Top Tips For Visiting The Lake District
I’ve now had the pleasure of visiting the Lake District twice, with previous stays at Yewfield Guest House and Another Place. It’s undoubtedly one of my favourite places to holiday in the UK, and enjoy a break from work life and my mobile phone. It’s a place where I unwind, disconnect and feel calm. If you’re looking for idyllic villages, fresh countryside air, superb dining options and cosy pubs, you might just love the Lakes as much as I do.
Here are my top tips for visiting the Lake District!
Drive & See Where You End Up
I’m usually a bit of a Monica when it comes to holiday plans and itineraries with a strict to-do list of places I want to check out. When it comes to the Lake District, I find that simply seeing where you end up is the best approach! For our last visit, we were kindly gifted a car loan from Vauxhall, so we spent three days whizzing around the winding roads and stumbling across cute villages in a fabulous Crossland. We couldn’t have asked for a better car to enjoy the lakes with, a compact SUV with all of the gadgets and features you could need (all of the parking features came in VERY handy for this awful parallel parker) and such an easy drive. We both loved the Crossland and when we finally move into our house we’re thinking about buying a Crossland or Grandland to share between us and use for all of our adventures! At the moment we only have Charlie’s work van between us which is usually full of his tools so the Crossland felt like ultimate luxury…and I think we got a bit too attached!
Pack A Pair Of Comfortable Walking Shoes
I can’t stress this enough! A pair of comfortable walking boots are an essential when you’re exploring the Lake District even if you avoid the bigger hikes and find yourself meandering around the towns. The last thing you want is blisters from a pair of flimsy trainers so it’s a good idea to invest in something a little sturdier. My Palladium hiking boots are my favourites but you can pick up a decent pair from any outdoor store such as Blacks or Mountain Warehouse.
Book Accommodation In Advance
Hotel prices for the Lake District tend to skyrocket during the summer holiday period thanks to the popularity of the Lakes as a holiday destination. I’ve found that to get the best rates it’s best to book in advance. You also don’t want to be caught out with the hotel you’ve set your sights on ending up sold out before you get around to reserving your room. For popular hotels such as Another Place, you will want to book as soon as possible as rooms get snapped up quickly.
Don’t Stay In One Place
We always end up going on a road trip when we stay in the lakes regardless of where we stay. Towns may be 30+ minutes apart according to the Sat Nav but that’s usually due to windy style of the roads, and in fact, they’re not actually that far from each other at all. Although we stayed in Ullswater last time, we also explore Windermere, Ambleside and Keswick. It’s surprising how much you can pack into a day and each town has its own charm so get out there and explore!
Check Out Ambleside’s Vegan Scene
I have to admit, I was a little concerned when we booked our trip and wondering whether there would be much in the way of vegan food options. Eating out is half the fun of going away after all. To my surprise, the Lake District is bursting with fantastic vegan friendly restaurants and even hotels! There are two vegetarian guest houses in and around Ambleside; Yewfield and Ambleside Manor both of which offer vegan breakfast options. In the town you’ll find two great vegetarian restaurants Zeffirellis and Fellinis, as well as other vegan/veggie friendly restaurants – check out the Happy Cow app for a full list.
Stop For A Drink In The Drunken Duck
For a cosy, traditional style of pub with a highly acclaimed highly menu, you can’t beat The Drunken Duck nestled in the rolling countryside…read: the middle of nowhere! It’s all part of the charm, cosy up by the fire in the winter months and soak up the atmosphere. The pub is also dog friendly so you can bring your pooch with you. You might be interested to know that they also have 13 hotel rooms, moderately priced and individually decorated.
Prepare For All Weathers
When packing your bag, be prepared for all weathers! Both times we’ve visited the Lakes, we’ve had experiences where it’s sunny one minute and raining the next. A raincoat is vital, try and opt for a lighter roll-up style so it doesn’t feel like too much of a hardship lugging it around on your walks. Other packing essentials include: plenty of thick socks, light layers, backpack, flask, battery pack and a good old paper map.
Drive ‘The Struggle’ (But Not If You’re A Nervous Driver)
I’d never heard of ‘The Struggle’ but it didn’t sound like a road I fancied driving on to be completely honest! After a quick Google I decided it definitely wasn’t a road I fancied attempting as either a drive or passenger but when the Sat Nav takes you down a road you’re unfamiliar with and suddenly you’re on a one-car width stretch of ‘The Struggle’ there’s not much you can do about it. It was actually a really fun experience driving up it (wish we had been going down, mind) and I couldn’t believe how many crazy individuals were cycling – they must have had thighs of steel!
Take A Cruise On Lake Windermere
There are plenty of activities to enjoy around Windermere, and one that I loved was hiring bikes from Windermere Outdoor Adventure Centre and taking them across the water on one of the boat cruises over to the other side where we enjoyed a marked bike trail.
Other must-dos and places of interest to visit when you’re in the Lake District include:
- The Lakes Distillery
- Scafell Pike
- Grasmere Gingerbread
- Muncaster Castle
- Lake Buttermere
- The World of Beatrix Potter