Lately, I am very interested in achieving serenity and happiness so I jump at any opportunity that might bring me just that. I have been told that the best place to go for that is nature. So, what better place to try and achieve it or at least have a glimpse of it if not in the Lakes District National Park.
It is summer. You are sitting on the coasts of a lake. The sight of the blue water that was green mesmerised you. Your mind lets go of worries and frustrations, and it’s only the lake and you. This is the state of mind from which one can proceed to attain lasting and great matters. This is the state of mind where you broadcast happiness and love into the world, and subsequently, this is the state of mind needed for the world to reward you, by devoting adoring relationships, wealth, prosperity and success back in your life.
Which Is The Best Place To Visit The Lakes District National Park?
Visiting Lakes District National Park was one of the top places on my wishing list. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity of visiting it not once but twice within 7 years apart from one visit from the other.
Both times I have chosen to stay around Windermere Lake because I believe it is the most beautiful lake in the District and has the most varied options to please many. You have nature, with many trails for walks, cycling, boats, entertainment, dining, museum, art, shopping, etc. and all within walking distances.
However, there are many options to choose from based on accommodation type you would prefer. There is a great variety of Lakes District hotels you can choose from, especially in towns spread throughout the Lakes District National Park. Or if you are more a countryside person you might rather look for places according to where the Lakes District cottages available or where the Lakes District camping sites are positioned.
No matter the place chosen or the accommodation opted for, I promise you, it will not be disappointing as Lakes District National Park is an amazing place.
When Is The Best Time To Visit The Lakes District National Park?
I did mention before that I have visited Lake Windermere twice but also want to point out that it was also with a different forecast each time.
As we all know, the weather is an important factor that contributes to our experience while holidaying. But, I can say, based on my experience, that Lakes District National Park is a must to see, no matter the weather.
However, having said that still is best to go when the days are longer and the temperature is higher so you can plan longer adventures and not having to carry with you lots of clothes. Probably starting with late spring/ early summer until September/October as the Lakes District weather is just lovely those time of the year.
How Was My Experience When Visiting The Lakes District National Park?
Although it wasn’t summer – which I think is even more amazing to visit – my experiences were wonderful and I just wanted to share it with you and inspire you to adventure in nature as often as possible.
The first time I visited was in April 2012, with a group of friends over a chilly but bright weekend.
Exploring the area for the first time was amazing. We did lots of walks around the town and up the hills, enjoying the so characteristic stone fences spread along the fields.
Up, the top of the hills, the view was spectacular, we could see all the way around us and far away the mountains rising beyond the lake.
The second day we took a day boat trip to Ambleside, situated in the north head of Lake Windermere. Here we explored the lovely town and the local outdoor market, filled with hand made products and delicious street food.
After launch, we had time to explore the Roman Fort – a 2nd-century historic remain (fee access) before returning to the boat and back to Windermere.
Although we stayed only 2 days, it felt like a week filled with lots of fun, discoveries and relaxation. We came back to our daily routine fully recharged and fit.
The second visit was during February 2019 and the Lakes District weather was not so friendly. The whole weekend was rainy and gloomy. But not to fear!!! Having travelled 3 hours to get there, we could not let the rain stop our adventure and well sought weekend away.
Geared up with fully waterproof clothes, shoes and backpacks, from head to toes, we went out early in the morning for a really nice walk in the rain. I must say, it felt soothing, the sound of the rain and how it felt raining on the face, I really loved it. No photos at this time as the raining was too heavy and I had no protection for my camera.
After some time, walking around the town, doing some window shopping and laughing at the dog’s reaction seeing swans strolling around the town, we stopped and enjoyed a nice cuppa with some cake.
Although the weekend was mainly rainy, there were a couple of sunny spells but with a very strong and bitter wind. We managed to go up the hills despite the not so friendly weather and returned to our own accommodation for a nice, quiet evening.
Even though is not ideal visiting Lakes District on a rainy and snow weekend, still is not that bad as long as you are fully waterproof equipped.
You can see the snow up in the hills.
What Can You Do In The Lakes District?
There are plenty of indoor places to visit, and to be honest the walks are beautiful and even more relaxing with the sound of the rain (if it happens to be a rainy day).
There are so many paths you can walk. You can choose short, medium or long with a variety of grade difficulty, so you will find for sure something that it’s best for you.
The paths signs are very clearly marked and well maintained so you can just let yourself go and explore.
