The Lake District, the UK’s best known national park

The Lake District United Kingdom

The Lake District is UK’s premier scenic area

Picturesque mountain lakes and rugged mountain slopes surrounded by deep green valleys and forests. The Lake District National Park offers a sight that makes the heart of every nature fan beat faster.

The lakes, fells and mountains in the Lake District were shaped by melting and bursting rocks in the unimaginable heat of millions of years ago, slaked by the sea, smothered in dust-storms, and sculpted by deluge and glacier. Although rugged hills make up much of England’s landscape, only in the northwest do sparkling waterholes fill the spaces in between.  Dramatic peaks tower above small flower-filled towns; water wends its merry way in every direction, from glistening hillside waterfalls to gurgling peat-filled rivers and into the tranquil, stately lakes.

There are three scenic types:

  1. the softer tree-clad landscape of the Silurian slates in the south
  2. the angular landscape formed from the shales of the ancient sedimentary Skiddaw slates in the north
  3. the craggy heights of the Borrowdale volcanic series in the centre

The enclosure of the open fells with dry-stone walls, creating a pattern of fields, took place during 1750-1850.

A glance at the map of the Lake District shows that the most popular places are within easy access of the A591. Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside and Keswick can be reached within less than an hour after leaving the M6 motorway. Once away from the busier arterial roads linking the Lake District to the rest of England, a network of minor roads leads into remote and often little-known dales. It is here that you will find sanctuary away from the bustle of the central part of this delectable region.

Most people come to the Lake District to enjoy its mountain scenery. They either admire the magnificent views from the lakesides scenic car parks and picnic sites or if they are more energetic, they climb the high fells.

To enjoy the best of the region, ascend into the hills and wander through smaller towns, especially those in the more remote north and west.

Unique flora and fauna

In addition to the beautiful landscape of Cumbria, which almost leaves you speechless on your first visit, flora and fauna are also worth mentioning. Scots pine, birch and holly decorate the forests here and large areas of upland heath provide a magnificent play of colours during the flowering period between summer and autumn. If you are on-site on warm summer days, you should simply sit down on a bench, preferably in front of a green sheep pasture, gaze out into the distance and let the unique atmosphere inspire you. If you take a closer look during a walk through the forest, you will see a red squirrel here and there. The Lake District is one of the last areas in the UK where this cute little creature is still at home. Other animal species living here include fell ponies, Herdwick sheep, peregrine falcons, cormorants and ducks.

Tour suggestions

Clothing and Equipment

With thousands of items to choose from, your first visit to an outdoor retailers shop may be confusing. Choosing gear is not about buying the latest, most fashionable or even most expensive equipment, it is all about buying affordable equipment that matches your needs. Before you go, make sure you have the appropriate equipment for the type of hike you plan to go on. This is even more important for long walks. Below is our list of everything you may need for a day tour from spring to autumn.


Other hiking equipment

  • Spare t-shirt
  • Rain pants
  • Insulation jacket
  • Cap or  headband
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat and gloves
  • Adjustable walking sticks
  • Hiking backpack  (approx. 20 litres or as required)
  • Rain cover for the backpack


  • Paper map or app
  • Compass
  • Fully charged mobile phone
  • Headlamp
  • A GPS device/GPS watch
  • Binoculars

Food and drink

  • Drinking bottle  (at least 1.5 litres)
  • Snack in a suitable lunch box
  • Power bar or other snack based on personal experience

Health & First Aid

  • First aid kit
  • Blister plasters
  • Suncream
  • Paper tissue

Whether a short, leisurely hike or a long, strenuous day tour it is important to remember that when you are out in the countryside, the weather can change at any moment and hiking conditions can very quickly become hazardous. However, with common sense and the right equipment, it is unlikely that you will encounter serious danger.

Hotel recommendations

Kendal: Helm Mount Lodge & Cottages

Helm Mount Lodge & Cottages are set just 5.6 km from Kendal, a traditional market town just outside the Lake District.

Ambleside: Cragwood Country House Hotel

Cragwood Country House Hotel lies on the shores of Lake Windermere in the Lake District National Park. With acres of landscaped gardens, this hotel offers free on-site parking and Wi-Fi.

Keswick: Keswick Country House Hotel

In 4 acres of lawns and tended gardens, the elegant Keswick Country House Hotel is only a 5-minute walk from the centre of Keswick. The restaurant offers fine dining and lovely garden views.


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