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Lake District Keswick Great Britain England

Lake District Keswick Great Britain England (6/10-12/2016)

Village Lake District England Great Britain
Village - Lake District England
The Lake District of England is Beautiful with a capital B! It is far and away Great Britain’s’ most popular national park for good reasons.

Patterdale Lake Ullswater Lake District England Great Britain
Patterdale Lake - 
Ullswater, Lake District England
As Pat and I drove into the English Lake District, we kept saying to each other “Look at that!” and “Look at this!” over and over with many “How wonderful” thrown in. The century-old cottages are like they jumped from a postcard to real life and the quaint lake towns are charmingly inviting. The striking pale green slate mined in this region makes the buildings uniquely beautiful.

Beautiful Lakes Fields Mountains Fells England Lake District Great Britain
Beautiful Lakes, Fields, & Mountains(Fells) - 
England's Lake District
England’s Lake District (known locally as Lakeland) also has lots of attractions to keep you very busy during your stay if that is what you want. There are lake cruises, mountain/lake/forest hikes, and other interesting things to do. We also enjoyed driving around this beautiful area.

Saturday Market Day Keswick Lake District England Great Britain
Saturday Market Day - 
Keswick, Lake District England
We stayed in the attractive town of Keswickbecause of its easy access to all areas of England’s Lake District and because of the availability of nice affordable accommodations and plenty of good restaurants. Keswick is one of the prettiest towns in the Lake District surrounded by mountains and Lake Derwantwater.

Keswick England Great Britain
Keswick -
Map Lake District England Great Britain
Map of 
Lake District England
Kenwick is a nice town and has much to offer a visitor. In addition to having some of the best hikes in the immediate area, there are plenty of other things to do in Keswick. The Theatre by the Lakeputs on award-winning performances – book ahead because they sell out. There is also a movie theatre (Alhambra Cinema), shopping, and other attractions. For some nice Indian food, we liked the Lakeland Spice Cuisine restaurant.

Keswick is well placed to visit most parts of England’s Lake District - Buttermere/Crummock Water (30 minutes drive), Grassmere (25 minutes), Ullswater (20 minutes) and Langdale (45 minutes). This is in addition to all the great walks closer to Keswick. 

Wayne Dunlap Castlerigg Stone Circle England Great Britain
Wayne at Castlerigg Stone Circle
Also, a visit to Castlerigg Stone Circle just outside Kenwick is interesting where you can visit and walk among a 4,500 year old stone circle built by prehistoric farming communities.

There are many places to visit and loads of things to do in the Lake District. To take in many of the top sites, here are two wonderful driving tours of England’s Lake District...

Great England Lake District driving tour #1:

Bridge River Grasmere Lake District England Great Britain
Bridge - Grasmere, Lake District
Start this wonderful drive of England’s Lake District in Grasmere - perhaps the prettiest town in the Lake District. Walking around this beautiful village, river, and flowered fields conjures up a quintessential image of romance – I earned many romantic points from my wife Pat by taking her here. 

Wordsworth Hotel  Grasmere Lake District England Great Britain
Wordsworth Hotel - 
Grasmere, Lake District, England
England’s famous poet William Wordsworth spent much of his time in Grasmere and you can visit sites related to his life. Don’t miss Grasmere’s famous old Gingerbread Shopnext to St. Oswald’s Church (free to visit) where you can find Wordsworth’s grave. When you had enough gorgeous, there is still much more to do...

Lakeside Homes from Boat Trip on Lake Windermere Lake District England Great Britain
Lakeside Homes from Boat Trip 
on Lake Windermere 
Lake District England
Now drive south to Bowness-on-Windermere. Lake Windermere is the largest lake in the Lake District and can be enjoyed best from Bowness-on-Windermere, not to be confused with the town of Windermere located about a mile from the lake. In Bowness, you have several options for a must-do boat trip around the lake from Windermere Lake Cruises.

Peter the Rabbit World of Beatrix Potter Bowness England Great Britain
Peter the Rabbit - 
World of Beatrix Potter
Also, for Peter the Rabbit fans and families, head to Bowness’ World of Beatrix Potterthemed attraction that brings to life scenes from her famous books and her history. Pat loved this because she read these books to our son, Alden. When you fancy a pint or lunch, Bowness has a good selection restaurants and pubs.

