The Lake District National Park
England's stunning highlands and UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Lake District National Park
The Lake District is England's largest national park covering 912 sq mi (2362 sq km) of mountainous terrain. The region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of 31 other sites around the United Kingdom.
People visit the region for its extreme beauty and admire the unique marriage between traditional hill farming with local breeds and the harsh environment. UNESCO World Heritage Site status recognises the region's universal value. The geological interest, the ancient methods of agriculture and the landscape which has inspired poetry.
To experience the lake district, we suggest having our driver-guide taking you on a tour of the most beautiful valleys and mountain routes. Stop for afternoon tea or a pub lunch. We feel it is vital that you at least stretch your legs for a short walk and have a taste of fell walking. Our Classic Tour of England features the Lake District National Park. For those more energetic we can tailor an adventure tour of the lakes for you, here is a sample itinerary of our England Adventure Tour.
Today's landscape has changed little since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. The retreating ice has sculpted enormous U-shaped valleys, and melted ice has left a series of stunning ribbon-shaped lakes. The fusion of two significant landmasses first raised the mountains and then split into two continents, Europe and America.
The diversity of the Lakeland scenery owes much to its geology. Hard volcanic rocks in the central area give rise to rugged hills, while soft slates to the north produce a rounded topography. The lakes form a radial pattern, spreading out from a central volcanic zone, much like the spokes of a wheel.
The violent geological past has created 127 peaks over 2000 ft, sixteen lakes and seven tarns or large pools.
Wastwater is the deepest lake in England, and some say the most beautiful. If you hope for peace and quiet you have come to the right place, as sailing and powerboats are banned on Wastwater. But, you will see the odd fishing vessel bobbing around.
People are attracted to the unspoilt scenery and low levels of visitors. The only buildings around Wastwater are an old inn and a small church with memorials to fallen climbers. The lakeside road soon ends, and you have a choice to continue your journey on foot, over the fells to the next valley. We can make your Lake District tour a real adventure with the help of a local mountain tour guide. We want you to immerse yourself in the landscape safely, and see the hidden green valleys, rushing rivers and lesser-known trails when hiking the Lake District.
Windermere is the largest lake in England and is at the very epicentre of tourism. Derwent water is the location of many water-born activities such as kayaking, Canadian canoes, and ghyll Scrambling. Buttermere is a jewel surrounded by great fells; Red Pike, Haystacks and Stile. Hidden in the woods is Scale Force, the highest waterfall in the region at 175 ft. All sixteen lakes in the park have their stories, attributes and hiking routes.
Poets and Writers
The fascinating terrain, the bizarre and wild weather have inspired much poetry most famously from William Wordsworth (1170-1850), who spent most of his life here. After some time at university in Cambridge, family money allowed him to live a simple life, and pursue his literary passion. He married an old school friend, Mary Hutchinson and lived at Dove Cottage, in Grasmere. Visitors to the Wordsworth family included poets Coleridge and de Quincey.
Beatrix Potter is known for her charming children's stories but also an inspirational environmentalist. Childhood holidays spent in the Lake District left their mark, and she moved there in 1906. Protecting the landscape, saving rare breeds from extinction, and championing traditional farming methods became her passion. Beatrix was a devoted farmer and expert on Herdwick Sheep, one of the indigenous and once-rare sheep breeds of the county. She donated vast amounts of land in safekeeping to the National Trust.
Although financially tourism trumps farming, the traditional farming way of life in the lakes is at the heart of its permanent communities. The Herdwick Sheep are the famous sheep that graze the fells. Herdwicks are native to Britain and are the hardiest of all, feeding in a wide area up to 3,000 feet. The breed forages in the most challenging landscape and rarely need food supplements. Their wool dries out quickly after rain and produces tough wool for various linings and carpets.
The mix of cattle and sheep improve the environment too. Hill sheep eat all grasses and wildflowers but only cut the top of the grass. Cattle, on the other hand, tear up large clumps of thick fresh grass leaving a muddy patch, perfect for wildflower seeds to germinate. Look out for the Belted Galloway cattle; they are a docile breed, making them ideal for grazing in regions of contact with hillwalking visitors.
Touring and accommodation
If this is your first time to England, we would recommend a custom version of our Town and Country Tour; it covers the famous places and allows you to utilise your private driver-guide by getting-off-the-beaten-path. Our Classic tour of Ireland is a good place to start for the first trip to Ireland, and we suggest the Classic tour of Scotland for your first trip to the bonny Highlands. Merging Wales with England makes for a dynamic experience of mountains, stately homes and cosy country pubs.
There is a wide choice of accommodation in the Lakes. Cottages, Manor House Hotels and traditional Guest Houses. For people who love high-end food, we recommend staying at the Samling Hotel. It is in a superb location with easy access to all Lake District mountains routes.
England's most beautiful region
UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Park
- Over 100 Mountains to Hike
- Sixteen Lakes to Explore
- Adventure Sport Capital of England
- Expert Mountain Guides Available
- Photography Lessons
- Take an Art Lesson
Crummock Water, neat Buttermere
Kayaking on Derwent Water