Although travel is currently off the cards, there’s no harm in planning your next adventure. And where better to start than our very own country, and specifically, the Lake District. After staying in for a significant period of time, many people will want to head out and explore the great outdoors. So in order to make the most of your trip, consult our handy Lake District guide. With information on the best hikes in the Lake District, some of the top activities to do and where to stay while you’re there – find out more, below.
5 Of The Top Walks In The Lake District
Number one in our list of the top walks in the Lake District, is Rydal. This area as a whole offers a variety of different things to do, but we’ll delve into that a little later. The walk around Rydal Water is a popular one, and for good reason. It encompasses a lake, stunning views, caves to explore and even a quaint tearoom for a drink and a scone along the way. It also picks up a chunk of the famous Coffin Route on the northern side, where you’ll find Dove Cottage – the location where Wordsworth wrote some of his most iconic poems.
Fitness level: Intermediate
With striking waterfalls and epic views on route, walking around Buttermere is another one of the top walks in the Lake District. Considered a classic trek from the very first tourists during the Victorian era, Buttermere offers a fun, family friendly adventure. Bit of an adrenaline junkie? Try and make your way up the waterfall by the footbridge and even take a dip in one of the many rock pools – if you’re brave enough!
Fitness level: Beginner
3. Scafell Pike
Standing at 978 metres, Scafell Pike is England’s highest mountain. And the climb to the top provides a challenge – but is ultimately super rewarding. For this hike, you’ll need to plan ahead. Frequently check weather forecasts, plan your route and remember to pack a map, snacks, a drink and a first aid kit – just in case! Be prepared for some scrambling and lots of steep climbing, and make sure you’re wearing the appropriate outdoor clothing. Opt for hiking trousers that provide flexibility and versatility.
Fitness Level: Advanced
4. Castlerigg Stone Circle
History nerd? Fan of a gentle stroll with a touch of education? Castlerigg Stone Circle may be the perfect destination for one of your Lake District walks. This English Heritage site allows you to explore one of the oldest and most dramatic stone circles in Britain. Start off in the popular town of Keswick and you’ll find your way to the circle within 2 hours.
Fitness level: Beginner
If fells are your thing, why not try Haystacks? Even if you don’t consider yourself to be the best mountain climber, this is a fell with options. For more of a challenge, start your walk from the head of Buttermere and encounter some scrambling and crag hopping. Or, you can bypass half of the walk and start your journey at the Honister slate mine where you can take a seat and grab a bite to eat with a stunning view. It’s also been documented in one of Wainwright’s Lake District guides that Haystacks was one of his very favourites.
Fitness level: Intermediate
Activities To Do In The Lake District
We all know that the Lake District is great for hiking, but what other adventure activities can you do there? We’ve listed some of our favourites for you below:
Why not make the most of all the water? Kayaking is a fun, simple activity suitable for everyone. Whether you’re exploring the Lakes as a couple, with your family or even solo – kayaking is one of the best activities to do in the Lake District. If you’re interested in giving it a go, you’ll find hirable equipment at Coniston, Ullswater, Windermere and Derwentwater.
It’s hard not to feel inquisitive about our history when exploring the lake district. And what better way to sample a taste than with a spot of archery! Suitable for families with children above the age of 7, archery is a skillful recreational activity to try your hand at it. And lined with a backdrop of dramatic mountains and lakes, it would be rude not to capture some action shots while you’re there.
Exhilarating, adrenaline inducing and basically just good fun – why not check out some of the mountain biking trails in the Lake District? The Lake District’s rugged landscape provides a wealth of different routes for you to tackle on your mountain bike. Some of the most recommended include:
- Witherslack – Beginners
- Loughrigg Fell – Intermediate
- Helvellyn and Sticks Pass – Hard
Thanks to a lack of air pollution, the Lake District boasts one of the clearest views of the night sky in the UK. This makes it a perfect location for stargazing. Choose from a variety of secluded valleys and isolated fell tops to set up camp. In the North West, head to Ennerdale for some of the darkest skies the national park has to offer.
One of the top activities to do in the Lake District is wild swimming. With an abundance of lakes, tarns and rivers to choose from – you’ll be spoilt for choice. If you’re looking for somewhere more peaceful to take a dip, we’d recommend Crummock Water and Wast Water. For more of a bustling atmosphere, head to Ullswater or Derwentwater, but be sure to stick to the shoreline to avoid the path of boats and cruisers. Just getting started? Check out our wild swimming guide for tips and tricks and what you’ll need to wear.
Where To Stay In The Lake District
And finally, where are some of the best places to lay your head after a busy day of adventuring? We’ve picked out some of our favourites:
Right on the edge of Derwentwater, Keswick is a lively town with a variety of attractions and shops open all year round. And considered one of the best places in the Lakes for nightlife, it would be rude not to head to one of the many pubs to unwind after exploring. From holiday cottages to traditional inns and campsites, the choice is yours.
Popular, but not quite as busy as its neighbour, Ambleside is an idyllic lakeside town. Wander round the independent shops and cafés, or head up to the waterfall at the top of Stock Ghyll beck for the perfect holiday snap. And just down the road from Rydal Water, there’s plenty of different walking trails to explore during your stay there.
Looking for a quiet, quaint place to relax during your trip? Well Hawkshead is one of the best places to stay in the Lake District for just that. This charming town is home to a National Trust gallery dedicated to the works of Beatrix Potter. So get lost in the world of Peter Rabbit before heading to The Sun Inn for a bite to eat.
Lively and packed full of restaurants and activity centres, Bowness-on-Windermere is a hive for all things adventure. From windsurfing to sailing, enjoy a vast range of watersports for days when you’re not up the fells. Although it can get pretty busy, it might be worth opting for a secluded cottage on the outskirts if you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter.
And finally, we have Coniston. This town is a solid choice if the primary aim of your visit is to hike up the fells and walk around lakes. Located in the southern region of the park, Coniston boasts the beauty of Dow Crag and the Furness Fells. Although if boating is your thing, you can even take to the waters on a Steam Yacht Gondola for a leisurely trip across the lake.
And we’re done! We hope our Lake District travel guide has helped make planning your next adventure a little less complicated. To ensure you can participate in all the activities and hikes, make sure you pack a selection of comfortable, versatile men’s outdoor clothing and women’s outdoor clothing for your trip.