Tucked away in the north-western corner of England is the Lake District, an area of outstanding natural beauty that, without doubt, contains much of the country's most stunning landscapes. The title of "Lake District" doesn't really do this small region justice. Whilst the lakes are an integral feature, much of the Lakeland's charm lies in the dramatic fells (mountains), steep-sided majestic valleys and oak woodlands.
There is little to rival the scale of the countryside in the Lake District elsewhere in England. It is home to the deepest lakes and highest mountains in the country. In fact every square inch of ground over 3,000 feet above sea level in England is found within the Lake District including the highest point, Scafell Pike. From here the land falls rapidly to the Arnside and Silverdale coast, another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Lake District Information, Accommodation, Photos of England's Lake District and more
Even before the arrival of the railways in Victorian times the Lakes were on the tourist radar. The works of Lakeland Poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge helped popularise the region and were no doubt inspired by the beautiful landscapes. However there were visitors to the area long before, some not so welcome like the Romans and Vikings.
Today the Lakes receive millions of visitors every year from both home and abroad. Over recent years there have been an increase in Japanese visitors owing to the popularity of Beatrix Potter in Japan. In 1951 the Lake District National Park was formed to protect the Lakeland from development and over commercialisation. In addition the National Trust have, over the years, acquired many properties and a considerable amount of land.
It isn't just the scenery that draws people to the Lakes, there are a host of activities taking in every facet of the natural landscape. Whilst many of the lakes provide opportunities for water sports, boating and fishing, the fells are hiking heaven. The steep roads and trails also provide some challenging cycling.
The entire 885 sq miles (2,292 km) of English Lake District falls within the county of Cumbria which borders on Scotland to the north. Within and around the park itself are a number of picturesque towns and villages, from the thriving market towns of Kendal and Keswick to the lakeside resorts of Ambleside and Bowness. There are also any number of tiny hamlets dotted around the twisting lanes just waiting to be discovered. one of the beauties of the Lake District is there are plenty of places where the walker can completely escape from the popular tourist destinations.