Camping in the Lake District, taking a short weekend break or holidaying to explore the wonders of the Lakes – whatever the trip, discover the best things to do in the Lake District with our location guide. With ample areas to explore, thriving communities to discover, vast hiking routes to walk and breathtaking lakes to see, the Lake District has something for everyone.
With so many avenues to explore, it’s hard to know which to do first. Where are the best places to go in the Lake District? What are the best Lake District outdoor activities? With our helpful guide below, we can help you best plan your next trip to the Lakes.
The Lake District
Well known for its beauty and exuberant nature, the Lake District is the epicentre of England’s landscapes with areas made up of woodlands, river valleys, mountains, forests and stunning lakes creating truly breath-taking coastlines. Not only are the Lakes well-known for their rural qualities, they are also home to quaint villages and towns which only add to their popular appeal. With the ability to explore England’s most beautiful lake in Ullswater, then go shopping and recharge in the small villages of Kendal or Hawkshead in the late afternoon, the Lakes are the perfect getaway location to escape from day-to-day life.
Popular Lake District goings-on include the vast amount of outdoor activities available. Hire mountain bikes for your trip, jump into water sports such as sailing, kayaking or rowing, and hike an array of routes in the Lake District – whatever the length of your holiday, it is sure to be jam-packed full of activities and adventure for the whole family.
Lake District History
There are many historical points of interest that entice visitors to the Lake District with literature being one of the strongest in Lake District history. Home to Beatrix Potter (best-known for The Tale of Peter Rabbit), Bowness-on-Windermere celebrates the children’s author’s achievements with The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction. Explore Peter Rabbit’s garden, discover Jemima Puddle-Duck and see how the beauty of the Lakes inspired her to write such wonderful tales enjoyed by many.
Another literary link to the Lake District is the brilliant William Wordsworth. A few years after finishing university in 1799, Wordsworth moved to Dove Cottage in Grasmere and then to Rydal Mount in 1813. You can discover Dove Cottage in Grasmere today; the wellspring for some of the greatest and most iconic poetry in the history of the English language. Learn of William’s life planting flowers and vegetables with his sister Dorothy, watching birds and butterflies and writing his iconic poetry that is still widely remembered today.
It probably comes as no surprise that the Hawkshead brand has strong links with the Lake District too. We originate in the rolling Lakeland fells, creating the setting for where our story began. Today, we like to think that when buying with Hawkshead, you can take a little piece of the Lakes with you on all of your adventures.
Things To Do In The Lake District
Lake District National Park
As England’s largest national park, the Lakes are home to some extraordinary sights. Discover Scafell pike, the Lakes’ highest mountain, at 978 metres above sea level. Located in Scafell, the mountain spans over a large area, hidden behind Lingmell. These mountain walks provide outstanding views and landscapes that cannot be imagined; they really must be seen.
Wastwater is the deepest lake in the Lake District National Park, located in the western valley of Wasdale. At almost three miles long and more than one-third of a mile wide, this is one of the best places to go in the Lake District if you’re interested in the beautiful lakes of Cumbria. The landscapes the Wastwater lake provides are stunning to behold, and not one to miss.
Lake District Walks
What better way to spend a day than exploring one of the many Lake District walks? A great reason to get out your walking poles and set out for a day of exploring with the whole family. There are guided walks around the lakes, taking you from short scenic picnic strolls through to unmissable landscapes. Alternatively, you can amble through the Lake District countryside on your own – but make sure to stick to the paths and not attempt rocky terrain.
As the UK’s favourite destination for walking enthusiasts, the array of Lake District walking routes on offer are begging to be explored. Pull on your walking boots and head to caves in Grasmere, lakes in Ullswater and river valleys in Windermere. Or head out to discover Lake District walking routes in Hawkshead at the Grizedale Forest & Visitor Centre. Prefer to hop on your bicycle? Try cycling between St. Bees Head and Robin Hoods Bay. The options are endless.
Looking for a more leisurely challenge? There are laid back routes throughout the countryside that don’t have to include climbing to high peaks – the nature and beauty of the Lake District can be seen from lower fells too. There are also child and buggy-friendly walks available in the likes of Kendal, the Langdales and Coniston. So you can discover this region of the UK in your own way.
Lake District Outdoor Activities
Looking for adventures beyond walking? There are plenty of family activities to do in the Lakes. Grab your paddle for rowing or kayaking in the beautiful lakes in Ullswater, or for something a little more serene, hire fishing rods and poles for a relaxing afternoon in the countryside. Windermere lakes are home to brown trout, pike, perch, and salmon.
For the more adventurous, try wind-surfing in Windermere – Derwentwater is a popular choice for water sports and Lake District outdoor activities, as is Ullswater and Bassenthwaite. For things to do in the Lake District for the whole family, visit Brockhole on Windermere. Treat the children to archery lessons, pony rides or mini golf, and then relax in the gardens and grounds or cafes and shops.
Grasmere Lake District
As well as being home to Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, Grasmere is a popular tourist choice for visitors to the Lake District. The adjacent Grasmere lake is a hot-spot for exploration, with river valleys, hilly walks and caves to discover. As well as the scenic beauties of the countryside, things to do in Grasmere also include visiting the quaint shops and restaurants in the town, picking up some local produce or gifts to remind you of your trip.
And while you’re here, don’t forget to pop into the Hawkshead store too – you’ll discover our range of outdoor clothing and kit. As well as Grasmere, there are other areas of the Lakes with Hawkshead stores – find your nearest Hawkshead store just in case you need to pick up some forgotten tent pegs, or walking socks.
Grasmere, Rydal Water & Loughrigg Cavern from this mornings trek around Loughrigg Fell. . #loughriggfell #1099ft #grasmere #rydalwater #loughriggcavern #rydalcave #lakedistrict #cumbria #mudandroutes #ordnancesurvey #thelakelanders #instabritain #igerscumbria #igerslakedistrict #photosofbritain #ukpotd #hiking #hillwalking #lakedistrictcumbria #mountains #mountainadventures #getoutside #nikon #d3300
What to wear in the Lake District
Now you’re all clued on the best places to go in the Lake District, it’s time to get packing. For Lake District walkers, comfortable clothing and layers are essential regardless of the time of year – up in the hilly peaks, temperatures can drop so it is always best to be prepared. Bring your waterproof jackets and walking boots with a dependable sole – steer clear of trainers for hiking as they don’t support feet and ankles as well.
For weekend breaks in the Lake District in the chillier months, hats and gloves are essential with spare warm clothing. Sun hats are also advised in the warmer seasons to protect you from UV rays and overheating. Pack your rucksack full of the essentials for your trip, including energy giving food and water for the whole family, a map and compass, first aid kit, whistle and a torch and your extra layers.
Find all the essentials for your next trip to the Lake District from Hawkshead.