The Lake District


Brrrr.... Derwentwater, in the Lake District, England  (Daniel_Kay/Shutterstock)

Brrrr.... Derwentwater, in the Lake District, England (Daniel_Kay/Shutterstock)

Looking for some Great British adventure inspiration? You're in the right place. Here you'll get an independent, ad-free lowdown on Britain's top 50 adventure locations - the online yin to the paper yang of our Joyously Busy Great British Adventure Map.

Why Go To The Lake District?

The Lake District is also England's Mountain District and Stunning Scenery District. Just some of the things you can do in the Lake / Mountain / Stunning Scenery District that you can't do anywhere else... 

  • Explore England's only mountain region, including of course England's highest peak, Scafell Pike
  • Drink in some of Britain's finest views and see what got William Wordsworth all a-quiver
  • Mess about in boats on England's biggest, deepest and loveliest lakes
  • Hike or bike through on the coast-to-coast route or walk the Cumbria Way

Want to find out more? Read on for great photos, articles, videos, top tips and other content to fire up your adventure appetite. Got a question? Ask away.

Tell Me More

Flouncing around with its new World Heritage status, this perfectly-proportioned arrangement of high hills and deep glacial lakes is one of Britain’s best-loved adventure locations. Too many highlights, but how about Bassenthwaite, Ullswater, Wastwater, Rydal Water and Derwentwater for lakes? Helvellyn, Haystacks, Blencathra and Great Gable for fells? Views from Gummer's How, Friar's Crag or Wasdale Head? If it's all too much, maybe pause to marvel at a lonely cloud and decide whether you’re more Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter or Withnail. Highest point (and England's too): Scafell Pike (978m).

A fine Buttermere sunset, Lake District, England  (Michael Conrad/Shutterstock)

A fine Buttermere sunset, Lake District, England (Michael Conrad/Shutterstock)

The essential journey in the Lake District is the Coast-to-Coast walk / cycle or the Cumbria Way walk, which takes you right past Derwentwater and Cat Bells...


A couple of vids about adventures in the Lakes, including one on the very English challenges to be done in these parts...

Wasdale from Kirk Fell, with England's deepest lake, Wast Water, in the distance... 


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Getting To The Lake District, Maps & Guides

Getting there: 3 hours by train from London. 1.5 hrs by car from Manchester, 2 hrs from Liverpool and 4.5 hrs from London.  

Travel times from where you are: See the Lake District on Google Maps.

Maps: Find the right Ordnance Survey maps and / or get a month's free subscription to their excellent OS Maps app.

Guidebooks: The Wild Guide to the Lake District or the Rough Guide to the Lake District.

Walking route guidance: so many walks in the Lakes, so here's a list of the very best, hogging the top spots in ITV's show Britain's Favourite Walks.

Tourist board: Lake District national park.

Even More Lake District Adventure Inspiration

To get your bearings, the National Trust's overview of the 13 valleys of the Lake District is really good. We also like their feature on Ennerdale, one of the loveliest but least visited valleys. Adventure Magazine's article on Skiddaw is a good'un. Also from The Great Outdoors... this feature with local legend Chris Bonnington going up Helvellyn.

But here's a great interview with a proper local: Joss Naylor. The essential Lake District book that everyone's been raving about is A Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks. It's good!

For cyclists, here are some top road cycling routes. Hikers may enjoy the Instagram account and writings of James Forrest, the fastest person to climb all 446 mountains in England and Wales, managing to fit the challenge in around his full-time job.

And - obviously - the BBC's Ramblings podcast has been to the Lakes, several times:

It's well worth getting hold of Terry Abraham's excellent Life Of A Mountain films about Scafell Pike, Blencathra and Helvellyn. Here's the trailer for the one about Scafell Pike...

And finally... well, excessive smugness is probably allowed if you've just shimmied up Nape's Needle...


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What Next?

Click here to see 49 other Great British adventure locations and tell us about your adventures, plans and suggestions for these pages.

Britain's Best Outdoorsy Bits... Mapped!

Liking what you see, but fancy keeping it old school with an actual paper map? Our Joyously Busy Great British Adventure Map features all of Britain's best outdoorsy bits (including the Top 50), plus some enjoyably random and vaguely useful stuff too. Available either as a 2-sided fold-out map or a framed wall map (office furniture and fake plants not included).