Best Places to Visit in Lake District – Exploring the Top 10

Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Lake District


Best Places to Visit in Lake District


Lake District National Park


Lake Windermere








Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top


Hike Catbells High Ridge


Dove Cottage


Castlerigg Stone Circle


Coniston Water

Best Places to Visit in Lake District

Discover the captivating beauty and natural splendor of the Lake District in England. This enchanting region, located in Cumbria, is renowned for its stunning landscapes, including 16 glacial lakes nestled amidst picturesque fells, moors, and lush valleys. The Lake District, covering approximately 1,343 square kilometers, is home to England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike, and has long been an inspiration for renowned writers, poets, and artists like William Wordsworth, John Ruskin, and Beatrix Potter. From serene lakes to challenging hiking trails, this area offers a diverse range of attractions for nature lovers, history enthusiasts, and adventurers alike. Explore our curated list of the finest destinations in the Lake District for an unforgettable experience.


1. Lake District National Park

Best Places to Visit in Lake District - Exploring the Top 10

The Lake District National Park, encompassing a vast 1,343 square kilometers, is a true gem in the heart of England’s countryside. This renowned park boasts some of the country’s largest and most stunning lakes, including Windermere, Ullswater, and Derwentwater. Towering above these serene waters are the rugged peaks of the fells, making for a landscape that has inspired poets, writers, and artists for centuries. Notably, the park is home to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, standing at 978 meters.

Visitors to the Lake District National Park can indulge in a wide range of outdoor activities, from leisurely walks along the pristine lakeshores to challenging hikes up the fells. The park offers an extensive network of trails for hikers and cyclists, as well as opportunities for boating and water sports on the lakes. To delve into the region’s history and culture, explore the charming lakeside villages, visit historic sites, and discover the homes of literary icons like William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. With its breathtaking scenery and abundant recreational options, the Lake District National Park is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking tranquility amidst awe-inspiring landscapes.

2. Lake Windermere

Best Places to Visit in Lake District - Exploring the Top 10

Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England, stretches for approximately 16 kilometers through the heart of the Lake District. This iconic body of water is a central attraction in the region and offers a multitude of recreational opportunities. Visitors can explore the lake’s beauty by embarking on a Windermere Lake Cruise, which also serves as a ferry service to various points around the lake. At the southern end of the lake, the Haverthwaite Steam Railway provides a unique way to enjoy the stunning surroundings.

For those interested in aquatic life, the Lakes Aquarium, located at the southern tip of the lake, boasts the UK’s largest collection of freshwater fish. The area around Windermere also features picturesque villages like Bowness-on-Windermere and Ambleside, where you can enjoy quaint shops, cozy cafes, and lakeside walks. Whether you choose to cruise the serene waters or explore the charming towns along its shores, Lake Windermere offers a quintessential Lake District experience.

3. Derwentwater

Best Places to Visit in Lake District - Exploring the Top 10

Nestled in the northern part of the Lake District National Park, Derwentwater is a picturesque lake that spans less than five kilometers in length. Its tranquil waters are surrounded by lush greenery and stunning natural beauty, making it a beloved destination for both locals and visitors. A short 10-minute walk from the town of Keswick brings you to the shores of Derwentwater, where you can take in its breathtaking surroundings.

One of the best ways to experience Derwentwater is by hopping on a boat operated by Keswick Launch Co., which offers a one-hour circuit of the lake with stops at seven points. This allows you to explore the lake’s beauty at your own pace. Alternatively, you can follow the 12-kilometer walk around the entire perimeter of the lake, taking in the spectacular views and enjoying the serenity of this idyllic location. Additionally, Keswick itself is a charming town worth exploring, and it’s home to unique attractions like the quirky Pencil Museum, which offers insight into the local pencil-making industry and history. Derwentwater is a must-visit destination for those seeking tranquility and the opportunity to connect with the Lake District’s natural wonders.

4. Helvellyn

Best Places to Visit in Lake District - Exploring the Top 10

Helvellyn, one of the Lake District’s most iconic peaks, stands as a testament to the natural beauty and rugged charm of this region. This majestic mountain is not only one of the highest in the English Lake District but also a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Helvellyn offers a range of hiking experiences, from casual climbs to challenging scrambles. The Helvellyn Horseshoe is a notable route, showcasing the geologic history of the area with its distinctive knife-edge ridge known as Striding Edge. The summit of Helvellyn rewards adventurers with breathtaking panoramic views, allowing you to gaze out over the serene lakes and rolling hills that define the landscape. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a first-time visitor, Helvellyn provides an exhilarating journey through the heart of the Lake District.

