With unlimited potential for outdoor activities and breathtaking scenery at every turn, it’s easy to see why the Lake District is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations. Around 14 million visitors flock to the National Park every year to visit some of its most well-loved locations – with Windermere, Ambleside and Keswick among the region’s most famous tourist hot spots. However, with holidaymakers making a beeline for the most prominent landmarks, some of Cumbria’s less known areas of natural beauty get overlooked.
A single day won’t allow enough time to fully soak up all the sights of The Lakes. If you’re looking to venture off the beaten track, make the most of your time by booking one the many idyllic cottage stays available from rental firms like LakeLovers.
If you’re planning a getaway in the Lake District and want to explore some of its secret gems, this guide should help.
Whinlatter Forest Park
The UK’s only mountain forest park, Whinlatter is one of the more remote parts of the Lake District and can be reached from Keswick and Braithwaite. Home to rare wildlife and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation among the fells and forest, Whinlatter Forest Park is the perfect place for a family day out. The area has a number of scenic paths and cycling routes that trail through the forest, with adventure play parks dotted along the way.
Just south of the popular Lake Windermere, Winster Valley is the ideal spot to enjoy some peace and quiet. The dale offers awe-inspiring vistas of dense woodland, vibrant flora, crumbling stone walls and diverse natural wildlife, including some of the Lake District’s rarest birds. If you’re looking for a bite to eat on your travels, there are plenty of quaint pubs that can be found dotted around the area.
One of the Lake District’s least known lakes, Crummock Water is often overshadowed by its well-known neighbour, Buttermere. Just a short distance from Cockermouth, this tranquil area boasts stunning lakeside walks, surrounded by the scenic Rannerdale Knotts. Here you can also take a short detour to Scale Force, known to be the highest waterfall in the Lake District.
Nestled on the other side of the popular Drentwater fell is Newlands Valley. Far removed from the crowds, this landscape is characterised by winding dirt tracks, charming stone cottages and rolling countryside. If you want to get away from the tourist traps for an afternoon, this picturesque valley is abound with untouched pastoral beauty and quietude.