things to do in the lake district

Last Updated on: 15th July 2024, 05:53 am

Hi there! If you’re looking for a perfect vacation spot, look no further than the Lake District in the UK. Situated in the northwest region of England, the Lake District boasts some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country, from rolling hills to crystal-clear lakes. In this section, I’ll share with you the best things to do in the Lake District UK so you can make the most of your visit and soak up the natural beauty that surrounds you. Are you ready for an adventure? Let’s go!

Things to do in the Lake District

1. Exploring the Scenic Lakes

When it comes to things to see and do in the Lake District, exploring the scenic lakes is a must. The famous Windermere, Ullswater, and Derwentwater offer stunning views and endless opportunities for activities.

Take a boat trip and enjoy the fresh air while being surrounded by the beautiful scenery. Or, for the more adventurous, try kayaking or canoeing on the waters. If you prefer a more laid-back approach, simply relax by the tranquil waters and soak in the breathtaking views.

The Famous Windermere

Famous Windermere

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The largest natural lake in England, Windermere, is a popular destination for visitors to the Lake District. At 10.5 miles long, there are plenty of activities to enjoy on and around the water. Take a cruise on a traditional steamer, venture out on a canoe, or explore the scenic walking trails that hug the shoreline.

The Beautiful Ullswater

Beautiful Ullswater

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Ullswater, known for its charming towns and villages, boasts some of the most picturesque scenery in the Lake District. The Ullswater Way, a 20-mile circular trail that takes you around the shoreline, is the perfect way to get up close and personal with the stunning surroundings. Don’t forget to take a boat trip across the lake to soak in the views from a different perspective.

The Tranquil Derwentwater


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Derwentwater is a serene lake that offers visitors a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Take a stroll around the lake and admire the stunning views of the Borrowdale Valley. For a more exhilarating experience, try your hand at watersports or take a dip in the refreshing waters.

2. Hiking in the Fells

As an outdoor enthusiast, one of my favourite activities in the Lake District is hiking in the beautiful fells. Strap on your hiking boots and head out to conquer the peaks of Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, or Helvellyn, with its stunning views.

Make sure to pack a picnic with you and take in the breathtaking panoramic views from the top. The fells offer some of the most incredible scenery in the Lake District and the perfect opportunity for solitude and relaxation.

things to do at the lake district

“The Lake District is one of the most beautiful places to hike in the UK. The fells offer some of the most breathtaking scenery and are perfect for beginners as well as experienced hikers.” – Jane Smith

Top Hiking Trails in the Lake District

Trail Name Difficulty Distance
Blencathra via Sharp Edge Hard 7.5 miles
Helm Crag via Brackenfell Easy 5.5 miles
Easedale Tarn Moderate 6 miles

There are countless hiking trails in the Lake District, but some of the most popular include Blencathra via Sharp Edge, Helm Crag via Brackenfell, and Easedale Tarn. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there’s a trail for everyone to enjoy.

The hike up Blencathra via Sharp Edge is a challenging but rewarding experience, offering stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Helm Crag via Brackenfell is a family-friendly trail that’s perfect for a leisurely afternoon stroll, while the Easedale Tarn trail is perfect for those seeking a moderate hike in the picturesque Langdale Valley.

3. Visiting Historic Castles

The Lake District is a treasure trove of history and culture. From ancient stone circles to medieval castles, you’ll find fascinating landmarks all around the area. Visiting historic castles is one of the top things to see and do in the Lake District. You can imagine yourself as a knight or a queen exploring centuries-old buildings and learning about the region’s past.

One of the most iconic castles in the area is Brougham Castle. Built in the 13th century, it has seen its share of battles and drama throughout the centuries. Today, it stands proud on a hilltop overlooking the River Eamont and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Brougham Castle

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Don’t Miss: The keep or donjon of Brougham Castle was built in the late 1100s, making it one of the earliest examples of a stone keep in England.

Lowther Castle is another must-see attraction for history buffs. Once a grand palatial home, today, the castle’s ruins offer a glimpse into its glorious past. The gardens surrounding the castle are beautiful, and a visit here is a great way to unwind and enjoy the fresh Lake District air.

Fun Fact: The Gothic ruins of Lowther Castle were once used as a backdrop for the Doctor Who television series.

If you’re craving a truly immersive experience, head to Muncaster Castle. Not only is the castle worth exploring, but it also offers its ghostly tales and legends to thrill visitors. You can watch a flying falconry show, explore the gorgeous gardens or enjoy an old-fashioned afternoon tea. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to have a memorable experience at Muncaster Castle.

Comparing Historic Castles in the Lake District

Castle Highlights Admission Fee (Adult)
Brougham Castle Stunning views of River Eamont, ancient stone keep, English heritage site £6.00
Lowther Castle Beautiful gardens, ruins steeped in history, Doctor Who filming location £14.00
Muncaster Castle Ghosts and legends, flying falconry shows, afternoon tea, extensive gardens £17.50

Visiting one or more of these historic castles is a fantastic way to learn about the Lake District’s rich history. You’ll gain a deeper appreciation for this stunning region and come away with a new perspective on the area.

