It shocks more than a few people that I have never been to the UK. Believe me, it’s on the list! Even though I can’t tell you anything first-hand about traveling in the UK, I fortunately have some people who can. Guest writer Amanda Andrews shows us the more rural and adventurous side of the UK in this post. Caving? Hiking? Biking? Yes! Enjoy, and take a few ideas from Amanda. -Wandering Justin
I didn’t really know much about the English Lake District until recently. Now, it’s near the top of my must-visit list. It’s known for being one of the most picturesque areas of the country, with the quaint little towns and the stunning scenery of the famous lakes, but it’s also a haven for the adventurous. There’s an activity for every traveler.
The Lake District is time and again listed as one of the top UK destinations for hiking, or just walking as the locals call it. There’s no end to the trails and routes that you can take on a walking holiday in the area. There are trails here for every level of walker, so you can take a leisurely stroll across green fields and around the lakes. Eager for a more substantial challenge? Try The Cumbrian Way or The Coast to Coast walk, which is 191 miles long and takes you from the Irish Sea to the North Sea through three National Parks!
On two wheels is really the way to see the Lake District. The area again caters to all experience levels. Cumbria is a quiet, rural county so it’s great for travelling around on bike – you’re unlikely to be chased off the road by speeding cars, and travelling the country lanes by bike is a great way to see the real Cumbria. If you’re looking for something a little faster moving then check out one of the local bike shops and sign up for a mountain biking course, or just grab a map if you want to give it a go solo. With a combination of bridleways and man-made tracks criss-crossing the county there is something to suit everyone. From low valley trails to high mountain passes, this is the place to test your biking mettle in the UK.
The Lake District is considered the birth place of modern mountain climbing and has been the training ground for many with Everest aspirations. It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete novice or a fully fledged crag-rat: The adventures are endless. Don’t let their modest height fool you. Many of the climbs in the Lakes are incredibly technical. And it’s not a bad idea to head out with a guiding company at first just to get the lay of the land.
If you’d rather go down than up, try caving and canyoning. Both of these give you a completely different perspective of the landscape and allow you to explore areas of the world that most people have never seen. Just one warning: Claustrophobics need not apply.
Open water swimming, canoeing, gorge walking, kayaking, wind surfing-being that the area is famous because of its lakes it isn’t surprising that water activities abound! Lake Windermere is the venue for the Great North Swim, the UK’s biggest outdoor swimming event, and holds ½ mile, 1 mile, and 2 mile events and is currently open for entries. What an amazing way to spend part of a holiday in the UK, jumping in the water with some 10, 000 other swimmers from around the world! Don’t expect tropical water temperature here though, it’s the north of England and you won’t want to hit the water here without a wet suit.
Where to Stay
Now that your appetite has been sufficiently whet, you want to know where to stay on your trip. There is no shortage of accommodation in the Lake District and there will be something for you no matter what your budget. Camping and hostelling are probably your cheapest options, though the weather in the Lakes can be a bit unpredictable so camping might not be to everyone’s taste. A great option if you’re looking for an outdoor based trip is renting a self-catering holiday cottage in the Lake District and the cost may be less than you’d expect. Splitting the cost between a group of friends can really cut down the individual cost and if you’re looking for a really great deal then travelling in the off season can save masses. Web cottages are an online holiday cottage rental agent with independently owned cottages throughout the UK and Ireland and are a great option if you’re looking for Lake District cottages.
All of this makes the Lake District a must-see location on my next trip to the UK. The area is ideally located to stop at when you’re doing a trip around the little island of Britain, it’s just north of Liverpool and Wales and not too far from the Scottish border. If it’s as good as it sounds I think a holiday in the Lakes won’t soon be forgotten.
Amanda enjoys traveling and has traveled extensively both in the UK and abroad. Amanda writes regular travel articles for Web Cottages and its partners, including blogging about interesting travel news/stories when they crop up. Her experience traveling and excellent ability to research means her articles are both informative and enjoyable.
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