Most of us know England as one of the most developed and advanced countries in Europe, whose interesting travel destinations focus on the big cities: London, Birmingham, Manchester and more. But what if we were to tell you that in the northeast of the country you can find a completely different but equally interesting tourist destination, where nature is the real attraction, green dominates everything, and the breathtaking sights belong to a multitude of valleys, hills, small picturesque towns and above all an abundance of clear and spectacular lakes?
All this is true. The Lake District is one of the first National Parks in Great Britain, with a total area of 885 square miles (2,292 square kilometers) - it’s a tourist gem unknown to many around the world although it is one of the most popular places in England. This is why we put together a list of the 10 most recommended destinations within the park.
Windermere, which covers no less than 11 miles (18 kilometers) and has a total area of 5.4 square miles (14 square kilometers), is not only the largest lake in the Lake District but the largest in the whole of England and is a leading tourist destination in the region. Arrive to Bowness-on-Windermere, on the east bank of the lake, where you can take a spectacular cruise to the heart of the lake and its 18 islands.
If you arrive to the Lake District with children, this is an attraction you don’t want to miss, located in the town of Bowness-on-Windermere mentioned in the previous section. Beatrix Potter is an English writer and illustrator, best known for her book "Peter Rabbit," a favorite among children around the world, and the museum named after her is a wonderful experience for the whole family. You can visit Peter Rabbit's garden here, enter the world of the other wonderful animal figures that Beatrix brought to life, and spend hours here together with your children.
If you like hiking and nature, come to Langdale Valley - home to some of the most iconic hiking trails in the Lake District. Most visitors like to travel the trails of the Langdale Pikes, a mountain range that surrounds the valley from the north side, but if you are more experienced and adventurous travelers, you are invited to take the more challenging paths of the Bowfell and Crinkle Crags, two mountains west of the valley – any trail you pick, is sure to give you exciting and unique views.
In Old English, the name of the town of Keswick, whose history dates back to the 13th century, is "farm where cheese is made", and to this day you can find the best local produce, including cheeses, hot pastries, and handmade art. Beautiful Keswick also features the Alhambra Cinema, which opened in 1913 and is one of the oldest cinemas still operating in the United Kingdom.
Slate, in case you didn’t know, is a kind of rock used to make boards used for building and assembling tombstones, memorial plaques, sculptures and more. The Honister mine is the last active slate mine in England, and the fascinating tour you can take here will lead you to its heart. You can reach the entrance to the mine, located at the top of a mountain, the classic and comfortable way, or the more challenging way, which includes a ladder and rope trail.
Not far from the slate mine is Borrowdale Valley, which also has a small town of the same name. The valley, with its green expanses, its houses, its small villages, its stone walls and surrounding hills, is undoubtedly the essence of the entire area of the lake, so it is worth visiting here. The entire valley is a major tourist destination, and many scenic trails can be found here, including the highest mountain in England, the 3,208-foot-high (978-meters) Scafell Pike, nearby.
If you are a car enthusiast (to any extent, it doesn’t matter) visiting this place is just for you! More than 30,000 motor vehicles, some of which were made over 100 years ago, are presented in this museum as a living testimony to the distinguished motor heritage of England. Not only an endless variety of cars from all over the world can be seen here, but also an original garage model from the 1920s, with a collection of old wrenches, jacks, and repair equipment.
This wooded, green area is one of the most beautiful spots in the park, and you will almost always find visitors here who come to enjoy the views of the park. Although nature dominates here, Lake Hows is actually man-made: one of the landowners in the area decided to improve its appearance by combining three natural pools together into one large lake, in the middle of the 19th century. Today, the lakeshore is the ideal spot for a relaxing afternoon.
If you are an admirer of English art and history, you should visit Dove Cottage - one of the most historic houses in the Lake District, which belonged to the great English poet William Wordsworth, a pioneer of the Romantic period in English literature. Wordsworth lived in the Dove Cottage with his wife, three children, and sister since 1799, and many items that belonged to him are now on display. The picturesque country house and the breathtaking view around it will make it clear to you where this talented poet had drawn his inspiration.