4. Enjoying Watersports

If you’re a water enthusiast, the Lake District is the perfect playground for you. Put on your wetsuit and try your hand at paddleboarding, sailing, or windsurfing on the lakes. The crystal-clear waters surrounded by picturesque mountains and forests offer the ideal backdrop for a day of fun on the water.

For those seeking something more challenging, there are plenty of opportunities for wild swimming and white water rafting. Why not try your luck at Ghyll scrambling, navigating your way up waterfalls and steep gorges? Whatever watersport you choose, you’re sure to enjoy an unforgettable experience.

things to do at the lake district

Sailing and Boating

Sailing on the calm waters of Lake Windermere is a serene experience, perfect for those who want to enjoy the beauty of the Lake District at a more relaxed pace. The lake is the biggest in England and offers a multitude of opportunities for boating enthusiasts. Take a boat tour and marvel at the stunning landscape or rent a boat and spend a few hours exploring the lake on your own.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is an emerging watersport, gaining popularity all around the world, and the Lake District is no exception. It’s a fun and accessible activity for all ages and abilities, offering a unique perspective of the stunning lakes and countryside. Hire a board and explore the calm waters at your leisure, taking in the sights and sounds of the Lake District.

Windsurfing and Kite Boarding

The Lake District is also a great destination for windsurfing and kiteboarding, with several schools and centers offering lessons and equipment hire. Head to Lake Coniston, where you’ll find perfect conditions for freestyle and wave riding. With the right wind, you can sail at exhilarating speeds and perform breathtaking tricks on the water.

5. Discovering Charming Villages

Exploring the Lake District is not just about scenic views and outdoor adventures, but it is also about discovering its charming villages. From the historic buildings to the local markets, these villages are steeped in history and offer a glimpse into the daily life of the residents.

One of the most picturesque villages to visit is Hawkshead. This village is a short distance from the famous Lake Windermere and boasts beautiful architecture and narrow streets. The Beatrix Potter Gallery and William Wordsworth’s Grammar School are some of the notable attractions in this village.


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The bustling market town of Keswick is another charming village worth exploring. The cobbled streets are lined with traditional shops and local vendors selling everything from artisan cheeses to handmade crafts. Take a stroll through the Hope Park Gardens or head to the Puzzling Place, a unique attraction featuring optical illusions and mind-bending puzzles.


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Immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the warm hospitality of the residents. These villages offer a chance to slow down and appreciate the simpler things in life, making them the perfect complement to a day of outdoor adventures.

6. Exploring Beatrix Potter’s World

The Lake District is not just for outdoor enthusiasts; it’s also a haven for literature lovers. One of the most beloved residents of the area was Beatrix Potter, the famous children’s author who brought us the adventures of Peter Rabbit and friends. Her former residence, Hill Top, is a must-visit for fans of all ages.

The charming house is filled with artwork, letters and furnishings that take visitors back to the author’s time, while the beautiful gardens, including the vegetable patch that inspired Mr. McGregor’s garden, provide a tranquil setting that’s perfect for a stroll.

During my visit, I was able to immerse myself in the enchanting world of Peter Rabbit and his friends. With delightful tales and memorable characters, Potter’s stories have captured the hearts of readers for generations. It was humbling to stand in the home where she wrote many of her beloved novels and where her imagination became reality.

Exploring Beatrix Potter's World

Visitors can choose to explore the house on their own or join a guided tour to learn more about the author and the inspiration behind her stories. A visit to Hill Top is a perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon while visiting the Lake District and exploring its many charms.

7. Sampling Local Cuisine

When I visit a new place, I always try to sample the local cuisine. This is especially true when it comes to things to do at the Lake District of the UK. The region is known for its delicious and hearty food that ranges from savoury to sweet.

If you’re looking to taste some authentic Lake District dishes, then be sure to try out traditional options such as Cumberland sausage, Herdwick lamb, and sticky toffee pudding.

There are plenty of places to dine in and around the Lake District that offers local food options. Whether you’re looking for a fine dining experience or just a quick bite, you will find plenty of award-winning restaurants, local pubs, and cafes that serve delicious food.

To experience the flavors of the region, I would recommend visiting the local farmers’ markets. This is a great way to get fresh produce and a glimpse of local life. The markets are also an opportunity to taste, learn, and buy regional specialties at affordable prices.

Overall, sampling local cuisine is an excellent way to experience and connect with the culture of a region, and the Lake District certainly has a rich and delicious food culture to explore.

8. Enjoying Family-Friendly Attractions

If you’re visiting the Lake District with your family, there are plenty of fun attractions for all ages to enjoy. Check out some of my favorites:

World of Beatrix Potter Attraction

Step into the magical world of Peter Rabbit and his friends at the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction. Explore the exhibits, watch a film about Beatrix Potter’s life, and even meet some of the characters in person! This enchanting experience is an absolute must for any young Beatrix Potter fans.

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

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Take a ride on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway and travel through some of the most picturesque scenery that the Lake District has to offer. This narrow-gauge steam railway is sure to delight train enthusiasts of all ages, and is a great way to see the stunning landscape from a new vantage point.

