Overview of the Lake District and Cumbria
The Lake District is located in the North West of England in the county of Cumbria. At 2,292 square kilometres the Lake District National Park is one of the largest of 12 National Parks located in the UK. It is also home to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike(3,210 feet) and largest inland open expanse of water, Lake Windermere. It also boasts the largest concentration of “common land” in the whole of Western Europe. The distinct character of the Lake District comes from its rich history, the fields are lined with ancient dry stone walls and hedgerows, and with the backdrop of spectacular mountains and lakes makes for picture perfect views and stunning days out.
Land types vary greatly in the Lake District and Cumbria, ranging from sandy beaches to breathtaking mountains to tranquil lakes. Places to stay and visit vary from attractive villages to bustling market towns and places of complete solitude. The Lake District first became famous during the early 19th Century through the work of the famous poet William Wordsworth. For most of his life, during the 18th Century, he lived in ‘Dove Cottage’ at Cockermouth which can still be seen today.
The Lake District and Cumbria is an ideal place to visit for all different kinds of holidays whether for a short break, an overnight stop or an extended holiday. However long you stay the spectacular views, beautiful landscape, mystic lakes, open moor land, marshes, woodland & rolling fells offer something for everyone. It is an ideal location to get away from the stress and strains of every day life, and whatever the reason, the Lake District and Cumbria will take away your worries. If you are looking for somewhere to escape to in the winter months the Lake District and Cumbria can be a magical place during this time of year. It may be a bit colder but the snow sprinkled mountains, misty lakes or a walk in the crisp air and sparkling frosts in the morning make it all worthwhile. If you need warming up there really is nothing better than curling up in front of a warm log fire or joining the locals in a cosy pub for a sip of real ale.
Outside of the Lake District National Park itself but within easy driving distance are many other interesting attractions and activities, including the towns of Penrith and Carlisle, Eden Valley, Cumbria’s West Coast, North Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Dales, all well worth a visit. It is not too surprising that the Lake District and Cumbria is the most popular tourist attraction in the UK outside of London.
Lake District and Cumbria Activities
No matter what activity it is you enjoy the Lake District and Cumbria will have it on offer, it really is an ideal location for any activity holiday. If you are one of the more energetic types amongst us then the area has endless activities for you to enjoy. The Lake District is the birthplace and home of the the UK’s mountaineering heritage. There are also many other outdoor sports available such as cycling, hill walking, horse riding, fishing, sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, water skiing and golf. For those who fancy something a little less energetic why not enjoy a leisurely walk around one of the charming villages or a little shopping, or take a tranquil boat ride on one of the many lake cruises.
Lake District and Cumbria Shopping
There are many opportunities for shopping in the Lake District and Cumbria ranging from small specialist shops to large factory outlets. There are also many brands specific to the Lake District and Cumbria such as ‘K’ Shoes in Kendal. There are countless delightful arts, crafts, antiques and book shops scattered about the Lake District and Cumbria tucked away in many of the Lakeland villages. Ambleside is a haven for walking and outdoor equipment with a high street full of shops. If you’ve got green fingers there are a wide range of garden centres and nurseries. If you are looking for something different to eat there is a wide selection of specialist food shops unique to the Lake District and Cumbria which are well worth a visit, and who could resist sampling the world famous Kendal Mint Cake whilst in the region.
Cool, Clear Lakes, Tarns and Rivers
As the name suggests the Lake District is home to many lakes, the most famous of these being Lake Windermere. Others include Bassenthwaite, Buttermere, Haweswater and Ullswater to name just a few! These areas of vast stretches of water are extremely important for local wildlife and are home to many different species such as vendace, char, crayfish and schelly. The lakes also provide a living to many of the inhabitants and also provide a range of water sports for the holiday maker.
The vast woodlands in the Lake District and Cumbria National Park create a wealth of colours and textures to enjoy all year round for tourists to enjoy, not to mention a fantastic environment for the native flora and fauna species. The Lake District and Cumbrias' high annual rain fall is the life blood of these rich forests which are covered in mosses, liverworts, lichen and ferns.
Not only is the Lake District and Cumbria a great natural wilderness formed over millions of years, it has also been moulded by thousands of years of human activity. It is this mix of farmland, woodland, lakes and settlements that give each area of the Lake District and Cumbria is own spectacular and beautiful individuality.
The Lake District and Cumbria has an abundance and variety of unique and wonderful wildlife, which is mainly due to its numerous different types of rich habitats which includes mires, limestone pavements, upland heaths, screes, woodlands, lakeshore wetlands, estuaries, dunes and coastal heathlands. The Lake District and Cumbria is one of the few remaining places in England where the red squirrel still prospers.
Open Nature of the Fells
The ability to roam freely across the fells or climb the crags is part of the beauty of the Lake District and Cumbria as this freeness and lack of modernisation of the uplands enables the Lake District and Cumbria to feel like a real wilderness, however you know the nearest town or village is never too far away.
The dramatic rocks of the Lake District and Cumbria record almost 500million years of history dating back to the ice age, evidence of colliding continents, deep oceans and in a past life tropical oceans! The Lake District and Cumbria has the highest peaks and deepest lakes in England and the very land it is built on contributes greatly to discovering the truth about our past climates.
We know there have been people living in the Lake District and Cumbria since the end of the last ice age and there is a long history of settlement within the Lake District and Cumbria with traces of prehistoric and medieval field systems. Important archaeological monuments in the Lake District and Cumbria include Roman roads, stone circles and forts.
Towns & Villages
The Lake District and Cumbria encompasses a superb selection of towns and villages for the visitor to explore. To find out more click the following links: