The Lake District, England – A Day Trip from Manchester, UK

Lake District

Lake District

Lake District, England: the epitome of surreal beauty and breathtaking magnificence

Picture perfect greenery, serene lakes, utterly charming hilltops and stunning panoramas are just some of the elements that are found in abundance in England’s largest national park, the Lake District.  Covering an area of about 2600 sq kilometers, the park earned its status as a national park in 1951 and as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2017.  Immensely popular for not only its natural splendor but also because of its influence on many a famous writer and poet, the Lake District, is arguably England’s favorite place to unwind and soak in the very best of the country’s landscape.

Lake District

An enchanting destination, Lake District lies within the county of Cumbria in England and houses the highest peak of the country (Scafell Pike). Located in the Northwest corner of the country, it forms for a great day trip from Manchester.  With plenty to explore, Lake District is accessible by both train and as well as road and lies at a distance of about 90 miles from Manchester.

Windmere

Lake District

A boat ride amidst the tranquil Windmere lake is a great way to kick-start your journey into this land of superlatives.   At about 219 feet deep and a whopping ten and a half miles long, Windmere is the largest lake in England.  There is plenty you can see and do in and around Windmere. There are several options you can choose from including a guided boat tour, canoeing, sailing and kayaking, power boating and water skiing.  The idyllic towns of Bowness-on-Windermere and Ambleside are not only beautiful but also great bases to start your tour of the Lake District.

The world of Beatrix Potter

Lake District

If your childhood favorite book “The Tales of Peter Rabbit” still makes you smile and transports you into the world of nostalgia, Lake District is the place for you.  For, it is here that you can discover the world of one of the most talented writers of England, Beatrix Potter.  The Hill top, a wonderful 17th-century house with heritage stone walls was once the home of this renowned illustrator and children’s book writer.  Now converted into a museum, you can take a walk along the interiors of the house including the parlor, staircase, and landing which formed the setting for many of Potter’s children books.  Several pieces of furniture that were the inspiration of the author and found themselves in several of her illustrations can be seen here.  The pretty garden that finds mention is many of her books is sure to kindle fond memories.

Lake District

The house which encapsulates her life was bequeathed by Potter herself to the National Trust who have impeccably preserved this legacy that bought to life as many as 23 of her books.  There is also a quaint store where you can pick up books, magnets and other souvenirs related to the author.

Lake District

You can also visit the Wray castle which was the home of Potter during her early childhood.  It was here that she developed a fondness for the countryside and made Lake District her home.  A perfect place for a fun-filled family outing, Wray castle is a significant place to visit on the Beatrix Potter trail.

William Wordsworth

The life and times of yet another world-renowned writer, William Wordsworth can be traced to Lake District.  Almost synonymous with his most famous work, the poem “Daffodils”, William Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth, an ancient market town in Cumbria.  The first line of his poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, is a true reflection of the poet’s life in these picturesque and bewitching settings.

Lake District

One can visit the Hawkshead Grammar School that was founded in 1585 where Wiliam Wordsworth was a student between 1779 and 1787.  The school retains its old wooden desks that have several student names inscribed, the most famous being, of course, William Wordsworth.

Lake District

The old blackboards, notice boards, handwritten memos and the furniture of the yesteryears are worth exploring.  The headmaster’s study on the upper level also gives one invaluable insight into the world of schooling and education in England during the 18th century.

William Wordsworth went on study at Cambridge and later came back to live in Dove’s cottage in the beautiful village of Grasmere for almost 14 years.  While in this delightfully pretty village, you can visit Dove Cottage which is an insightful place for both children and adults alike.  An enchanting house which is a perfect model of the traditional Lakeland home of the yore, Wordsworth lived here with his sister, Dorothy.  Together they built the garden which was the highlight of the house, both then and now.  After visiting the house and the garden, stop by at the adjacent museum Wordsworth museum that is again a treasure house of the poet’s works and belongings including original manuscripts.   William Wordsworth died in Grasmere and was buried in the churchyard of St Oswald’s Church in the village.  One can visit his grave that lies next to that of his wife and sister.

Grasmere Gingerbread

Lake District

The village of Grasmere is totally charming with an angelic appeal.  It is well known for its manicured landscapes, gardens as well as cafes, bakeries, and restaurants serving some absolutely delectable, farm fresh delicacies.  It is also famous for The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop which sells, what is popularly known as, the world’s best gingerbread.  Started by Sarah Nelson in 1854, this secret recipe is known to conjure the perfect gingerbread that seems like a combination of a cake and biscuit.  The recipe is fiercely guarded till date and the shop is run by the third generation of the family.  Apart from the gingerbread, make sure you pick up some gingerbread themed souvenirs including some exquisite teapots during your visit here.

Lake District

Apart from the above, there are lots to see and do in Lake District. The lake of Derwentwater is yet another gorgeous water body that is sure to have a rejuvenating effect on your senses. There are several other lakes, hilltops, and valleys that are best explored through the umpteen walking and trekking routes.

This is a guest post by Rashmi. Rashmi Gopal Rao is a freelance writer and travel-lifestyle blogger from Bangalore.  Apart from visiting the tourist attractions of a place, she loves to venture out exploring the unconventional and the uncommon. Learning about the unique customs and culture of a place, interacting with the locals and sampling the local and authentic cuisine is always on her “to-do” list while traveling.   A strong advocate and supporter of responsible and sustainable tourism, she blogs at http://rashminotes.com/.

