Visiting the Lake District: England’s Most Beautiful National Park

Over the years, I’ve traveled a lot of England. But out of everywhere I’ve been in England, no place is as beautiful as the Lake District.

But what is the Lake District, you may be wondering? The Lake District, or the Lakes, is a mountainous national park in Northwest England.

 While I only spent two nights in the Lake District, I covered a good amount of ground. Here are the experiences I loved most in the Lakes.

England's beautiful lake district

Staying at the cutest thatched inn

While in the Lake District, I knew I wanted to say somewhere cozy and quaint and quintessentially English.

After lots of TripAdvisor research, I stumbled upon The Masons Arms. It turned out to be exactly what I wanted – a thatched inn with beautiful views of the countryside. I took the photo below from my bedroom window!

The only thing we didn’t love about the Masons Arms was the restaurant – the food was fine but nothing special. Though I did try spotted dick which provided endless amounts of (immature) amusement.

England's beautiful lake district

Walking around Windermere

Windermere is both the largest lake in England and the largest town in the Lake District. As a Michigander, I found it funny that Windermere is a large lake by English standards – in Michigan, it would be little more than a puddle.

I enjoyed walking around touristy but cute Windermere – I’d recommend spending at least few hours there. Also, I almost died laughing when I spotted this sign in town – I’m glad the Brits feel the same way as we do about Trump, ha.

England's beautiful lake district

England's beautiful lake district

England's beautiful lake district

Castlerigg Stone Circle

As a history buff, I knew I had to see the famous Castlerigg Stone Circle while in the Lakes. Built in 3000 BC, Castlerigg is among the earliest of British stone circles.

Unlike Stonehenge, at Castlerigg you can walk right up to the stones. And how gorgeous is the circle’s dramatic mountain backdrop? It looked to me like an episode of Outlander.

England's beautiful lake district

Ridiculously quaint pubs

I love a pub anywhere in England, but especially enjoyed the pubs in the Lake District. They were cozy, rustic, and full of shaggy grey wolfhounds. And the steak and kidney pies were bar-none.

I’m no expert, but the pubs in the Lakes were my favorite in England.

England's beautiful lake districtEngland's beautiful lake district

An afternoon of “Hiking”

After two weeks of gorging myself on rich food, I knew I could use some exercise. So one afternoon we went “hiking”. And by hiking, I mean we climbed a hill and drank hard cider after.

While I didn’t exactly work up a sweat, I did enjoy the stunning views.

England's beautiful lake districtEngland's beautiful lake district

Overall my trip to the Lakes was a little too short but still very sweet. And I know that someday I’ll be back to see everything I missed. (Beatrix Potter House, I’m looking at you.)

Important info:

As mentioned, we loved The Masons Arms, a cute thatched inn in Branscombe. However I’d recommend staying there but eating dinner elsewhere.

The best meal we had was at The Punch Bowl Inn. The food was truly gourmet.

The best way to get around the Lake District is by car. Be aware the roads are super tiny and winding – it’s not for the faint of heart!

Castlerigg Stone Circle is a must-see for history buffs. There’s no entrance fee or barriers – just park and walk up.

We stayed only two nights and it wasn’t quite enough – three nights should be plenty.

Make sure to purchase travel insurance before your trip. I’ve used World Nomads for years and highly recommend it.

Have you ever visited the Lake District? What did you think?

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

6 thoughts on “Visiting the Lake District: England’s Most Beautiful National Park”

  1. The Lake District looks stunning but then no surprise there. I’ve seen so much of city Europe I’d really love to explore more of the countryside and I wouldn’t mind at all starting with England. And that steak & kidney pie looks amazing!

  2. ‘Love the post Ashley! And obviously, I would, being that I actually come from the North-West of England myself!

    And as a young child, we were always packed off to either the Peak District or the Lake District & Windermere. I didn’t appreciate it at the time as lots of rain and wind was encouraged to be healthy. And we all use to camp out in the cold. Oh, and all do long-distance running in the snow. In our gym skirts & shorts. Yeah that was fun. Not!

    But you know, the Lake District really is beautiful & looking at the photographs are making me slightly home-sick. Especially for the wind & rain!

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