The Lake District is a mesmerizingly beautiful landscape of vast mountains, knife-edge ridges, wildflower meadows, sleepy hamlets and mirror-like lakes that reflect the spellbinding scenery right back at you.
In the 1720s, Daniel Defoe described Lakeland as “the wildest and most frightful of any country”. Romantic poets such as William Wordsworth encouraged people to fall in love with the rugged beauty of Lakeland with their verses praising ‘sublime nature’. The introduction of the railway to Windermere in 1847 made it possible nature enthusiasts to travel their in their leisure time.
At 912 square miles (2,362 square kilometers), the Lake District is the largest national park in England. As such, it is best not to tackle the entire national park at once. In this Collection, we focus solely on the south Lake District. While the north is characterized as more mountainous, wild and remote, the south lakes are a little easier going and have some fantastic sights that all visitors enjoy.
Lake Windermere — at 10.5 miles (16.9 kilometers) long, one mile (1.6 kilometers) wide and 220 feet (67 meters) deep — is the largest natural lake in the Lake District and in England. The long thin lake itself forms the central spine of the Windermere area of the Lake District, which dominates the southern region.
There is something for all abilities and interests in this Collection: absolute classics, hidden gems, gentle saunters, relentless mountain challenges, and plenty of opportunities to relax on the beaches of mirror-like lakes.
The Old Man of Coniston is one such classic. While the summit is barely two miles (three kilometers) from the village of Coniston, you will need to climb 1,969 feet (600 meters) to experience the jaw-dropping panoramas it boasts. Another classic challenge included is the Kentmere Horseshoe: one of the longest and most remote walks in the Lake District.
On the other end of the spectrum, you can enjoy breathtaking mountain scenery without leaving lake level on the Elterwater to Loughrigg Tarn route or simply explore the treats of Ambleside — its beaches, parks, Roman fort, and much more — without even donning your boots!
As the Lake District is so popular, it can get crowded. But fear not, there are some hidden gems included in this Collection too. The Black Combe and Swinside Stone Circle route, for example, is a little-hiked beauty tucked away in the south-west corner of the lakes.
There’s a superb range of places to stay in the south Lakes, from camping and hostels to luxury spa hotels and holiday cottages. Bowness-on-Windermere is on the east shore and the busiest tourist destination in the Lake District. Ambleside, at the northern tip of the lake, is also very popular with visitors. Newby Bridge at the south end of the lake is slightly less well known and consequently a little quieter.
For more information on where to stay, visit: visitcumbria.com/south-lakes-towns-villages.
For information on travel and getting around, visit: lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting/planyourvisit/travelandtransport.
It is hard to imagine visiting Coniston without tackling the ‘Old Man’. Standing at 2,634 feet (803 meters) high, the Old Man of Coniston dominates the landscape from the village …
The great thing about this easy-going route is that you escape the crowds with such little effort, it almost feels too good to be true.
As a tourist honeypot, Bowness-on-Windermere …
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
This route, or some variation of it, is one of the most popular in the Lake District. A delightful fell and lakeside walk with superb views around every corner, it …
The Kentmere Horseshoe is one of the longest and most remote walks in the Lake District.
Traversing all of the fells bounding the upper Kentmere valley, it is a grueling …
Tucked away in the far south-west corner of the Lake District, this route is a hidden gem for visitors wanting the beauty without the crowds. While the honeypots of Ambleside …
If you enjoy mountain scenery without having to climb into the clouds, then this route is perfect for you. With the majority of the hike at lake level, and lots …
When you visit the Lake District it can seem like there is nothing but mad mountains, terrifying knife-edge ridges, all-day walks and a requirement that you should have supreme map-reading …