We were fortunate enough to be able to enjoy a holiday in the Lake District at the beginning of the summer. We stayed in a lovely hotel, set in beautiful grounds and surrounded by the most stunning scenery I think I have ever seen in my life. It was like stepping back in time and visiting a world that has been almost entirely unspoilt by human hands. Mountains, lakes and other bodies of water – and views that you can see for miles.
Where is the Lake District?
The Lake District is situated in the north west corner of England in a county called Cumbria and is England’s largest National Park, covering a total of 912 square miles. It spans 36 miles from west to east and 40 miles from north to south.
How many lakes are in the Lake District?
This might surprise you but there is only one official lake in the Lake District. Ok technically there are obviously more or it wouldn’t be known as the Lake District but here is a fun fact for you – one of those types of questions that come up on a pub quiz so you can thank me later! Bassenthwaite Lake is the only lake that is officially called a lake, the others (although they are known as lakes) are meres or waters. The Lake District is home to the largest lake in England – Windermere which is a huge ten miles long. It also boasts the deepest lake – Wastwater, which is a staggering 74 metres (243 feet) deep. I’ll list the ‘lakes’ below in order of size:
- Bassenthwaite Lake
- Coniston Water
- Ennerdale Water
- Crummock Water
- Esthwaite Water
- Rydal Water
We visited a fair few of these lakes and I can honestly say that the water in all of them was shimmering and clean looking. No doubt due to the fact that the Lake District is known for being an area with high rainfall. Many of the lakes are glacial valleys with volcanic rock which holds the water without it seeping away. The lakes are filled with rain water, filtered as it travels down mountainside and hillside streams. It’s not surprising that the lakes are popular with open water swimmers, it looks so inviting and refreshing.
Are there mountains in the Lake District?
If you have been to the North of England, Scotland or Wales and the South of England, you will have noticed the vast difference in the landscape. The south of England is mainly flat with gentle hills and has a beauty of it’s own, we are lucky enough to have the north and south downs but we certainly don’t have any mountains! The north of England, including Derbyshire, Northumberland, Yorkshire, Cumbria and also Dartmoor in the south west all have mountain ranges that will astound you. The definition of a mountain in the UK is a landform that rises at least 2000 feet (610 metres) above sea level. The Lake District can claim the highest mountain in England with Scafell Pike – a giant 3210 feet (978 metres) tall – that’s almost a kilometre high! There is something just magical and majestic about mountains isn’t there! The ten highest mountains in the Lake District are listed below, with their height in metres.
- Scafell Pike is 978 metres or 3209 feet.
- Scafell is 964 metres or 3162 feet.
- Helvellyn is 950 metres or 3116 feet.
- Skiddaw is 931 metres or 3053 feet.
- Great End is 910 metres or 2986.
- Bowfell is 902 metres or 2960 feet.
- Great Gable is 899 metres or 2949 feet.
- Pillar is 892 metres or 2926 feet.
- Nethermost Pike is 891 metres or 2923 feet.
- Catstye Cam is 890 metres or 2920 feet.
In addition to these magnificent mountains there are also some hike-worthy hills. Binsey, although not a mountain is an impressive 447 metres tall. This hill was fairly close to where we were staying, it is detached from the other Lakeland hills and gave us a breathtaking 360 degree view of the landscape around us. I took a video when we got to the top and thought I’d share the stunning view!
The Lake District truly is one of those places that you will wish you could pick up and take home with you! If it wasn’t quite so far away from home I would be oh so tempted to move there. From a practical point of view however, it took us over nine hours to get there (have you ever been on the M25 on the first day of the school holidays?) so it wouldn’t really work for us to live there. Gosh what a dream place though!
There are so many beautiful places you can immerse yourself in if you are lucky enough to visit the Lake District. Our hotel was situated in the North Lakes. The whole of the Lake District is stunning but if I were to recommend an area I would definitely recommend the North Lakes. The North Lakes are less populated and have a more remote feel, there are more mountains and peaceful lakes in the North and it just feels more tranquil, the perfect place to get away from it all, although obviously there are villages and towns and people do live there. Our hotel was situated in a tranquil spot about 10 miles north of Keswick, a small market town, being fairly close to Bassenthwaite Lake and Overwater Tarn. We were in a perfect spot for exploring the stunning area.
I would absolutely recommend a visit to the Lake District if you get the opportunity. If you are National Trust members, it’s worth taking your card with you too as there are some really interesting places to visit, such as Hilltop Farm, which is the former home of Beatrix Potter. This is a lovely house to visit and you can see the rooms and views that Potter has included in some of her books. Most of your entertainment in the Lake District will be free, with fresh air and beautiful sights to be seen. Grasmere, Buttermere, Haweswater, Bassenthwaite are perfectly peaceful and unspoilt lakes. The largest lake, Windermere, situated in (unsurprisingly) the town of Windermere has more of a touristy feel and you can get a ferry across the lake, you can also ride a steam boat at Ullswater. Check the websites for these though as there may be a requirement to pre-book your tickets. There are an abundance of hills, mountains and absolutely amazing and picturesque views to see. My photos don’t do it justice and I actually don’t feel I have enough words to explain what a truly unique and special place it is.
I’m proud to say that all photos are my own.