If you want a more organised walking, there are lots of walking Lakes District maps you can purchase beforehand from online sites or while there from the information centre.
A cruise of the region is a necessary experience since it really gives you a fantastic view of both the land and water. The fee journey is affordable and it is totally worth every penny.
Finally, do not forget that Lakes District is the place well known for Beatrix Potter, so make time to explore its museum and even follow on her frequented paths.
The Fairy Steps
Starting on our way back home we opted for an alternative route so we had the opportunity to see and explore other parts of the country. The drive turned out to be an amazing experience. The views were stunning, following a river for a while with the hills and forests in the background.
Even though it was Monday morning so the road was quite busy, somehow there was a stillness and quietness that we could hear the river flowing down the slopes. The weather was calm with sunny spells (which we welcomed it greatly after two days of rain) so we decided to stop on route to explore the Fairy Steps in Beetham.
We came across the place on the internet while searching for things to do nearby. Legend has it that if you can pass through the crack in the rocky hill climbing on some steps without touching the walls then the wish you made beforehand will come true. Although is very childish it is quite fun and actually met a few adults trying to climb the steps without touching the wall – no one was successful. Perhaps it is the child in us that sometimes need to be pleased by having some silly fun.
I must say, we really enjoyed it. My sister and Oana actually climbed a couple of times hoping that with experience will manage to pass through without touching the walls but did not happen. Actually, the name stands correct for it as you kind of need to be a fairy to manage that because at one point it is so narrow that if you are around 5 feet you need to lift yourself a bit up to be able to pass through. I have limited myself to one go as I am a bit claustrophobic so I rather avoid narrow places.
Anyway, we totally forgot to make any wish being so busy to start as it looked really fun.
To get there from Windermere we took the A 591, A590, A6 and then finally B5282 to get us to Sandside. Although you can park quite close to the Steps going further until you reach the village of Beetham, we wanted to have a longer walk so we parked at the Ship Inn car park in Sandside. Following the directions given by the Inn’s Chef, we got to the steps in about 1 hour having had a lovely 3 miles stroll through the woods, hills and a small part of a narrow lane.
Luckily the lane was not very busy, with only a couple of tractors and cars passing by.
We returned to the Inn on a different path. This time we went through the woods most of the time, stopping from time to time to catch our breath, admire the views and taking in the tranquillity of the place. We could not stop ourselves thinking that we would love to live in the area and become a writer or something else that can be done from home – never having to return to the noise and pollution of the cities.
We arrived back at the Inn just in time for launch – we were starving, so we went for the hamburger of the house. I must say (and this is not because I was very hungry) it was the best hamburger ever. It was made from scratch with local meat, perfectly executed with just the right amount of moist and flavour. The potato chips were even better. I proud myself with the best homemade chips but the ones we had at the Inn made me contest it. It was just a perfect way to end our visit there. The food portion was quite large, so enough to fill you up for the day and the staff was amazing.
Outside, just across the road, the River Kent tide was out so barely any water to see but still one could easily imagine how lovely would be to spend a nice weekend there in the summer sunbathing and exploring around. If you are lucky enough, or if you just plan ahead, you can choose to visit the area when a bore wave is timed. According to National Trust, Arnside (just 2 miles south of Sandside) is among the few locations worldwide with a bore. Arnside Bore is a true tidal wave and its size can be anything between few cm to 1 m high.
Sirens are sounded to warn of the incoming tide with 15-20min before the first tide is due. I have been told that the view is spectacular, especially if you are lucky enough to ‘catch’ at least a 9.5m bore wave. I totally recommend stopping by when in the area and see for yourself.
The Fairy Steps it is an amazing place to visit, especially with kids as they would love to spend a lot of time there – so do not forget to pack a launch to enjoy a lovely picnic if weather permits. Part of the place belongs to a private owner with permission for visitors to pass through (sign existent) but do not forget to respect others property, avoid any damage and pick up litter so in this way you secure the visit for others as well.
Lake District – A Place For Everyone?
Due to its wide variety of indoor and outdoor opportunities to enjoy the area, makes it one of the best places to visit in the UK. It appeals to all ages, and groups as it has nature, beauty, art and museums, walks and water sports.
And of course – remember the weather. Even though there are lots of things to do in any weather, do not forget to go waterproof prepared. Check out the Lakes District weather before planning your trip.
Finally, remember to make stops on the way there and/or back exploring hidden gems, such as Fairy Steps or the Arnside Bore.
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Until next time
Oana & Paula