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A 'Cooler' Lake District Travel Guide

A lot of people have a misconception that the Lake District is just a dog walker’s heaven, full of parents on their weekend breaks, overpriced beer and constant rain. Although the latter is mainly true, the Lake District does have some beautiful, Instagram-worthy places, cool cocktail bars and stunning scenery, that you don’t need a gold Duke of Edinburgh award to access.

Lake District

THINGS TO DO

Of course, one of the cheapest things to do in the Lake District is wrap up and go on a walk. Either up a fell, around a lake or through a town centre, these are my favourite walks in the lakes, with gorgeous views and the unbeatable Cumbrian fresh air guaranteed, these walks are fine for all abilities, and can be made as long/short as you desire.

  • Dodd Wood, Keswick
  • Walk around Buttermere (4.5 miles)
  • ‘Surprise View’ (3.5 miles)
  • Cat Bells (3.6 miles)

If you aren’t the walking type, the Lake District offers so much more to do for a great price. Paddle boarding on Derwent water or Lake Windermere is one of my favourites, it is both exciting and therapeutic. If you’re more of an indoors-type person, the ‘Puzzling Place’ museum in Keswick town centre is always fun and the World of Beatrix Potter museum in Bowness-In-Windermere is delightful, especially if you have young ones with you. If you do happen to have a bit more cash to splash, there is an abundance of beautiful spa’s you can indulge yourself in, for example The Daffodil or Lodore Falls.

WHERE TO EAT

The Lake District is packed with places to eat, to the point where it can be rather overwhelming if you are visiting the area for the first time. There are many great ‘local’ style pubs, which serve the typical fish and chips, steak pie style pub grub, however beyond these places there are some great eats too. My favourites are:

  • Daisy’s Café Ambleside – serving the best breakfasts, cakes and scones
  • The Jumble Room, Grasmere – a great budget friendly menu with something for everyone
  • Blocks Steakhouse, Cockermouth – located slightly outside of the Lake District, about a 15-minute drive from Keswick, this steakhouse is one of the best I’ve been to. Beautifully cooked steak with a wide variety of sides, all for a reasonable price. Great cocktails too.
  • ‘Old Keswickan’ chippy – who doesn’t love fish and chips? And these are to die for.
  • Woodstone Pizza and Flamegrill Keswick – this place has a varied menu, and especially great pizzas if you fancy something different from the standard pub grub

WHERE TO DRINK

Let’s be honest, you will not be short of places to drink in the Lake District. You are always in walking distance of a pub at any given point in the lakes. To narrow it down for you, these are my top picks:

  • The Fizzy Tarte – Windermere- my favourite bar in the Lake District. The cocktails are DELICOUS.
  • Baha, Bowness – a lovely bar with regular live music and a slightly younger audience. (The food here is also always good).
  • The Boot Inn, Eskdale Valley – a lovely cosy pub with a proper countryside atmosphere
  • Seth’s Bar, Cockermouth – offers some beautiful unique cocktails, such as the vimto daiquiri
  • If all else fails, there is always a Wetherspoons…

WHERE TO STAY

Hotels in the Lake District can set you back a literal small fortune. There is no denying some of the lakeside hotels are stunning, sometimes you just need a nice clean room to sleep between all your exploring. These are the best hotels throughout the lakes to fit every budget.

  • A ‘glamping’ pod– these can be found all over the Lake District, and are such a cute and cosy accommodation, for a reasonable price. A lot of the pods accommodate pets, and are almost always located near a pub for a short stumble home. You also get the full countryside experience- most likely waking up to sheep in your campsite.
  • YHA Black Sail youth hostel- another cheaper alternative, this is by far one of the most unique hostels I have ever stayed in. It is spotless, has a stunning location, lovely, helpful staff, and if there is a larger group of you, you have the option to hire the whole place out. However, if you’re technology reliant this hostel is not for you- it has no electric sockets, card facilities or mobile reception.
  • Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa – one of the most stunning hotels in the Lakes, this hotel is on the pricier side however definitely worth it for a treat or gift idea.

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