Discover Lake District from easy walking spots to more adventurous places.

The Lake District is a popular holiday destination in North West England. It is a famous place for its glacial ribbon lakes, forests, a lot of hiking roads and for mountains.This area is historically divided between three English counties (Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire), sometimes referred to as the Lakes Counties.

picture of Matthew Daniels

Before we start exploring this area in detail, I really advise you to check with your country if you can travel to these places. As well, please, make sure you follow the travel safety guidelines of each of the places. Stay safe and take care of the people who live and travel there.

Disclaimer: In collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views are my own.

When people think of Lake District the overwhelming response is outdoor walks, nature hikes, and beautiful views of the Lake District, fells, and lovely castles and gardens. In this post we will talk about these things too. But right after this, I invite you to read some more activities you can do instead of the most famous ones.

picture of Danny Lines

As far as you know, The Lake District has some very famous tarns. A tarn is a proglacial mountain lake, pond or pool, formed in a cirque excavated by a glacier. A moraine may form a natural dam below a tarn.  Did you know there are 197 tarns in the Lake District national park? 

In the below list, I will share with you the most famous 3 tarns in the Lake District. Let’s go!

Stickle Tarn

You pass Stickle tarn on the way to Harrison Stickle and Jack’s Rake. You can really admire the reflection of the surrounding fells in the water. There is also a tiny island with a hardy tree determined to live there.

picture by John Paul Walsh

Blackbeck Tarn

To reach Blackbeck Tarn you must climb upwards from Gatesgarth. Your efforts will be rewarded though with views of the mighty Great Gable and Kirk Fell. This large tarn lies nestled amongst these giants and is close to Wainwright’s favourite peak Haystacks.

Tarn Hows Loop

If you look for a tarn to go with your kids, then this one’s for you. It is pushchair friendly and is a flat walk. Tarn Hows is such a peaceful spot, particularly if you go late afternoon when many of the visitors have already left for the day. The gravel path is wide and well maintained as it gently undulates around the lake. There are plenty of benches to stop and soak it up along the way. 

After visiting some of the most priceless tarns, I invite you to take on 15 top hikes that you have to try at least once at the Lake District.

picture by Danny Lau

Scafell Pike

Scafell Pike is the highest point in England and the Lake District National park.And it is considered one of the most beautiful hikes to do. It can be challenging to get to the peaks of it, you will have to climb many steps, screen fields and boulders. But, once you will do it, you will be rewarded with the most beautiful views. 

Walla Crag

Walla Crag is a fell near the town of Keswick by Derwentwater. It is a very popular hike due to its proximity to Keswick and relatively easy climb. From the summit, you will have some priceless views of Derwentwater, Cat Bells, the town of Keswick and beyond! 

Castlehead Viewpoint

Castlehead viewpoint offers hikers one of the most unbelievable views in the Lake District national park. It is also one of the most romantic spots in the Lake District national park.

From the top of Castlehead you can look over to the famous Cat Bells ridge, Grisedale Pike and Causey Pike as well as down at beautiful Derwent water. Once you reach Castlehead, you can sit on one of the two benches and take plenty of photos.

Stickle Ghyll’s Secret Waterfall

After taking a little hike you will be rewarded with a view of a waterfall tumbling down the fells through a natural arch. You can find this Lake District Instagram spot after hiking Jack’s Rake or after going up the Dungeon Ghyll waterfall. This place is less known within tourists.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle is one of the most beautiful stone circles in the UK. It is a Neolithic monument composed of 40 boulders in a circular shape. You can take plenty of photos of the stones themselves and of the surrounding area. 

Pike of Stickle

Pike of Stickle is an important Neolithic site and many stone axes were found here. The beautiful part of it is that you can make your own route up by scrambling the steep rocks or use the narrow path to the summit.

Helvellyn

Helvellyn is an iconic peak in the Lake District National Park. It is the third-highest point in England and the Lake District. Many people end at Helvellyn after making the exhilarating Striding Edge scramble. From the summit, you can admire Striding Edge as well as Swirral Edge. You can also look across to the Northern and Western Fells. 

picture by Douglas Gausi

Striding Edge

Striding Edge begins at Hole-in-the-Wall (great name) and then stretches 1.5 km (0.9 mi) to the summit of Helvellyn. You can start your scramble up Striding Edge from both Patterdale and Glenridding. You can choose to scramble over the top of the ridge or follow the path on the right-hand side

Far Easedale Gill

Take a pleasant walk across Easedale and onto Brownrigg Moss. Here it will open to your eyes how far have you hiked and to make out what the glacier carved thousands of years ago. Be prepared to hike for a few hours, but you will be amazed at the view.

Helm Crag

Helm Crag is a short hike which offers incredible views over the central fells in the Lake District national park. There are two distractive rocks on the summit which are known as the Lion and the Lamb. Helm Crag just deserves to be on your hiking bucket list.

The walk to Helm Crag is easily started from Grasmere town centre. The path leads out of town towards Allan Bank (the National Trust Property) and then curves through country lanes to The Lancrigg Hotel. From here, the track is well signposted.

Gowbarrow Fell

Gowbarrow Fell is that kind of place where you can enjoy both the hills and the lakes. It is placed on the edge of Ullswater. You can start the hike by Aira Force which goes straight up to the summit of Gowbarrow Fell. It is an amazing spot for everyone who loves hiking.

Blencathra

Hikers usually park in Scales and choose one of the various ascents to reach. It is an impressive height of 868m, and the views from there are the best in the Northern Lakes.

picture by George Howden

Orrest Head

It is just a 20-minute walk from the town of Windermere to the summit. From Orrest Head you can see some of the Lake District’s most famous peaks such as Old Man of Coniston, Scafell Pike, Great Gable, Fairfield and the Langdale Pikes.

