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BEST THINGS TO DO IN THE LAKE DISTRICT – FULL GUIDE

Lake district national park guide

The Lake district is one of the best places to visit in England if you’re looking for an awesome time of things like wild camping, walking and other epic outdoor activities. This is why I had to create this list of the top things to do in the Lake District for your visit to this amazing destination in England.

Whether it’s pet friendly hotels or just a romantic break in the Lake District, you will find it here in this amazing place. It’s no wonder I have visited the lakes over 15 times and will continue to enjoy overnight stays in the lakes.

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Let’s look exactly what’s included in this post for you;

  • When to visit the lakes
  • Lake district itinerary of things to do 
  • Where to stay

When to visit the Lake District?

So, when is the best time to visit for your Lake District break? Well, before you decide you want to see the Lakes in the hottest weather. You should that the scenery in the Lakes is beautiful no matter whether it’s rain, sun, wind or snow.

The weather in the Lake District can be very choppy at times and you do want to be at the top of the England’s highest mountain on a bad day. However, people travel to the Lake District from all over the world to get inspired for professions such as poets, writers and artists! It’s no wonder with the magical scenery.

Anyway, let’s look when the the weather is the best in the Lake District;

The peak season in the lakes is from April to October, if you want a peaceful visit you need to avoid this time like the plague. But if you enjoy the crowds and atmosphere, then July to August is the perfect time for you, for both the atmosphere and the weather. However, during this time expect places like Ambleside can be crazy busy with tourists.

  1. Spring – You can tend to find cheaper accommodation in the Lake District during the spring season and this tends to be a quite period before the peak season in the Lakes.
  2. Summer – If you want glorious sunshine then you need to visit the lakes between June and August. If you’re lucky you might get the great British weather and see temperatures of above 20 degrees! This is also when the famous Kendal calling is held in the lakes.
  3. Autumn – This when the weather in the lake district becomes a lot cooler and temperatures can drop below 11 degrees. However, you can get some awesome photography during this time.
  4. Winter – The weather is cold during this time and you can expect the crisp-air, especially if you’re doing any hikes up the mountains in the Lake District. This is not everyone’s favourite time to visit. Personally I still think this is a good time to visit if it’s not raining.

Things to do in the lake district

1. Wild camping Lake District

If you enjoy camping, then wild camping in the Lake District is an awesome activity for you and your in the best place for camping in England! You can choose from hidden locations, hilltop sites (with amazing views) and stunning rivers. You can  do wild camping in the Lake District on mountains such as Helvellyn, I did this it was awesome and you will love camping on Helvellyn if that’s your thing!

Here is a list of camp sites in the Lake District for you to choose from;

2. Lake district walks

Of course you will probably already know about the amazing walks in the Lake District, this is why you’re mostly likely visiting the awesome Lake District valleys in England.

You have so many different walks to choose from, you can either choose to do small walks if you’re looking for things to do in the Lake District for kids. Or you can go on walks that will take over 8 hours. This is the beauty of walks in the Lake District, there is a walk for a walk for everybody!

Here is a list of some of the best walks/hikes in the lake district.

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#Coniston

This walk in the Lakes will take you up to a height of over 2600 feet where you can get amazing views of Coniston water. Also, if the Lake District weather is being kind, you can see views of Morecambe Bay and the Irish Sea.

#Duddon

This is another popular walk in the Lake District that takes you on a 6.5 mile circular trip through the stunning Duddon Valley. You will begin your hike by crossing the River Duddon (awesome place for photography). Then, you will make your way up the valley and trek through Dunnerdale.

#Ennerdale

The epic Ennerdale hike will take you through the North Western Lake District. It is a real proud hike of location for the people of the Lakes and constant work is being done to keep it a wild place. The time of this walk depends on your pace, we have done it in just over 3 hours, but some people take all day. It’s just how you want to enjoy it so take your time.

#Eskdale

This is a walk of many different routes for you to choose from, but you should know Eskdale has some of the most notorious difficult walks in the Lake District for ramblers. But, there is easy paths for you to follow as well. If you choose to challenge Eskdale, you will be rewarded with picturesque views and some of the most epic mountains in the whole of England.

#Hellvelyn

This is actually referred to as Britain’s favourite walk, the nation seem to love it. This is probably due to it being England’s third highest mountain, but not really a killer climb. However, you can do a challenging route on Hellvelyn via the Striding & Swirral Edges, but be very careful if you choose to take these routes.

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#Grasmere – Rydal

This is a walk for everybody who visits the Lakes. You can enjoy a hike that passes through both Grasmere and Rydal – along the old Coffin road. A road that was actually used back in time to take the dead from Rydal to Grasmere.

