Visiting The Lake District: Great Outdoor Landmarks

Jack Kelly7 min readWalking

Please follow government guidance on Covid-19 travel restrictions at all times and enjoy the outdoors responsibly.

A World Famous Wonder… The Lake District region and National Park draw adventurers from all corners of the globe. Here you’ll find England’s largest and deepest lakes, and highest mountains; plus, a fertile landscape, idyllic villages and friendly wildlife including the native Herdwick sheep. The Lake District is all things to all people.

For centuries The Lakes have been visited and enjoyed by many famous writers, poets and adventurers, and is known as the birthplace of British Mountaineering. With so much to explore, visit, see and taste, we’ve collected our favourites from popular and lesser-known landmarks in The Lake District which are all made for adventure.

 

A Quick Guide to Exploring Britain Responsibly

 

 

Navigating The Lake District

Come with us as we explore the places in The Lake District which are Made for Adventure. From peak to idyllic village pavement, there's so much to do and see in this English paradise.

 

Llama Trekking

How would you like to ‘walk a Llama’? Set in the grounds of The Lingholm Estate on the Western Shore of Derwent Water is Alpacaly Ever After. The estate was previously visited by Beatrix Potter, and it is here where you can get up close and personal with their handsome herd of characterful Llamas. Walks with the Llamas last around an hour including feeding time, and even sometimes a paddle in the lake. Kids and adults alike will adore this activity and the routes are suitable for all abilities, with private walks adapted for wheelchair users.

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

Tucked away in the heart of The Lakes, the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop is the perfect stop-off for walkers and day trippers in need of a moreish snack. Since 1854, this charming shop has been serving spicy-sweet delights to outdoor adventurers passing through the dramatic landscape of Grasmere. Nestled behind St Oswald’s Churchyard, this tiny shop greets you with a wonderful aroma of freshly baked Grasmere Gingerbread. The inventor, Sarah Nelson’s original Victorian recipe is to this day closely guarded and stored in a secure bank safe in the Lake District. So the next time you’re travelling around The Lakes, stock up on supplies and taste the Gingerbread that everyone’s talking about.

The Hawkshead Chocolate Factory

Calling all choco-holics! If you’ve ever dreamt of visiting Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, then Hawkshead has the next best thing. This unique and interactive experience is perfect for keeping kids engaged and excited as they create delicious chocolate delights to enjoy. Situated on the main street in Hawkshead, Ambleside, this popular attraction has a children’s chocolate workshop, a chocolate café, and even a chocolate shop where you can lose yourself in the endless selection of treats on offer. The attraction is also famous for making the finest fudge to satisfy any sweet-toothed adventurer. Perfect for a rainy day or mini-family adventure, make sure you stop off at The Hawkshead Chocolate Factory. Everything the kids make is theirs to take home, including their apron and hair net.

High Dam & Stott Park Bobbin Mill

The Lake District is often described as a walker’s paradise. From high fells to scenic strolls there is something for everyone. The circular walk around Stott Park Bobbin Mill at the southern end of Windermere is relaxed walk offering up spectacular views and a spot of history. High Dam was built in the 1800s to power the Mill, before the site was converted to electricity in 1941. Stott Park Bobbin Mill is the only working bobbin mill left in The Lake District today. From the mill, the walk heads to Stot Park Heights and takes in Low Dam, before reaching the edges of High Dam, a much prized local beauty spot brimming with tranquillity and wildlife.

Buttermere

The perfect destination for families and walkers looking to be rewarded with spectacular views without a steep incline. Buttermere valley, offers one of the best circular lake walks in the Lake District and the entire circuit can be completed in around 3 hours. The beguiling lake dramatically reflects the surrounding hills which contain great walks to the summits of Red Pike and Haystacks (Alfred Wainwright’s favourite place to walk). The lake is owned by the National Trust and is a haven for dog walkers, families and buggies due to the fairly flat, well-maintained lake path. For more advanced hikers, Buttermere is the starting point for route to Rannerdale Knotts.

Wanderlusts Gypsy Caravans

Searching for a family getaway with a difference? Wanderlusts is a small family business which offers memorable staycations and trips in traditional horse drawn gypsy caravans. You’ll trundle along scenic country lanes in a traditional horse drawn chauffeured caravan before setting up camp at one of their secluded stays. Here you can cook over open fires, paddle in the local streams and totally lose yourself in nature, before hitting the hay in your very own gypsy wagon. Switch to the slow lane and find your tranquil escape exploring beautiful locations in and around Cumbria and The Eden Valley. Wanderlusts plants a tree for every booking with the Woodland Trust.

Windermere Lake Cruises

Set sail across England’s largest lake (10.5 miles long) and explore the heart of The Lakes from water-level with Windermere Lake Cruises. From modern ferries to traditional launches and steamers, the service operates across the full length of Windermere, calling at Waterhead (Ambleside), Bowness and Lakeside. Fares are affordable and trips allow you to enjoy views of the majestic peaks and rolling hills which surround the lake from a new perspective. If you’re looking for a more exclusive escape packed with history, then check out the Steam Yacht Gondola and themed cruises at Coniston Launch. Be sure to check out the timetable before you travel and pre-book if you can.

Cathedral Cavern

When you glimpse it, there’s no question about why this dramatic place is known as Cathedral Cavern. Hewn from the rock during the search for slate, the cavern is dominated by a sloping pillar which supports the roof of the cave and creates a monument structure reminiscent of its spiritual man-made cousins. There is a series of quarry caves in the area near Little Langdale managed by The National Trust which can be explored; just comply with the sign posts and be careful underfoot. We highly recommend taking a headtorch to ensure you can navigate the tunnels and cave safely. The surrounding landscape is a great place for walkers and families. who will enjoy exploring the remnants of slate hut dotted around the area.

Haweswater Reservoir

Once a natural lake, Haweswater Reservoir in Penrith is one of the highest lakes in the Lake District and hides a strange tale within its depths. The reservoir was built in 1935 to fulfill increased water demand in the urban areas of North-West England and the dam was the first hollow buttress dam in the world. The areas development resulted in the villages of Mardale and Measdand being demolished and submerged. On rare occasions the remnants can be seen during exceptionally low water levels. The area now offers peaceful walking trails, a lunch-time or overnight stop at the Haweswater Hotel, and is a magnet for wildlife spotters. Known as the location of the last golden eagle in England, Haweswater Reservoir estate is protected by the RSPB and is a great place to see peregrines, dippers and even deer.

Recommended Routes in The Lake District

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The Lake District is made for adventure. So where will you explore first? Share your snaps and tag us in your adventures using #mymillets.