The Lake District: Places to Explore


  • Ambleside

    Unlike Kendal and Windermere, Ambleside seems almost part of the hills and fells. Its buildings, mainly of local stone and many built in the traditional style that forgoes the use of mortar in the outer... Read more

  • Bassenthwaite Lake

  • Borrowdale

    South of Keswick and its lake lies the valley of Borrowdale, whose varied landscape of green valley floor and surrounding crags has long been considered one of the region's most magnificent treasures... Read more

  • Cartmel

    The village of Cartmel is the southern Lakeland area's most attractive, set in a gentler Cumbrian landscape of hills and fields beyond the trees of Grizedale and the southern tip of Windermere. It comes... Read more

  • Cockermouth

    This small but bustling town, at the confluence of the rivers Derwent and Cocker, has a maze of narrow streets that are a delight to wander. It's a bit off the usual tourist path, and a bit bohemian. The... Read more

  • Coniston

    This small lake resort and boating center attracts climbers to the steep peak of the Old Man of Coniston (2,635 feet), which towers above the slate-roof houses. It also has sites related to John Ruskin... Read more

  • Elterwater

    The delightful village of Elterwater, at the eastern end of the Great Langdale Valley on B5343, is a good stop for hikers. It's barely more than a cluster of houses around a village green, but from here... Read more

  • Grasmere

    Lovely Grasmere, on a tiny, wood-fringed lake, is made up of crooked lanes in which Westmorland slateā€“built cottages hold shops and galleries. The village is a focal point for literary and landscape associations... Read more

  • Hawkshead

    In the Vale of Esthwaite, this small market town is a pleasing hodgepodge of tiny squares, cobbled lanes, and whitewashed houses. There's a good deal more history here than in most local villages, however... Read more

  • Kendal

    The southern gateway to the Lake District is the "Auld Gray Town" of Kendal, outside the national park and less touristy than the towns to the northwest. You may want to stay closer to the action, but... Read more

  • Keswick

    The great mountains of Skiddaw and Blencathra brood over the gray slate houses of Keswick (pronounced kezz-ick), on the scenic shores of Derwentwater. The town is a natural base for exploring the rounded... Read more

  • Penrith

    The red-sandstone town of Penrith was the capital of old Cumbria, part of the Scottish kingdom of Strathclyde in the 9th and 10th centuries. It was rather neglected after the Normans arrived, and the Scots... Read more

  • Rydal

    The village of Rydal, on the small glacial lake called Rydal Water, is rich with Wordsworthian associations.... Read more

  • Ullswater

    Hemmed in by towering hills,Ullswater, the region's second-largest lake, is one of the least developed, drawing people for its calm waters and good access to the mountain slopes of Helvellyn. The A592... Read more

  • Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere

    For a natural touring base for the southern half of the Lake District, you don't need to look much farther than Windermere, though it does get crowded in summer. The resort became popular in the Victorian... Read more