5. Ullswater

Best Places to Visit in Lake District - Exploring the Top 10

Ullswater, often referred to as the “Queen of the English Lakes,” is a gem nestled within the Lake District’s pristine landscapes. This beautiful lake, stretching over 14 kilometers and framed by the majestic Helvellyn Mountain, offers an idyllic setting for both relaxation and exploration. Ullswater is a haven for hikers and walkers, featuring the popular Ullswater Way, a 32-kilometer trail that encircles the lake and provides stunning vistas of the surrounding scenery. Visitors can also embark on boat rides aboard the historic Lady of the Lake and Raven, departing from the charming village of Pooley Bridge. Ullswater’s allure lies not only in its scenic beauty but also in its connection to literary history, as it was a source of inspiration for poets like William Wordsworth and artists of the Romantic era.

6. Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top

Best Places to Visit in Lake District - Exploring the Top 10

Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top cottage is a place where the beloved tales of Peter Rabbit and other charming characters come to life. Located near Sawrey in Ambleside, this 17th-century farmhouse was purchased by Beatrix Potter in 1905 with the proceeds from her first book. It served as her inspirational retreat, and today, it remains a delightful attraction for visitors of all ages. As you explore the cottage, you’ll find each room filled with objects that evoke the enchanting stories she penned. Highlights include the dollhouse setting for “The Tale of Two Bad Mice” and the desk where she crafted her tales. The garden surrounding Hill Top is a whimsical mix of flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit, providing a glimpse into the world of her characters. A visit to Hill Top is not just a journey into Beatrix Potter’s literary world but also a step back in time to experience the charm and creativity that defined her life.

7. Hike Catbells High Ridge

Best Places to Visit in Lake District - Exploring the Top 10

Nestled in the heart of the Lake District, Catbells High Ridge beckons adventurers with its distinct peak and panoramic views that make it a cherished hiking destination. Rising to 451 meters above sea level, Catbells offers a relatively short yet exhilarating climb that attracts walkers of all levels of experience. The trail leads you along a long ridge that separates Derwentwater from the Newlands Valley, with the summit commanding breathtaking vistas of the surrounding lakes and mountains. While the climb itself is not overly strenuous, some sections can be steep, adding a touch of excitement to the journey. Upon reaching the top, hikers are rewarded with sweeping views that extend as far as the eye can see, providing the perfect backdrop for a well-deserved rest and a picnic.

For the more adventurous, Catbells High Ridge presents an opportunity to explore beyond its peak. Strong walkers can continue along the ridge, which encompasses Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head, Hindscarth, and Robinson, before descending into the scenic Newlands Valley. This extended hike covers approximately 14 kilometers, treating you to dramatic scenery along the entire open ridge line. Whether you choose to conquer the peak or embark on the full ridge walk, Catbells promises an unforgettable outdoor adventure amidst the captivating landscapes of the Lake District.

8. Dove Cottage

Best Places to Visit in Lake District - Exploring the Top 10

Dove Cottage holds a cherished place in the literary history of the Lake District as the first family home of the renowned British poet William Wordsworth. Located in Grasmere, this traditional Lakeland cottage provides a glimpse into the life of the poet during his most prolific years. As you step inside, you’ll find yourself transported to the early 19th century, with dark wood-panelled walls, stone floors, and coal fires that still warm the rooms. The cottage is authentically furnished with belongings of the Wordsworth family, offering an intimate connection to the poet’s world. Visitors can explore the various rooms, including the one where Wordsworth penned his famous works, such as the iconic poem “Daffodils.” The charming garden surrounding the cottage is a delightful mix of flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit, evoking the whimsical settings from Wordsworth’s poetry.

Adjacent to Dove Cottage, a separate museum offers a deeper insight into the life and work of William Wordsworth. Here, you can discover memorabilia, manuscripts, and personal items related to the poet, his family, and his travels. This comprehensive visit allows you to appreciate the profound impact of the Lake District’s natural beauty on Wordsworth’s creative genius and his lasting contributions to English literature. A visit to Dove Cottage is an immersive journey through the world of one of England’s most celebrated poets, making it a must-visit attraction for literature enthusiasts and anyone seeking to connect with the region’s cultural heritage.

9. Castlerigg Stone Circle

Best Places to Visit in Lake District - Exploring the Top 10

Tucked away in the picturesque Lake District, the Castlerigg Stone Circle stands as one of the oldest and most atmospheric stone circles in England. Dating back to the Neolithic period around 3000 BC, this ancient site is steeped in history and mystery. Its location, with 38 stones aligned to the tallest surrounding fells, provides a dramatic and unspoiled backdrop that transports visitors to a distant era. Unlike many stone circles in England, Castlerigg maintains its authenticity, free from admission offices or souvenir stalls, making it an evocative and serene place to explore. Whether you’re interested in history, archaeology, or simply soaking in the mystical atmosphere, this stone circle offers a unique experience.

