The Lake District
The Lakes is our favourite destination for day trips. At around 2 hours drive from Durham to the edge of the National Park, we're very lucky to have such stunning landscapes so close. The walking's harder work than the rolling Dales, Cheviots or Moors, with lots of steep climbs, but you're well rewarded for your exertions at the top.
The National Park, established in 1951, boasts 60 of the 67 English mountains over 2500ft (762m), England's highest mountain (Scafell Pike, 986m (3235ft), England's deepest and longest lakes (Wastwater, 74m and Windermere, 10.5 miles) and the wettest inhabited place in England (Seathwaite, with an annual rainfall of 3552mm or, in old money, 11.7 inches per month!).
Despite its reputation for high rainfall, the Lakes is a very popular tourist destination, attracting over 15 million people a year, who spend almost £1bn in the region. While near the main tourist honeypots it can feel very busy, a short walk takes you away from the crowds into the idyllic mountainous country. The Lake District's variety is part of its appeal; a day's walk can take you along a lakeside, through some ancient deciduous woodland, up a bleak, deserted valley to a windy ridge then on to the summit of a mountain with 360° views.
Lake District Destinations
- Grasmere - Famous for being one-time home to poet William Wordsworth, Grasmere village and lake lie south of Thirlmere reservoir and north-west of Windermere. The village boasts the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop, in case you needed another reason to go!
- Threlkeld and Mungrisdale - Sitting at the foot of Blencathra, or Saddleback, these small villages give good access to Blencathra and Skiddaw, England's 4th highest mountain at 931m (3054ft).
- Glenridding and Patterdale - On the shores of Ullswater, walking from these two small villages often leads towards Fairfield and the 950m Helvellyn, famous for Striding Edge, its bristly ridge leading down to the villages. This easy scramble is a must for anyone hill walking in the Lakes.
- Braithwaite - At the bottom of the Whinlatter and Newlands Passes, the picturesque village of Braithwaite gives great access to the stunning Coledale horsehoe which joins Grisedale Pike, Crag Hill, Causey Pike and Barrow. The more adventurous may reach Buttermere for ice cream!
- Langdale - Surrounded by mountains, the Langdale valley is a long drive, but well worth the effort as one is rewarded with some fantastic hill walking.
- Many others - Including Buttermere, Wast Water, Ennerdale, Brothers Water and Haweswater we vary our destinations year on year, especially for the weekends away, to try to ensure you get to all parts of the Lakes.