The Lake District National Park contains world class scenery that is a joy to visit, summer, winter spring or autumn.
The United Kingdom boasts a great variety of landscape and scenery, but no area has such a great variety of spectacular, calming, graceful, peaceful, challenging and just simply beautiful vista’s in such a small area as the Lake District National Park.
The compact nature of the Lake District National Park is one of its great attractions. It is not much more than 20 miles across and 30 miles top to bottom, but it contains a huge variety of hard and soft features that make it impossible to take in in just one or two days, but because of the compact beauty you can get a real ‘Lake District Fix’ in just one day if that’s all the time you have to spare.
The Lake District National Park is a must for international travellers and is up there with the pyramids, Halon Bay and The Grand Canyon in its splendour, and grandeur, but way ahead in accessibility and facilities with unspoilt beauty and a different view at each step you take.
Lake District National Park Lakes, Water’s and Tarns
Lake district National Park suggests that there will be Lakes –well technically in correct local style there is only one ‘Lake’, however if you do not view the world with as narrow a view on the English Language as the locals you will find many ‘Lakes’ –however most of them are called tarns, water’s or mere’s here; for instance – Buttermere, Windermere, Grasmere, Cummock Water, Wast Water, Thirlmere, Alcock Tarn, Tarn Howse, Blenim Tarn, Ulswater, Coniston Water. The only ‘Lake’ called a lake is Bassenthwaite Lake. And just to make it a little more confusing there is often a local town or village called by the same name: Windermere, Grasmere etc.
Don’t be put off by local dialect in Lake name’s, the National Park contains hundreds of square kilometres of water to look at in some of the most stunning scenery you will find in the World.
For an area with so much water The Lake District National Park Authority is decidedly restrictive and selfish as to how this National and International resource is used. With such a diverse water scape The Lakes District National Park Authority is strangely, even worryingly obsessively controlling of this vast amenity area.
It is not without some local concerns that they have managed to ban Water Skiing (real Water Skiing) from every square km. of the Lake district National park. However enough of the negative, even without the spectacle of people enjoying a wonderful world class sport, there is still good viewing of the occasional water user and steamers on the larger Lakes.
You can hire rowing boats, canoes and small power craft on Derwent water, Windermere, Ulswater and Conistion Water – even some electric boats if you are an environmentally concerned person.
Mountains and Fells in The Lake District National Park
All these beautiful, (Grasmere, Rydal Water, in fact most Lakes) peaceful (Buttermere, Cummock Water, Derwent Water, Tarn Howse), dramatic lakes (Wast Water, Coniston Water), manmade lakes (Thirlmere, Tarn Howse, Hawse Water), are backed by spectacular fell’s and mountain’s and area of moorland at the edges of the Lake district National Park.
Technically there are few mountains (hills over 3000 feet high) Sca Fell, Scafell Pike, Helvellyn and Skidaw being the only bit that actually make mountain grade. Locals tend to use the word ‘fell’ for most hills and areas that are not water (lakes) and there is a huge variety from the bleak and sterile to the warm and cuddly.
Whichever type you like they are all accessible ‘in a day’ in The lake District National Park. However be warned, most are gentle and forgiving, some are not. Whichever type you chose to visit within a few minutes walking you can be away from the crowds and in stunning scenery.
Because of the compact nature of The Lake district National Park, you views will change with practically every step you take. Turn around and look back after 50 m and it’s a whole new view on where you have just come from.
Within 4 hours a fast fit walker can make it to the top of England’s Highest Mountain and back down again, a slow unfit walker with care and pacing themselves (recently did it with a chap on the wrong side of 70 who had had a multiple heart bypass operation 6 months before) within 8 hours.
(Care must be taken as these hills, fells and mountains claim lives every year, of experienced as well as inexperienced travellers.
There is a fantastic Mountain Rescue Service, peopled entirely by volunteers and funded by gift and donation that will however get most people off the hills should they have a real problem. Best not to use them if you can help it, but a fantastic bunch of people if you come unstuck.)
The Lake District national Park playground
Walk, Climb, Sail, Row, Run, Cycle, Mountain Biking, Ghyll scrambling, 3 Peaks Challenge, 12 peaks Challenge, The Lakes Round, The Fred Whitton Challenge, The Brathay week of marathons, The Lakes 50 and 100 Ultra running races, Hound trails, Windermere and Coniston Runs and Marathons, Great North Swim, Winderemere Lake Swim, Ice Skating, Go Ape,4 X 4 off road driving, Sedgeway hire, Via Farata at Honister, Caving, Mine exploration, sheep Dog trials, Cumberland wrestling, white water canoeing, Grisedale rally slow water skiing! and slow wake boarding! – the list of stuff just goes on and on.
Bus, boat and car tours of The Lake District National Park
If none of the above suits you, you can of course just come and tour in a car or on the busses.
The stagecoach service will take you to all major towns and villages, but if you want the full Monty there is the ‘Mountain Goat’ mini bus service or the Lakes Supertours will do the same.
If you are more water minded then there are Lake Steamer Services on Coniston Water, Ulswater,, Derwent Water and Windermere.
If Steam trains is your thing there are Steam Railways at the foot of Windermere and at the West end of Hardknott pass where the Ratty Rsteam Raiway runs from Eskdale to the Coast.
Or just bring your car, you can do smooth driving with only small hills like Dunmail rise to contend with or go for the steep stuff like Wrynose and Hardknott passes – not for the faint hearted driver or passenger, but great views and an exciting ride for those looking for something a little different.
For the really gentle minded driver and passenger, a circuit round Coniston is very rewarding with a great cream tea stop at the Swallows and Amazon tea rooms, or Brantwood on the Eastern shore or the Bluebird Café at the steamer pier at Coniston.
The road to Hawkshead from Ambleside is quite gentle, you can go the back way via Wray and pop into Wray castle for a peek at how the other half used to live (and get a cup of tea and a cake too).
No visit to the Lake District National Park would be complete without a visit to one of the Beatrix Potter landmarks or attractions. Of great interest not only to English visitors but especially to Chinese and Asian visitors, there are quite a few places to see.
The big fluffy bunnies in Bowness on Windermere (children’s attraction mainly), Beatrix Potters House at Far Sawrey, The National Trust shop and the Helis solicitors office in Hawkshead, many of Beatrix Potters original artworks and an exhibition all about her in the Armit Museum in Ambleside, The house Beatrix Potter brought for her mother to live in in Windermere –now a splendid Hotel with a great restaurant.
Ambleside Backpackers in the Lake District National Park
So there you have a bit of what can be seen, done and thought about in the Lake District National Park.
where better for the adventurous to stay than Ambleside Backpackers.
With a superb central location in the heart of The Lake District National Park this 3 star rated hostel really is in centre of the 5 star scenery.