Lake District

Things to do in the Lake District

Combine the relaxing experience and exclusivity of your accommodation with exciting exploration, be it roaming the great outdoors, admiring the local arts scene, absorbing the culture or savouring local cuisine.

With so much to see, it can be tricky to know where to start. Read on to find out our top 10 things to do in the Lake District.

You can also read about the best places to visit in the Lake Disitrict.

A lake surrounded by hills in the Lake District

1. Take to the Lakes

It goes without saying that one of the area’s strongest draws is its beautiful collection of lakes and tarns. From the largest – Windermere, to the deepest – Wastwater, each is distinct.

This makes the Lake District the perfect place for lovers of water sports and fishing. Whether you prefer the romance of renting a rowing boat, the serenity of a cruise, or the exhilaration of windsurfing, canoeing and sailing, the Lakes has it all.

A dip to cool off could also be on the cards if you visit in warmer weather, but if this is something that interests you, always get advice on a safe spot for your swim.

Lake Coniston

2. Find a secluded spot for a picnic

Walking is easily one of the best things to do in the Lake District. There are numerous trails through fells, up mountains and beside lakes available for eager feet of all ages and abilities. Guests with wanderlust can pick paths less trodden, navigate classic routes around Buttermere and Coniston, or even scale Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain.

Pack a picnic and a bottle of Champagne if you want to really indulge and pick a secluded spot along the way to savour it. With so many scenic spots, you’re bound to stumble across the perfect place to unload your rucksack or hamper. And, when you get home to your luxury cottage, you can unwind in style and many come with luxury of a hot tub or feature a log fire to cosy up to.

The Milky Way Over Scafell Peak

3. Look to the stars

The beauty of being somewhere as remote and secluded as the Lakes is the ability to look up and see the stars with little or no light pollution.

Well known for its dark, clear skies, the Lake District’s mountain fell tops and forests are great places for stargazing.

Whether you relish heading out into the wilderness for a romantic evening of star spotting, or prefer take the whole family to test out telescopes, there’s something for people of all levels of experience and enthusiasm. You can even stargaze from the comfort of some of our luxury cottages.

Wherever you have in mind, remember to wrap up warm and make a flask of hot chocolate to keep warm. When the stars come out to play, it’s a magical experience.


4. Visit Roman ruins

The Lake District may not be the first destination that springs to mind when you think of Roman ruins. However, this awe-inspiring ancient outpost located on the road between Ravenglass and Ambleside is well-preserved.

The Hadrian-era Hardknott Roman Fort is free to visit, as is the 2,000-year-old Roman road from Ambleside to Penrith.

There are further sites that nod to the area’s Roman past, too, including the remains of another fort, bathhouse and farmstead.

Muncaster Castle in the Lake district

5. Tour historic houses

There is an abundance of Instagram-worthy architecture to explore within the Lake District. Those with an eye for design will love the historic houses dotted around the dramatic landscape.

Enjoy visiting Muncaster Castle, John Ruskin’s former Victorian residence, sprawling manor houses with Tudor and Georgian features, and Beatrix Potter’s quaint farmhouse filled with memorabilia. There is a vast array historic hotspots to explore.

As well as being attractions in their own right, many historic houses are home to gorgeous gardens, shops, cafes and even cycle rental points.

Woman riding on a zip line

6. Swing from the trees

Windermere is not just a great lake; it’s also home to the Lake District’s Tree Top Trek. Here, you get the opportunity to climb and zip along 250-year-old oak trees to your heart’s content.

As well as thrilling views from high above, you can choose from 35 challenges, including a 250-metre triple zip-wire. There are tree treks for all ages, from 5 years old and up, and you can spend anything from 30 minutes to several hours swinging from the trees and ropes with qualified instructors to assist.

a row of shops and local cafes in Ambleside

7. Go independent

One of the most appealing things about the Lake District is its array of independents – be it arts and crafts, galleries, clothes boutiques or eateries. So many things you’ll find here feel unique.

Enjoy a night on the tiles at one of the award-winning restaurants in Ambleside, visit the gingerbread shop in Grasmere where the recipe hasn’t changed for over 100 years or pick up some craft beers or small batch spirits from the Hawkshead Brewery. There are also plenty of attractions including an array of museums and art venues, plus independent shops where you can purchase gifts and locally made goods.

two people mountain biking down a hill in the Lake district

8. Electric mountain-biking and Segways

For those who want to travel around the Lakes in an eco-friendly way, at a faster pace than hiking, there is an array of cycling routes and rental points.

If it’s excitement you’re after, have a go at off-road mountain-biking. If you prefer to enjoy the scenery without your heart thumping, try a Segway tour through the forests and trails. Guided cycle routes are also offered. Head to your nearest visitors’ centre to find out where to pick up your wheels or contact our Guest Services team.

Castle Rigg

9. Castlerigg Stone Circle

Forget Stone Henge, Castlerigg’s stone circle, which can be found close to Keswick, is where the real mystery is to be found. This prehistoric monument attracts plenty of visitors. As well as being worth a visit in its own right, it also provides a fantastic view of Cumbria.

Make the journey on foot from Keswick, order an ice cream along the way, and make sure you have your camera ready for shots of the spectacular scenery.

Bridge over a waterfall in Aira Force, Lake District

10. Aira Force Waterfall

We have mentioned some of the lakes and mountains worth visiting during your stay, but don’t miss the chance to go waterfall spotting.

The Aira Force Waterfall makes for an enjoyable short walk and is a sight to behold. A National Trust attraction, it also has a cafe, toilets and a gift shop nearby. Of course, it’s not the only waterfall in the Lake District, with Scale Force and Skelwith Force among other notable spots.

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If you have any questions about any of our cottages or if you’d like some help with your booking, you are very welcome to get in touch with us.

We are always happy to help and go out of our way to tailor your perfect UK holiday.

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