Peaceful valleys and rugged fells: wander over vales and hills in the path of poets

This epic landscape of soaring peaks, picture-perfect lakes and twinkling tarns has captivated poets and artists for decades. Venture out on a fell walk and climb high for soul-stirring scenery. Cycle past cosy cottages, stopping off at a country pub. Take a ferry across Lake Windermere from Ambleside’s historic pier. Then settle in front of a crackling fire in your country retreat with some Kendal Mint Cake and Grasmere gingerbread for afternoon tea, Lake District style.

Things to Do

Conquer the legendary Scafell Pike, England’s tallest mountain. Fish in peaceful trout streams and kayak along secluded rivers. Or, if you’re feeling brave, don a wetsuit and dive into a lake for an invigorating open water swim. With gently rolling farmland and dizzying peaks as your backdrop, you’ll find spectacular views at every turn in the Lake District. 

When William Wordsworth wrote “I wandered lonely as a cloud” in his Daffodils poem, he was speaking of his beloved Lakes. Trace his footsteps and pay a visit to Dove Cottage, or see his writing for yourself at Hawkshead Grammar School, where he carved his name into a wooden desk. Then there are places like Derwentwater, that fired Beatrix Potter’s imagination – the Armitt Museum in Ambleside has a whole section dedicated to her. Or pack up your paintbrush and delve into the landscape that stirred J.W.M. Turner. 

With all that countryside and fresh air to enjoy, it’s easy to work up an appetite on a luxury break in the Lake District. You could feast on herby Cumberland sausage in one of Ambleside’s cosy pubs, accompanied by a glass of craft ale. Or opt for inventive creations using local, seasonal produce at a Michelin starred fine dining restaurant. Just be sure to find time for a nightcap – a little locally-made damson gin goes down a treat. 

Top Tip from SLH

When it’s time to give your legs a rest, climb into a Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway carriage and take a nostalgic trundle through the countryside on this vintage steam train.