The Lake District wasn’t awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status for no reason. I defy anyone who visits Cumbria not to be blown away by the sheer and epic beauty of the surrounding landscape.
With over 15 million (yes, really that many) tourists from all over the world visiting annually, then it comes as no surprise that it can get busy, particularly during the summer months. But such is the scale of the Lakes – expanding across some 2,300 square km – that it is possible to find pockets of serenity that appear to be untouched and unspoiled, and not too overcrowded. When we were there, we took a stroll around Derwentwater and found ourselves to be one of about 20 other people walking along the stunning shoreline. And this was in August.
But with so many places to visit in the Lake District, where is the best base to stay? Luckily, if you have a car, then it’s pretty straightforward to travel around the Lakes and you can quite easily get from Windermere, in the south, to Ullswater, further north, in just over an hour.
Of course, you can stay in all the main towns such as Windermere, Ambleside and Keswick to name but a few, but if you’re looking for somewhat a tad quieter, but still want to be close to the action then perhaps you might want to consider some of these villages instead.
Where To Stay
While there are hundreds of hotel and B&B options, I personally would choose self-catering, especially when you have young children – that way you can come and go as you please, and truly relax in home comforts after spending the day exploring, rather being stuck in a hotel room. Original Cottages have plenty of holiday properties in across the Lake District, including those below. They specialise in luxurious and quaint accommodation including pet-friendly options, too.
A well-connected and central hub of the Lake District, this small village is around five miles north of Ambleside, has a small supermarket and pub, as well as Langdale Pikes nearby. Chapel Stile is a certainly one to consider, particularly as there are many self-catering properties in the area.
Clappersgate is a small village just outside of Ambleside and is located on the River Brathay. The Holy Trinity church at Brathay is worth a visit, while the stretch of the River between Clappersgate and Skelwith Force is popular with canoeists. A great location to explore the Lake District with three pubs, and plenty of accommodation options, too.
Situated in the valley of Great Langdale, the small lake of Elterwater and village of the same name has excellent walking and cycling access. It also has a pretty village green at its centre, surrounded by a handful of shops and cafes, as well as the quaint and historic Brittania Inn.
Skelwith Bridge is located around three miles south of Grasmere and is nearby the waterfalls of Skelwith Force and Colwith Force. It’s a quaint village which consists of a cluster of stone buildings by a picturesque bridge spanning the River Brathay. It also has a plethora of accommodation options.
* This post was written in collaboration with Original Cottages