One must see area within this mountainous region is Ambleside. Located at the head of Lake Windermere, the town has a laidback, understated look and feel. It’s particularly popular among hikers, who often book Cottages in Ambleside as a base from where they can embark on scenic fell hikes.
While visiting the town, it’s well worth taking a trip to the Armitt Museum. It may be small, but this attraction is packed with fascinating artefacts relating to important local characters, including the likes of author Beatrix Potter, photographer Herbert Bell and National Trust founder Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley. It also houses original canvases by the artist Kurt Schwitters, who settled in the area as a German refugee following World War II.
Be sure to check out the Galava Roman Fort too. Built nearly 2,000 years ago, it is now owned by the National Trust and its foundations can still be seen. Meanwhile, perhaps the most charming of Ambleside’s attractions is Bridge House. This tiny two-room cottage is perched on top of the brook of Stock Ghyll. Now a National Trust shop, it is thought to have originally been used as an apple store.
Yet more attractions in the Lakes
Of course, there is much more to the Lakes than this one town. For example, five miles west of Windermere you’ll find Coniston Water. Best known for the water speed records set there in the 1930s and 1960s by Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell, it makes the ideal setting for a daytrip. You can wander around its banks or take to the water on a cruise.
Another top spot is Whinlatter Forest Park. Spanning an impressive 1,200 hectares, it is located around five miles from Keswick and it’s England’s only true mountain forest. It’s a designated red squirrel reserve and for the best chance of observing these shy creatures, you can make your way to the visitor centre, where you’ll be able to see live video feeds from a series of squirrel cams. Meanwhile, if you’re feeling active, you can check out the Go Ape tree-top assault course or hire mountain bikes and test your skills on the area’s two cycling trails.
Whether you’re staying in the Lake District for a weekend, a week or a fortnight, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained.
(Photo by lutmans via Flickr)
Article written by Gail N.