The Lake District. It means many different things to each of us. For some it is the stunning mountains and fells which are a beauty to behold. To others it is the ‘creative ‘connection to Wordsworth, Coleridge or Ruskin who were moved and inspired by their surroundings to create some timeless pieces which are still revered today. Many of us each year follow the daffodil trail alongside Ullswater to ‘walk in Wordworth’s footsteps’. The National Trust host the Ullswater Daff Festival (this year 28th March to 17 April), a set of events in the Ullswater Valley to celebrate its natural splendour. For Wordsworth’s poetry enthusiasts, a visit to Dove Cottage, Rydal is a must. You can still visit Ruskin’s former home ‘Brantwood’ which sits on the east side of the beautiful Coniston Water and many of Ruskin’s artworks and writings are available to view.
To many, the landscape offers physical challenges like no other! Walking, climbing, abseiling, canoeing, kayaking, cycling etc. the list is endless. It is the ultimate adventure playground for both adults and children alike. Children can swing through the trees at the Go Ape sites and then tackle the various grades of cycle routes if you head to either Grizedale or Whinlatter Forests. The walking opportunities are vast from the imposing Scafell Pike and the surrounding ranges to the lower fells many of which still offer splendid views. Accessible walks, such as Tarn Hows allows everyone a chance to get away from it all and enjoy the lovely landscape which affords glorious views all round.
Families often come here to enjoy some quality time together and revel in the numerous fantastic eateries that are on offer in the area. Zefferellis in Ambleside not only offers a vegetarian restaurant but cinema as well, and in the south of the area is L’enclume the renowned award winning restaurant in Cartmel (a foodies haven). Many of the pubs scattered through the Lakes offer a diverse selection of meals, so there really is something for everyone.
Dotted through the Lakes are numerous quaint and picturesque villages which are well worth exploring. From the larger settlements, such as Ambleside, Keswick and Windermere which offer a fantastic selection of shops, places to eat, museums and attractions there is so many more places to explore. Don’t miss such as Elterwater, where you can combine a walk and then a fabulous pub lunch or Hawkshead with its many pubs, individual shops and Beatrix Potter gallery.
Once visited, it is a place that’s never forgotten. If you are adventurous enough to scale a mountain peak in time for the sunrise, the serenity and beauty that awaits will seldom be forgotten. The feeling of being at one with the surroundings and seeing the stunning landscape as it is illuminated for another day can be a magical if not ethereal experience.
From majestic peaks to wooded valleys and hillsides, crystal clear lakes and wide open coastlines there is a part of the Lakes that suits everyone. Although not geographically vast the area is home to some of the most impressive, varied and aesthetically pleasing landscapes in our land. For those of us who live and work here, the landscape inspires what we do. From which ever direction you approach the Lakes the mountains that rear up in front of you and offer a tantalising glimpse of the splendours to come when you make the journey among them. Come and explore this wonderful area for yourself and create your own memories.