Lake District,located in Cumbria is the largest National Park in England and famous for its lakes,forests & mountains and picturesque locales. Since 2017, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The major towns in this National Park are Keswick, Windermere,Ambleside & Bowness-on-Windermere. Ullswater , Borrowdale are also scenic places in the Lake District
How to reach : It can be easily visited from London by train or bus.We boarded a National Express night bus from Victoria Coach station in London and reached Manchester in the wee hours of the morning .The bus journey is comfortable and smooth. There was a 3 hour halt at the Manchester Bus station and then a two hour drive to Windermere . There are direct buses too to the towns of Lake District but slightly expensive than a break journey. Trains start from Euston Station of London to Oxelhome Lake District, however the tickets are quite expensive so bus is a cheaper option.
Windermere :The first glimpse of Windermere town is jaw dropping. Typical medieval British homes with grey coarse stone masonry work and sloping roofs. Cobbled streets with narrow lanes and a riot of colourful flowers blooming outside every home and restaurant highlighting the grey stone homes. The clear blue sky in the background makes it all the more captivating
On entering Windermere town ,there is a tourist information centre. The first thing we did after disembarking from the bus was to obtain a Map of the Lake District . (I always recommend keeping/buying a map of a region/ city when travelling. It really helps . You can get the maps for free in Information centres or railway stations ).
How to travel to places in Lake District from Windermere :
By Bus : There are buses which shuttle to & fro from Windermere just at the start of the town ( Bus Nos 555, 505 ,599 ) to Keswick, Grasmere, Rydal, Ambleside on one route and Bowness on Windermere ,Kendall on the other route at the duration of 5 -10 mins. We can take a pass for a day which costs nominal and which allows us unlimited travel the entire day to spots between all these locations . Groups ( 4 or more persons) have a further concession on the pass. Since we were four of us ,we took the group pass.Buses have a partially open roof on the top so viewing the scenic countryside is a dream.
By Ferry : There are ferry rides/Steamer rides between different locations from the Windermere Lake Jetty.
Windermere Lake : is a large lake in Cumbria’s Lake District National Park, northwest England. It’s surrounded by mountain peaks and villages, including Bowness-on-Windermere on one side and Ambleside on the other.
Ambleside : is a pretty quaint town with lots of cafes.It is on one side of the Lake Windermere. The entire town is picturesque. Potted flower plants in pink,red,purple strategically placed to contrast the dark local stone houses. A stroll around the streets and capture the visual beauty of the place is worth it
Bowness -on-Windermere : is a fishing village with old houses , narrow streets and quirky corners.A visit to the Bowness Pier and sit watching the geese which abound on the lake shores , watched tourists enjoying their boat ride and just relax oblivious of the hectic world we have left behind home.
Grasmere : is a scenic village with a lake by the same name and the place of birth of the greatest poet William Wordsworth. He lived in a house called Dove Cottage for 14 years and has called it as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found Grasmere” . He is also buried here along with his family in St Oswald’s churchyard. Next to the Church is a tiny shop called the Sarah Nelson’s ‘Grasmere Gingerbread’. It was started in 1854.
Keswick : is a pretty and vibrant market town with lots of cafes. Close by is the Lake Derwentwater famous for its scenic beauty. It is surrounded by hills (known locally as fells), and many of the slopes facing Derwentwater are extensively wooded. A regular passenger launch operates on the lake, and you can hop on and off at various jetties and explore the woods around the lake.
Near Keswick is the famous Castlerigg Stone Circle built around 4500 years ago by pre historic farming communities and served as a place for rituals or ceremonial activities or movement of goods
Borrowdale :is a picturesque valley in the Lake District and close to Keswick.
Ullswater : is the second largest lake in the Lake District . The lake flows in a serpentine fashion and is considered to be the most beautiful lake in Lake District
Kirkstone Pass : is a mountain pass in the English Lake District, in the county of Cumbria. It is at an altitude of 1,489 feet. This is the Lake District’s highest pass that is open to motor traffic and it connects Ambleside and Ullswater. There is the Kirkstone Pass Inn built in the 15th Century and is still functional