The Lake District
Thursday 25th May – Sunday 28th May
Ahh, the peaceful, lovely land of the Lake District.
Where to start to begin to describe this magical land? There is of course, the beautiful scenery; the mountains, the lakes, the perfect outdoor life. Great for city bods that want to get out and breathe some fresh air. There are walking trails that go on for miles, a lovely café and old world pub culture, friendly people and plenty of activities to engage in and keep you occupied. The district is very dog friendly, which makes its appealing for family’s not wanting to leave their four legged friends at home. The food found here is diverse, along with the classic fish & chips North England is so well known for (because let’s be honest, England is not known for its great food and customer service like Italy or any other country in Europe is, but thankfully we make up for this in other ways!). It is a great all round destination that is perfect for a week of relaxation, with lots of walking or cycling opportunities alongside amazing views to keep you occupied in the daytime. Sound like your perfect getaway yet?
Of course the only downside is the weather can be unpredictable. But we all know people don’t come to England for the weather by now!
Where and when to stay in the Lake District?
The main towns which make up this quarter of the land are:
I would highly recommend staying near Keswick, as there are plenty of amazing walking trails which can be reached on foot from here. The town is also ideal with plenty of pubs and restaurants to see you through a few nights.
How expensive is it?
The UK is a pretty expensive place as a whole, and unless you are staying in a hostel making your own meals can be pretty hard. There are lots of cafes which open for breakfast and lunch in the town; I would recommend stopping by a supermarket or the little convenience store on the edge of the town center for bottles of water, snacks to take on walks etc.
On an average day:
Breakfast: expect to pay roughly £10pp
Lunch: expect to pay approx. £15pp for a pub/café lunch
Dinner: Expect to pay £20-£25pp for a two course meal and drink.
Average daily food costs approx. £50-60pp depending on the restaurants you choose.
TIP: A word of warning, overall the only downside I found to the Lake District as a whole was the restaurants here are expensive for what you get, and the food is not overly amazing. The best restaurant’s get booked up quickly as it is a small town, Pub grub and Italian are the most obvious choices around and some places are definitely better than others, so I would highly recommend booking a table ahead and do look at TripAdvisor for highest recommendations in the area so you don’t end up disappointed like I was.
The main type of accommodation in the district are of the ‘Bed & Breakfast’ (B&B’s)’ style. Hotels are not so common; however there are a few dotted around If you want to splash out for a special occasion. There are camping grounds also available if you like sleeping under the stars!
A rough guide of prices in the summer season (May-September) are as follows:
1nts accommodation in a B&B for 2 in a double/twin room – approx. £80-100
1nts accommodation in a hotel for 2 in a double/twin room – approx. £150-200
Camping – approx. £22 per night
When to visit/Travel to the Lake District?
Accommodation prices are generally expensive at Easter, over Bank Holidays and during the summer season (June- beginning of September). When the children’s summer holidays are over and they return to school after their 6 week break, is in my opinion the best time to visit. From mid-September prices are lowering and the weather is normally pretty mild and sunshiny still; the perfect time to get exploring.
Alternatively I visited after Easter at the end of May and the weather was overall pretty good and varied. We had our first day in the baking hot sun, and the next two were over-cloud and rainfall. However it was not cold, so I would recommend also visiting in the late spring as we are almost in summer if you don’t mind some unpredictable weather 🙂
It is easy to get a train to one of the main stations; however once you are within the Lake District it is hard to see everything by public transport unfortunately. It is a remote place with little villages and towns scattered about a large area with mountains and hills in between. I Would recommend if you are getting the train up, to hire a car if you wish to see more of the lake district than the immediate area you are staying in or find somewhere that offer’s bike hire. Cycling is a great way to get around the Lake District 🙂
Top things to do here:
A walkers paradise: Here is a link of the best walks according to TripAdvisor
- Visit the towns of the lake district for eating, shopping and people watching. Visit one of the many art gallery’s dotted around the towns.
- Visit an old cinema
- Beatrix Potter World
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a child that has not heard of the Tales of Peter Rabbit! Enjoy an hour walking around this little exhibition, ideal for families and young children.
- Take a boat ride on Derwentwater or Lake Winderemere
A good website to use for exploring things to do can be found here.
I decided to stay in Keswick after reading many reviews on TripAdvisor. A) Because I wanted to do some walking and Keswick seemed the best base for this and B) Lake Windermere sounded too touristy for me. I am so glad we decided to stay in Keswick; it is a gorgeous town and the perfect base to explore on foot from!
We arrived in Keswick at 6pm after a long drive up from London. We went for dinner at a pub called the Golden Lion which was a nice enough pub, however I would not recommend for the food, which was not very nice, followed by an evening stroll around the town before walking the few minutes back to our B&B to check-in and settled in before our day out tomorrow.
Day 1 – Friday
After a lovely breakfast at our B&B, Jamie and I ventured out for our full day hike! We decided to climb Catbells and continue the walk all the way around Dentwater Lake. I would recommend doing the lake walk this way round if you plan to do Catbells too, as if you start the walk from dentwater and end at Catbells you will be exhausted leaving the climb to do at the end! Catbells and the lake had perfect views, and we finally arrived back in Keswick for dinner around 6pm. We were delayed an hour on the mountain as a girl had quite a nasty fall and we waiting with her for the mountain rescue team to come and help her.
This is a good time to point out that you must always been careful and if you think a path is unsafe or too steep, be extra cautious! If you do not feel comfortable take another route or turn back. Accidents are really no fun at all and could ruin your trip if you are not careful.
Fortunately the weather was gorgeous today and very hot. Unfortunately I burnt quite badly. Remember the sunscreen people!
Day 2 – Saturday
As the weather was cloudy today and forecasted rain, we decided to jump in the car and head over to Lake Windermere for a few hours. We went to Beatrix Potter World, had a wander around the town and stopped off for lunch (in my case a chocolate and banana waffle!) before the rain came in. We spent the afternoon in a café in Keswick reading and drinking coffee. Damn the rain! For dinner that night we struggled to find somewhere with availability – hence why you should book ahead! We finally found space in a Mexican tapas bar around 9pm. The food was ok and quite expensive so I wouldn’t be fussed about returning, but it was ok for what it was, just not my sort of thing.
Day 3 – Sunday
We checked out of our lovely B&B and by 10:30am we continued our drive up North towards Fort William! We stopped by a little shopping outlet near Gretna Green which was well timed for a spot of shopping and lunch. Jamie also thought it would be a good idea to buy a ton of mini eggs from the Cadbury world outlet store to keep us going on the drive. Winner!
Next Stop – Fort William!
-The Sloan Ranger