Keswick Adventure Centre

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-packed day out, head to the Keswick Adventure Centre. Here you’ll find a range of exciting activities, such as high ropes, archery, and kayaking. It’s the perfect place to challenge yourself and create lasting memories with your family.

things to do at the lake district

“The Lake District is the perfect place for a family holiday – there’s something here for everyone!”

9. Exploring National Parks and Gardens

The Lake District is renowned for its stunning national parks and gardens, which offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The region’s parks and gardens are a must-visit for nature lovers and those who appreciate picturesque settings.

Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park covers over 2,000 square kilometers and is home to some of the UK’s most breathtaking landscapes. From the rolling hills and peaceful lakes to the rugged mountains, the park offers a range of stunning vistas that are sure to take your breath away.

Lake District National Park

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The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including red squirrels, otters, and a variety of bird species. Visitors can explore the park’s many footpaths and hiking trails, which range in difficulty and offer something for everyone.

Muncaster Castle Gardens

The Muncaster Castle Gardens are a sight to behold, with some of the most beautiful displays of flora in the Lake District. The gardens feature a wide variety of flowers and plant species, including rare and exotic plants from around the world.

Muncaster Castle Gardens

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Visitors can stroll through the gardens and take in the vibrant colors and fragrances. The gardens also offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside, making it a wonderful place to relax and unwind.

“The Muncaster Castle Gardens are a true testament to the beauty and diversity of nature.”

National Parks and Gardens to Visit

Park/Garden Name Location Description
Lake District National Park Cumbria The UK’s largest national park boasts stunning landscapes and a diverse range of wildlife.
Muncaster Castle Gardens Eskdale The gardens are home to rare and exotic plant species from around the world and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or simply want to explore the natural beauty of the Lake District, the region’s national parks and gardens are a must-see. With their stunning vistas, diverse wildlife, and beautiful displays of flora, these parks and gardens are sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.


As a lover of the great outdoors, I highly recommend visiting the Lake District for an unforgettable experience. With so many things to do in the Lake District UK, it’s no wonder it’s a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. From exploring stunning lakes and hiking in the fells to visiting historic castles and charming villages, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy watersports on the crystal-clear lakes, discover Beatrix Potter’s world, and sample the local cuisine.

Visit child attractions, explore national parks and gardens, and immerse yourself in the stunning scenery. Plan your visit today and discover why the Lake District is one of the top destinations in the UK for things to do in the Lake District.


What are the best things to do in the Lake District, UK?

Some of the best things to do in the Lake District, UK include exploring the scenic lakes, hiking in the fells, visiting historic castles, enjoying watersports, discovering charming villages, exploring Beatrix Potter’s World, sampling local cuisine, enjoying family-friendly attractions, and exploring national parks and gardens.

What are some scenic lakes to explore in the Lake District?

The Lake District is home to famous lakes such as Windermere, Ullswater, and Derwentwater. You can take a boat trip, go kayaking, or simply relax by the tranquil waters and enjoy the breathtaking views.

What are the best hiking spots in the Lake District?

Some of the best hiking spots in the Lake District include Scafell Pike and Helvellyn. Lace up your hiking boots, pack a picnic, and conquer the peaks while taking in the sweeping panoramic views.

Are there any historic castles in the Lake District?

Yes, the Lake District is rich in history and there are several majestic castles waiting to be explored. Make sure to visit Brougham Castle or the ruins of Lowther Castle to learn about the area’s fascinating past.

What watersports can I enjoy in the Lake District?

If you’re a water enthusiast, the Lake District offers endless opportunities for watersports. Try paddleboarding, sailing, or windsurfing on the crystal-clear waters of the lakes.

Are there any charming villages to visit in the Lake District?

Yes, the Lake District is dotted with charming villages such as Hawkshead and Keswick. Explore the historic buildings, wander through the quaint streets, and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Can I visit Beatrix Potter’s World in the Lake District?

Yes, the Lake District was home to Beatrix Potter, and you can visit her former residence, Hill Top. Explore the enchanting world of Peter Rabbit and his friends in this charming house and beautiful gardens.

What local cuisine should I try in the Lake District?

Don’t miss the opportunity to sample traditional dishes such as Cumberland sausage, Herdwick lamb, and sticky toffee pudding. Visit the local farmers’ markets or dine at one of the many award-winning restaurants to experience the flavors of the region.

Are there any family-friendly attractions in the Lake District?

Absolutely! The Lake District offers a host of family-friendly attractions such as the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway for a steam train ride, and the Keswick Adventure Centre for a day of adventure and fun.

Are there any national parks and gardens to explore in the Lake District?

Yes, the Lake District is home to stunning national parks such as Lake District National Park and picturesque gardens like Muncaster Castle Gardens. Nature lovers will find peace and tranquility in these beautiful settings.

What is there to do in the Lake District, UK?

The Lake District offers a wide range of activities and attractions that cater to every interest. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, family fun, or simply want to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery, the Lake District has it all.


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