The Perfect Lake District Weekend Itinerary

When someone mentions England as a tourist destination, most people would probably think of the many landmarks of London and maybe consider a day trip to Stonehenge. However, for those who enjoy going just a little bit off of the beaten track, and who would prefer a relaxing holiday in a more natural setting, away from all the hustle and bustle of the urban attractions, there is one location that absolutely must make it onto their bucket list: the Lake District. Below I have outline the perfect two day or weekend Lake District itinerary.

This colourful jewel covering approximately nine hundred miles is a national park containing twelve of the largest lakes in the country. It is also the home of Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England which stands at 3,210 feet. The breathtaking scenery right out of a painting guarantees a magical time for all visitors.

Arrival and Accommodation

Keeping the travelling costs within reasonable boundaries, the best option for travelling to Lake District is by train. The nearest railway station is in Penrith, which is about a three hours long trip via train from London, though the time varies slightly depending on which train you pick. If you are starting from Edinburgh, it would come to about an hour and a half, and around the same length of time for those travelling from Manchester as well. Once you arrive at the train station, it will take about ten minutes by taxi to actually get to your destination. You can arrange it with the hotel in advance when arranging for your accommodations, so that you may be sure that the taxi will be there waiting when you arrive.

Lake District Itinerary

As far as deciding where to stay for your holiday is concerned, it is essentially a little fork in the road at this point. The lakes Windermere and Ullswater are by far the most favoured, and the easiest way to choose is to consider how much of the “idyllic quiet” you would like to have during your stay. The area around Lake Windermere, which is the largest lake in the Lake District, has its fair share of motorization and a more or less constant stream of activity. By contrast, the area around Ullswater is noticeably calmer, and therefore more suited to those visitors to the District who are looking to immerse themselves more fully in the natural splendour of the area. Of course, there is no reason to limit yourself to only these two places! Take your time and browse around for the kind of accommodation solution that will comfortably fit your budget as well as having everything you need, or prefer, in terms of amenities and overall style.

Places to visit and things to do

Now, once you have arrived at your chosen accommodation, unpacked all your bags, and wound down a bit from the journey, you should be more or less ready to immediately embark on your lakeside adventure. Depending on where you choose to go, your choice of what to do will naturally be somewhat different. However, for the purpose of a perfect, blissfully peaceful weekend getaway, we recommend that you head on over to Lake Ullswater.

Lake Ullswater

Ullswater boasts an impressive offer of places to go and things to do, both on the Lake itself and in the surrounding area. From walking tours and visiting adorably rustic country houses, through relaxing boat trips, to exciting sailing lessons, you are certain to find something to your taste and have a fairytale of a time.

Below, we will give you a few suggestions of what to include in your weekend itinerary to make it perfect, the very best of all three worlds: activities on Lake Ullswater itself, activities to try out in the surrounding area, and what interesting little treasures hide within a day’s trip from the lake, if you should feel adventurous and decide to broaden your explorations.

Day one: Activities on the lake itself

Boat trips are a must for any lake visitor anywhere, and the renowned Ullswater Steamers will take you on a blissful mini-cruise, available throughout the year. They also have a full events programme and can even be hired out for special occasions of your own. Best of all, you can even bring along your dog!

Ullswater Steamers

Fishing enthusiasts can try their rods against Perch (June to March) and Brown Trout (15th March to 30th September).

For those who like their holiday with a side dish of learning new skills, the Glenridding Sailing School and Boat Hire offer courses in sailing, kayaking, and canoeing, and also hires out these vessels. On the other hand, a small group or family may wish to consider one or more of the tailor-made courses in canoeing, walking and mountaineering, rock climbing, navigation, and outdoors first aid which are offered by Eden Outdoor Adventures.

Day one, or one and a half: What to see and do around the lake

If you prefer to keep your feet on dry land, opt for some activities around the lake, such as mountain biking and cycling, farm tours, pony trekking, walking and climbing, or some beautifully relaxing pamper treatments.

As a personal favourite, we recommend that you definitely include the creative workshops at Greystoke Cycle Café, as well as the Dalemain Historic House and Gardens! Attractions around Ullswater are many to choose from, and all within a few minutes’ drive from the lake.

Dalemain Historic House and Gardens

Day two: Things of note within a day’s distance

If you prefer a means of transport other than your own two feet, you can escape the Ullswater Valley for a little while and wonderfully wrap up your weekend holiday with hopping over to Ambleside and Rydal where you can visit the home of William Wordsworth.

Nearby is the lovely Lakeland Sheep and Wool Centre with many fluffy animals to stroke.

Consider the Cumberland Pencil Museum at Keswick, or what the National Trust offers in the Cumbria area. Finally, take a step into the worlds of Tennyson and Wordsworth at the Mirehouse estate.

Whichever mix of items you place on your to-do for Lake District, you are bound to make invaluable memories of one of the most beautiful places in England. Read about more things to do.