map Visit site Wild swim at Kailpot Crag, Ullswater @sykescottages as recommended by @Travelzoo_UK #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Or you could just tuck into the famously good afternoon tea0
Just beyond Penrith, on the “other” side of the M6, Cumbria's only fully operational watermill, Little Salkeld, produces organic flour just as it did when it was built in 1745. It might be a little rougher round the edges than it was back then, but it's no less appealing - you can take a self-guided tour of the mill, have afternoon tea or learn how to make bread. And once you've got your Paul Hollywood routine down pat, why not buy some flour to take home?
Recommended by Lakes-based artist Carol McDermott.
The best in the region, according to Top 100 Golf Courses0
Rated not just the best in the area, but within the top 30 in the country, this challenging links course in the seaside village of Silloth overlooks the Solway Firth to the north, with the Lakeland fells behind it. The course's coastal aspect means the wind usually provides a stiff challenge, and the tight greens can be hard to hit. A must for golfers visiting the Lakes.
Tuition & hands-on experience in the perfect setting0
Given the bountiful array of views on offer, even a complete duffer could take some half-decent snaps in the Lake District. However, if you want to elevate your photography to the next level, a little tuition won't hurt. Renowned Lake District photographer Martin Lawrence runs courses in the Keswick area catering for beginners and intermediates. One-to-one tuition is available, and the small group workshops (up to three people) are popular with families and groups of friends.
Renowned and well-reviewed gastropub with chic interiors0
This 300-year-old inn, sitting on a remote hill between Ambleside and Hawkshead, is renowned for its hearty, contemporary fare and rustic-chic interiors. So well renowned, in fact, that it can often be difficult to get a table at all. If you can get there early enough to beat the queues, lunchtime is a good bet as they don't take reservations. And if you do have to wait to be seated, the bar - with its flagstone floors and oak beams hung with hops - is a good place to do so.
Peruvian-themed pit stop offering a range of walks0
Love llamas? Head to the Llama Karma Kafe - probably the only place in England where you can watch llamas grazing while you breakfast on llama-shaped French toast. To learn more, book a llama trek - the hour-long trips are suitable for everyone from tots to grandparents, and include light refreshments. This quirky Peruvian-styled café is a 5-minute drive from Penrith and Junction 40 on the M6 (open 8am-5pm).
Crackling fires & rustic food in a remote location0
The word “remote” tends to get overused when describing Lake District locations, but this place truly deserves the attribution. Just beyond the northern end of Wast Water, half an hour's drive from the nearest village, with Scafell Pike and Great Gable looming over it, the Wasdale Head Inn is a favourite among walkers. There could scarcely be a better place to arrive after a hard day on the fells - a warm welcome is assured, while great food, crackling fires and (should you require it) a comfy bed are all on offer.
A range of waymarked trails - suitable for all abilities0
With waymarked cycling trails ranging from 2-20 miles, you can pick which route best suits your ability at Grizedale Forest. There are some really fun tracks, including Mountain Bike Orienteering, where you collect a scorecard from the visitor centre, record your start time, then jot down the letters you find at each control point and mark your finish time back at the visitor centre. There are also routes for kids and others for experienced cyclists, with single tracks, contouring and boardwalks. Bikes are available to hire every day from the visitor centre from £20 for half a day. We recommend pre-booking.
The finest view in the Lakes? Quite possibly...0
If you've got a head for heights, these Virgin Balloon Flights, which launch daily from Newby Bridge, give you the chance to see the Lakes in a way few others ever will. You'll get a bird's-eye view of England's largest lake, Windermere, as it stretches out 12 miles ahead of you, Coniston to the north and even Morecambe Bay to the south.
Cumbria meets the Caribbean at this hidden gem0
The often-unpredictable weather in the northwest of England means it's shrewd to have an indoor activity or two up your sleeve should the heavens open and Whitehaven's Rum Story should be near the top of that list. A series of interactive displays take you through the town's rum and slave-trade history, although there is some reading that is geared more towards older children. Finish with a slice of cake from the museum's café , or for the adults, there's even a tot of rum.
Travel in style on this rebuilt Victorian vessel0
Step on board a steam yacht gondola that was once a vessel for wealthy Victorians. Built in 1859, it's the oldest steam yacht in the north of England and is now operated by the National Trust. The 45-minute voyage starts at Coniston Pier, then passes Coniston Hall, the Coniston Fells and Brantwood, the former home of Victorian art critic John Ruskin. The boat's design is a combination of an Italian gondola and an English steam yacht and has an twin-tailed serpent at the front of the boat.
