The above might just be one of the most difficult questions to answer. The Lake District is renowned for its majestic natural beauty. With rolling hills, commanding mountains, and, of course, stunning lakes, this part of the world offers some of the best views you’re ever likely to find. Part and parcel of the reason the Lake District is such a popular destination for holidaymakers the world over is the breathtaking geography of the place. Wherever you are, the chances are you’ll find yourself gazing out at a staggering view. It really is magical.
So how do you even begin to decide which part of this amazing region is the most beautiful? There’s so much on offer here in terms of natural beauty, picking an individual part of the Lake District and declaring it ‘the most beautiful’ is impossible. So we haven’t tried to pick just one area and name it the winner above all else. Instead, we thought it’d be better to run you through a selection of the most beautiful parts of the Lake District. Then you can make your own mind up. We’ll warn you though – choosing between the stunning places on this list is not easy…
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It’d be wrong of us not to mention Windermere first and foremost on this list. Lake Windermere is the largest lake in the district – and, indeed, in all of England. The vast expanse of water is, without question, jaw-droppingly beautiful. The lake is a whopping 10.5 miles long, so it really stretches across the horizon, and is the perfect spot for a few stylish photographs while you’re on your holidays. Just by its sheer hugeness, Lake Windermere has a majestic, powerful feel to it that’ll genuinely leave you in awe.
It’s worth mentioning that the surrounding area isn’t half bad in terms of scenery too. Lake Windermere is framed by rolling hills and lush green trees for as far as the eye can see – if a top artist was tasked with creating a stunning natural landscape in a painting, we’re not sure they’d be able to come up with something this beautiful. And the best bit about Lake Windermere is it’s so huge, there are plenty of picturesque towns on the shores of the lake to choose from if you’re looking to stay here. Bowness-on-Windermere is the most famous of these, where you’ll find loads of restaurants, pubs and attractions – all a stone’s throw away from the world beating view over the lake itself. Also nearby is Ambleside, which is a little quieter and more quaint than Bowness-on-Windermere. Again, there are loads of things to do and places to eat and drink here, but you’ll find it’s a bit less busy. Traditional lakeland architecture completes these towns with that lovely, picture postcard feel. A truly wonderful part of the country.
This is a beautiful part of the Lake District with real heritage. It’s the second largest lake in the region (we promise we’re not just listing the lakes in size order!) and it’s renowned for being one of the prettiest, most beautiful of all the stunning stretches of water in the Lake District. The vast lake is surrounded by lots of tree-lined hills, and the sheer beauty of the place is plain to see. In fact, it’s so beautiful, it inspired one of the most celebrated works of literature of all time. William Wordsworth, who was a Lake District local and lived there for the majority of his life, was inspired to write the famous poem ‘Daffodils’ by the Ullswater lake. The lake itself is mentioned in the poem – an instantly recognisable work that you’ll likely have heard before (it’s that one that begins with “I wandered lonely as a cloud”). So Ullswater really is an inspiring place to experience!
The lake is a particularly good spot to enjoy some of the many outdoor pursuits and watersports that the Lake District specialises in. On Ullswater, you can enjoy kayaking, swimming, paddleboarding, fishing and much more. There are also famous “Steamer” boat rides for you to enjoy. These classic steam vessels will take you out into Ullswater and give you a great trip on the Lake – the ideal way to really see it in all its divine glory. And you don’t even need the weather to play ball, because Ullswater is just as beautiful with shrouds of mist lingering over the mountains and rain beating down as it is when the sun is shining.
Pooley Bridge and Penrith
Enjoy quaint village vibes and magnificent views on the north western edge of the Lake District. Pooley Bridge makes our list for it’s unique, distinctive feel. It’s a classic lakeside village (it’s actually right on the northern tip of Ullswater, which we’ve already sung the praises of above). We think Pooley Bridge is worth a special mention all of its own though. This stunningly picturesque little village looks like something right out of the pages of a story book. A lovely 16th century bridge (for which the village is named) stretches out across the River Eamont that runs by Pooley Bridge. Here, you’ll enjoy exquisite views over one of the quintessential Lake District rivers that flows into Ullswater.
If small, quaint little villages aren’t up your street, Penrith is nearby. This wonderful Cumbrian market town is one of the larger urban areas in the Lake District, and was once actually the capital of Cumbria. That shouldn’t fool you into thinking it isn’t pretty, though. With classic architecture and loads of stuff to do, it’s a cracking place to visit to blend the majestic views that are synonymous with this part of the country with a more central hub surrounded by bars, restaurants, shops and attractions. Culture vultures will delight at the commanding ruins of Penrith castle. And best of all is the view you get from the Penrith Beacon. This monument, erected in 1719, sits atop Beacon Hill. A short walk to the peak, and you’ll get panoramic views across Penrith, the Eden Valley, and across the rolling hills of the lake lands.
Calling all adventurers and outdoor junkies: this is the place for you. Keswick, situated in the heart of the Lake District, is a beautiful little town that boasts some of the best experiences for those looking to get out into the Lakes and explore – and maybe get some blood pumping while you’re at it! Keswick is now famed for being one of the outdoor pursuit and adventure capitals of the UK. There are loads of options for hiking, climbing, and a whole stack of watersports that’ll never leave you without something to do. The town itself is pretty enough in its own right, with lots of old fashioned buildings and all the usual attractions you’d expect in a town centre.
But where the real brilliance of Keswick lies is in its central location between two of the most beautiful, breathtaking areas of the Lake District. It’s right in the middle between Skiddaw mountain and Derwentwater lake. Skiddaw is a gorgeous mountain that rises high into the sky above the surrounding lakes, hills and fells. Its jaw-dropping majesty is evident from the foot of the mountain, but things really get beautiful when you get to the top (it’s easy enough to climb, even for novice climbers, thanks to well-trodden foot paths to the peak). From here, you can see right across the district. Derwentwater is a beautiful lake with a gentle feel. It’s big, but is far from the largest in the Lake District, and as such feels quieter and a bit more peaceful than some of its larger counterparts. As a result, Keswick really is one of our favourite Lake District spots, simply for the sheer variety of landscapes you can enjoy there.
Finally, we had to give Grange-over-Sands a mention. It’s a little different to what you might expect from a Lake District town. Situated on the west Cumbrian coast, you get more of a seaside vibe than a lakes vibe – but that’s not to say it’s not staggeringly beautiful in its own right. This gorgeous town, on the southern tip of the Cartmel peninsula, boasts dominating views over Morecambe Bay. You can gaze out to sea and really enjoy a landscape that’s remained untouched, rich in natural beauty. The beaches here are wonderful too, and will be a welcome treat for any holidaymakers looking for a day out (though we recommend doing this in the summer, as the crisp air blowing in from the Irish sea might be a little much in the winter months!)
Like Keswick, Grange-over-Sands too boasts a central location between two very beautiful, very different landscapes. As well as the seaside views, Lake Windermere is just a short drive away, so you can still experience those renowned, iconic lakeside vistas too.