The Lake District is a mountainous region in North West England.
Also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, the Lake District is most famous for its lakes, forests, mountains (or fells) and deep valleys.
The Lake District has been inspiring country ramblers, artists, and poets for centuries.
It is associated with the early 19th century writings of William Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets, Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin.
The Lake District was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.
The Lake District National Park was established in 1951 and, following a minor extension in 2016, now covers an area of approximately 2,362 square kilometres (912 square miles). The park extends just over 51 kilometers (32 miles) from east to west and nearly 64 kilometers (40 miles) from north to south
The precise extent of the Lake District was not defined traditionally, but is slightly larger than that of the National Park.
The Lake District is located entirely within the county of Cumbria.
All the land in England higher than 910 meters (3,000 feet) above sea level lies within the Lake District.
Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England, at an elevation of 978 meters (3,209 feet) above sea level. The summit was donated to the National Trust in 1919 by Lord Leconfield “in perpetual memory of the men of the Lake District who fell for God and King, for freedom peace and right in the Great War 1914-1918 …”.
The Lake District has 33 lakes with a surface area of at least 0.1 square kilometer (0.04 square mile).
Windermere is the largest natural lake in England. It has surface area of 14.7 square kilometers (5.7 square miles). Its maximum length is 18 kilometers (11.2 miles) and its maximum width is 1.5 kilometer (0.9 mile). It is a ribbon lake formed in a glacial trough after the retreat of ice at the start of the current interglacial period.
Wast Water is a lake located in the western part of the Lake District. The lake is almost 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) long and about 540 meters (0.33 mile) wide. It is the deepest lake in England at 79 meters (258 feet).
Bassenthwaite Lake is one of the largest water bodies in the Lake District. It is the only body of water in the Lake District to use the word “lake” in its name, all the others being “waters” (for example, Derwentwater), “meres” (for example, Windermere) or “tarns” (for example, Dock Tarn).
Derwentwater is one of the principal bodies of water in the Lake District. It measures approximately 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) long by 1.6 kilometer (1 mile) wide and is some 22 meters (72 feet) deep. Derwentwater is a place of considerable scenic value. It is surrounded by hills, and many of the slopes facing Derwentwater are extensively wooded.
The scenery of the Lake District can often be seen at its best in the valleys, broad stretches of green fields and woodland with traditional styles of buildings in villages and hamlets in picturesque settings.
The principal radial valleys are (clockwise from the south) Dunnerdale, Eskdale, Wasdale, Ennerdale, Lorton Vale and the Buttermere valley, the Derwent Valley and Borrowdale, the valleys containing Ullswater and Haweswater, Longsleddale [photo below], the Kentmere valley and those radiating from the head of Windermere including Great Langdale.
Aira Force is the most famous waterfall in the Lake District. The stream which flows over the waterfall is Aira Beck. The water falls approximately 22 metres (72 feet) to a rocky pool, from where the beck continues through a shallow valley to the lake.
Castlerigg stone circle is a neolithic monument located in the Lake District. Of the more than 300 stone circles in England, Castlerigg is not only among the oldest, it is one of the most atmospheric. It is dramatically sited, with 38 stones aligned with the tallest of the surrounding fells, and the scene uncluttered by admissions offices or souvenir stands. Unlike most of England’s stone circles, which are Bronze Age burial sites dating from 2000 to 800 BC, this one was constructed about 3000 BC in the Neolithic period. More than 30 meters in diameter, the circle originally had 42 stones, some more than two meters high.
Muncaster Castle is one of the biggest attractions in the South Western Lake District. The castle is owned by the Pennington family, who have lived at Muncaster for at least 800 years. Muncaster’s gardens include features designed to take advantage of views of the Esk Valley and the mountains. There is an owl sanctuary, and a maze.
Hill Top is a 17th-century house. It is an example of the Lake District vernacular architecture with random stone walls and slate roof. The house was once the home of children’s author and illustrator Beatrix Potter who left it to the National Trust. It is open to the public as a writer’s house museum, shown as Beatrix Potter herself would have known it.
The Honister Slate Mine is the last working slate mine in England. Quarrying for Westmorland green slate has been taken place in the area since 1728. Apart from the mining, it is also a popular tourist attraction in the Lake District.
The Lakes Distillery, the largest whisky distillery in England, is set in an area of unimaginable beauty next to Bassenthwaite Lake.
The Lake District has been regarded as one of the best places to eat in Britain. The region has four Michelin Star restaurants: L’Enclume, The Samling in Ambleside, The Forest Side and Gilpin Hotel. In addition, Cumbria has more microbreweries than any other county in Britain and together with Jennings Brewery supply a variety of ales to pubs and restaurants throughout the region.
The Lake District is home to a great variety of wildlife, due to its range of varied topography, lakes and forests. It provides a home for the red squirrel and colonies of sundew and butterwort, two of the few carnivorous plants native to Britain. The Lake District is a major sanctuary for the red squirrel and has the largest population in England.
The Lake District, is probably the best place in England for bird watching. With the total contrast of habitats from the coastal marshlands up to the highest mountains in England, the area provides an ideal environment for a whole range of bird species throughout the year.