Browse the regularly updated calendar & book online0
This is a really useful little tool to have up your sleeve, whether you're planning a trip to the Lakes or are already there: on the Lake District National Park's official site, you can browse a calendar of events and walks (see link below). Many of them are free and those for which there is a fee are usually very cheap. There's loads of stuff to choose from, including birdwatching trips, open-water swimming and a range of walks to favourite local landmarks, tarns and fells.
Tarn views from the fell foot or a panorama from the peak0
For a comparatively small fell, Loughrigg offers up a surprising number of winning photo opportunities. There are lots of ways to approach it, but starting from Skelwith Bridge and heading north gives you the chance to capture pretty Loughrigg Tarn with the Langdale Pikes towering behind, before heading on to the summit (at 335m, a relatively easy climb) for panoramic views over Grasmere and Rydal Water. At that point you'll be able to determine whether Alfred Wainwright was correct when he said "No ascent is more repaying for the small labour involved."View on map Visit site For a great Photo Opportunity visit Loughrigg Fell @GuardianTravel as recommended by @Travelzoo_UK #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Lakeside meadows, waterfalls & more over 2.5 miles0
This 2-and-a-half-mile ramble along Elterwater's north shore is described in The Lake District: A Dog Walker's Guide as a "very popular there-and-back walk... with plenty of chances for a swim and a dog-friendly café at the halfway point to enjoy cake and a pot of tea". Park at the National Trust car park in Elterwater village, then head southeast along the River Brathay to Elterwater. Stop for refreshments at Chesters by the River near Skelwith Bridge, then retrace your steps.View on map Visit site Walk from Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge @lakedistrictnpa as recommended by @LakesPlanner #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Team up with a border collie & herd your own flock0
“Come by!” That's sheepdog talk, by the way, and it's what you say when you want your faithful companion to start herding the flock in a clockwise motion. There you go, that should give you a head start when you set out on this rather unique experience. You can take part individually or in small teams, learning how to handle and instruct a border collie in order to steer a group of unruly sheep. It's also a chance to experience a little bit of history - man and collie have been teaming up like this in the Lake District since the 1700s. Available on weekdays only.
AA-Rosette Dining with Windermere Views0
Whether or not you're actually staying at the Beech Hill Hotel, the on-site Burlington's Restaurant is worthy of a visit. This AA-Rosette-awarded establishment is a favourite with locals as well as visitors (always a good sign), who come for the daily-changing menu and artfully crafted food made from locally sourced produce. Food aside, the views over Windermere are a treat, and on warm days you'll want to bag a table on the sun terrace overlooking the lake or have a coffee in the lakeside tea garden.
Featuring a low-level walk, tarn swims & a dash of history0
This excursion, run by outdoor specialists Head to the Hills, is an interesting and unusual way to experience a particularly scenic part of the Lake District. The course follows a famous walking loop around Loughrigg Fell, with swims in Loughrigg Tarn, Grasmere and a secret location along the way (with picnicking and tea-drinking between swims). You'll need a wetsuit (you can hire it if you don't already have one), but don't worry about the strength or speed of your swimming. The emphasis here is very much on taking it at your own pace, soaking up the surroundings.
Family-friendly lakeside park with stunning mountain views0
The National Trust-owned Fell Foot, at the southern end of Windermere, is a great park for families - there are extensive gardens in which to have picnics and play games, and easy access to the lake makes it a great place to paddle or swim. You can hire boats, canoes and kayaks between April and September, and the Boathouse café is always a popular spot. And if it rains, kids will love the Discovery Cottage, where there's a range of interactive activities and a wildlife room. Fell Foot is within easy walking distance of the Newby Bridge Hotel.
Just 20 minutes to the summit for spectacular 360 views0
Orrest Head is only 238 metres high, can be reached from Windermere station in little more than 20 minutes and is pretty easy walking, yet it offers breath-taking 360-degree views, taking in Scafell Pike, the Old Man of Coniston and the length of Lake Windermere. Alfred Wainwright, Lakeland's most committed fell-walker, described Orrest Head as his "awakening to beauty". To extend your experience, descend through farmland towards Causeway Farm, and head back to Windermere town though peaceful woodland.View on map Visit site Walk from Windermere to Orrest Head as recommended by @Where2Walk #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Magical & remote spot with an ancient castle & popular inn0
This curious little 50-acre island lies just off the Cumbrian coast at Barrow-in-Furness. That means it's not officially in the Lake District, but it's close enough and is certainly worthy of a small detour. Despite its diminutive size, the island has an ancient castle and a popular pub, The Ship Inn, where each new landlord is crowned King of Piel in a ceremony that has been practised since the 15th century. The ferry runs daily from Roa Island (just south of Barrow) between April and September. The Ship Inn has a small number of rooms should you wish to stay over, or you can pitch your tent for a small fee.
