Did you know that there are very nice mountains in England? I didn’t. I just thought that Scotland was the country with a mountainous region in the UK, but not England. And it was a very nice surprise. Now I think of The Lakes as one of the Must go for those who like to do bucket lists. I even want to go again myself, because I didn’t do all I wanted to do.
It is located in the North-West of England in the county of Cumbria. Only this region contains all the highest mountains and deepest lakes in the country. It is considered as one of the top holiday destination. I would even love to live there! The Lake National Park contains almost all The Lake District and it’s a protected area (The National Trust owns about a quarter of the total area). The four largest settlements are Keswick, Windermere, Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere. They are very worth to visit because you can find all the tourist information, guides, and maps in each of them, as well as nice pubs and restaurants.
The best way to visit The Lakes is with your own car, although I saw some bus lines. I think the car is the best option (you could rent one for some days too), so you can see most of the places in a few days without worrying about how to come back home.
The radial pattern of major valleys is the result of 2 millions years of glaciation. In most of the valleys, you can easily recognise the U shape characteristic of glaciation and on the bottom elongate lakes with bedrocks. In higher points, there are still some circular lakes in the glacial cirques.The higher summits are rocky, while at the bottom you can find different types of vegetation.
It is the wettest area of England, with annual precipitations of more than 2000mm. It is generally very windy and also considered as a cold region (although when we visited it, the temperature raised up 28°C), with a maximum average high temperature of 19°C. The temperature doesn’t vary too much during the year though, due to the maritime climate (from 3°C in January to 15°C in July).
The fauna is also very rich, thanks to the varied topography and lakes. The region is a sanctuary for the red squirrel, with the highest population of England. It is the home of a range of bird species. The only pair of Golden Eagles are found there (although the female hasn’t been seen since 2004, the male still remains). The lakes are also home for some rare fish species, like the Vendace, the Schelly and the Arctic charr.
Sheep farming is the major industry in the region since Roman times, that’s why you will see sheep everywhere in The Lakes. Mining has also been very important due to the variety of rocks. Particularly copper, lead, baryte, graphite and slate were the major industries from 16th to 19th century.
What to do in The Lakes
As mentioned, it is a region with a vast geography that could be very interesting for those people who like sports. Even only for family trips, it is very nice place. There are a lot of camping zones and so many lakes to visit that you wouldn’t want to leave the place.
- See the biggest lakes, like Derwentwater, Windermere, Ullswater
- Find a forest park and play as a kid
- Rent a boat and stay on a lake the whole afternoon
- Do some hiking around a nice lake (there are a lot of difficulty levels)
- Visit some archaeological places, like the stone circle Castlerigg
- Visit the museums: there are plenty to choose
- Fly a drone and get spectacular photos from the air
- Picnic around one of the lakes
- Swim in a large lake
- Try to touch a sheep (I dare you… they run away immediately)
- Climb the highest summits (there are some climbing clubs)
- Visit the Mine in Keswick (even do the Via Ferrata with them, you don’t need to have experience climbing)
- Take your bike and do a nice road or mountain bike trip
- Fly in a paraglider
- If you want to go fishing, you need to get a special permit
- Enjoy the nature from a summit, just relax.
Don’t wait for other people to tell you how it is: rent a car and go see it by yourself. Enjoy the best of England