The Lake District

The Lake District

Length 38 miles / 62 kms

The rugged Lake District in Cumbria is known as ‘Wordsworth country’ and is home to some of the most scenic roads in UK. This English road trip has something for everyone, whether escape or adventure is on the agenda, and is one of the best road routes in the UK for active families and couples.

Head for the busy towns of Ambleside and Keswick or find peace and quiet by one of the sixteen beautiful bodies of water in this stunning national park. Enjoy great hiking, biking and outdoor activities in the warmer months, or spend time on the water, with boat hires, kayaking and SUP all on offer.

Highlights

Ullswater

Start your Lake District road trip at Ullswater, the second largest of the national parks lakes. Ullswater is nestled amongst some of the best fells the area has to offer and is home to the stunning Aira Force waterfall. With hiking and water sports on your doorstep, this is a perfect spot for road trippers to enjoy nature and outdoor activity, and some of the best Lake District hikes.

Keswick

To the west of Ullswater, Keswick is a busy market town that lies between the natural beauty of Derwentwater and the imposing Skiddaw mountains. Hike up to the prehistoric Castelrigg stone circle, literally surrounded by fells and sky in every direction, or try an easy trail like Catbells, which also has the added benefit of incredible Lake District views of the rugged and far-reaching landscape.

Honister Slate Mine

At the southern end of Derwentwater is the valley of Borrowdale, leading to the Honister Pass and the home of the Honister Slate Mine, the last working slate mine in England. The mine has a visitor centre which provides underground guided mine tours and a range of adventure activities including a Via Ferrata (by ropes) course, a ropes course in the mine and a daring infinity bridge – kids big and small will love it here!

Wildlife Park

A walk on the wild side just a 10-minute drive from Keswick. With the backdrop of the Skiddaw massif journey on foot around the 24 acres of parkland visiting over 100 species of wild and domestic animals cared for in this beautiful setting by their qualified and highly motivated keepers.

With conservation at the heart of their ethos they actively support three charities and as BIAZA members also participate in six endangered species programmes.

Wordsworth House

William Wordsworth’s childhood home is open to the public in the small town of Cockermouth on the western edge of the Lake District. Visitors are invited to peer back in time to Georgian England and talk to a Georgian maid or manservant or sample a Georgian recipe in the kitchen.

Located at one end of Cockermouth’s main shopping street, the house is an excellent choice for visitors seeking respite from the rain or a break from browsing the shops.

Whinlatter Forest

England’s only true mountain forest. Whinlatter Forest is managed by Forestry England and is a great day out for all ages. Head to the Visitor Centre and main car park to start your visit.

The forest has walking trails of varying lengths to suit all abilities, taking you to up to viewpoints across Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwent Water, Skiddaw and Grisedale Pike.

If you’re looking for adventure, try the mountain bike trails, which make full use of the stunning setting. The red grade Altura Trail has been built for experienced riders with good off road skills and a higher level of fitness and stamina.The blue grade Quercus Trail is single track with gentle berms, rolling jumps, wide gradual climbs with technical features for the adventurous riders.The Gorse Cycle Trail is a waymarked 10km route, sticking mostly to well-surfaced forest roads and takes you to the best parts of the forest and explores the quieter corners of Whinlatter at Noble Knott.

Bassenthwaite’s Lakes Distillery

Experience a distillery tour unlike any other.

Visit this beautifully renovated old Victorian farmstead on the shore of Bassenthwaite Lake, where the majestic surroundings inspire their artistic ethos. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of this working distillery, following the spirit’s journey to discover how every flavour possibility is achieved.

Hill Top Beatrix Potter’s former home

Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top in 1905 with the royalties from her first few books, written at her parents home in London, but inspired by her annual holiday visits to the Lake District. She visited as often as she could, but never for more than a few days at a time, sketching the house, garden, countryside and animals for her new books.

After Beatrix bought the Hill Top she busied herself writing more books, and visiting her farm. In 1909 she bought another farm opposite Hill Top, Castle Farm, which became her main Lakeland base.

Beatrix wrote many of her famous children’s stories in this little 17th century stone house. Characters such as Tom Kitten, Samuel Whiskers and Jemima Puddleduck were all created here, and the books contain many pictures based on the house and garden.

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