"Right On Our Doorstep......" Top 5 Page for this destination Lake District National Park by nickandchris

Lake District National Park Travel Guide: 494 reviews and 1,335 photos

There's Life After Bowness......

Known locally as "The Lakes" we are priveleged to live on the south western boundaries of Cumbria, close to both Coniston Water and Lake Windermere, yet next to the coast.
Most people refer to the Lake District as Bowness, Windermere, Ambleside or even Keswick, but to those of us in the know, we wouldn't dream of hitting any of these places in high season. All you will see are crowds of people, ice-cream vans and tacky gift shops.Ok, I suppose some of you may like that sort of thing but don't let me hear you say you have been to the Lake District when in fact you have only called in at Bowness.

There are so many different sides to the Lake District, whether you want popular walking routes, high mountain ranges, quieter, less frequented valleys or even a sandy beach. You'll find it all, some places just take a little more seeking out.
Try visiting off season, spring is beautiful with the bluebell filled woods and golden wild daffodils everywhere. Trees are turning green and the sound of new-born lambs fills the air. The Lakes would not be the same without that sound; how bleak it was during the Foot and Mouth epidemic. Thankfully the fields and fells are now once again full of sheep and cows, part of the daily Lake District scene. Autumn is also lovely when the colours of the trees are easily a match for America's Fall, in fact it's the latest marketing strategy for the area and there is now information on where to see the best autumn colours.

October 2006 and we spent an extremely wet, but mild weekend near Watermillock, slightly northwest of Ullswater. We visited Aira Force, the amazing stone circle Long Meg and her Daughters and Penrith Market. Tips appear on this page rather than individual location pages as it was the easiest option to group them all together.

Return to Grizedale Forest

As we only live about a 30min. drive from Grizdale Forest we thought we would repay it a visit.
It's a vast area of forest land, in the Lake District National Park, between Coniston Water and Lake Windermere. Belonging to the Forestry Commision it stretches from Windermere in the East, Coniston in the West and Newby Bridge in the South.
There are plenty of free parking areas, depending on where you want to start from.
There is also a car- park at the visitor's centre which fills up quickly. There is a charge for this.
It's a popular place for cyclists, walkers and picnickers, with marked cycle tracks and footpaths of varying degrees of difficulty and ease.

There are plenty of free places to park, depending on where abouts you want to start from. There is also a car park at the visitors centre which fills up quickly. There is a charge to park here.
There is also a theatre here where both national and international performers entertain.There is a visitor's centre, cafe and gift shop if you really want to spend money. Picnic areas abound and there is a pretty new large assault type course with a very high aerial rope way. Not for the faint hearted. You do have to be over a certain age though.

There is a gallery which tells the story of the Grizedale Sculpture Project. You can watch artists and craftsmen at work.
In amongst the trees there are many interesting sculptures made from different materials by different people.
There is a fairly easy walk around the main sculpture trail.

The Far Corners Of England...

One of our favourite places in the Lake District is the Duddon Valley. This is a beautiful valley following the river Duddon, with deep river pools for swimming and shallower, paddling parts ideal for young children. Plenty of picnic spots and grassy, parking areas. Popular with folks from the Furness area but relatively unknown to the general tourist. It's situated between Broughton -in - Furness in the south and follows the river as far as Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass in the north of the valley.
From the Duddon Valley you can reach another of our favourite valleys, Eskdale. This is a bit more accessible as the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway , run by enthusistic volunteers, runs along the valley, enabling tourists to "discover" the area. Still not overrun by tourists, it's a stunning place to visit to enjoy spectacular mountain and river scenery.

We are not great hikers but do like a riverside walk and Eskdale fits the bill perfectly.

There's something for everyone in the Lake District. Do a bit of research first, buy the relevant maps and you won't go far wrong. We use the OS 1:50 000 series of maps which show all the average visitor needs to know, including footpaths and visitor attractions. If you are a serious walker you will probably opt for a larger scale OS map, the 1: 25 000 which show the footpaths in more detail.

We are right up in the north of England but there are rail links (of a kind) and a coach service. Even the M6 ploughs through Penrith, so the Lake District is not inaccessible, given it's geographical location with the more populated parts of the country. Go on, give us a visit!!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Stunning scenery and interesting villages
  • Cons:Too many people and too much traffic.
  • In a nutshell:Fresh air, exercise and countryside.
  • Last visit to Lake District National Park: Aug 2010
  • Intro Updated Sep 12, 2010
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Reviews (43)

Comments (29)

  • zuriga's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2010 at 6:48 AM

    So many great ideas for our next trip north. Thanks for the beautiful pages.

  • septem's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Lovely pages. Juliana

  • Myfanwe's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Hi Christine, You are so lucky to live near such a dreamy place! I love your pics and tips, especially the waterfalls. Thanks for the tour.

  • Jan 27, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    its been a real delight to read this page, and go back to my high school english literature classes! i loved the poetry of WW, and remember well some of his poems about the lakes district! fantastic stuff!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Dec 14, 2009 at 3:52 AM

    Wonderful page chocked full of information and lovely photos! Love the Langdales, camping areas, general scenery, a really beautiful area I can see that you would need to spend some time in. Pity about the rain, but at least the waterfalls were good!

  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo
    Apr 6, 2009 at 6:42 PM

    Ah!! Such a beautiful place . Such great photos too!

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2009 at 7:00 AM

    Nice new tip on the Langdales. I could say you are lucky to live so close to the Lakes but what I really mean is that you really spend time to take advantage of your location. Thanks again for sharing.

  • unaS's Profile Photo
    Oct 28, 2008 at 1:25 PM

    Loved my one visit to the Lakes District, but I see that there was a lot I missed. I still dream of visiting again someday.

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2008 at 4:56 AM

    We enjoyed your Lake District pages and tips. It definitely looks like an interesting area that we would like to visit some day.

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Nov 24, 2007 at 2:46 PM

    Wonderful page - only a local can put together something this good! Great tips on how to avoid the crowds. I'll be taking note since we may be there in July.


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