Grasmere Lake Loop

Pretty rare to find a flat walk in the Lake District, but that will still have beautiful views. The walk itself is charming and quiet, which makes it even more pleasant. You can start the walk at either the centre of Grasmere where there are several pay and display options or park at White Moss Car Park. 

Castle Crag Loop

Castle Crag Loop is one of the most interesting summits in the Lakes and the fact it is a loop rather than a return walk. There are a couple of different routes you can take, you can start at Rosthwaite, this is a short route but has a lovely flat beginning to warm up as you walk along the river, before a quick but steep climb to the summit. The summit itself does require venturing up a big slate pile.

Follow the signs round to Rosthwaite, this is a much less steep descent and it is utterly beautiful. Meandering along the river and through the woods, feels like a peaceful walk in Lakeland at its best. 

The track to Castle Crag starts at Rosthwaite, a tiny village that has an equally tiny National Trust Car Park that’s free for members. If you don’t get here early, it’s unlikely you’ll get a parking spot.

Waterfalls, let’s talk about the most famous one in the Lake District.

Aira Force

Aira Force is a beautiful waterfall.

Waterfalls are magical. One of the most magical waterfalls in the Lake District is Aira Force. There are two old bridges crossing the waterfall. Whilst the upper one will most likely be full of people admiring the huge drop below, the lower one will be slightly less busy. Walk across and enjoy your lush green surroundings. This is a very pretty bridge in a very pretty place in the Lake District National Park.

It is an easy walk, and as well a pleasant one, as you have a good chance  to spot red squirrels.

Aira Force is located close to Ullswater and is a short drive from Glenridding. It’s run by the National Trust, so you can find out more about the parking and prices here.

After visiting so many places in the open nature, now I invite you to explore top 5 beautiful towns and villages of the Lake District. 

picture by Ian Cylkowski

Grasmere

Grasmere is one of the most remarkable places in the Lake District national park. Situated in the heart of the Lake District, Grasmere is full of pretty stone cottages, gingerbread, Wordworth’s cottage and a small lake. If you head upwards you can take some amazing photos of the village from Helm’s Crag. 

Hawkshead Village

Hawkshead Village is on many Lake district itineraries due to one of its most famous inhabitants. Here you can find numerous museums in Hawkshead for the Potter fan. The village has a timeless atmosphere with its overhanging gables, maze of alleys and medieval squares. There are little shops which have been decorated in keeping with the oldy-worldly feel of the village. Established in the twelfth century, Hawkshead is just the place for those looking for exploring a medieval Cumbrian village, making it one of the best Lake District towns for showcasing some of the finest local architecture.

Ambleside

A typical Victorian town offers a unique selection of amusement activities from water sports to a plethora of cafés restaurants and pubs, all within a small area.

picture by Ian Cylkowski

Wastwater

A difficult to reach town but worth a visit to Wastwater as it is full of stunning natural views that can exhilarate the senses. It might be one of the best Lake District towns to stay but the only way to approach Wastwater is along the coastal road which lies to the west of the National Park, with three of the tallest mountain peaks of England namely, Scafell Pike, Scafell and Great Gable towering in the background.

picture by John Gough

Troutbeck

Troutbeck is a peaceful and well-preserved village, with just a small few numbers of pubs and a selection of guesthouses and campsites to stay in. But it is popular for llswater and Kirkstone areas.

Now, the moment arrived, after talking about beautiful spots, let’s talk about what else you can do in the Lake District.

Do you like to enjoy some museums? Lake District has it as well

Lakeland Motor Museum

The Lakeland Motor Museum in Carlisle tells the story of the industries that helped build up the surrounding areas. The cars are laid out in rows in the main room, perfect for wandering around and keeping track of the whole family as you all head to what interests you the most.

Keswick Museum and Art Gallery

This museum is all about Keswick’s history and culture, you can wander around the exhibition or spend some time at their shop.

Derwent Pencil Museum

It is the home of the first pencil and the Cumberland Pencil Company, the Derwent Pencil Museum is exactly what it sounds like – a museum dedicated to pencils.

Wordsworth Museum

Known for being home to poet William Wordsworth, this lovely cottage now hosts a museum all about his life and includes artifacts from the turn of the 19th century. The museum opened to the public in 1891.

Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum

Here you can discover the history of the mines and let the children dress up as miners and try their hand at mining with a hard hat and a light (don’t worry, they’re completely safe!)

How about more adventurous activities in the Lake District?

Kong Adventure Centre

An indoor climbing with a rock wall, ice climbing wall, a children’s play area and an indoor cave system. The opportunity to explore and test your skills here is unparalleled.

Ambleside Climbing Wall

Another indoor climbing wall spot. Here you will learn how to strap yourself in and the best techniques for scaling up the wall.

And how about a more tranquil site to go in the Lake District?

The Puzzling Place

Where else can you take a picture to make it look like you’re standing on the ceiling and  spend the afternoon puzzling over brain teasers and optical illusions?

Keswick Leisure Pool

Bring your bathing suits and enjoy the crazy slide that takes children zipping down into the water at fun speeds. The pool is open no matter the weather.

The Fun Factory Bowness

A playplace where kids run around in this soft play area with their friends. There’s three floors of fun with soft stairs, a ball pit, and tunnels and bridges that inspire the imagination.

Lakes Aquarium

The Lakes Aquarium, one of the places where you can see the fish and other animals that you can find underneath the water.

Here comes to an end our beautiful post about Lake District area. And I really hope you find something for your future visit here.

picture by Tobias Keller
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