- Lake District, Cumbria

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The Lake District is one of England's most visited regions - for good reason. Much of this hilly region of north-west England is included in Lake District National Park. This largest of England's National Parks provides an exciting mix of mountain and lake scenery. Postcard-perfect in summer, in fall the brown bracken of the mountain slopes contrasts with the reds of oak forests and the beginnings of snow-white frosting on the mountain peaks.

The Lake District is a walker's paradise at any time. One of the most popular of the multitude of fine hill-walking opportunities is Scafell Peak, at 3210 ft the highest mountain in England. Another popular walk is Helvellyn, which can be a pleasant stroll or a distinct challenge, depending upon which path you choose.

The adventurous will want to try the approach along the narrow ridge of Striding Edge. Be warned: the weather can change suddenly, and even if it looks fine at lower elevations, the peaks may be subject to unpleasant conditions. Always check the weather forecast before setting out.

For the less adventurous there are countless trails among the lower fells and around the shores of the lakes which make for fine walking. The "Mountain Goat" buses will get you to most of the main passes for fell walking. If you prefer a more leisurely style of exploration, you can take a regularly scheduled boat trip on one of the lakes.

The spectacular scenery of the Lake District has drawn literary figures for generations. One of the most popular was William Wordsworth, who lived at Dove Cottage, which is now a museum of the poet's life and works. Beatrice Potter, author of Peter Rabbit tales, lived at Hill Top, near Ambleside, and Brantwood was the home of John Ruskin, the influential Victorian art critic and writer.

Near Keswick is Castlerigg Stone Circle, an atmospheric circle of standing stones set in a natural amphitheater of hills and peaks. The circle can easily be accessed from the village.

Lake District Tourist Information Centres

Ambleside Tourist Information Centre
Central Buildings, Market Cross, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9BS. Tel: 015394 32582

Barrow-in-Furness Tourist Information Centre
28 Duke Street, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA14 1HU. Tel: 01229 870156

Bowness Tourist Information Centre (Seasonal)
Glebe Road, Bowness-On-Windermere, Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 3HJ. Tel: 01539 442895

Carlisle Visitor Centre
Old Town Hall, Green Market, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 8JH. Tel: 01228 512444

Grange-over-Sands Tourist Information Centre
Victoria Hall, Main Street, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, LA11 6PT. Tel: 015395 34026

Grasmere Tourist Information Centre
Redbank Road, Grasmere, Cumbria, LA22 9SW. Tel: 015394 35245

Kendal Tourist Information Centre
Town Hall, Highgate, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4DL. Tel: 01539 725758

Keswick Tourist Information Centre
Moot Hall, Market Square, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5JR. Tel: 017687 72645

Penrith Tourist Information Centre
Robinsons School, Middlegate, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 7PT. Tel: 01768 - 867466

Ullswater Tourist Information Centre
Main Car Park, Glenridding, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 0PA. Tel: 017684 - 82414

Destination guides by kind permission of Britain Express

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