The Lake District is one the UK’s best known hidden gems…
The Lake District in North-West England is one of the most beautiful and stunning destinations you could visit in the UK. It is huge, there are 16 lakes in total and all framed by beautiful mountainsides, woodlands or rolling hills. The perfect place for a hike, relaxing getaway or capturing nature at its best!
The Lakes has always been a bucket list destination of mine. For my 30th birthday, my husband surprised me to a weekend getaway and it didn’t disappoint. The views are stunning, the picturesque lakes are so relaxing, and the mountain backdrop is epic! Driving through the stunning villages was very surreal like I’d stepped into a famous painting, I’m thinking Albert Bierstadt esque, and unlike anything I’d experienced in the UK.
First on the destination list was Lake Windermere. We stayed at the beautiful boutique hotel, Hillthwaite House, which positions itself at the top of the hill and has the most stunning views. Lake Windermere is the largest of the 16 lakes and a busy hotspot for tourists. Bowness-on-Windermere is its own little town in Windermere and if you pay a visit it’s one of the best places to hop on a boat and see all the different islands. We walked around the town and found some lovely quaint bars and restaurants, along with souvenir shops with beautiful handmade items.
I was pregnant when we visited so we kept it light and didn’t get to cover as much ground as we’d have liked to but we did manage a small hike up to Orrest Head. It’s a great little walk which takes you through wooded areas and is well marked out with plenty of rest points along the way if you need them, which I did with bump in tow. At a steady pace, it took around 30 minutes to reach the summit. The views at the top were breathtaking, you’re greeted with panoramic views over the lakes and with the mountains in the background it’s awe-inspiring. We stayed there for a while just taking it all in. How lucky we are to have such beauty in this world!
“The loveliest spot that man hath found.”
The best thing about the Lakes is that you don’t have to be an experienced hiker to enjoy what’s on offer. There are some easy going strolls along the waterside. Skimming stones across the lake or enjoying a picnic is simply enough. One thing I really liked about this type of walk was seeing how much everyone around us was enjoying the location. People were gathered at various points along our walk having small bbq’s or picnics enjoying the good weather and fun! Walking aside, there is so much to discover by simply driving around. We spent most of our time getting lost along the winding country roads and stopping off at different locations. If you’re into your landscape photography you’ll be spoilt for choice! We took the car ferry from Bowness-on-Windermere to Sawrey, it’s a short trip, and then drove, turned off the sat-nav and got lost for awhile. Switching off from the world was perfect, we had no itinerary, no planned route, it really was the ultimate getaway. Surprising what you can find when you head off the beaten track.
During our stay in the Lake District we also headed on up to Keswick, it’s about a 90min drive from Windermere. That said, we took our time and stopped off along the way just to take it all in! Keswick town is beautiful if you get a chance to visit, it has some traditional and quintessentially British shops and markets too. We parked up and took a walk over to Derwentwater which has to be my favourite lake and well worth the visit. You can rent out a wooden rowing boat or take a walk around the nearby gardens. There’s something very idyllic about this place! On our last day, we drove out to a local pub called the Drunken Duck just near Hawkshead. It’s a typical country pub with a great atmosphere and homemade food and clearly very popular for locals and tourists. We’d certainly recommend it.
The Lake District is England’s largest National Park and one of the most beautiful areas in the UK that you could visit! We spent a total of 3 days and it was the perfect weekend away. I would highly recommend it as there so much to do. My only wish is that we’d spent longer there.