England’s Lake District: The History, the Hills, and the Hearty Fare

England’s Lake District is home to some of the most spectacular natural beauty in the world. Nestled in the northwest corner of England, the Lake District is a breathtaking region of rolling hills, glittering lakes, and quaint villages. With its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, it’s no wonder that this region has been a favorite destination for travelers for centuries.

One of the most popular destinations in the Lake District is Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England. With its crystal-clear waters and picturesque surroundings, it’s easy to see why Windermere has been a popular destination for generations. Whether you’re looking to go for a swim, take a boat trip, or just relax by the water’s edge, Lake Windermere is the perfect place to do it.

Lake district pastoral scene
Lake District Lake Windermere
Lake district blue boats on shore

The Lake District National Park

Lake Windermere is located in the Lake District National Park which takes up a large potion of the counties of Cumbria and Lancashire in the northwest corner of the country. It covers over 885 square miles and is England’s largest national park. Here visitors can find 16 major lakes of which Lake Windermere is one, numerous smaller water features, and over 300 miles of public footpaths.

It’s  a great place to get active and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re an experienced climber or just looking for a fun day out, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained. You can try your hand at kayaking on one of the many lakes, or take a pony trek through the rolling hills. And if you’re looking for something a little more challenging, tackle one of the many peaks that tower over the Lake District. From the dramatic crags of Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, to the rugged beauty of Helvellyn, there are plenty of peaks for you to conquer. Of course, if you’d rather take things a little easier, many lower-level walks are there to enjoy too. Whichever you choose, both offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Lake district sign for Skafell Pike
Lake district rugged climb
Lake district Helavellyn Peaks

History Abounds

If you’re a history buff, you’ll love exploring the many quaint villages that dot the Lake District. From the cobbled streets of Grasmere to the market town of Kendal, each village has its own unique character and history. Some of the most picturesque villages include Coniston, Hawkshead, and Ambleside, all of which are home to charming inns, tea rooms, and shops.

The Lake District is also home to a number of historic houses and castles, many of which are open to the public. One of the most famous of these is the medieval castle at Muncaster, which has been home to the Pennington family for over 800 years. Another must-visit destination is Wordsworth House in Cockermouth, the birthplace of the poet William Wordsworth. Here, you can see the rooms where Wordsworth grew up, as well as the beautiful gardens that inspired some of his most famous poems.

Lake District - Muncaster Castle

Muncaster Castle

Lake District - Village house

Village House

Local Cuisine

This stunning region is home to a rich food culture that’s steeped in tradition and bursting with flavor.
One of the must-try dishes in the Lake District is Herdwick lamb, a succulent and flavorful meat that’s raised on the hills and fells of the region. This delicious lamb is often slow-roasted to perfection, producing a tender and juicy meat that’s perfect served with seasonal vegetables and a rich red wine sauce.

Another local specialty is Cumberland sausage, a delicious sausage that’s made with a mixture of herbs, spices, and meat. These flavorful sausages are often served with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and a rich gravy, making for a hearty and satisfying meal.
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, you simply must try the famous gingerbread of Grasmere. This delicious treat has been made in the village for over 200 years and is still made to a secret family recipe that’s been passed down through the generations. Whether you prefer your gingerbread soft and chewy or crisp and crunchy, you won’t be disappointed.

And of course, no visit to the Lake District would be complete without indulging in a traditional English afternoon tea. Whether you’re sipping a steaming cup of tea and nibbling on delicate sandwiches in a quaint tea room, or enjoying a more elaborate spread of sandwiches, scones, and pastries in a grand country house, there’s something for everyone when it comes to afternoon tea in the Lake District.

If you’re hungry from walking, hiking, or other activity or looking for a more hearty and substantial meal, then you’ll love the traditional pub food that’s on offer in the Lake District. From succulent roasts and hearty stews to delicious pies and sandwiches, there’s plenty of delicious food to choose from. And of course, no pub meal would be complete without a pint of local ale to wash it all down!
And don’t forget the local cheeses! The Lake District is home to a number of artisan cheese makers, producing a range of delicious cheeses that are perfect for pairing with a glass of red wine or a slice of crusty bread. From tangy blue cheeses to creamy cheddar, there’s a cheese for every taste.

Lake District - Herdwick lamb

Herdwick Lamb

Lake District - Pub Fare

Cumberland Sausage in a Bun with Chips

Lake District - Gingerbread sign

Sign says it all!

Best Time To Go

So if you’re looking to explore some of England’s most beautiful countryside, the Lake District is a great place to start! With its stunning views, rich history, and varied hearty cuisine, it’s no wonder the area is so popular. Visit April (spring flowers!) to October (less visitors) for the best experience. Interested in a tour, or a post-cruise visit? Contact your travel expert at this agency for all your options. Then pack your bags and passport, and get ready to explore the Lake District!

Lake District - View of Lake Windermere footer

Lake Windermere  – sunny with stunning views.

All images courtesy of Adobe Stock. Article first appeared on Real Travel Experts.