The Lake District on a Budget


There’s no need to spend a fortune when you come to the Lake District! With incredible countryside to explore and a wealth of opportunities for a low-cost holiday, you can visit the Lake District even when you’re on a tight budget.

Read on for some of my suggestions for a budget Lake District holiday.

Walk, walk, walk

Family walking in the Lake DistrictYou could quite easily spend your whole holiday trying out a different daily walk or walks! Whether you head up high mountains, take a lakeside stroll, wander through woodlands, or follow flowing rivers, there’s a whole variety of options for all different tastes and abilities.

The Lake District is renowned for its spectacular scenery and the best way to experience that is on two legs. We have lots of walking guides. Why not take a look at our Easy Walks, Pub Walks, or Dog Walks?

Two-wheel travel

Bike at Ennerdale in the Lake DistrictGetting out on a bike is an excellent way to exercise, get some fresh air, and see the sights. Many of our holiday cottages have bike storage if you’re bringing your own. Or why not visit Cyclewise at Whinlatter and Cockermouth to hire a bike? They have regular pushbikes or electric bikes for an extra boost.

You can head out along family-friendly lanes, take on infamous passes such as Honister, or try out part of several long-distance routes including the Coast to Coast and Hadrian’s Cycleway. Take a look at my Favourite Lake District Cycling Routes.

Explore further afield

Dovedale in the Lake DistrictYou'll usually find that things get more expensive the closer you are to the Lake District’s most popular areas, so why not find somewhere further afield? Cumbria and the Lake District has many, many hidden spots that are just as beautiful but not as well known, so you can save those pennies AND have an idyllic Lake District holiday. Try the Eden Valley for rolling countryside or fascinating castles and stone circles. Or head to the west coast: a true hidden gem with long sandy beaches, fascinating wildlife, and excellent fish ‘n’ chips!

Many of our Cumbrian cottages outside of the Lake District offer amazing budget accommodation within easy reach of the national park.

Car free journeys

Ribblehead Viaduct on the Carlisle to Settle RailwayWith public transport constantly improving, you can get to the Lake District and spend your whole visit here without a car! Train stations such as Windermere, Ravenglass and Penrith are easily accessible from across the UK, and further local trains, busses, and even the wonderful “La’al Ratty” can take you deeper into the Lakes!

When you’re here, you can continue using the many bus, train and boat services to explore all sorts of wonderful places. And, without a car, you can really sit back and enjoy the view from your chosen mode of transportation!

Take a look at our guides on Clean Ways to Get Around the Lake District and Cumbria and the Lake District by Public Transport. You might also like our eco-friendly cottages!

Free events

There are lots of free events that take place throughout the year, particularly during the school holidays. From beer festivals to food markets to agricultural shows, there’s enough to get your teeth into! National Trust members can visit many fascinating buildings for free and, if you're regularly in the Lakes, look into memberships at other attractions, too. Many will offer fantastic discounts.

Take a look at my guide to regular annual events and follow us on Twitter, where we share the latest events taking place around Cumbria and the Lake District.

Enjoy the views & lose yourself

View over Derwentwater towards BorrowdaleSometimes you don’t need to do anything more than sit back and enjoy some wonderful Lake District views. There’s something to be said for taking a moment for yourself, looking around you, and doing absolutely nothing. You’ll be taking a leaf from William Wordsworth’s book when he said:

I listened, motionless and still; And, as I mounted up the hill, The music in my heart I bore, Long after it was heard no more.

For more ways to lose yourself, take a look at my guide to Hygge in the Lake District.

Cook at home

Cook book at a Lake District Holiday CottageThe wonderful thing about staying in your perfect holiday cottage is that you can spend plenty of time together with friends and family. A brilliant way to reconnect is to enjoy cooking together. It’s also much cheaper than eating out!

There are many wonderful shops around the Lake District and Cumbria that sell incredible local produce. Why not pop to the shops and prepare a delicious meal together? Then enjoy an evening chatting around the table and planning tomorrow’s adventures!

Pack a picnic

Picnicking in the Lake DistrictNothing says summer more than a fabulous picnic on a warm day. You might already have a favourite spot in mind but, if not, have a look through my selection of Top 10 Picnic Spots in the Lake District.

You could find an idyllic grassy patch next to a river and also enjoy a paddle, relax in the shade of a tranquil forest, or take your place alongside a lake and watch the world go by. Absolute bliss!


We hope this gives you plenty of ideas for a perfect budget holiday in the Lake District. Why not share your favourite thing to do in the Lake District in my Facebook group: Sally’s Cottages Moments of Happiness?

Carry on saving those pennies with one of our fantastic budget holiday cottages.

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