The Lake District and Cumbria is blessed with amazing scenery that’s a feast for the eyes. But bring your focus down from the mountain peaks and the waters of the lakes and you’ll find even more beauty in the villages of the county.
With coastal delights, ancient settlements, and hidden valley dwellings, villages and hamlets make up a big part of the character of the Lakes. Today I’ll be sharing some of my favourite pretty Lake District villages.
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Hawkshead easily tops the list, practically without trying! Sitting between Windermere and Consiton, the centre of this village has been designated traffic free, so you can get a uniquely olde worlde enjoyment from it. With narrow ginnels, cobbled courtyards and whitewashed buildings, it’s just what you’d imagine when picturing a pretty village. There’s plenty to see too, with connections to Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, as well as a fabulous chocolate factory!
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On the southern outer edge of the Lake District is Cartmel, famous for its racecourse and fabulous sticky toffee pudding! It’s a real foodie paradise with two Michelin-starred restaurants, a cheese delicatessen, and lovely pubs and cafes. Cottages sit alongside a pretty stream while grand, ivy-covered houses nestle down alongside quirky village shops.
Once home to William Wordsworth and his family, Grasmere still retains the character that was evident back in the poet’s day. Slatebuilt cottages sit along the roads, while the lake is just a short walk away. Don’t miss a visit to Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingberbread® Shop while you’re here. The smell of freshly baked sweet treats will draw you to the tiny shop, where inside you’ll find the world-famous gingerbread served up by friendly staff in traditional garb.
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This tiny village in the valley of Eskdale is surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery and home to just a handful of pretty buildings. One such building is the Eskdale Corn Mill, which lies over a stone bridge at the end of the street, and is open to the public. It tells of the milling history of the area, with hands-on exhibitions and knowledgeable guides. Beyond the mill, the road changes to footpaths that head directly onto the mountainside, with walks up to Blea Tarn and Burnmoor Tarn.
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In an area known locally as Back o’ Skiddaw, Caldbeck is a delightful village with colourful houses, mining history, and riverside walks. In one of the lesser-visited areas of the Lake District, here you can enjoy fantastic scenery without the crowds. A walk along the river can take you The Howk, a limestone gorge with waterfalls and an old Bobbin Mill. Meanwhile, back in the centre of the village, you can stop off at the local pub, pop in for a look at the church, or browse the shops and eat at the café in the old Priests Mill.
Stay at one of our cottages in Caldbeck.
As the Lake District’s only coastal village, Ravenglass really deserves its place on this list. Sitting on the estuary where three rivers meet, it enjoys spectacular sunsets and long sandy stretches of shoreline when the tide is out. Fishing boats can be seen tranquilly bobbing on the water, while the slow pace of life allows you to really sit back and relax. The village is backed by stunning mountain scenery and the delightful ‘La’al Ratty’, a miniature steam railway, will take you on a trip towards those fells in Eskdale.
Have a look through our holiday homes in Ravenglass.
The valley of Borrowdale has several wonderful villages and hamlets, making it hard to pick just one! Seatoller sits at the foot of Honister Pass – one of the Lake District’s famous high road passes – and is mostly made up slate-clad miners cottages with gorgeous views. Bundled together in this little village, the buildings feel cosy and welcoming, with a real traditional air. The surrounding countryside, too, is perfect for a walking holiday, and makes the location truly idyllic.
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Does any village in the Lake District have a more impressive backdrop than Elterwater? The impressive Langdale Fells dominate the landscape here, giving the village a picturesque surround. Traditional slate terraced houses line the main street, while larger whitewashed cottages stand off to the side. A small river bubbles through the village towards the nearby lake of the same name, which literally translates to swan lake!
Browse cottages in the Langdale Valley.
This historic village has medieval origins and is made up mostly of wonderful old farm buildings and cottages. Almost all of the buildings offer some titbit of historical interest, while the small green in the centre adds to the tranquillity of this delightful place. Overlooking the fields and forests of the Lowther Estate, this is a true sylvan dream for anyone who seeks true peace and calm.
Take a look through our cottages near Askham.