[Skip to Navigation] | [Skip to Content]

Our guide to luxury holidays in the Lake District

Home to mountain passes, ancient tarns, sweet-scented bakeries, and storied fells, this pocket of Cumbria calls to wildlings. Make afternoon reveries a reality with our Unique guide to luxury holidays in the Lake District.

Welcome to Wordsworth country. The wild expanse of the Lake District is Britain's answer to the Alps; a region where days are spent seeking summits, sipping hot chocolate, and wild swimming in Swallows and Amazons waters. With boots laced, pocket maps at the ready, and hands still sticky from Grasmere gingerbread, these hills can make a mountaineer out of the slickest of city-dwellers. A land of first prizes, the Lake District is England’s largest National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site (spanning a staggering 2,292 sq km) and home to both its highest mountain and deepest lake, Scafell and Wastwater.

With the sheer scale of the region in mind, mapping out your ideal Lakeland escape might feel somewhat mystifying, which is why we’ve covered the best places to eat, top things to do, and all the must-not-miss sights in our guide to luxury holidays in the Lake District. But for that, you’re going to need a base; from rural idylls channelling Narnia-esque interiors to 16th-century farmhouses taking Scandi-design to new heights, there’s never been a chicer place to hang up your walking wares, pop dumplings on the stew, and plan a route over a pot of tea. This is the Lake District – but not as you know it.

Locations in the Lake District

Whether it´s the long-poeticised shores of Windermere, whisper-quiet Cumbrian fells, or Ullswater´s olde-worlde corners that called you here, one thing´s for sure; the gentle ebb-and-flow of Lakeland living won´t disappoint.

Collections in the Lake District

Escape to the wilderness  where the lull of the lake drifts littles to sleep  or spend Christmas in a country house with a private chef to handle the spuds and gravy; these collections cover all the Cumbrian bases.

Things to do in the Lake District

The Lake District calls to the inner child; step into scenes from Swallows and Amazons aboard a sailboat on Coniston, ramble through Whinlatter Forest, or take refuge from the rain in Kirkby Lonsdale´s storybook streets.

Things to see in the Lake District

Keep watch over Windermere´s waters from the turrets and towers of Wray Castle, inspect insects at work under wellingtonia sequoia, or witness the full force of Aira as the water plummets 65 feet into the inky pool beneath.

Where to eat in the Lake District

Find field-to-fork restaurants set in ancient follies, genre-defining fine dining in unsuspecting villages, and traditional fare served in inns looming large over the Lyth Valley; whatever you set out to discover, be sure to come hungry.

Journals about the Lake District

We´ve taken the lead on the Lake District´s best dog walks, plus travellers tales of a long-overdue digital detox in the form of books, board games, and sunrise stomps to Scale Force. The mountains are calling, and you must go.

Beautiful places to visit in the UK in autumn

Beautiful places to visit in the UK in autumn

Whether heading to the hills with walking boots in tow or for a hot soak in a Roman city, autumn offers a new perspective for travellers. Read our guide to making the most of the season.

View article

Between the fells
Travellers' Tales

Between the fells

"At Gaia Farmhouse, there’s notes of digital detox in every book and boardgame, which kept us chatting and laughing over brunches and candlelit eves." In this Travellers´ Tale, Elin dives into all the Lake District has to offer.

View article

Where to find the best hiking in the UK

Where to find the best hiking in the UK

If you have your sight set on a leg-stretching break in the home countries, but you’re not sure where to start, our round-up of the best hiking in the UK covers the iconic routes and secret trails that you should consider for your next adventure.

View article

Our top dog-friendly walks in the Lake District

Our top dog-friendly walks in the Lake District

It’s time for the dogs to kiss their city park cronies goodbye and take their place in the rabbit-sniffing country; find out where to go with your pack in our round-up of the top dog-friendly walks in the Lake District, from Windermere to the Knotts.

View article

Lake District FAQ´s

Looking for tips on train travel in the Lake District? Want to know which waters are safe for wild swimming? If you have a Lake District-specific query, you might find the answer here. For everything else, visit our general FAQs.

