The National Park rivals many supposedly more exotic places in the world. There are many lakes that evoke foreign travel and perhaps get more coverage in this age of air travel, but few areas anywhere can boast what the UK has on its own doorstep.
For all those that think of Lake Victoria, Lake Geneva or the Great Lakes of North America, just as many should be thinking of similar gems in North West England.
This is the longest lake in England at just over 10 miles long. It is a lake of activity, with every water sport available, but there is a speed limit so there is no question of visitors’ enjoyment of its beauty being spoilt. There is a ferry for a ride around the Lake for those who just want to relax and there is a contrast between the activity of Bowness and the quieter Western shore.
This Lake is slightly smaller and certainly quieter stretching from Pooley Bridge to Glenridding. There is the chance to balance energy with relaxation, walking the length and returning on the ferry. There is a waterfall halfway along, Aira Force, and spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding area from Gowbarrow Fell.
Fishing enthusiasts should head for this Lake which was once known for the Campbells and their speed records. Those are now distant days and visitors can take a ferry ride inside at a pace far slower than the 320mph set by Bluebird. John Ruskin’s former home, Brantwood, is certainly worth a visit on the lake shore, offering a little culture amid the natural beauty.
Often described as the Queen of the Lakes, Derwentwater is just outside Keswick, a popular market town which is an excellent base for a holiday in the Lake District. There are hotels and also options such as Cumbrian Cottages by Lake Cottage Holiday which provide an excellent self catering option and allow tourists the freedom to suit themselves. There is activity around every lake but also excellent views and quieter places
Buttermere established itself in the early days of tourism back in the 18th Century. Even journeying there is spectacular over Honister Pass, close to one of the last working slate mines in the National Park, evidence that the area did not always depend upon tourism.
Nature lovers may be able to see the endangered red squirrel. Buttermere is one of the few pockets of population left. It is less accessible than some of the other larger lakes and consequently a little quieter and popular with those simply wanting relaxation.
There are other lakes to explore , perhaps Wastwater in Eskdale below Scafell and Scafell Pike. It is accessed from the West and one of the more remote lakes or Bassenthwaite close to Keswick. The visitor is really spoilt for choice which makes regular visits to the National Park a must for those wanting to enjoy a truly unspoilt part of the UK rather than take to the skies for sun and sand.