Ten of the Best Attractions in the Lake District

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Published: 11th December 2012
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Okay, so you have decided on a holiday break in the Lake District, you get here via the M6 Motorway and take in the scenery while driving to your chosen accommodation, dump the bags and set out to look for some of the best attractions the area has to offer. Are you disappointed? Not likely! Here is my top 10.

The Lion and the Lamb

Or Helm Crag, to give it its more formal name. The Lion and the Lamb are best from a distance, as up close, it is hard to see where the name comes from. It was one of Wainwright’s favourite walks: a low hill that felt like proper mountaineering. If you make the extra effort to climb both lion and lamb, this is an accurate description. And you should. Because they’re there.

Muncaster Castle

Famed for its ghost stories and being the site of the World Owl Centre, Muncaster Castle has a lot to offer. From beautiful blooms, to wilder woodland. From stunning vistas, to interesting interiors. There are bird talks and garden walks, and this is getting a tad too poetic. There’s something for everyone, and a fun day whatever the weather.

Scafell Pike

The Lake District’s most famous mountain, and the highest in England. Going up is a must for any enthusiastic fellwalker. Views from the top are stunning, as this peak sits almost in the heart of the Lakes’ mountains. Accessible from either the Wastwater side or the Borrowdale side, either way up will provide you with breathtaking scenery. Or will simply take your breath away

La’al Ratty

More formally known as the Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway, this mini steam train takes passengers from the coastal village of Ravenglass to Dalegarth in Eskdale. Both open-topped and roofed carriages are available, from which there are some beautiful views. And cafés at either end offer some fine food and all-important tea.


There is a lot to see and do around this lake. I recommend hiring a rowing boat, though motor boats are also available and also good fun, to take out on the water. While you’re not allowed to land on the island with the house on it, there are others that you can land on. Which is why I recommend a rowing boat. And a picnic.

Sharp Edge

Sharp Edge on Blencathra looks, when seen from below, striking. It feels quite isolated as well, being apart from the main body of mountains in the Lake District. The route is one of the most dramatic and visually stunning around. And it’s a fairly quiet one as well. Unless it’s windy. If you’re not quite up to walking the ridge itself, there is also a handy path to the side of it. Mostly.


Surrounded by high mountains, Buttermere is perfectly placed to set out on a walk from, whether you’re going around the lakeshore, or taking the higher route up round the Buttermere horseshoe. From either route, you’ll be able to see some of the Lake District’s highest mountains. Ending up in town, there are good pubs and cafés to make up for all that exercise.


The forest of Whinlatter is a good starting point for many an adventure. There’s the Go Ape assault course, for those who enjoy being up in the trees. For the mountain bikers, there are several routes of varying difficulties. Walkers have the option of going up any of the surrounding mountains. And there are also activity trails for children, taking them around the forest. The visitor centre provides welcome refreshments and the opportunity to watch the ospreys.

Lakes Aquarium, Windermere

On the shore of Windermere, the Lakes Aquarium is home to more than just fish. Many exotic species have a home here, including tortoises and boa constrictors. Possibly the most entertaining animals though are the otters and the pygmy marmosets.

Manesty Woods

This is a beautiful area of woodland close to the village of Portinscale on the shores of Derwentwater. There are many paths going through it to meander along. The launch from Keswick also stops here, making it a great place to go for a walk, then hop back on the boat to town.

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