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The Beginners guide to The Lake District, Cumbria

The Lake District, Cumbria occupies 2,613 square miles of north west England, so coming here for the first time can be somewhat overwhelming when deciding exactly where to visit first. With two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, dramatic mountain ranges, 2 national parks, hundreds of miles of coastline and a rich cultural heritage, you will almost certainly have reasons to come back here time and time again.
If you’re visiting here for the first time, this blog will help you decide on where you should be heading…

The World Heritage Sites…

Cumbria is the only place in the UK that has two World Heritage Sites within it’s borders. These are Hadrian’s Wall and the Lake District National Park.

Hadrian’s Wall is an ancient Roman wall that was constructed in AD 122 by the Roman Emperor, Hadrian. Its purpose was to separate the recently conquered Roman Britain from the northern Barbarian tribes in what is modern day Scotland. It stretches the entire width of northern England covering 73 miles from the west coast of Cumbria to the River Tyne in the north-east. It’s a fascinating bit of history and should 100% be on your bucket list. Find out more about it HERE!

Hadrian's Wall
The second and most recent of the UNESCO sites is the Lake District National Park. Arguably the most beautiful and scenic part of the United Kingdom. The national park covers a large portion of the county clocking in at 912 square miles, so there is plenty to see!

It is made up of several large waters, meres, lakes, mountains, valleys, forests and stunning countryside villages. You may hear people say that there is only one lake in the Lake District, which is technically true. Bassenthwaite Lake in the north west of the national park is the only water that has ‘Lake’ in the name. The national park also houses England's largest mountain and deepest lake, Scafell Pike and Wastwater respectively.

The rest of them are either ‘Meres’ or ‘Waters’, such as Windermere - England’s largest lake that ribbons through the south Lake District for 11 miles. Find out more about the Lakes HERE!
Coniston Water

The Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Or AONB for short)

These areas of the county have been specially designated for conservation due to their important landscape value. Cumbria has three of them! These include Arnside & Silverdale, The Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and The North Pennine mountain range. These special spots are definitely worth your time to explore. You can find more information about each of them below:

The North pennines

The Solway Coast

Arnside & Silverdale

Solway Coast

Walking, Hiking & The Great Outdoors…

One of Cumbria’s biggest attractions is the walking offering we have here. Millions of people come to Cumbria purely for this reason. There are hundreds of walks you can do from 1-hour strolls along the Lake shore to full day 8-10 hour hikes taking in some of the country’s largest mountains. There is something for everyone whether you chose to scale England’s largest peak, Scafell Pike or go for a Sunday stroll along the Langdale valley floor with family.

Another thing Cumbria’s hikers aim for is to bag all the Wainwright Fells. These are a collection of 214 individual mountains made famous in Alfred Wainwrights’ pictorial guides to the Lake District books. You will traverse the entirety of the national park claiming these peaks and experience some of the most dramatic views on offer. For more information on walking, click HERE!

We are also known for our outdoor sports too. Including kayaking, mountain biking, adventure courses, segway, gyroplanes, parachuting, horse-riding, scrambling and climbing. Plus, tons more outdoor activities to be getting involved with. You can find more information HERE!

Scafell Pike

The Award-winning Food & Drink…

It’s no secret that the food & drink we have in Cumbria is renowned throughout the world and has won many awards, both for the exceptional local produce and our unbelievable range of restaurants and pubs for you to dine at during your visit.

We have three Michelin Star restaurants here. L’Enclume in Cartmel, The Gilpin near Bowness-on-Windermere and The Forest Side in Grasmere. If you haven’t yet tried the delights prepared by a Michelin Star chef, there is no better way to try it than here in Cumbria.

Sticky Toffee Pudding, Grasmere Gingerbread and the Cumberland Sausage are some of the local delights you can find here - all come from Cumbria and once you’ve had a taste of these famous treats, you’ll be wanting more and more. If you count yourself as a ‘Foodie’ and wish to sample some of the most beautiful food in the land, a trip to Cumbria should be on the cards.

Cumberland Sausage

To Escape the Rat Race…

Many of us lead manic, busy lives and we all need a break sometimes. If you like to get away from it all, there are parts of Cumbria that if you time it right, you can have an entire valley to yourself. What better way to escape from the frantic routine of modern life. The Ennerdale valley is particularly good for this. Positioned on the western edge of the national park and easily accessed from the West Coast, this is an area of truly natural beauty. The valley head has the mighty Pillar Fell which dominates the valley at 2,927 feet and the namesake Ennerdale Water stretching for most of the valley.

If you find yourself needing some time to recharge and reflect on life, a trip to some of Cumbria’s hidden gems would be well worth looking into…


Come and Experience Our Cultural Heritage and Significance

The Lake District National Park was awarded it’s World Heritage Status on the cultural significance of the area and rightly so. Famous literary giants, William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter were inspired to write some of their most famous works by the area.

Their old residences, Dove Cottage and Hill Top Farm respectively are now open to the public, giving you the chance to experience these poets and writers up close and find out exactly how they came to write their famous works which continue to be read, recited and enjoyed many years after the authors passed away.

Our offering of Art Galleries, Museums and cultural spots is also top-notch and you won’t be stuck for things to learn and discover during your stay. Check out more on the Cumbrian culture HERE.

River Eamont
There are many more reasons to visit the Lake District, Cumbria and hopefully this beginners guide can help you decide on where to visit first. There’s too much to cover in just one blog so why not check out other blogs and the information available right here on start planning your trip today.

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