The beautiful Lake District is a wonderful location for short breaks and holidays but can become extremely busy at certain times of year as it’s such a popular tourist destination. If you plan your trip to the Lakes with care, though, you could arrange visits to some of the hidden gems in the Cumbrian area and avoid the large crowds that come with popular attractions. What’s more, you’ll get to explore some genuine Cumbrian countryside, and learn more about the local culture and lifestyle.
There are a variety of beautiful places to stay in Cumbria, offering scenic locations and easy access to outstanding attractions. If you’re staying around the Keswick area, you’ll find lots to do and limited numbers of tourists in the area around peaceful Bassenthwaite Lake, including a quiet lakeside pathway which meanders along the western side of the lake.
Mirehouse, a beautiful country house, is open to the public, and it’s possible to spend several hours exploring the enchanting grounds and house. Bassenthwaite Lake is home to the only wetland nature reserve in the Lake District, where you can expect sightings of a number of water birds, including reed bunting, meadow pipit, and grasshopper warblers. Whinlatter Forest is famed for its nesting ospreys and sightings are quite possible from the Dodd Wood observation point or via TV link up from the Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre.
Walking in Cumbria
Hikers will discover that walking to the summit of Grisedale Pike offers some of the most splendid Lakeland views and there are a variety of fairly steep routes up to the summit. Circular routes around the vale of Lorton can take in a number of the peaks around Grisedale Pike and are generally 12 to 20 miles in length. Although, if you do plan to walk some of these steep routes, you should prepare well beforehand and ensure you have the right gear for your hike.
Ashness Bridge is a great Cumbrian gem, with its ancient packhorse bridge set against the stunning mountainous landscape. If you visit in the hours leading up to sundown, however, you will be in for a real treat. Surprise View is another stunning viewing location, close to Ashness Bridge and you’re likely to experience one of the most fantastic sunset viewings of your life if your visit is perfectly timed. Sunset watching at Surprise View can reveal superb views across Derwent Water and on to Bassenthwaite Lake.
Families and thrill seekers looking for adventure in the Northern Cumbrian area will appreciate the climbs and tours available at the Honister Slate Mine, located close to Seathwaite. You will find the slate mine is much quieter during weekday visits and it’s a classic Cumbria attraction that’s well worth a visit. There are a variety of adrenaline-packed climbs to try out at the slate mine, including the Mine Climb, which offers a unique view of the inside of this working slate mine. The Via Ferrata Xtreme is a challenging climb that’s unsuited for small children, while the Via Ferrata Classic climb, which is suited to most climbers of any age or ability. This is England’s last working slate mine and produces the classic Westmorland green slate that’s prized by gardeners and homeowners.
Take time to plan your visit to Cumbria in advance, that way you will get the most out of your stay and can experience some of the beautiful hidden landscape gems in the area without the hassle of mingling with crowds of tourists.
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