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A stunning collection of wild and rugged landscapes, the Lake District is one of the jewels in England's crown. Dominated by towering peaks, plunging valleys and still and silent lakes, the Lake District National Park attracts more than 14 million visitors every year, yet most people leave with a sense of untamed natural beauty. This uplifting terrain inspired dozens of English writers, from Wordsworth and Coleridge to Arthur Ransome and Beatrix Potter, but most college students know the Lakes from the subversive art-house movie Withnail and I. Rising to the peak of England’s highest mountain, the Lakes are a natural wonderland for ...

A stunning collection of wild and rugged landscapes, the Lake District is one of the jewels in England's crown. Dominated by towering peaks, plunging valleys and still and silent lakes, the Lake District National Park attracts more than 14 million visitors every year, yet most people leave with a sense of untamed natural beauty. This uplifting terrain inspired dozens of English writers, from Wordsworth and Coleridge to Arthur Ransome and Beatrix Potter, but most college students know the Lakes from the subversive art-house movie Withnail and I. Rising to the peak of England’s highest mountain, the Lakes are a natural wonderland for hiking, climbing, rafting, kayaking, sailing, bird-watching and pretty much everything else that attracts human beings to the great outdoors. But this is no uninhabited wilderness - the Lakes are dotted with ancient market towns and stone-walled farming villages. Windermere and Bowness attract the biggest crowds, but walkers prefer Keswick and Coniston for their position on the 72-mile-long Cumbria Way. To escape the crowds, head to brooding Wast Water in the shadow of Scafell Pike.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Now Happening in English Lake District

Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April to October for the best weather, but expect outrageous crowds in the main towns at weekends, and every day from June to September.