#Haweswater

This is not the most popular of hikes in the Lakes, but it’s defininitely one to do. You can walk around the stunning Haweswater which will take you on a 9.5/10.5 mile journey.

#Scafell Pike (England’s Highest Moutain)

Are you ready to climb the highest mountain in England? Then you’re in for a treat with the epic Scafell Pike in the Lakes. This is a hikers dream and a challenge one completed to be truly proud of. If you embark on a walk up Scafell Pike, then you can expect to reach heights over 970m, basically the ceiling of England.

If you’re going to do this climb, then be sure to take with you a GPS system and other walking essentials, this can be a tricky one.

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Love amazing walks? Check out the Mount snowdon hike for an epic hike.

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3. Grasmere gingerbread shop

Ahhh the ginger bread shop in Grasmere one of the most visited places by tourists that come to this little quirky place. The Grasmere ginger bread shop is famous for it’s…. wait for it…. Ginger bread.

This tasty delight was actually invented in 1854 and today the business still lives on serving tourists like you and me these amazing gingerbread slabs. If you get to try the Grasmere ginger bread shop then you will have the opportunity to try a whole range of ginger bread treats, chocolates, fudges and a coffee to wash it all down.

Expect there to be queues, especially in peak season.

4. Castlerigg stone circle

You ever seen photos of the strange stone circles in England? You have the chance to visit Castlerigg in the Lake District, a unique and stunning land site of 38 stones. This is one of the most unique places in the Lake District to visit for something a little out of the ordinary!

Also, when you visit Castlerigg, it’s unlikely there will be many tourists there which makes one of the best things to do in the Lake District if you want to take some awesome photography and step into some real history.

When is the best time to visit Castlerigg? Try and go when the sun is going down, you will have an amazing photo opportunity. 

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5. Visit Rydal Mount

I did just mention this as a hike in the Lakes, but you can also just visit here. So, this is in the awesome village of Ambleside in the Lake District where William Wordsworth properly laid his hat.

William Wordsworth was an amazing poet who had a big impact on the locals of the Lake District. He visited all corners of the Lakes and eventually made Ambleside his home until he died in 1850. Fast Forward to nowadays, you can visit what was once his home – Rydal Mount.

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6. The Lake District aquarium

Yes that’s right, the Lake District has an aquarium you can visit. So, if you’re looking for things to do with kids in the Lake District then the Lake District aquarium should be on your itinerary.

There is lots of awesome species to see such as;

  • Otters
  • Rays
  • Marmoset Monkeys
  • Sharks

What is the Lake District Aquarium entrance fee? Tickets for the aquarium cost (£6-£7.50) for adults and (£4.40-£5.50) for children.

7. Beatrix Potter Attraction

The World of Beatrix Potter is one of the most popular attractions in the Lake District and brings many tourists to Bowness-on-Windermere. If you’re a family looking for what to do the Lakes, then you need to visit. However, this is not just for kids, adults can enjoy this amazing attraction too.

The epic movie Peter Rabbit that released in 2018, did some filming at Lake Windermere’s Beatrix Potter.

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8. Honister Slate Mine & Via Ferrata

Are you looking for unique activities to do in the Lake District? If yes and your seeking some adrenaline pumping activities, you need to check out the Honister Slate Mine & Via Ferrata. This slate mine and surrounding areas is used an adventure playground to take people of you out of your comfort zone and test you with adventurous challenges.

The Via Ferrata can be seen from a distance from a lay-by on the Buttermere side of the pass if you’re wanting to take some photography.

9. Glamping in the Lake District

One of the most popular things to do right now is glamping in the Lake District. There is plenty of companies offering the chance to use their glamping pods for a sweet break in the Lakes.

However, there is so many Lake District glamping sites to choose from, so which ones are the best? Okay, let’s have a look at some of the best glamping sites in the Lake District.

You can enjoy an awesome night glamping at some of the best locations in the Lake District, such as; Ullswater, Windermere and Keswick.

Looking for places to stay in the Lakes that’s pet friendly? Some of the glamping pod locations do allow you to take dogs, any you’re unsure about just drop them an email!

10. Visit Kendal

Kendal is another awesome place to visit, this is also a great base to visiting all the big walks in the lakes. Also, it’s a quirky little town that has all the essentials you need such as;

  • shops
  • restaurants
  • pubs
  • cafes
  • walk
  • a morrisons

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You will have heard of Kendal calling which is the biggest music festival in the Lake District.

Check out the best things to do in Kendal to get more of an idea what to do here.

Where to stay?

There are plenty of awesome places to stay and dog friendly hotels in the Lake District. But, you should know that accommodation can be expensive, for example Ambleside in peak time in the lakes can be crazy expensive. But, you can find a bargain in places.

Okay, so let’s have a look at some dog friendly hotels;

Here is some other great places to stay;

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