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A Holiday in the Lake District of England

Monday, June 1st, 2009

The Lake District, is one of England’s most popular holiday destinations.

Wastwater Lake, UK

Located in the north western region of the country this rural area stretches around thirty four miles across. Numerous eras of glaciations has created this unique geography that has been immortalized in the poems of the Lake Poets, the most famous of whom were William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey. U-shaped valleys that were carved by ice are now lakes bordered by mountains. Its beauty had attracted visitors for ever but organized tourism really began with A Guide to the Lakes by Father Thomas West that was published in 1778 where the Father lists vista points that best showcased the landscape. William Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes [later editions were called A Guide through the District of the Lakes in the North of England] published a little more than three decades later made the region even more popular.

Official estimation is that about fourteen million visitors visit the Lake District of England every year, so much so that tourism has become the main contributor to the local economy. The most used guide today, however, is Alfred Wainwright’s Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells. There is an unofficial competition among tourists to see who manages to visit the complete list mentioned in Wainwright’s guide. Everywhere you look it is like a living picture postcard. Scenic beauty, abundant and extraordinary wildlife, a rich cultural heritage and numerous small towns are all reasons why the Lake District is the most visited tourist site in the country.

Scenic beauty

A mix of lakes, mountains, forests, woodlands, and farms give this region a diverse landscape. Each valley, with its own distinct visual, has its own unique way of making the tourist’s trip memorable. The Lake District National Park is the largest National Park in England. It includes England’s highest point which is the Scafell Pike mountain and the country’s deepest point in Westwater Lake. Because of its geography the National Park, and in fact the whole Lake District, is high in humidity. This encourages the growth of Atlantic mosses, ferns and lichen. The green of the pastures here is unmatchable. The hills mirrored in the stillness of the lake waters are a sight to behold. The National Park not only has enough to please the eyes but it has so much for the thrill seeker in the tourists. There are great opportunities for trekking and mountaineering. A plethora of guides offer mapped routes through the district along with an elaborate web of public rights of way. The more adventurous tourist can, with unrestricted access to the forests and fells, make their own expeditions. A swim in the lakes isn’t off the list of things to do either. If a dip is not on your cards, how about sailing or fishing? Windermere Lake Steamer rides have become one of the most popular charged rides in England. Dunnerdale or Duddon Valley in the Lake District National Park was Wordsworth’s favorite place.

Flora and Fauna

The Lake District is home to some species which are not found anywhere else in England. The red squirrel, an omnivorous tree rodent, is common here, in spite of its decreasing numbers all over England. Sundew and Butterworth are two carnivorous plants that exist in large colonies here. The Vendace, the Schelly and the Arctic Charr are three species of fish that are on the rare and endangered list. Limestone pavements, mires, lakeshore wetlands, estuaries and dunes are all key habitats.

Cultural Tourism

With so many artists and littérateurs enthralled with the Lake District cultural tourism is the new trend here. People come to visit the place that strengthened Wordsorth’s Nature philosophy, his idea of the one spirit running through man, nature and God. The daffodils blooming on the shores of the lake Ullswater inspired his famous ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’. The poet’s childhood home in Penrith and his last resting place in the Grasmere churchyard are both important stops in the tourist’s route. Coleridge’s son is also buried nearby. John Ruskin spent his last years in a home in Brantwood. Beatrix Potter lived at Hill Top Farm and used her home and its surroundings as the setting for her famous children’s books, the Peter Rabbit series. Some theories even suggest that the Arthurian legends’ Grail kingdom of Listeneise was also actually the Lake District.

Towns in the Lake District

It isn’t just the mountains and lakes and fells, the quaint little towns in the Lake District of England are great tourist attractions too. Ambleside has some great place to stay in and eat at. Appleby is a great base for a trip to the Eden Valley. The Bewcastle Cross in Bewcastle is a seventh century artifact. Bowness was a site of the Roman army camp and is closest to Hadrian’s Wall’s western end. Keswick with some of the most beautiful landscapes in the whole district is called the Queen of the Lake District. Kendal is often referred to as the Gateway to the Lake District. An ancient market town, Kendal is located in the heart of Cumbria and has several attractions like the Church of Holy Trinity from the thirteenth century and the twelfth century Kendal Castle ruins. With a charming downtown that has shops, restaurants and pubs and also important museums of the Lake District, Kendal is the ideal vacation spot for the wearied tourist.

So whether you are looking for history or literature or just heavenly peace and quiet, this is your place to be.

Photo of Wastwater Lake, Cumbria, UK, by Ennor

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer grace a.

Grace lives in India. She loves to travel, not as a tourist, but to soak in the secrets of the nooks and crannies of this amazing planet. She also loves words, expressed through the medium of writing. She firmly believes that a well crafted piece of writing can accomplish ANYTHING!

6 responses to “A Holiday in the Lake District of England”

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  1. air jordan shoes says:
    June 2nd, 2009 at 03:49

    Hi there,
    Ugh, I liked! So clear and positively.
    Have a nice day

  2. Ed says:
    June 2nd, 2009 at 09:03

    Yes, this article is quite good. I enjoyed it almost as much as I did when I read it on Wikipedia.
    Grace, do you go to any of the places you write about?

  3. Stratford Tourist says:
    October 19th, 2009 at 02:19

    We like many took a holiday in England this year, living near the coast we travelled inland to the Lovely Town of Stratford Upon Avon. What can I say we but we had a lovely time there, soaking up the Shakesphere buzz and enjoying the friendly atmosophere.

  4. gambling joy says:
    February 27th, 2010 at 13:18

    i like this article a lot you have posted a good one nd englind is a good tourist place to visit with some good lakes and fomous for trekking and fishing

  5. Holiday Cottages Mid Wales says:
    September 20th, 2010 at 11:56

    No doubt, Lake District is great place for tourist in England. I love traveling and I like this information post. By reading this article I remember my golden days of last year vacation in holidays cottages, fishing, cycling and cooking in Mid Wales.

    Thank you for sharing this post and keep it up!


  6. Rhonda Blake says:
    March 9th, 2012 at 21:59

    I am arriving in the Lake District, UK by train and staying in Far Sawrey. I would like to make 2 trips while I am there-to Keswick (Castlerigg Stone Circle) and also to Kendal (Sizergh Castle). Is there bus service to these areas and if so, where are the schedules posted? I live in the U.S. and this is my first trip to England,,,,REALLY excited!

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