Explore England’s Lake District with your campervan

It’s less than two hours drive from Newcastle upon Tyne to the Lake District in a campervan.  It is easy to navigate the small roads and get off the beaten path and discover the depth of this protected part of the UK. Beautiful scenery, stunning walks and a multitude of campsites, make this an ideal destination where you can get away from it all, without having to drive too many miles.

 

 

 

Keswick. Nestled between the Skiddaw Mountains and Lake Derwentwater, the small town of Keswick has everything to offer. Wander the shopping streets looking for souvenirs, or stop for lunch in one of the many quaint and cosy pubs or tea rooms. If you stay in the campsite located walking distance from Keswick, you may be able to find some live entertainment while drinking a local ale by an open fire. The iconic lake with the wooden launches is the place to feed the ducks and swans, or maybe even watch a play in the Theatre by the Lake.

 

 

Windermere. Windermere is a bustling little town with so much to see, do and buy. There are a huge variety of shops which offer crafts, antiques, clothing and souvenirs. If food is your thing, you can find local specialties like the famous Kendal Mint Cake, Cumberland Sausage & Hawkshead Relish.  All tasty treats to take home after your holiday.

Lake Windermere is the longest natural lake in the country at over 10 miles long.  Hop on a steamer or launch to get a full view of the many grand mansions and hotels that line the shore, many dating back to 1800′s. Visit a microbrewery or do a treetop trek for those who are a bit more adventurous. There are also pony treks, cycle tours and lots of boat based activities if you want to get out and stretch your legs.

 

Wray Castle. Mock-Gothic castle sitting on the Windermere shores, with turrets, towers and informal grounds. Wray Castle sits on Lake Windermere’s quieter western side. It was built in the 1840s for just two people to live in, and has been unoccupied for the last eight years. You can explore the Castle inside and out in all weather. Find your way from the grand living spaces to narrow winding passages used by the servants. Rooms are empty of the original furniture but photographs taken by Beatrix Potter’s father helps you to imagine 19th-century life. The Castle also has its own boathouse and jetty. Wander the Castle’s elaborate hall, rooms with towers, turrets and arrow slots.

 

Grasmere. If it’s quaint and quirky you are looking for, stop in Grasmere for a walk through this lovely village. The old stone fences lining the footpaths lead you to the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop for a chance to try their unusual oatmeal and brown sugar recipe.

In the 1800′s, gingerbread was used as payment to the locals who furnished the local church with rushes, to cover the unpaved floors. Even William Wordsworth, the poet, used to eat this local specialty in between writing sonnets.

If you are interested in Britain’s’ best loved poet, visit Dove cottage and the Wordsworth museum to learn about his life and works. He is also buried in the local churchyard.

 

 

Ambleside. Take a picture of the iconic Bridge House; built by a man trying to avoid tax by building his house over the river instead of on the banks. It failed when he ended up having to pay tax for both sides of the river.

 

 

 

 

The World of Beatrix Potter. This lovely cluster of whitewashed houses overlooked by the village church, surrounded by hills is where you find the Beatrix Potter gallery. Beatrix Potter is responsible for the existence of much of the Lake District. She created the childrens’ stories of Peter Rabbit, became very wealthy, and gave much of her land to the National Trust, both in her lifetime and after her death. She was also a landscape and natural history artist, and a strong advocate of conservation projects. You can visit her home ‘Hill Top’  in the nearby village of Sawrey which is owned by the National Trust.

 

The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway is the oldest and longest narrow gauge railways in the Lake District, known affectionately as La’al Ratty meaning “ little railway “. Our heritage steam engines journey from the coast to Dalegarth for Boot some 210ft above sea level within sight of England’s highest mountains.

 

 

 

 

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