The Lake District is one of my absolute favourite regions of the UK: It’s tranquil, stunning anytime of the year, and it’s a national park.
[Note: This post was originally written in February 2017 and updated June 2020]
Despite getting a lot of rain when I went in the winter, I still loved the experience. If you’re lucky enough, you might even get a little bit of snow covering in the wintertime, which is truly magical.
The Lake District is like the Grand Canyon and Milford Sound of the UK: It’s the country’s gem. If you’re an avid hiker and nature lover like myself, you need to spend a few days here for an unforgettable experience.
Here are 12 reasons why you should visit the Lake District in the UK.
1. It’s a huge national park.
The Lake District covers 583,747 acres with impressive statistics that will make your jaw drop. Officially called The Lake District National Park, it has been around for about 12,000 years and is known for its gorgeous landscapes that are worth visiting any time of the year.
There are various parts of the national park: Keswick & Derwentwater, Windermere, Ambleside, Grasmere, Langdale Valley, the Northern Lakes, Ullsdale, the West Coast, Coniston Water, and so much more. See this link for more info on planning your visit.
I based myself in Keswick and took the bus around the various areas, so it’s very easy to get around without a car.
2. It’s a free experience, like the rest of all the hikes in the country.
Unlike the national parks in America, you don’t have to pay an admission fee. You may need to pay a small parking fee if you’re parking your rental car/campervan, but it’s quite a small cost compared to anything Americans are used to.
As one of the Commonwealth countries (like Australia and New Zealand), all museums, gardens, and national parks in the UK are free for visitors and locals. And then you wonder why Americans never want to go back to their country…
3. It’s pet & family-friendly!
The entire region allows pets and kids of all ages to frolic through endless fields and grassy lands of stunning views. If you’re looking for pet-friendly hotels in the area, check out some recommendations here.
4. It has breathtaking walking trails.
There are hundreds of walking trails throughout the national park that range in length. Check out links here and here for in-depth links of the best walks to suit your fancy. If you’re a hiking aficionado, you’ll never want to leave.
5. It’s incredibly easy to get to the Lake District, regardless of your base.
Whether you’re coming from London, Manchester, or just about anywhere else, it’s very easy to get to the Lake District. From both of those aforementioned cities, the journey takes less than 3 hours via train.
6. There are fantastic, historic restaurants and pubs everywhere.
The Lake District is known as one of the foodie areas of the culture because of its historic pubs and Michelin-star restaurants. As a popular holiday destination throughout the year, the food is always top notch.
Don’t forget to try local foods, such as Cumberland sausage, rum butter, Kendal mint cake, and Grasmere gingerbread. They’re all incredible.
7. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In July 2017, Lake District became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a well-deserved title that should have been bestowed upon it centuries ago.
8. It’s a popular destination for all ages.
Approximately 15.8 million people visit the Lake District every year, and it’s easy to see why. For little ones, The World of Beatrix Potter is an enjoyable attraction, whereas adults can enjoy water sports and hiking trails of all ranges and lengths.
9. Local food produce is abundant here.
If you’re a health fanatic keen on organic, locally-grown food and natural ingredients, you’ll love the Lakes. You’ll find organic local vegetables and locally sourced things like fell bred lamb in nearly every town and village.
10. It has inspired many artistic names.
It’s a known fact that famous artists, poets, authors, and more have been inspired by the beauty of the Lake District. William Wordsworth’s “Daffodils” poem (with the famous line, “I wander’d lonely as a cloud”) showcases the essence of the area, a true tribute to its fascinating beauty.
Even the popular Beatrix Potter books were also set here (which is why there’s a whole theme park-esque attraction for kids). You can also visit Potter’s home, as well as Dove Cottage, where Wordsworth lived.
11. It is populated by a wide array of various wildlife.
If you love wildlife and animals as much as I do, then you need to come here. The Lakes are home to rare wildlife including red deer, Peregrine falcons, Arctic Char fish, Golden Eagles, Natterjack Toads, and Barn Owls.
12. It’s a tranquil, peaceful change of scenery.
The beauty of the Lake District is simply unparalleled to anywhere else. It’s relaxing, tranquil, and absolutely refreshing if you’re looking to get away from the hubbub of busy cities.
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