Recommended by Beth Pipe, aka the Cumbrin Rambler.
Join a guided tour of the Racecourse & Holker Estate0
Lakeland Segway in Cartmel offer three different guided tours - one around the grounds of Cartmel Racecourse and The Holker Estate, another more challenging route around the ancient woodland areas of Cartmel, and the third which combines the two. As for the ride itself, these battery-powered 2-wheelers are highly stable, rugged and easily manoeuvrable. A good option for groups
Recommended by the team at Cumbria Weather.
Stunning interiors & lake views in Bowness-on-Windermere0
This Grade I-list property in Bowness-on-Windermere was built between 1897 and 1900 by noted Arts & Crafts architect MH Bailie Scott, and is now recognised as one of the country's most important surviving houses from the turn of the century. The house appears much as the original owner (wealthy Manchester brewer Edward Holt), would have had it, with original design features (rare hessian wall-hangings, leaf-shaped door handles, spectacular plasterwork and carved wooden panelling) all remaining intact.
Recommended by Zoë Dawes, aka the Quirky Traveller.
The perfect starting point - join a tour or go it alone0
There are plenty of places to hire bikes throughout the Lake District, but the location of Country Lanes Cycle Centre in Windermere makes it worthy of special mention - it's right by the railway station in the centre of the village, so if you do arrive by train you can be off and pedalling within minutes. From there, Bowness village is 1.5 miles away, Ambleside four miles north and Kendal eight miles south. All rentals include free use of a safety helmet, map holder and lock, and staff can supply easy-to-follow route sheets ranging from seven to 30 miles.
Meerkats, monkeys and micro pigs abound at this Bassenthwaite gem0
This attraction at the northern tip of Bassenthwaite is home to over 100 species of animal – from lemurs to zebras via meerkats and micro pigs. The bird of prey flying displays are a particular favourite, and a visit to Brian the Gibbon is a must – he’s the oldest in Europe and has pride of place in the centre of the park. If it rains, there’s plenty of space indoors, an animal encounter room and indoor heated play area, plus a great café that serves home-cooked food. The Lake District Wildlife Park is owned by (and situated in the grounds of) the 4-star Armathwaite Hall Country House & Spa . If you’re looking for somewhere to stay (or indeed a decent spot for lunch or afternoon tea), look no further.
Capture cobbled streets & whitewashed cottages0
Can it be true? A recommendation that doesn't feature either a lake or a mountain? Oddly enough, yes. But then, the village of Hawkshead is something special - a higgledy-piggledy cluster of whitewashed cottages, hidden courtyards and cobbled streets that make life easy for even modestly talented photographers. Cars are banned as well (you can park and walk from just outside the village), which just adds to its frozen-in-time feel. And if you do get lake withdrawal, don't worry, Esthwaite is just a few hundred metres south.View on map Visit site Photo cobbled streets & whitewashed cottages Hawkshead Village as recommended by @Travelzoo_UK #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
Zip-slide your way through the sky & over water0
“Get in touch with your inner Tarzan” they suggest on the website of the UK's self-proclaimed number-one forest adventure chain. It's open to adults and kids over 10, and sees participants clamber across bridges and high ropes in the canopy, and fly down zip-lines over water in a 2-3 hour tree-top tour. It's so high, on a clear day you can see all the way to Scotland. Down on terra firma, there are Segway tours. You'll find all this three miles outside Keswick.
Recommended by the team at Armathwaite Hall Country House Hotel.
Easy 1-mile stroll to a narrow gorge & 60-foot falls0
This 1-mile ramble in Eskdale takes you from the village of Boot to the 60-foot falls at Stanley Ghyll Force. A series of falls and pools, with rhododendrons growing on the ledges above, give this place an other-worldly feel. The route is clearly marked from Boot or nearby Dalegarth station and should take an hour or so.View on map Visit site Walk from Boot to Stanley Ghyll Force Waterfall as recommended by @Travelzoo_UK #LakeDistrict http://bit.ly/1EifC9F
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