I can write a fair bit about this place, having become a favourite getaway over the last few years. Simply put Lake District is right there at the top of places to see and relax in England and even in Europe. A mountainous region in the Cumbria county that has some of the largest lakes in the country and the highest mountain range in England. On a comparative scale with other ranges like Alps or Himalayas, they are much lower altitude, but that’s also what makes the region very family friendly. While it is a national park area, there is a vibrant network of towns and villages built alongside the lakes and dotting the routes in the region. All together the mix of landscape, lakes and well preserved english towns makes for some compelling visuals no matter where you are in the lake district.

We visited twice, and although there is no dearth of advice and on ways to spend time, my recommendations for a first time visitor would be,

1) Plan for at least 4-5 days. There is lots to do, if you are an out and about person, like walks, hills, scenery. And for a little more adventure like hiking,sailing, there is an long list of options.

2) Stay in a cottage rather than a hotel if you can. Best way to feel character of the place. Being national park, the hotels are not the large modern, resort kinds and for the majority of them you might find constrained for space.  Yes, there is a bit of carrying the cooking chore with you, but I think that’s enjoyable as well in a home away from home sort of a way.

Home away from home

3) Hike a hill at least a couple. There are loads of options, at different levels, suitable for a family with young kids or all the way to avid hiker. The stunning views you will get at the end of it will be ample reward for the exercise.

Almost there..

4) Lake activities, go sailing. Even if you haven’t done it before, its the perfect place to try your hand at, weather being good.

5) For the first visit for a family, I found Keswick to be a great place to stay at, and yes, better than Windermere. Derwent water, alongside which Keswick is a large rectangular-ish lake circled by several high hills, that makes for several great vistas, like one below, I took from the mini motor boat we rented from a family run private marine harbour on the North west bank of the lake.

Derwent water with Skiddaw in background

6) Keswick is also great starting point for walks, with plenty of easy hills around to trudge around and find a perspective to life :). Whinlatter forest, yes a real forest, is also quite close.

Whinlatter forest, ready to hike

7) Make sure you drive alongside the A591 route between Keswick and Windermere. Some stunning sights along the route and it also passes by the smaller towns of Grasmere and Ambleside, worth stopping by for their pleasant shopping streets.  And of course all have a lake to call their own as well.

Weather wise, it rains a lot, so always and always move equipped. Rain get can get a little rough when it happens, but after a rough spell, as it calms down also reveals the place in a perspective you will enjoy.

Bassenthwaite lake just after a spell of rain