Going Up Country: The Lake District of Northern England.
If your get bored of London…wait, what? Yes, I said bored; even the most stimulating cities can turn impotent on occasion. Then, why not skip town for a bit and head up to Cumbria County. A five-hour train ride from London, Cumbria boasts the Lake District National Park and all of England’s highest mountain peaks. The three towns below are perfect for exploring the rich natural resources and history of the Lake District.
Ambleside: Granted a charter in the 17th century, Ambleside is a popular town for mountain bikers, mountaineers and hikers. It provides easy access to surrounding mountains, as well as Stock Ghyll Force, a 70-foot-high waterfall, which is a short walk from the downtown area. Situated on the north end of Lake Windermere, the town of 2,600 people contains a handful of pubs, shops and restaurants. And, while the town has its fair share of hotels and guest houses, Ambleside cottages are probably a better option for those wishing to spend more time exploring the lake and surrounding fells.
Keswick: What do Beatrix Potter, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Billy Graham have in common, besides being popular authors? They all spent time in Keswick, England. Credited with manufacturing the world’s first graphite pencil, Keswick, meaning “farm where cheese is made,” is now home to the Cars of the Stars Museum, the Keswick Convention–a large Christian meet up– and a film festival, as well as other festivities throughout the year. If your planning on attending any of the town’s events, a budget friendly option for those looking for a bit more space is renting one of Keswick cottages. Like Ambleside, the town is perfect for using as a home base to explore the Windermere Lake and other surrounding sights, including Castlerigg Stone Circle.
Windermere: So small it’s considered a village, Windermere sits less than a mile from the shores of Lake Windermere. More than 10 miles in length, Lake Windereme is the largest in England, and is popular spot for yachting. Cottages scattered throughout the wooded slopes provide accommodations in Windermere that are perfect for those looking for a lakeside getaway.
On our next visit to the U.K. (which can’t come soon enough) Beth and I want to rent a car and see this part of England. I loved London for the short time I was there and we both really want to see more of the country.
**Photo credits for this post: 1st photo magnusfranklin , 2nd photo- Milan G, 3rd photo – Mr. Phil Price
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