The Lake District National Park is located in north-west England and is famous for its stunning scenery made up of lakes, mountains and forests.
Famous former residents of the Lake District were poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850) and children´s author, Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) who were inspired to write some of their most famous poems and stories while living in the region.
Wordsworth´s former houses, Dove Cottage at Ambleside and Rydal Mount can still be visited today, as can the former house of Beatrix Potter, Hill Top at Sawrey.
Historically shared by the counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire, the Lake District now lies within the county of Cumbria. All the land higher than 3,000 feet above sea level lies within the National Park, including Scafell Pike, which is the highest mountain in England at 978 metres. The deepest and longest lakes are also situated in the Lake District – Wastwater and Windermere.
The Lake District was designated as a National Park in 1951, and the area covers 885 square miles.
Animals and birds which inhabit the Lake District include Red Deer, Red Squirrel, Herdwick Sheep, the Fell Pony, the Arctic Charr and the Peregrine Falcon.
Tourism in the Lake District was first evident in Victorian times when wealthy visitors would arrive to breathe in the fresh country air, which they felt was beneficial to their health. Many bought houses overlooking Windermere which still stand today.
The Kendal and Windermere Railway was the first railway to be built in the Lake District, reaching Kendal in 1846 and Windermere in 1847. The line was then extended to reach Coniston and Penrith, through Keswick and Cockermouth. The line to Lakeside in Windermere was opened in 1869 to cater to a huge influx of visitors.
The annual number of visitors to the Lake District is 15.8 million and 23.1 million day visitors.
Friendly local experts are on hand at Bowness-on-Windermere Information Centre, Keswick Information Centre and Ullswater Information centre to give visitors information about things to do and places to visit in the Lake District.
Lake District facts
- Storr´s Hall was built by John Bolton who dealt exclusively in the slave trade. The slaves were said to have been kept in cellars in Storr´s Hall until buyers could be found for them.
- Windermere and Bowness were the second part of England to have electric street lighting, which was supplied by a hydro-electric plant at Troutbeck Bridge. The first was Newcastle upon Tyne.
- In 1895 Windermere was frozen over for 6 weeks, making it possible to walk from one side to the other. The lake also froze over in 1864, 1946 and 1963.
- The Lake District National Park is one of 15 National Parks in the UK. The others are: Brecon Beacons, the Cairngorms, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Loch Lomond and Trossachs, Northumberland, North York Moors,
- Peak District, Pembrokeshire Coast, Snowdonia, South Downs, the Yorkshire Dales, the Broads and the New Forest.
- Amazingly, the only official lake in the Lake District is Bassenthwaite Lake – all the others are either ´waters´ or ´meres.´
The Lake District National Park has a host of attractions to suit all ages, from adventure playgrounds, to stately homes, castles, parks and gardens. Culture vultures can enjoy strolling around the Museum of Lakeland life and see how former residents of the Lake District lived. There are plenty of walks around the region, from challenging hikes to easy, flat lake shore walks.
Choose from spa hotels in Windermere to romantic cottages in Bowness and enjoy the stunning scenery that surrounds them along the wayalong the way.