Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge are just some of the literary heavyweights who were enchanted by this region of the English countryside – and from the moment you set your eyes on its gorgeous scenery, you'll instantly see why. With its rolling hills covered by wild flowers, sparkling lakes and meandering creeks, the Lake District dazzles visitors with its overwhelmingly picturesque landscapes. The area, which is dominated by the 885 square mile national park, brims with an abundance of romantic natural beauty just waiting to be lapped up as inspiration. Whether you are a budding artist, fledgling writer, or simply someone who wants a break from city life, a trip to this special part of the countryside won’t let you down. Read our snapshot travel guide to the Lake District, showcasing our favourite hotels, restaurants and attractions in the region.
Nestled on the shores of Ullswater you will find a haven of humble pleasures among startlingly beautiful natural surroundings. Another Place is luxury hotel and leisure resort that promises a refreshing and restful stay. The 40 stylish rooms are housed in a beautifully restored Georgian building encircled by 18 acres of the national park. While the cloud-like beds and luxury touches make it tempting to spend afternoons lounging indoors, guests are encouraged to roam the grounds and take part in the range of exciting outdoor activities on offer, from kayaking and paddle boarding to cycling and sailing. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway for two or a family-friendly escape for some quality bonding time, it won't be easy to find Another Place better than this one.
Linthwaite House: A luxury boutique hilltop hotel set on 14 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens overlooking stunning views of Lake Windermere.
The Gilpin Hotel & Lake House: An elegant five-star hotel and spa boasting opulent interiors and two onsite restaurants (one of which holds a Michelin star) among a beautiful Lakeland setting.
Within the labyrinth of cobblestone streets sprawling the picturesque town of Bowness-on-Windermere, you will find Porto. A restaurant serving innovative and modern British cuisine in a uniquely warm and easy-going atmosphere, Porto is a breath of fresh air among some of the stuffier fine-dining eateries in the area. The menu here is limited and carefully designed to showcase the finest seasonal produce in the region. The homemade focaccia is particularly renowned and served as a complimentary starter with any meal. If it’s a sunny afternoon or warm evening, request a table on the roof terrace. If not, the ambient (and dog-friendly) bar downstairs is the best place to enjoy your meal with a prime view of the chefs masterfully preparing the plates in the open kitchen.
L’Enclume: A two-Michelin-starred bistro-style restaurant with stylish and comfortable rooms across the village of Cartmel. For foodies, we recommend the immersive ‘development table’.
The Blacksmith Arms: A traditional Lakeland inn surrounded by farm land, The Blacksmith Arms in Lickle Valley is the perfect spot to enjoy a comforting gastropub meal with the local community.
With 16 lakes dotted across the Lake District, the region offers a wide choice of bodies of water which you can explore on a paddle board. Lake District Paddle Boarding is Cumbria’s most established and experienced stand up paddle provider and is a fantastic choice for beginners and professional paddlers alike. Whether you’re completely new to the sport and looking for an introductory lesson, or want to embark on one of their Mega SUP adventures, the friendly and passionate team are happy to arrange an active afternoon of adventure for you. Lake District Paddle Boarding is not limited to the warmer months either; with dry suits available for hire, you can take part in a pleasant SUPfari across the glistening lakes even in the winter.
Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum: Immerse yourself in the romantic beauty of the region and learn about how the Lake District was a main source of inspiration for one of England’s most loved poets, William Wordsworth.
Wild Sleep in Priest’s Hole Cave: This one is strictly for seasoned adventurers – Priest’s Hole Cave is one of the best known ‘wild sleeping’ spots in the country. This natural shelter draws in outdoor adventurers from across the UK who spend the night here for the beautiful views of the Lake District's eastern fells.