The Lake District is easily accessible from most major trainlines in the UK, and makes for an easy weekend (or week long) getaway. Whether you enjoy walking in the fells, real ale or simply sitting on the water front and enjoying the view, there is something for everyone. So, below, my thoughts on the best things to see on a weekend in the lakes!
Accessibility: Driving is probably the best option, however trains to Oxenholme (and then Kendal) are another easy option, with busses from Kendal going to Grasmere, Keswick, Ambleside and Windermere.
Walking: There are so many opportunities for walking in the fells (mountains) and around various bodies of water (tarns, meres, waters, only one lake according to local lore). You can’t go wrong with some of the classics, such as Coniston Old Man or Catbells, or for a less strenuous day around the shores of Coniston Water or Ullswater. Walking from downtown Windermere to Orrest Head is also a quick jaunt.
After your walk, head to a pub or café to warm up with a pint or some tea. My personal favorites include the Black Bull in Coniston, the Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley, or the Bluebird Café in Coniston. There are plenty of appetizing options in Keswick, Bowness and Ambleside as well. It’s pretty hard to go wrong.
Spend the night in an a nice Lakeland bed and breakfast, and while away the evening in a pub. There are so many local and craft beers to try, and even local gin made near Keswick.
Fell Foot park (a national trust property) is a lovely place to take in the views of the mountains, or to hire a boat and get on the water. They also have a café and host free weekly parkruns, which I have run in several times and would recommend.
The Keswick Stone circle is one of the most impressive sights in the lakes, a Neolithic circle surrounded by some of the highest fells. As a bonus, you can reach it easily by car.
If you want a bit more adventure, try driving through Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass, called the most outrageous roads in Britain. They’re doable in nice weather, and the views are amazing. There is a Roman Fort at the top that you can explore. Check out my experience on Hardknott Pass here!
Overall, there is a ton to do in the lakes, all surrounded by dramatic views and friendly pubs. It is definitely worth a visit! The floods from Storm Desmond have wreaked a bit of havoc in Cumbria in the last week, destroying property and leaving people stranded. We weren’t badly affected but the community has really come together to help those who were. I hope that there will be a great summer of tourism and hiking ahead, for all the people who live here and to help the local businesses and communities that were affected.