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What to See and Do in the Lake District – a guide to notable attractions and landmarks

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For centuries the Lake District has been a favourite muse of writers, artists, and visionaries, with poet William Wordsworth famously describing the landscape as the "loveliest spot that man hath ever found". With swathes upon swathes of sprawling pastel-green valleys, glorious lakes, and hypnotic woodland, the national park is a playground of dreams for adventurous, outdoorsy types and anyone else with a taste for the best that nature has offer.
Scafell Pike

 

 

Scafell Pike is England’s tallest peak and presents an achievable challenge to the majority of hikers, but is not without its demands. Quality tracks to the summit – requiring good navigation skills in poor visibility – run from Wasdale, Borrowdale, Eskdale and Langdale. The ascent from Wasdale Head is the shortest of these, while the Corridor Route from Borrowdale is a slightly longer and mellower option. Walkers can expect at least 10 miles of stirring fresh air and fabulous cross-country views, but must come prepared.

 

Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage

 

 

Having first arrived in the Lake District at the end of the 18th Century, Wordsworth made Dove Cottage his family home for close to a decade, practising "plain living, but high thinking". Resting on the edge of Grasmere village, it’s easy to see why he chose this alluring spot, with its 13th Century church, quaint demeanour and picturesque setting. The house is now a dedicated museum and has become a popular pilgrimage destination for poetry enthusiasts the world over. Tours are guide-led and provide a delightful insight into the life and inspirations of a true English treasure.

 

Langdale Valley

 

 

Located to the west of Ambleside and reaching as far along as the iconic Langdale Pikes, the Langdale Valley is home to many of the Lake District’s favourite hikes. While seasoned trekkers might dive into the Crinkle Crags, most visitors prefer the networks of walks weaving throughout the pikes. The blissful village of Elterwater, complete with its rustic shops, popular pub and nearby lake, makes for a worthy base from which to explore the area. The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel guarantees a more than decent pint and chatter after an exhilarating day in the wilderness.

 

Hill Top Farmhouse

 

 

This idyllic farmhouse that once belonged to beloved children’s writer Beatrix Potter makes for a magical family day out. The site where she penned her cherished adventures of Peter Rabbit, Tabitha Twitchit, Flopsy, Mopsy, Tom Kitten, and the gang remains much as she left it, with traces of her tales at every turn. The traditional English garden is well maintained – with a wild and evocative feel – and is liable to explode with flowers and veg in the summertime. The house is a 6-mile drive from Ambleside, while Windermere’s train station is 4.5 miles away and can be reached via vehicle ferry.