There is so much to see and do within this part of the Lake District, and we have tried to provide an idea of the range of activities and places to visit to help you plan your stay
Pic right fishing on Esthwaite
Grizedale Forest is just 3 miles from Hawkshead, and is well worth a visit. There is a Visitor centre from where guided trails lead to various parts of the forest. Amongst the highlights on these trails are some superb and often unexpected view points, and a number of unique woodland sculptures, some of which can be played like musical instruments. There are also a number of cycle trails and cycle hire is available at the visitor centre.
Go Ape - Swing through the trees at Grizedale or Whinlatter (Keswick).
Walking - why not try the The Cumbria Way click here a fine walk from Ulverston to Carlisle!
Few regions of England have a literary heritage that is as rich and varied as that of the Lake District. Writers, poets and artists have long been attracted to the area, and the most famous of these, William Wordsworth, was born at Cockermouth, lived for a short time in Penrith, was schooled in Hawkshead, and for much of his life lived at Grasmere and Rydal.
Consequently there are a large number of sites with direct links to William Wordsworth, and following the Wordsworth trail could take up an entire holiday. His birthplace in Cockermouth, the Grammar School in Hawkshead, and his homes at Dove Cottage, (Grasmere) and Rydal Mount are all open to the public.
Picture right Hill Top Sawrey A home of Beatrix Potter in nearby Near Sawrey. Nearby is The Tower Bank Arms(featured in the Tale of Jemima Puddleduck) and is a great place to eat. Also visit Moss Eccles Tarn a short walk from Near Sawrey and one of Beatrix Potter's favorite places.
The Beatrix Potter Gallery, is worth a visit in the square at Hawkshead, around the corner from The Kings Arms which is a great place to eat.
Windermere Lake Cruisers
The largest of all the lakes. Cruises run throughout the year, from Waterhead, (Ambleside), Bowness and Lakeside at the Southern end of the lake.
John Ruskin, the artist, writer and critic lived for the latter part of his life at Brantwood, which stands on the East Side of Coniston water. The house is now open to the public, and well worth a visit.
Several other literary heroes are associated with the Lake District, including Hugh Walpole, Arthur Ransome, Harriet Martinique, and more recently, the poet Norman Nicholson.
Here you can cruise in style on board the world's oldest steam operated yacht, The Gondola. Built in 1860, this fine vessel cruises sedately across Coniston Water, from Coniston village to the East side of the Lake. Here, passengers may disembark to enjoy a walk, or visit Brantwood, the home of the artist John Ruskin. The views from the east side of Coniston are among the finest in the world.
More Places to Visit
There are tigers in South Lakeland, at the South Lakes Wild Animal Park.
If stepping back in time to re-live boyhood memories of days gone by is your idea of bliss, then a steam train ride is probably right up your street. You'll be on the right track in South Lakeland, at the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, which boasts the oldest preserved steam loco in the world still able to pull a train.
At Ravenglass there is the world's smallest regular passenger railway. The Ravenglass and Eskdale railway serves the communities of the Eskdale Valley, and runs on 15 in gauge track. The seven mile journey from the coast to the foot of England's highest mountains takes about 35 minutes.
The Romans occupied the Lake District for 400 years, and left many landmarks for modern day tourists to visit, including one of the world's most famous historical sites :- Hadrian's Wall. The wall started close to Carlisle, and it's remains at Birdoswald are easily accessible from the Lake District.
Closer to Hawkshead, the Roman fort at Galava, (Ambleside), is still visible today, as are traces of the Roman road that led from Ambleside to Ravenglass. Hardknott Fort is situated at the top of Hardknott pass, the old road from Ambleside to Ravenglass, and at Ravenglass itself are the very well preserved remains of a Roman bath house.
The Lakeland of 200 years ago was a very different place to that which we know today. Tourism, the regions major industry, did not really exist in an economically viable form, and the inhabitants of the region worked the land and the forests in order to make ends meet. Mining was a major industry, with towns such as Keswick and Coniston being major mining centres. The Fells around Coniston are littered with old mine shafts, remnants of the days when Copper ore was mined from these hills in vast quantities. At Threlkeld, just outside Keswick, is a mining museum that provides a unique insight into this long gone industry.
Woodland industries were also prominent, and 5 miles from Hawkshead is Stott Park Bobbin Mill, which was fully operational until the 1960's, and is now a living museum.