The Lake District is one of the most famous areas of the British Isles and has been a national park since 1951. The area includes the town of Kendal, the highest point of Scafell Pike and the deepest and longest lakes in the country in Wastwater and Windermere Lakes. This vast range of landscape means that there is something for every visitor, staying in one of the hotels of the vast number of Lake District cottages, and here are just a few ideas to start your plans.
When it comes to the wildlife in the Lake District, it is as varied as the landscape itself. The area has the largest population of our native Red Squirrel, with around 140,000 as well as over 2.5 million of their grey cousins.
There is an RSPB reserve at Haweswater where the only nesting pair of Golden Eagles in England can be found while recent conservation work has seen the reintroduction of the Osprey near Bassenthwaite Lake for the first time in 150 years. Other well-known residents include the buzzard, peregrine falcon, and the raven while eye-catching seasonal visitors include the ring ouzel and the Redstart.
There is plenty of water in the Lake District and a huge range of activities connected with it. For those who enjoy a spot of fishing, there are daily and weekly permits available for many of the lakes while Windermere, Ullswater and Coniston Water can all be fished in for free. Fish that can be caught around the park include brown trout, salmon, pike and sea trout. There is even a week long Annual Cumbria Fishing Festival in May which is a great place to introduce the kids to angling.
With the variety of different lakes in the Lake District, there is a corresponding range of different water sports that can be enjoyed. Canoeing, sailing and windsurfing are all staples of the activities taking place as well as organised outdoor swimming events. There are even team activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family, such as raft building or dragon boat racing.
For those who enjoy the history of a place along with the beautiful landscape, there are plenty of beautiful man-made sights among the natural ones and a great deal of history. One such spot is Rydal Mount, near Ambleside, which was the home of the poet William Wordsworth from 1813 until he died in 1850. The house is today a museum filled with memorabilia of the man including a portrait of him painted by American painter Henry Inman.
Hill Top is just 2 miles south of Hawkshead in the village of Near Sawrey and from 1905 the home of Beatrix Potter. The house was bought with the proceeds of her first novel, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and was where she wrote many more of her famous stories.
This is just a glimpse of the fascinating and varied sights offered by the Lake District and means there is something for everyone. No matter what you enjoy and what you want to see, the national park and its surrounding villages and towns will have something to satisfy you.