England’s biggest national park, the Lake District, is home to some of the most magnificent lakes in the world. A visitor could easily spend weeks there exploring the stunning lakes, villages, and peaks. As most people unfortunately don’t have that amount of time, I’d like to narrow down your trip by sharing some of my favorite spots in Cumbria.
Windermere – With options of windsurfing, rowing, sailing, swimming, surfboarding, canoeing, water skiing, and just about every water sport you can imagine, Windermere is the perfect place for water sports enthusiasts to visit. At 10.5 miles, Windermere is England’s longest lake. Visit the western shore where they have bikes for rent, and spend the day cycling around this picturesque lake. Situated at the head of Windermere is the lovely village of Ambleside, which you can explore and check out some of their local attractions such as Wray Castle.
Ullswater– Surrounded by rolling green hills is England’s second largest lake, Ullswater. Ullswater is also home to a variety of excellent activities including water sports, cycling, hiking and walking trails, and even local shopping. Ullswater’s beauty has been compared to Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, and is often considered the most beautiful of the lakes. Towards the northern end of the lake, you can find Pooley Bridge, a quaint village with great accommodations including hotels and bed and breakfasts. The whole lake is surrounded by these picturesque villages, including Askham, where you can visit the Queens Head Pub for an authentic English pub experience.
Surrounded by beautiful wooded hills (locally referred to as “fells”) and dotted with small islands, Derwentwater is considered to be one of the most scenic lakes in the area. It’s a great place for visitors looking for a relaxed stroll rather than a more strenuous walk or hike. North of the lake lies Keswick, a beautiful and friendly town, with lovely shops and grassy picnic areas, where you will probably encounter a few sheep and cows.
Visit Buttermere in the north west of the Lake District. The landscape is a perfect combination of lakes, streams, and beautiful purple heathered fells of varying sizes. Because of all that this lake offers, it is the perfect place to spend a day, a weekend, or even an extended vacation.
For an unspoilt, uncommercialized experience, visit Coniston Water, the third longest lake. Because of its proximity to excellent climbs, it is a very popular lake for hikers. Enjoy the main local attraction, a boat ride on a 19C steam gondola.
Located just two miles north of Coniston lies the serene Tarn Hows. Sit on the grass and enjoy the reflective views of the surrounding fells and woods on the water’s calm surface. Follow the path along the water, where at the bottom of the lake you will find waterfalls and forests, with quaint wooden footbridges, straight out of a fairy tale.
Finally, to save the best for last, my favorite of all the lakes. Many people consider Wastwater to be one of the most beautiful views in the country. Wastwater is a bit more remote than some of the other lakes, which adds to its uniqueness. Wastwater lies under the shadow of Scafell Pike, the second-tallest mountain in England, giving it an almost eerie feeling. It is less tame than the other lakes, and allows for a more genuine natural experience. Enjoy the amazing views of the surrounding peaks, whose tops are often covered by mist and fog. On a nice day, seeing the sun burst through the clouds and illuminate the lake is a really spectacular treat.
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The RoutePerfect team
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