Visit Wastwater whilst staying at The Forest Side in Grasmere

Potted Guide To The Lake District

The Lake District, Cumbria, is a region of incredible beauty, famous for its stunning scenery, cultural heritage, abundant wildlife and of course outdoor adventure.

Made up of scenic lakes and mountains, ancient woodland and forest, river valleys and some of the most stunning coastline in the North West of England, this is a pace that is visually and culturally distinctive. However, there is much more to the Lake District and Cumbria than its world-famous landscapes.

In the north you have the bustling city of Carlisle, the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hadrian’s Wall, and the gateway to the fells, the ancient market town of Keswick. In the Western Dales to the east you have the quaint market towns of Sedbergh, and Kirkby Lonsdale. In the west you have the Georgian harbour town of Whitehaven and the historic market town of Cockermouth. The pretty towns of Appleby and Kirkby Stephen nestling in the heart of the Eden Valley to the east. And in the central Lakes you will find the well-known towns and villages of Grasmere, Ambleside, Windermere, Bowness and Kendal. Each and every place in this unique setting has its own story to tell and they are just waiting to be discovered…

Rich Lake District History:

There have been people in the Lake District, Cumbria, since the end of the last ice age. The landscape reflects a long history of settlement with many traces of prehistoric activity. There are internationally important archaeological monuments, which include over 50 Neolithic stone circles, a network of Roman roads and forts and the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall, numerous Saxon and Viking crosses, Medieval castles linked to the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and Grand Country Houses linked to Kings and Queens of both England and Scotland.

Stunning Gardens:

Discover the uniqueness of Cumbria’s Gardens. Nowhere in Britain does the array of garden experiences compare, nor is there such nature and genius standing shoulder to shoulder. Lake District gardens, large and small, are strewn across the region: Gardens that celebrate individual genius as in Ruskin’s creation at Brantwood and Wordsworth’s at Rydal Mount.

Gardens that trace history and adventure at Levens, Muncaster and Sizergh. See grand gardens such as those at Rydal Hall, created by Thomas Hayton Mawson, or the 25 acre gardens at Holker Hall and the vast 130 acre 17th century gardens at Lowther Castle. Or you can view compact gardens with enduring, caring family ties such as those at Dalemain and Hutton-in the Forest and important collections at Acorn Bank and Holehird.

It can be said of Cumbria’s gardening history if variety was the spice of life then Cumbria became the most seasoned horticultural dish of the industrial age. Today gardens in Cumbria are rich with exotic species to go in search of them is to become a modern day plant hunter yourself.

Celebrated cultural traditions:

The Lake District is intimately associated with English Literature in the 18th and 19th centuries. Thomas Gray was the first to bring the region to attention, when he wrote a journal of his Grand Tour in 1769, but it was William Wordsworth whose poems were most famous and influential. Wordsworth’s poem ‘I wandered Lonely as a Cloud’, inspired by the sight of daffodils on the shores of Ullswater, remains one of the most famous in the English language. Wordsworth and his fellow writers, Coleridge and Southey, who also resided in the area became known as the Lake Poets.

Alongside the illustrious Lake Poets lived other literary greats including; Thomas de Quincey, Thomas Arnold, Harriet Martineau and John Ruskin. In addition to these residents, host of other poets and writers made visits to the Lake District these, included Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Sir Walter Scott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Jonathan Swift, John Keats, Alfred Tennyson and Matthew Arnold to name a few.

Amazing Lake District food:

The Lake District is renowned for the warmth of its hospitality and the quality of its food and drink. Our award winning produce is an art form in its own right. Food is a major part of what makes Cumbria unique, our unique landscape provides a huge variety of fresh produce.

We have over 30 micro-breweries producing internationally acclaimed award winning beers using the freshest possible ingredients including our abundant pure spring water in the brewing process.

A huge range of seafood comes from our coastal waters including oysters, langoustines, lobster, cockles, shrimp and mussels. Simply delicious freshwater fish including, trout and line caught salmon from our fast flowing rivers in our majestic valleys.

Rare breed beef in the form of English Shorthorns, which melts in the mouth. The freshest and sweetest lasting fell bred Herdwick lamb, reared in the stunning Lake District landscape.

Jams, chutneys, relish, mustards, honey, oils, a huge selection of cheeses made from goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and cow’s milk, organic bread, game including venison and pheasant, the list of produce goes on and on, contributing to the excellence of our food and drink.

The Lake District, Cumbria, has a rich food heritage which we are justifiably proud of with many unique dishes, which are well worth sampling including the famous Cumberland Sausage, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Cumberland Fish Pie and Cumberland Rum Nicky.

Opportunities to enjoy the outdoors…

The Lake District has the highest concentration of outdoor activity centres in the UK. It is the birthplace of mountaineering and there is a tradition of unrestricted access to the fells together with an extensive network of public rights of way. Recreational walking can be traced from the famous Romantic Poet Wordsworth’s ‘Guide to the Lakes’ to the guides of more recent writers such as Wainwright.

There are so many activity ideas you will never be at a loss as to what to do. Other ideas include; cycling, high ropes and zip-wire, 4×4 driving, wild swimming, hot air ballooning, mountain biking, cruising and sailing on one of the regions lakes or off the inspirational coast, shooting, fishing trips, kayaking, canoeing…

Simply savouring the peace and tranquility…

The fells, valleys and lakes give you a sense of space and freedom. Here in this place there is an opportunity for spiritual refreshment: a release from the pressures of modern-day life.

We are home to England’s deepest lake, Wastwater; longest lake, Windermere, and highest mountain, Scafell Pike. In-fact there are only five peaks over 900m in England and they are all here in Cumbria.

We’ve got it all – So Why Not Come and pay us a visit and discover for yourself…

The Lake District, Cumbria, boasts some of the most breath-taking scenery in the world. With a diverse landscape offering everything from England’s highest mountain and deepest lake to stunning coastal villages and lands rich in Hadrian’s Wall heritage there is a lot to discover.