The best things to do in Lake District prove more than worthy for the millions of people that come here every year. Also known as Lakeland, this mountainous region in North-West England is a popular holiday destination, thanks to its stunning countryside and fells.
But more than the panoramic views made famous by the 19th century romantic poets, travelers are lured by the many outdoor opportunities never in short supply in this region. There is much to see so get going fast and tick the following top 10 things to do in the Lake District.
1. Scafell Pike
Any self-respecting hiker has Scafell Pike on his or her itinerary on the best things to do in the Lake District. With an elevation of 978 meters, it is the highest mountain in England located in the Lake District, Southern Fells mountain range. Challenging and steep, the hike is a serious return trip of six to seven hours. Be sure to bring the proper gear and wait for a favorable weather forecast to experience the most sensational views.
Location: Wasdale, England
2. Steam Yacht Gondola
Dreamy, stately, and utterly relaxing, a cruise aboard this rebuilt Victorian steam-powered passenger vessel is a very cool way to see the lake. Built in 1859, the steam yacht has an aura that is a cross between an English houseboat and a Venetian Vaporetto. It features cushioned saloons and wooden seats and covers the history of Ransome, the Campbells, and Ruskin. Half lake trips are available, as well as longer full lake cruises.
Price: Full lake cruise costs £21.50 for adults, £10 for children, and £51 for family
Hours: Cruises subject to weather conditions
Location: Coniston Pier, Lake Road, Coniston LA21 8AN, United Kingdom
3. Beatrix Potter Gallery
A stop to this small gallery is one of the best things to do in the Lake District for naturalists. Apart from being a writer, Beatrix Potter is a passionate botanical painter and naturalist at heart. Walk along the gallery and fall in love with her watercolor paintings of flora and fauna. The mushrooms are particularly special.
Price: £6 for adults and £3 for children
Hours: 10.30 AM to 5 PM Saturday to Thursday from mid-March to October
Location: Red Lion Sq., Hawkshead, England
4. Abbot Hall Art Gallery
The best of 18th and 19th-century art are featured here, particularly Lakeland landscapes and portraiture. Displays include works of Constable, John Ruskin, and George Romney.
Price: £7 for adults; children go free
Hours: 10.30 AM to 5 PM every Monday to Saturday from April to October; 10.30 AM to 4 PM from November to March
Location: Kirkland, Kendal LA9 5AL, United Kingdom
5. Rydal Mount
Get inside the mind of William Wordsworth and experience his life inside his old house where he lived from 1813 until his death in 1850. Tons of memorabilia are on display including Wordsworth’s pen and inkstand, encyclopedia, and famous portrait made by Henry Inman. Outside, the landscaped gardens overlooking Dora’s Field prove a picture of loveliness, with much of the design made by the poet himself. If you fancy yourself a fan of literature, seeing this place is one of the best things to do in the Lake District for sure.
Price: £7.50 for adults and £3.50 for children; Grounds only cost £4.50
Hours: Open daily from 9.30 AM to 5 PM from March to October, 11 AM to 4 PM every Wednesday to Monday on November, December, and February
Location: Rydal Mount, Ambleside LA22 9LU, United Kingdom
6. Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway
This heritage railway is a popular spot for families touring the Cumbrian Coast. In the old days, this pocket-size railway transferred iron ore from Eskdale to the coast. Now, the miniature steam trains offer seven to 14 trips daily, chugging seven miles along the Eskdale valley. Individual passes are available, but five-day passes are on sale, too.
Price: £13.50 for adults, £6.75 for children, and £38 for family; five-day pass costs £40 for adults, £20 for children, and £110 for family
Hours: Open daily every 10 AM to 4.30 PM
Location: Ravenglass CA18 1SW, United Kingdom
7. Honister Slate Mine
Another family favorite, underground tours at the Honister Slate Mine venture deep into the Edge, Kimberley, and Cathedral mine ruins. It is an incredible experience in itself with great scenery, but if you want to get more physical, try indoor climbing where you follow a system of fixed cables tracing the steps of the old slate miners.
Price: £12.50 for adults and £7.50 for children
Hours: Tours at 10.30 AM, 12.30 PM, and 3.30 PM from March to October
Location: Honister Pass, Keswick CA12 5XN, United Kingdom
8. Punch Bowl
The classics marry indigenous ingredients here in Kendal’s most beloved pub to produce incredible dishes such as oyster mousses, potato croquettes, and pea fricassées. A cozy and modern-designed interior matches the high quality of the food. It is quite the drive visiting this place, but the crowds are enough to clue to prove this is one of the best things to do in the Lake District – you have to try it.
Price: Mains start at £13.95
Hours: 12 PM to 4 PM and 5.30 PM to 8.30 PM
Location: Crosthwaite, Kendal, England
9. Jumble Room
Fun, friendly, and fabulous, a visit to this modern British bistro is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in the Lake District. A boho ambiance pervades, with primary tones, spotty crockery, and cow murals. Menu standouts include Asian favorites like Pinatubo chicken in coconut milk, lentil dahl, and Japanese-style steak.
Price: Dinner mains start at £14.50
Hours: 5.30 PM to 9.30 PM Wednesday to Monday
Location: Langdale Rd., Grasmere, England
10. Gillam’s Tearoom
When a tearoom has been around since 1892, there is no doubting the mastery that goes into everything they do. But do not let the old fashion charm and antique building fool you – the menu at Gillams Tearoom is as current as ever, with organic and vegetable food that soothes the soul. Don’t miss the quinoa salads, savory tarts, and hot quiches. While you are around, pop in next door and shop for luxury biscuits and jams, too – definitely a winner.
Price: Lunches starts at £3
Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM every Monday to Saturday
Location: 64 Market St, Ulverston, Cumbrian Coast, England
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Budget – Haweswater Hotel
Mid – Range – Lake House
Luxury – Woodlands
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