How many lakes are there in the Lake District?

Although the Lake District is home to 16 major lakes – including popular ones like Windermere, Ullswater, and Derwentwater – only Bassenthwaite can be technically classed as a lake. Why? The others include alternative names for water body within their title; for example, ‘-mere,’ (a lake that is wider than it is deep) ‘-water,’ or ‘-thwaite’ (which is an old Norse word for clearing or meadow). Keep that one up your sleeve for Christmas trivia.

Can you swim in the lakes of the Lake District?

Yes, swimming is permitted in many of the lakes and tarns in the Lake District, with the exception of privately owned reservoirs. It’s also important to note that not all lakes are suitable or safe for beginners to wild swimming, and larger lakes (such as Windermere, Ullswater, and Derwentwater) have designated swimming areas or beaches where you can swim. If dipping your toe, be sure to follow any safety guidelines or signage provided, as well as be aware of any potential hazards such as cold water temperatures and underwater currents.

What is the best time to visit the Lake District?

The Lake District can be visited year-round, but the summer months (June to August) are the most popular as warmer weather and longer daylight hours mean more time for outdoor activities and exploration. Spring and autumn offer beautiful landscapes for photography – verdant banks of wild garlic and flowers in spring, and auburn leaves by autumn – with fewer crowds on the trails.

Like elsewhere in the UK, winter in the Lake District brings colder, wetter spells, but you also have the chance of spotting snow-peaked mountains and frozen streams, before warming through with a cup of hot cocoa by the fire.

Is there a train station in the Lake District?

Yes, the Lake District has several train stations that provide access to the region from across the UK. Some of the key train stations include:

Windermere: Windermere station is the most popular gateway to the Lake District, offering regular train services from major cities like Manchester, London, and Glasgow.

Kendal: Situated just outside the Lake District National Park, Kendal station provides convenient access to the southern part of the region. It has direct train connections to major cities, including Manchester, Leeds, and London.

Penrith: Located on the northern edge of the Lake District, Penrith station is well-connected and offers frequent train services from major cities such as London, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

Oxenholme Lake District: Often referred to as the "gateway to the Lake District," Oxenholme serves as a major interchange; from here, you can transfer to local train services to continue your journey to other Lakeland destinations.

Ravenglass: Situated on the western coast of the Lake District, Ravenglass station is the starting point for the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, a scenic narrow-gauge steam railway that takes you into the heart of the Eskdale Valley.

Are there any famous literary connections to the Lake District?

The Lake District has inspired many writers and poets, most notably William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Beatrix Potter, and Arthur Ransome. You can visit their former Lakeland homes and learn about their literary contributions during your stay.

Perhaps the most famous poet associated with the Lake District, Wordsworth (1770-1850) lived in the region for much of his life. His poetry, including works such as "Daffodils" and "The Prelude," often celebrated the beauty of the lakes and mountains.

Coleridge (1772-1834), a renowned English poet and a friend of Wordsworth, also spent time in the Lake District. Together with Wordsworth, he published the collection Lyrical Ballads, which marked the beginning of the Romantic movement in English literature.

Though primarily known for her beloved children's books featuring characters like Peter Rabbit, Potter (1866-1943) had a deep connection to the Lake District. She owned Hill Top, a farm in Near Sawrey, and many of her stories were inspired by the local flora, fauna, and landscapes.

Ransome (1884-1967) was an English author famed for his series of children's books, Swallows and Amazons. He lived in the Lake District and set many of his stories in the region, drawing on his own experiences sailing on the lakes of Coniston and Windermere.

Own a property in the Lake District?

Are you the keeper of a mountain hut? Or the custodian of a lake house with a view? From Buttermere to Ambleside to sleepy Hawkshead, we´re seeking the Lake District´s most unique homes to join our growing portfolio.

Follow us @uniquehomestays


[Top of Page]

We use a small number of cookies on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to their use. See how we use cookies