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Guide

The hills are calling: 12 things to do in the Lake District

4 weeks ago

You don’t have to be an outdoors enthusiast to fall in love with the Lake District, though you’ll find plenty to enchant you if you are. Home to England’s highest mountain and deepest lake (that’d be Scafell Pike and Wast Water), it’s one of the UK’s most famous National Parks, and there’s no shortage of stunning walks for those who want to explore.

Here though, we’re focussing on visitor attractions and things to do in the Lake District that immerse you in its world-famous scenery without the need for a map and compass.

It includes accessible National Trust places, family activities in the Lake District, Michelin star restaurants, and cultural gems. Keep it handy for a rainy day or a rest day between hikes. The mountains will still be there tomorrow.

  • The Drunken Duck in the Lake District
    Ambleside

    The Drunken Duck Inn

    Pubs

    The Drunken Duck Inn is a country pub in the heart of the Lake District but out of the way of the tourist hordes. Its website doesn’t give much away, but if you know, you know. Not that it could be described as an undiscovered gem. It has a place in the Michelin Guide, plaudits from the broadsheets and, most importantly, a thumbs up from Confidential Guides.

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  • No trip to The Lake District is complete without a visit to The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop
    Grasmere

    The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

    Bakeries

    If you’ve never tasted this Lakeland speciality before, you’re in for a treat. The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop is famous for its sweet and spicy cross between a ginger biscuit and a ginger cake. Still made to the original 1854 recipe of Sarah Nelson, it’s crumbly, light and delicious (and very popular).

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    Henrock

    Restaurant - Modern British

    Opened in 2019, Henrock is part of Simon Rogan’s family of fine dining restaurants – set within Linthwaite House Hotel in the fells above Windermere. Here you’ll find seasonal ingredients, inspired by flavours and techniques discovered on the team’s travels around the world.

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    L’Enclume

    Restaurant - Modern British

    L’Enclume is Simon Rogan’s three Michelin-starred restaurant located in the Lake District village of Cartmel, which is widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading dining destinations. The restaurant is situated in a former 13th-century blacksmith’s workshop.

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  • Lunch outside at Lingholm Kitchen & Walled Garden in the Lake District
    Keswick

    Lingholm Kitchen & Walled Garden

    Parks & Gardens

    Lingholm Kitchen & Walled Garden is a great place to stop for lunch if you’re in the Lake District. The walled garden is where Beatrix Potter took her inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden where Peter so nearly met his doom.

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  • Penrith

    Lowther Castle & Gardens

    Historic Buildings & Sites

    Lowther Castle & Gardens is an intriguing attraction. It looks grand enough at first sight, but the castle is literally a shell of its former self. Just the outer walls remain and it’s now an impressive ruin when once there was a room for every day of the year.

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  • Enjoy a day out on a steam train with Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway in the Lake District
    Ravenglass

    Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

    Activities

    The seven-mile, narrow-gauge Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is a spectacular way to explore this corner of the Lake District. It may not be the most environmentally-friendly mode of transport, but there’s something about travelling in old fashioned comfort on a steam train.

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    Rogan & Co.

    Restaurant - Modern British

    Situated in an atmospheric 14th-century building beside the pretty River Eea in Cartmel, Rogan & Co is the home of Simon Rogan’s Michelin-starred neighbourhood restaurant.

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  • Rydal Mount, Wordsworth's home in the Lake District
    Ambleside

    Rydal Mount

    Historic Buildings & Sites

    Rydal Mount is the family home of William Wordsworth and it is still owned and managed by his descendants today. The famous Romantic poet lived here from 1813 until his death in 1850.

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  • Wordsworth Grasmere has the original manuscripts of William Wordsworth's poetry and Dorothy Wordsworth's diaries
    Cumbria

    Wordsworth Grasmere

    Museums

    At Wordsworth Grasmere you can immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings which captured the poet’s imagination and drove much of his writing.

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  • Mr McGregor's Garden at The World of Beatrix Potter
    Windermere

    The World of Beatrix Potter

    Museums

    The World of Beatrix Potter is always handy to have up your sleeve if you’re in the Lake District and the forecast looks a little rainy. Kids love Peter Rabbit, as the always-on-rotation CBeebies cartoon proves, and the books with their delicate drawings and grim realities (rabbit pie) are a hit too.

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  • Ambleside

    Wray

    Historic Buildings & Sites

    Wray is a great value day out near Ambleside. It’s a National Trust castle and parkland but entry is currently free – check before you go to make sure. The best way to arrive is by the Windermere Lake Cruise – catch the Green Cruise from Waterhead Pier in Ambleside.

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