30 must-see places in the Lake District holiday cottages

30 must-see places in the Lake District

Julie Smith 22 March 2021

There are so many wonderful places to visit in the Lake District that sometimes it’s hard to pick! So here’s our quick guide of 30 locations in the Lake District that you must see during your stay. And if you can’t fit them all in during one trip, well, you’ll just have to visit time and time again!

And don’t forget to take a look at our cottage search to find your dream holiday cottage!

1. Derwentwater

Must-see places Lake District

With stunning views into the “jaws” of Borrowdale, small islands to explore, and boat hire available, there’s lots of excitement to be had on Derwentwater.

2. Windermere

Windermere is England’s longest lake and the Lake District’s most popular! Explore all the attractions on the shore or take in the sites from the water with a cruise.

3. Hill Top

Once home to Beatrix Potter, Hill Top is a time-capsule of the beloved author’s life. 

4. Scafell Pike

Must-see places Lake District

If you’re a keen, well-prepared walker, England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, has to be on your bucket list! If you’re not a walker, you can still admire the impressive fell from the valleys of Eskdale or Wasdale.

5. Keswick

The pretty market town of Keswick is an eternal favourite thanks to its gorgeous views, variety of activities, and easy access to Derwentwater and the surrounding fells.

6. Bowness-on-Windermere

Bowness sits right on the shores of Windermere and is the perfect place for exploring the stunning South Lakes.

7. Wastwater

Must-see places Lake District

Famous as England’s deepest lake and for the dramatic screes that tumble into the water, Wastwater is also a tranquil spot to reflect while you take in the rugged Wasdale scenery.

8. Helvellyn and Striding Edge

Voted England’s favourite walk, Helvellyn is a popular ascent for well-equipped and knowledgeable walkers. It also makes an impressive backdrop to beautiful Ullswater.

9. Dove Cottage, Grasmere

Must-see places Lake District

Once home to Romantic poet William Wordsworth, Dove Cottage now offers a glimpse back in time, with personal belongings of the Wordsworth family on display.

10. Honister Pass & Honister Slate Mine

One of Cumbria’s highest and steepest roads, Honister Pass offers spectacular views across Borrowdale. Honister Slate Mine at the top is a fascinating look into the area's history and gives you the chance to test your mettle with its Via Ferrata.

11. Buttermere

Must-see places Lake District

Often regarded as England’s best view, Buttermere makes for an easy, family-friendly walk with gentle paths and a tunnel carved into the rock on the north-east side.

12. Ravenglass

The only coastal village in the Lake District, Ravenglass is a peaceful place where you can step back in time to explore its Roman heritage.

13. The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

Known locally as the La’al Ratty, this miniature steam train tootles along the valley from Ravenglass on the coast, to Boot in the heart of Eskdale.

14. Catbells

Must-see places Lake District

The iconic, family-friendly fell is perfect if you’re looking for some hillwalking without too much effort!

15. Muncaster Castle

Proudly looking over the valley, Muncaster Castle near Ravenglass boasts a fascinating history, gorgeous gardens, and regular events.

16. Orrest Head

Said to be where Alfred Wainwright first got a taste for the region, Orrest Head is an easy fell walk that rewards you with stunning views over Windermere.

17. Aira Force

Must-see places Lake District

One of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Lake District, Aira Force near Ullswater is surrounded by woodland and has viewing platforms to make the most of the sight of cascading water. Best visited after heavy rain!

18. The Bowder Stone

Apparently defying gravity, the Bowder Stone in Borrowdale is a 2,000-tonne, 30-foot-high rock standing precariously on its edge.

19. Surprise View and Ashness Bridge

This popular viewpoint is one of the most photographed in the Lake District and it’s not hard to see why!

20. Lowther Castle

Must-see places Lake District

Though now a ruin, this still-spectacular castle dates back to medieval times and has plenty to explore in its extensive grounds including beautiful gardens and The Lost Castle play area.

21. Rannerdale

The ‘hidden’ valley is awash with beautiful bluebells in the spring. Remember to avoid trampling the flowers so future visitors can also enjoy the spectacle too!

22. Theatre by the Lake

Sitting on the shores of Derwentwater, the Theatre by the Lake provides an exciting programme of performances throughout the year.

23. Whinlatter Forest

Must-see places Lake District

England’s only true mountain forest, Whinlatter has many waymarked footpaths, mountain biking routes, and a Go Ape! high ropes course.

24. Blackwell, the Arts & Crafts House

Overlooking Windermere, Blackwell is a Grade I-listed building that is a masterpiece of Arts and Crafts design.

25. Tarn Hows

This pretty tarn offers an easy, accessible walk that takes in some of the gorgeous scenery of the South Lakes

26. Bridge House, Ambleside

Must-see places Lake District

One of the most iconic and most photographed buildings in the Lake District, Bridge House in Ambleside is a tiny house that was built over Stock Beck in order to escape land tax!

27. Stanley Ghyll

Follow flowing rivers through the tranquil woodland of Eskdale to reach the wonderful Stanley Ghyll waterfall thundering into the splash pool below.

28. Steam Yacht Gondola, Coniston

Take a trip across Coniston on a rebuilt Victorian steam-powered yacht and enjoy a taste of tourism from the past.

29. Wray Castle

Must-see places Lake District

Looking somewhat unusual on the shores of Windermere, Wray Castle is nonetheless a fascinating and quirky Victorian folly that’s well worth a visit!

30. Castlerigg Stone Circle

Sitting high above Keswick and with breathtaking panoramic views, this mysterious stone circle is the oldest in Britain.

Must-see places Lake District

There's so much to be seen in the Lake District that we couldn't possibly include them all in this quick guide! You can take a look at our in-depth guides for more ideas, or get in touch if you would like more suggestions from our friendly, local team!

You can use our cottage search to find the perfect self-catering cottage for your stay.

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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