Lake District



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27 thoughts on “The Lake District, England – A Day Trip from Manchester, UK

  1. Hang Around The World Reply

    Thank you for this great overview of The Lake District! We have studied this place thanks to William Wordsworth of course and we can’t wait to explore with our eyes what the poet talked about in his poetries!!

  2. Nancy | MapandFamily Reply

    I visited Hawkshead briefly this summer – now I’ll have to go back to see the Grammar School and Wordsworth’s name! The Lake District is stunning and you’ve inspired me to start planning another trip.

  3. Rachelle Reply

    I’m a little embarrassed to admit that my first introduction to what the Lake District is comes from “Pride and Prejudice.” I haven’t been to England before, but I would just LOVE to “lake-hop” around the District. I also had no idea about William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter! Def need to plan a trip now!

  4. Lord Reply

    Thanks for the tips! I plan to go to UK next year, and I think those places you listed are worth checking out!

  5. Punita Malhotra Reply

    Just the kind of day trip we would love to do. Windermere, Wordsworth and gingerbread all sound fabulous. You got great weather and a bright blue sky too! Its on my list now, thanks to you 🙂

  6. Thu Nguyen Reply

    Whenever I visit a place, I always buy some thing as a gift for myself and those little beautiful souvenirs impress me so much. I would love to visit England someday. Thanks for the useful tips you share.

  7. Divyakshi Gupta Reply

    The beauty is so surreal that it isn’t a surprise that this place hasn’t inspired poets and writers! I can imagine how beautiful the boat ride would be with such stunning vistas! The wray castle looks picture perfect! 🙂 And I am soooo thrilled to see the books of Beatrix Potter here and the connection of Wordsworth! The town is truly a literary treasure! 🙂
    Gingerbread wow! You made me truly hungry both for the culinary delight as well as on the literary front!

  8. Tamara Elliott Reply

    I’ve heard such great things about the Lake District! I think I’d like to visit the village of Grasmere the most. Because gingerbread 😉

  9. Chris Bloomfield Reply

    The Tales of Peter Rabbit was one of my favorites and now I have to visit this place. Ok you actually made me want to visit just because it is a National Park and super nice looking. Great photos by the way.

  10. Abhinav Singh Reply

    I am planning to go to England in 2018 and already looking for interesting things to see there. Lake District is so picturesque. There is a certain charm in visiting the homes of celebrated writers. The last time I did that was in Landour, India.

  11. Ami Reply

    This is so cute and quaint. It is like that fairy tale town and I am sure that is where the inspiration for all the writers must have come from. Was fun reading about it. Cheers

  12. SindhuMurthy Reply

    I m not surprised that the Lake District has been home to such wonderful writers and poets. The postcard-like landscape can turn anyone into a romantic at heart. A very well-written post by Rashmi.

  13. Katchutravels Reply

    Did not know about the history behind the place. The open space and the castle looks so regal. Writers like potter (have not heard of her), probably needed a place like this to make her stories! The place looks very calming, with all the greenery and the lake.

  14. Johann Reply

    An enchanting read! With great views like that the poet’s and writers would have had a ball of a time here. The Lake reminded me of Ward’s lake in Shillong, although not same. Surrounding hills and all that green Meghalaya shares with the place. Now you’ve made me out this place in my England itinerary. Definitely going to see William’s house in Grasmere.

  15. Siddhartha Joshi Reply

    Lake District is one place highly recommended by all my friends who’ve been to UK! And now that the place is a UNESCO World Heritage site, I think I am even more inspired to plan a trip 🙂

    The visit to William Wordsworth school sounds fascinating too…I am a fan 🙂

  16. neha Reply

    Such a beautiful small town. I love the green pastures and the beautiful small houses and shops out there. It must be wonderful to visit the place where some of Wirdsworth’s creations happened. I will definitely have it on my list when I visit here.

  17. Jen Joslin Reply

    We are planning to go to England next summer, and this post has definitely inspired some ideas. The Lake District looks gorgeous! I would love to check out the homes of such renowned writers too. It’s so special that their homes (and castles!) have been preserved in that way. And of course we’ll have to visit the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop. Can’t pass up a chance to try the best gingerbread in the world! Thanks for sharing all of this great info!

  18. Suruchi Reply

    Lake district looks lovely and we would love to take a day trip here. Moreover, it is a UNESCO heritage site now. The village of Grasmere is so picturesque and I can well imagine why writers had their base here. Well written post with great pictures.

  19. Megan Jerrard Reply

    The Lakes District is one of my favorite regions of England – so much incredible countryside and opportunities for walking / hikes. Windmere Lake is a beautiful spot – and I love visiting the Hill top for a Beatrix Potter overdose! I’m so glad that they’ve taken measures to preserve her legacy.

  20. Jennifer Melroy Reply

    I would be up for windsurfing on Windmere.

    I love the Betrix Potter stories. Plus getting to explore her house. I love seeing how an author works.

  21. Claire Reply

    Gorgeous part of the UK! I loved my trips here when I was younger and this has brought back some lovely memories, thanks!

  22. Anita Hendrieka Reply

    This post came at a great time as I will be visiting the Lake District in January, cannot wait! Grasmere looks so quaint and picturesque. I love all the little villages in the UK, I’m obsessed!

  23. Kavita Favelle Reply

    The Lake District is certainly one of the UK’s most beautiful regions, the landscapes and lakes are just so beautiful and remain very rural even though tourism is a big industry here. Lake Windermere is beautiful, I remember boating on it on a sunny day!

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