If you are planning a trip to the Lake District to ´get away from it all´ and enjoy some quality time with friends or family, we have compiled a list of the top 10 green things to do in the lakes.
Ditch the car
Leave the car at home, and reduce your carbon footprint. The Lake District enjoys fantastic car-free access with an excellent public transport network. You can also take the train into Penrith, if you are planning a trip to the north lakes, and Windermere is easily reachable from Manchester by train or bus. You can travel around the Lake District by open topped bus or by boat, enjoying the stunning scenery along the way. Visitors can travel into the heart of the south lakes countryside with a boat-bus service which even carries cycles. Pass by Esthwaite Water and travel through the heart of Beatrix Potter country for a stop at Hill Top, Beatrix Potter's famous home.
Eat local food
Make the most of restaurants and cafés serving authentic Cumbrian cuisine, which not only reduces the carbon footprint, when hoteliers and restaurant owners serve local meats and vegetables, but also supports local suppliers, who rely on the tourist trade to make a living.
Visit Low Sizergh Organic Farm at Kendal
You can learn all there is to know about the production of organic food in the Lake District at Low Sizergh Organic Farm, which is a member of the Soil Association´s national network of organic farms. Visit the farm shop, the craft exhibition gallery, and sample organic cheeses, eggs and vegetables, plus a tasty range of ice creams made fresh on the farm. Take a walk down the two mile farm trail, where you will see how organic principles are put into practice, plus see the local plant, animal and bird life.
With over 100 Lake District markets held each year you can shop for the best local organic meat, fish, vegetables and preserves, plus a wide range of local crafts. Cumbria Farm Days invite visitors onto a working farm to see how to shepherd sheep on the fells, milk cows or even give a sheepdog exhibition, providing a great family day out.
Whinlatter Forest Park near Keswick
Whinlatter Forest Park, near Keswick is England´s only real mountain forest, which rises nearly 800 metres above sea level. Offering stunning views of the Lake District, this park provides plenty of facilities and amenities to keep all age groups entertained, and is also home to hundreds of red squirrels. From May to September visitors can see the Bassenthwaite Ospreys through live webcam links, or during Osprey walks.
Boat trips in the Lake District
Enjoy a Windermere Cruise and enjoy a view of local villages and from the water. The Coniston Launch is also a great way to travel, or take a trip on the Steam Yacht Gondola. Enjoy the stunning scenery around Derwentwater by taking a trip on the Keswick Launch and make the most of Ullswater by sailing across the lake on a steamer. You can hop on and off the boats at different locations, and spend some quality time walking along the lake shore, or visiting some of the many Lake District attractions on route.
RSPB Leighton Moss Nature Reserve at Silverdale
Leighton Moss is one of the most well-known nature reserves in the lakes, and is situated in the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Here you can spot many special birds, including marsh harriers and avocets, and a stunning range of wildlife. Natural trails are popular with the kids, and the on-site tearoom serves delicious local cuisine, organic where possible. Profits from the tearoom help fund the wildlife conservation work carried out by the RSPB.
Cycling trails in the Lake District
Lake District cycling routes will take you along some of the most scenic trails in the UK. Choose from dramatic mountain paths to the more serene tracks around the lakeside, or meander through winding country lanes, stopping off at local cafés and hostelries on route. You can find plenty of places to hire a bike in the Lake District where you can pick up free maps of the area.
If you are planning a trip to the Lake District, you can find some of the best environmentally friendly hotels in Bowness and Windermere, and a wealth of green things to do during your stay. Make the most of this beautiful region by walking or cycling in Windermere, Grasmere, Keswick or Coniston and enjoy the natural landscapes and dramatic scenery that makes the Lake District so popular.