Explore the Lake District
The Lake District is so piercingly beautiful that it often takes your breath clean away. It’s not surprising then that its mountains, meres, fells and forests have inspired writers from William Wordsworth to Beatrix Potter. Part of Cumbria, the Lakes were declared Britain’s second National Park in 1951. Featuring England’s highest peak – Scafell Pike at 978 metres – the area is considered one of the best places in the UK for hill walking.
Aside from the mountains, the lakes themselves (most are actually meres) are the main draw for visitors. Windermere is the largest natural lake in England, while Coniston Water was the scene for Donald Campbell’s ultimately fateful water speed records in the 1950s. Derwent Water was used to test the Dambusters’ bouncing bombs and Wordsworth’s lonely wanderings near Ullswater resulted in Daffodils. And if all this beauty gets too much, the local towns have much to offer – including Keswick, Ambleside, Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere.