Explore the beautiful Lake District
Date Posted: 30/07/12
The Lake District is one of Britain's most scenic locations for weekend breaks in England, full of natural splendour, challenging hikes and quaint villages to keep you entertained on an exciting staycation this summer. Follow this Lake District guide in order to make the most of your trip to England's largest National Park.
Climb Scafell Pike
There are more than 200 fells, otherwise known as hills or mountains, in the Lake District, but Scafell Pike is the tallest of the lot. Rising to 3,209 ft, it is the tallest mountain in England and reaching the summit makes for a great day out. It's not a huge challenge and can be climbed by just hiking up there, without any need for specialist equipment. Once you get up there, the views and sense of accomplishment are more than worth the sweat and sore legs.
On a clear day you can see the five kingdoms of Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man and, of course, England. The views are so exhilarating they inspired some of the work of Britain's best writers, including Wordsworth and Wainwright.
There are a number of routes up Scafell Pike to choose from, so make sure you prepare beforehand and pick one that suits your capabilities.
If you want to avoid the crowds that occasionally flock to Scafell Pike, it may be wise to head to one of the smaller fells, such as Great Gable and Helvellyn, which both offer fantastic views while still being as rewarding.
Take a cruise on Lake Windermere
If you've conquered the biggest mountain in England, why not take on the biggest lake the day after? Not suggesting that you try to swim the 11 mile long Lake Windermere, but instead go on one of its relaxing cruises as the perfect reward for all the hard climbing from the day before.
You can board from a variety of stops around the lake, including Bowness, Ambleside and Lakeside, but wherever you get on you can be guaranteed a fabulous voyage with wonderful views of the Lake District's beautiful mountainous scenery, secluded bays and wooded islands.
There are a number of different cruises to choose from, but without doubt the pick of the bunch is the Sunset Cruise, which is an hour and a quarter trip during the mesmerising Lake District dusk.
Evening fun in the pubs of Windermere
If you're travelling to the Lake District by train, it is highly recommended to stay in the quaint town of Windermere, which lies just half a mile from its namesake lake. Not only does it have a train station, which makes it very easy to get in to, but there is plenty to do in the evening and a number of great Lake District hotels where you can rest your head.
The traditional pubs in the area are warm, cosy and serve the best local drinks and food. What's more, despite the tranquil nature of the scenery, the pubs can even become surprisingly lively in the evening.
Try the Queens Head Hotel in Troutbeck, just outside of Windermere, which is a 400-year-old coaching inn that has a four-poster bed as a bar, rustic oak beams and a great selection of real ale.
If you're looking for somewhere a little closer to the town centre, try The Elleray Hotel, which has earned great reviews for its atmosphere and food.
Stay at the Craig Manor Hotel
You won't be short of places to rest your head in Windermere, but one of the best locations is certainly Craig Manor Hotel. It sits on the brow of a hill, amid the luxuriant countryside and overlooking the beautiful Lake Windermere and Langdale Pikes.
Only a short distance from the village of Bowness and the shores of the lake, the hotel is conveniently located to head out on day long excursions. Once you return, the warm and inviting Paisley Restaurant is waiting for your with a great selection of English and continental foods and fine wines.
If the Craig Manor Hotel is all booked up, why not try the Beech Hill Hotel for a similar vibe? It is a bastion of serenity, found in the hillsides adjacent to Lake Windermere. Guests can be guaranteed wonderful views in a stylish hotel that features a heated indoor pool and an AA Rosette restaurant.
Posted by Louise Millard
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