Village Hawkshead Lake District England Great Britain
Hawkshead Village - 
Lake District England
Now take the car ferry from Bowness across Lake Windermere and head north to Hawkshead, a very pretty small village. Park in the public parking lot because cars are banned from the village center. If you are a fan of Beatrix Potter, you can visit her first home Hill Top on the way.

Coniston Steam Lounch Lake District England Great Britain
Coniston Steam Lounch - 
Lake District England
You can end this wonderful drive by going over to Conistonfor a ride on the famous steam powered Coniston Launch that offers a narrated tour of Lake Coniston.

Driving Beautiful Lake District England Great Britain
Driving the Beautiful Lake District
Great England Lake District driving tour #2:

This wonderful drive of England’s Lake District goes through the absolutely splendid Buttermere and Borrowdale valleys. You can start this approximately 30-mile drive anywhere along the way.

We started it at the northern Lake District town of Keswick (see above for more about Kenwick) driving south in the Borrowdale Valley on the east side of Lake Derwantwater.

Drive to Watenlath Lake District England Great Britain
Drive to Watenlath - 
England's Lake District
For the adventurous, take this detour (we loved it)... put “Watenlath” into your GPS and let it direct you. This an beautiful off-the-beaten-path drive but be aware of narrow roads where you may have to pull to the side to let others pass.

Ashness Bridge on Road to Watenlath England Great Britain
Ashness Bridge 
on Road to Watenlath
On this road to Watenlath, stop at Ashness Bridge (the most photographed bridge in England’s Lake District). Then stop at the public parking to take a look at Surprise View of the lake and region below – wonderful! If narrow roads bother you, you can turn back here. The road on to Watenlathis beautiful. If you have taken this detour, reverse course and go down turning left at the main road down by Lake Derwantwater.

Pat Dunlap Loves Inn Patterdale Lake District England Great Britain
Pat Loves Inn in Patterdale - 
Lake District England
Continuing on south, if you are up for an approximate 1-hour hike, stop at the Hotel Ladore and hike to Lodore Falls. The trailhead is reached walking back about 5-minutes – ask someone to be sure of where you are going. 

Honister Slate Mine Honister Pass England Great Britain
Honister Slate Mine - 
Honister Pass

Continue on to Seatoller and then the Honister Pass where a stop at the Honister Slate Mine is very interesting. Take a look around the interesting visitor center for the history of this beautiful green slate and pick up some attractive souvenirs. Mine tours are available for those with a high interest. 

The Fish Inn Lake Buttermore England Great Britain
The Fish Inn
Lake Buttermore
Now continue on through the beautiful Buttermere Valley. If you ‘fancy a pint or lunch’, stop at The Fish Inn behind the Bridge Hotel. From the public parking lot here, you can take a nice walk around Lake Buttermore.

Wayne Dunlap Hike Whinlatter Forest Park England Great Britain
Wayne Enjoying a Hike - 
Whinlatter Forest Park
Head north from here to Low Lorton following the road signs to Keswick. If you want to take a hikes in the forests of the Whinlatter Forest Park, stop at the Whinlatter Visitor Center. New technology records your car license (registration) at parking lots and you pay when leaving.

Located near the Lake District is the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. If traveling to or from York and England’s Lake District, you should go to the following towns: Skipton, Grassington, Parsley, Ripon, and Harrogate.

Important driving tip: Because many of the roads in England, especially in the Lake District, are smaller country roads with many confusing roundabouts, getting lost is not hard. In fact, it can be fun if you can get back on track.

Here is a wonderful tip... Make sure your rental car has GPS and ask for a lesson in its use at your rental car company. The postal code in Great Britain typically has enough information to direct you to your hotel or destination. So, look up postal codes for your hotels and destinations so you can enter them in as you go through your day of explorations. We used a centrally located church or hotel for the villages. Sometimes the GPS asks to confirm the street name and number, so also having an address helps. Also, often just putting in the town/village name will take you to the right direction and you can follow signs to the town center.

Please see our other 8 travel blog posts on Great Britain:

York England

Stonehenge England

Highclere Castle (Downton Abby) England

Stratford-Upon-Avon, England (Birthplace of Shakespere)

Hadrian's Wall, England

Beamish Museum, England

Chester, England

Alnwick Castle (Harry Potter), England  

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Lake District Keswick Great Britain England


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