The Lake District Travel Guide
Grasmere, Lake District © Mick Knapton
The Lake District sits within Cumbria, in the north-west of England, and plays host to a series of expansive lakes and rocky mountains that together form some of the most strikingly beautiful vistas in the country. The landscape is a mix of rolling farmlands, green valleys and heather-covered moors, interrupted here and there by bustling towns and villages that have been popular holiday destinations in England for hundreds of years. Despite attracting 10 million visitors each year, the Lake District retains its peaceful and pastoral atmosphere, and hikers can go for miles without seeing any living creatures but sheep and cows.
The Lake District is the largest national park in England and stretches some 885 square miles (2,292 sq km), from Caldbeck in the north to Lindale in the south, and from Ravenglass in the west to Shap in the east. Each of the lakes within the area has its own character: Windermere, Grasmere and Ullswater are considered the prettiest, but those wishing to avoid the crowds can head for Wast Water, Crummock Water or Buttermere.
A holiday in the Lake District offers visitors a range of activities, from bird watching, lake cruises and gentle strolls, to mountain biking, water sports and hiking. The region is also home to Scafell Pike, which at 3,209ft (978m) is England's highest peak. There are also plenty of castles, market towns, galleries and museums worth visiting, including Dove Cottage and Wordsworth House, both homes of local poet William Wordsworth.
Some of Cumbria's other famous residents include Robert Southey, Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin, all writers and poets who, like Wordsworth, drew inspiration from the land and the lakes. Today, the rugged beauty of Cumbria and the Lake District continues to inspire both visitors and locals alike, and remains one of the most popular regions in England.
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