North West – The Lake District

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in north west england

The Lake District

1. Wast Water and Wasdale Head

If you want to get away from the busier areas of Cumbria, then head out west to Wast Water, one of the Lake District’s more isolated locations. At 260ft Wast Water is England’s deepest lake and is close to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, at 3210 ft high. For walkers who don’t wish to tackle the mountains, there are a number of gentler trails amongst the lower slopes and along the banks of the lake. Nearby is the famous Wasdale Head Inn and Bar which serves hearty meals.

2. Muncaster Castle

Situated between the Irish Sea and Hardknott Pass, Muncaster is located in a dramatic landscape. The wild setting of ancient woods and soaring mountains provides opportunities to explore the designated paths and walks. Its Great Hall, Octagonal Library and elegant Dining Room are all windows on a grand past. Muncaster also has an aviary containing a large collection of owls, and is headquarters of the World Owl Trust.

3. Buttermere Lakeshore Walk

Lake Buttermere in the northwestern area of the Lake District National Park offers a peaceful and easy walking route around its shores amidst classic lakeland scenery of mountains and deciduous trees. Buttermere means ‘the lake by the dairy pastures,’ and it a tranquil, peaceful setting, offering a more relaxing and accessable walk than many of the more challenging scrambles up crags and mountains in the English Lake District.

4. The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway runs for seven miles from the Lake District National Park’s only coastal village of Ravenglass in the Western Lake District, through hidden Miterdale, to the grandeur of the Eskdale valley. The terminus at Dalegarth for Boot nestles at the foot of England’s highest mountains. For all though it’s the magic of steam, including the world’s oldest working 15 inch gauge locomotive, that adds that little bit extra to one of the Lake District’s top attractions.

5. Cumberland Pencil Museum

At the Cumberland Pencil Museum you can journey through the history of pencils and pencil making, enjoy being creative in the Drawing Zone and relax over a cappuccino in Sketchers Coffee Shop. Tracing the development of the use of graphite in the history of mark making, the museum begins with the story of how local graphite miners sold the material to farmers for marking their sheep. Later, Lakeland graphite was exported as far as Renaissance Italy to be used as a drawing material.

6. The Rum Story, Whitehaven

Imagine leaving the cobbled streets of Whitehaven’s Georgian town centre and feeling like you have been transported to an exotic island in the Caribbean. Set in the original 1785 shop, courtyards, cellars and warehouses of the Jefferson family, The Rum Story has been designed to provide all-weather family entertainment. During your visit you will travel through a tropical rainforest, an African village, a slave ship, Cumbrian cottages and a Cooper’s workshop.

7. Wordsworth House, Cockermouth

Wordsworth House is the birthplace and childhood home of William Wordsworth – a ‘living’ 1770’s townhouse and an insight into the Wordsworths’ family life. Costumed interpreters reveal the reality of life in 1770s Cockermouth with interactive demonstrations and tastings in the working kitchen. There’s lots of items to touch and use including the children’s toys and an attractive walled garden growing fruit, herbs and vegetables of the Wordsworths’ time.

8. Jennings Brewery Tour

Jennings traditional brewery was established in 1828. Pure Lakeland water is still used, drawn from the brewery’s own well, and only the finest natural ingredients are added, including malt made from Maris Otter barley, Golding hops from Kent and Fuggles hops from Herefordshire. Find out how real ales are still brewed with care and attention, by taking the friendly, guided tour and complete your visit by sampling some of Jennings’ superb Lakeland ales in the atmospheric Old Cooperage bar.

9. The Beacon Heritage Centre, Whitehaven

Situated on Whitehaven’s striking harbourside is the Beacon Heritage Centre. Journey through the areas rich heritage from pre-history to the 1990’s with items from the museum collection. With three floors full of objects and activities there is something to entertain all ages. There are panoramic views of the town and coast from the fourth floor, along with a free exhibition gallery, gift shop and restaurant.

10. Climb Helvellyn

At 3114 feet (950 metres) Helvellyn is the third highest mountain in the Lake District after Scafell Pike and Scafell. It’s the most popular mountain with walkers in the lakes, probably due to the combination of varied routes, spectacular scenery and easy access from main roads to starting points. Grade – Hard. 9.5 Miles/6 hours/Glenridding.

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