Our guide to visiting the Lake District

Possibly England's most celebrated region of natural beauty, the Lake District is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes of towering peaks and graceful lakes which have inspired artists and poets alike.

Tucked away in a remote corner of England in the northern county of Cumbria, the Lake District, or just "the lakes" as it is known, is one of the country's most treasured National Parks and is an area whose natural landscapes are actively protected and conserved by the National Trust. The countryside is truly awe-inspiring, home to England's tallest peak at Scafell Pike and no fewer than sixteen of the country's largest lakes, all within a an area just 30 miles across.

The scenery is wild and unspoilt ranging from towering peaks to tranquil lakes and including renowned fells such as The Old Man of Coniston and Langdale Pike each criss-crossed with the familiar dry-stone walls typical of the region remaining from the traditional farming techniques. The landscapes have inspired works of artists and authors alike from masterpieces by Constable and Turner to Wordsworth's most famous works and the countryside tales of children's author Beatrix Potter. Today the region is enjoyed by ramblers and hikers, keen photographers, budding artists and poets or those simply looking to take relaxing drives through the scenic fells. Along the shores of the lakes you have the opportunity to take boat rides on the peaceful waters in individual rowing boats, modern cruisers or perhaps a traditional steamer boat.

Tucked in to the valleys and on the shores of the lakes are dozens of quaint and picturesque Lakeland towns and villages waiting to be explored including Bowness on Windermere, Grasmere, Hawkshead and Keswick. The villages are scattered with unique craft and gift shops, coffee shops and inns which are alive with a buzz of activity throughout the summer months. There are ample cultural spots to enjoy including sites dedicated to Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter such as their former homes at Dove Cottage, Hilltop and Rydall Mount which have been preserved and today house interesting exhibitions and collections of memorabilia from their lives and works.

Be inspired by English countryside at its most dramatic with a visit to the Lake District.

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