Best places to visit in the Lake District

Situated in the old fishing village of Flookburgh, our Willow Tree Park puts Coniston and Windermere within easy reach. In this edition of our blog we pick out four fantastic spots you can visit to make the most of the region.


Our selection of places to visit in the Lake District


1. Coniston

Coniston is a truly charming town, well loved by visitors for its tranquil beauty and timeless allure, with stone-built cottages and cobbled streets blending seamlessly into natural splendour. Whether enjoying a leisurely stroll along the waterfront of the pristine Coniston Water (a glacial ribbon-like lake that reflects the surrounding fells) or embarking on a hike through the rugged terrain in the area, Coniston captivates with essential English charm and stunning scenery, making it one of the best places to visit in the Lake District.


2. Donald Campbell’s Coniston Water

The human spirit is tenacious – and therefore a truly admirable thing. Though for a brief moment in time Coniston was linked with death and tragedy, it has now become a place of triumph and legacy. In 1967 British speed ace Donald Campbell was killed on Coniston Water during a 300mph-plus run in his iconic craft Bluebird. Although this record attempt failed, his legacy of adventure, endeavour and success endures to this day. Close by the lake, in the centre of Coniston village, the Ruskin Museum tells the story of his violently unsuccessful moment on the lake, including artefacts associated with it. In the near future a full restoration of the recovered vehicle itself will be present, too. It is also possible to visit Campbell’s grave in the nearby village cemetery and pay tribute to this remarkable character. The Bluebird Café sits calmly at the edge of Coniston Water, and is a lovely spot to gaze out at the famous spot itself, positioned amidst the wider vista of the area’s incredible scenery.


3. The Old Man of Coniston

Nearby, the Old Man Of Coniston is an infamous fell which, impressively, stands at approximately 2,600 feet and is the highest point of Lancashire. The Old Man is a popular hike for tourists and walkers as it includes well-marked paths to the summit. There are some steep ascents and descents but even at its most difficult it is a manageable circular route of approximately 8-and-a-half miles, which should take around 5 to 6 hours. The mountain has also seen extensive copper and slate mining activity for eight hundred years, and the remains of abandoned mines and spoil tips are a significant feature of the north-east slopes. From the summit it’s possible to see not just a vast area of the Lake District itself, but also more distant impressive sites such as Blackpool Tower, Morecambe Bay, Winter Hill (in the Pennines) and even the Isle of Man.


4. Windermere

England’s largest natural lake, Windermere is a serene destination with wonderful views of rolling hills and wooded shores. The town Bowness-on-Windermere lies on the eastern shore and features charming shops and cafes, plus the Windermere Jetty Museum which showcases the region’s maritime history. Windermere blends the natural and the cultural with great charm, making it the ideal destination for both relaxation and exploration.


5. Beatrix Potter’s house

Legendary children’s author Beatrix Potter had a holiday home close to Windermere – and it is possible to visit this place of inspiration. Hill Top House was Potter’s sanctuary, offering an escape from the frenetic urban sprawl of London and the chance to retreat into pastoral life and creative stimulation. Bought in 1905 using royalties from the successful The Tale of Peter Rabbit and other early works, the house was Potter’s shelter and has become a charming time capsule of her life – and, now, it is more than just one of the best things to do in the Lake District when it rains. It contains many artefacts from her time there, as well as surroundings which are still visible as the inspiration for many of her books – including the garden where Tom Kitten played and the rhubarb patch where Jemima Puddle-Duck laid her egg! This National Trust-curated house and gardens (tickets must be bought in advance) is a wonderful spot to immerse yourself in a more domestic side the Lake District’s beauty, as well as take a walk in the footsteps of one of the most important authors the nation has produced. Just down the road, in nearby Hawkshead, there is a gallery containing several of Potter’s original artworks.


6. Brockhole

On the eastern shores of Windermere, Brockhole is a tourist attraction and Visitor Centre which perfectly blends historic charm and modern amenities. It has become a haven for nature enthusiasts and families alike, surrounded by sprawling gardens and panoramic views of Windermere and the scenery that frames it. The grounds at Brockhole boast a diverse range of activities to keep everyone satisfied – from treetop adventures at the Go Ape course to archery, laser clay shooting, mini golf and a woodland playground, plus boat trips from the private jetty and water-based activities such as kayaking or paddleboarding. On a more sedate visit, the cafe is a delightful spot to unwind and taking a tranquil stroll through the meticulously manicured gardens of Brockhole is just the ticket for nature lovers. Brockhole definitely provides a variety of the best things to do in the Lake District if you are touring with the whole family.

With the Lake District just a few miles north of our Willow Tree Park, where you can purchase your own luxury holiday home in the Lake District. There will be an abundance of scenic locations on your doorstep, with many more terrific places to visit in the Lake District than we have mentioned here. This stunning area is over 900 square miles of British beauty, full of rural reminders that exploring our own natural wonders can be much more rewarding than jetting off to sit on a beach somewhere abroad.