The Lake District's Top 10 things to do

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    Nov 14, 2012
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Have you ever wondered what to do in the Lake District when you arrive on your break to this fantastic part of the country? With so many attractions and places to visit you will be quite easily spoiled for choice.  Looking for some help? Well here is my take on the ten places I would advise not to miss.  There's something for everyone, regardless of age, fitness, personal interests or tastes.

Scafell Pike

This is a big one, the biggest in England in fact.  And it's something not everyone does.  If the weather's good, and you're fit enough, then there's little reason not to.  The views from the top, if you're not in the cloud, are breathtaking.  So make sure you've got your breath back from the climb before taking a look.


One of the smaller lakes, but a beauty nonetheless.  Loweswater has a forest on its far bank that's been planted in the shape of a duck's head.  There is a path that goes right around the lake that makes for a lovely afternoon stroll.  In the woods, there is a bothy that is rented out by the National Trust.  A little way up into the trees is a stunning waterfall, near which you might be lucky enough to spot a deer.

Theatre By The Lake

Fancy taking in a show? The Theatre By The Lake may be small by city standards, but it puts on fantastic plays.  The Christmas production is always a delight, made fun for all the family.  It also plays host to art exhibitions, stand-up comedy and music shows, among other things.  They sell local ales, and lakeland ice creams, providing refreshment at intervals.

Sharp Edge

Sharp Edge on Blencathra is a fantastic route, and one of the best scrambles the Lake District has to offer.  Probably best avoided if you have a fear of heights, as the ridge is pretty much as its name suggests.  That said, there is a narrow path slightly to the right of it.  The views are stunning, and it's the most fun way up the mountain.

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway

Affectionately called the La'al Ratty, this mini steam train takes passengers from the coastal village of Ravenglass to Dalegarth in Eskdale.  At either end, you can find out more about the railway.  There's a museum in Ravenglass and a visitor centre in Dalegarth, and all-important cafés too.  Both open-topped and roofed carriages are available, from which there are some beautiful views.


Few lakes offer as much in terms of watersport as Derwentwater.  Sailing, kayaking, canoeing, rowing, speed-boating and windsurfing can all be done here.  If you're up to the journey, there are a few islands you can land on, which are great places for picnics.  All this takes place among amazing scenery.


Wainwright's favourite mountain in the Lake District.  Overlooking Buttermere, Haystacks is close to some of the giants, including Great Gable, Green Gable and Red Pike.  From the top, on a good day, you have views of Scafell Pike and Pillar.  Haystacks has a wildness about it that's a large part of its appeal.  It's well worth a visit.

Dalton's Cave

Millican Dalton is probably best known for living in a cave for much of his life.  This cave lies in Borrowdale, close to the village of Grange.  It's an impressive sight, and the cave is open for you to have a look around.  Look closely, and you'll find where Dalton carved a message into the wall.

Ullswater Steamer

The Ullswater Steamer is the best way to travel across one of the Lake District's largest lakes.  The trip takes about an hour, stopping at Pooley Bridge, Howtown and Glenridding.  Views from the boat are stunning, and can be enjoyed in just about all weathers.  The villages at either end of the lake provide good food and drink if you're in need of refreshment after the voyage.

Osprey Viewpoint

Up in the woods above Bassenthwaite Lake is the osprey viewpoint, from which you can have a look at the ospreys' nest.  If you're there at the right time, you can see them flying as well.  And if you're really lucky, you might just see one catch a fish.  The Osprey Watch volunteers are on hand with all the latest information.  There's also a café down in the car park, as well as some signposted walks through the woods.

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