Measuring over 30 meters in diameter, Castlerigg originally featured 42 stones, some towering over two meters high. For a truly enchanting experience, consider visiting the circle at sunset when the setting sun casts a magical glow over the ancient stones. The circle’s mystical allure, coupled with its historic significance, makes it a fascinating destination for those intrigued by ancient civilizations and the enigmatic wonders of the Lake District.

10. Coniston Water

Best Places to Visit in Lake District - Exploring the Top 10

Coniston Water, the third-largest lake in the Lake District, presents a stunning and serene setting for visitors seeking both natural beauty and cultural enrichment. Nestled beneath the imposing Old Man of Coniston mountain, the lake boasts an idyllic backdrop for exploration. Visitors can embark on boat tours aboard the 1859 steam yacht Gondola or the solar-powered Coniston Launch, offering a leisurely way to soak in the scenic vistas and learn about the area’s history. Alternatively, adventurous souls can rent canoes, rowboats, or electric motor boats from Coniston Boating Centre to explore the lake at their own pace. The Centre also caters to sailing enthusiasts, offering the chance to hire sailing dinghies and take in the fresh lake breeze while skimming across the water.

Coniston Water’s charm extends beyond its shores. A visit to Brantwood, located on the lake’s banks, provides insight into the life and work of John Ruskin, a prominent Victorian thinker. The house offers fine art and artifacts collected during Ruskin’s extensive travels, set within gardens that frame stunning views of the lake and fells. Meanwhile, the Ruskin Museum in the village delves into the rich history of Coniston, from its early Stone Age inhabitants to its industrial heritage. Coniston Water invites you to appreciate the diverse facets of the Lake District, blending natural beauty with cultural significance for an enriching and immersive experience.

What are the Best Lakeside Attractions and Activities?

The Lake District is renowned for its breathtaking lakes, and there are plenty of lakeside attractions and activities that allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the region. Here are some of the best lakeside experiences to enjoy:

1. Lake Cruises: Exploring the lakes by boat is one of the most serene ways to take in the stunning surroundings. Several lakes offer guided cruises, with Lake Windermere being the most popular. You can embark on a leisurely journey, enjoy the gentle breeze, and marvel at the picturesque landscapes as you glide across the crystal-clear waters. Many cruises also provide informative commentary about the history and geography of the area.

2. Water Sports: For the more adventurous, the Lake District’s lakes offer an array of water sports. From kayaking and paddleboarding to windsurfing and water skiing, there are activities for all levels of enthusiasts. Coniston Water and Derwentwater are particularly popular for water sports, and rental facilities are readily available.

3. Lakeside Walks: Lakeside paths provide serene and picturesque walks for those looking to soak in the tranquil atmosphere. Derwentwater, Ullswater, and Coniston Water have well-maintained lakeside trails that are suitable for leisurely strolls, offering stunning views and opportunities for birdwatching and photography.

4. Lakeside Picnics: Many lakeside areas are perfect for a leisurely picnic. Pack a hamper with local produce and enjoy a meal with a view. The peaceful ambiance and scenic beauty make lakeside picnics a cherished activity among visitors and locals alike.

5. Fishing: The Lake District is a paradise for anglers, with its lakes teeming with fish. Fishing permits are usually required, and some lakes offer specific fishing zones. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the tranquillity of the lakes while trying your hand at catching local trout and other species.

6. Lakeside Villages: Numerous charming villages are nestled along the shores of the lakes. These villages offer a delightful blend of history and culture. Stroll through these picturesque settlements, visit quaint tea rooms, and browse local shops for unique souvenirs. Bowness-on-Windermere and Keswick are two lakeside villages worth exploring.

7. Bird Watching: The Lake District is home to a rich variety of birdlife. Lakeside areas provide excellent opportunities for birdwatching, with the chance to spot waterfowl, ospreys, and other avian species in their natural habitat.

8. Lakeside Gardens: Some lakes, such as Lake Windermere, feature beautiful lakeside gardens. These meticulously landscaped gardens offer a tranquil escape and showcase a diverse range of flora. Storrs Hall Gardens on Lake Windermere, for example, provide a peaceful oasis for visitors to explore.

The Lake District’s lakeside attractions and activities cater to a wide range of interests, from those seeking relaxation and scenic beauty to adventure enthusiasts looking for water-based sports. Whether you prefer a leisurely boat cruise, a lakeside picnic, or a thrilling water skiing experience, the lakes of the Lake District offer an array of opportunities to enjoy the natural wonders of this stunning region.

Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

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