The Lake District is one of the best UK staycation destinations and only a couple of hours drive from Liverpool. If you are looking for a weekend break, a couple of days to get back in touch with nature, or a romantic break in the countryside, we’re going to give you the low-down on one of Britain’s most incredible national parks.
The Lake District is home to England’s longest lake, Lake Windermere, but this national park also has plenty of breath-taking scenery and mountains to explore. If you’re thinking about heading up to The Lake District, the first thing you’ll need to do is find a place to stay.
Best Place to Stay in The Lake District
For those looking to spend money on dining out, adventures and making memories, you might be shocked when you see how expensive it can be to stay in this beautiful staycation hotspot, but to save some pennies, we highly recommend you set up camp in Kendal. Most of the 5-star spa hotels are based along Lake Windermere, but with Kendal only a short 10-minute drive from the lake itself, it’s worth staying in this gorgeous old-English market-town while on holiday.
County Hotel in Kendal, part of the award-winning Daish’s Holidays, provides a wonderful basecamp for families and couples looking to explore this stunning part of the country. Renovated in 2019, this grade II listed building offers modern, contemporary rooms at an affordable price. With comfy beds and great WIFI connection, it’s a fantastic place to stay in the Lake District.
The team at County Hotel are wonderful and will share their expert local knowledge with you to help make your stay more memorable, so don’t be shy to ask for their top tips. This hotel is loved by senior travellers who enjoy the company’s fleet of 25 luxury coaches that transport guests in comfort to the many tourist attractions during their holiday. However, you don’t need to be part of the coach trip to stay at County Hotel. Simply book a room online and enjoy this comfortable budget-friendly hotel in the heart of Kendal.
Best Things To Do In The Lake District
Lunch at Inn On The Lake
After taking in the breath-taking views of Lake Windermere, it’s time to venture further afield and head into the mountains. We highly recommend taking the scenic route and driving to Ullswater. If you pop this postcode into your satnav, CA11 OPE, you should hopefully take the scenic route through the mountains and drive up steep hills and down gradual inclines, with panoramic views of the hills and lakes. Be sure to spot sheep as you drive, and make sure to stop at the Inn on The Lake hotel for lunch.
This stunning 4-star hotel has al-fresco and indoor dining. Dress to impress because this place is certainly sophisticated and has plenty of places to pose for a photo opportunity.
Postcode: CA11 OPE
Website: Inn On The Lake
Aira Force Waterfall
Next, head back on the road and go to Aira Force waterfall. There are a couple of pay and display car parks close by to the waterfall, so park up and make sure you’re wearing a good pair of shoes, as the walk down is quite tiring, but walking back up may leave you breathless. However, when you take in the waterfall it’s certainly worth the mini work-out. Free to enter, this is a wonderful way to burn off some calories and spend some quality time together. We suggest spending 2 to 3 hours at Aira Force, so consider packing some water and snacks. This waterfall is open 24/7, but we wouldn’t recommend going when it starts to get dark as it could be quite dangerous for younger children.
There is also a hidden hike, which can be found at the end of the main waterfall and will take you up a steep trail and to a peak. Enjoy views of the lakes and forests below. A great spot to fly a drone.
Postcode: CA11 0JY
Hidden Gem Thirlmere Reservoir
On the way to Keswick, we stumbled upon Thirlmere Reservoir, owned by United Utilities. This incredible reservoir offers waterfalls, a rocky shoreline and 10 miles of nature trails to explore. There are many places to park on the road and head down to the reservoir, but be sure to look out for the pay and display machines.
The beauty of this particular spot is that there is hardly anyone there. We were shocked to discover no-one insight and what seemed to be the whole reservoir to ourselves.
What’s more is that we found an actual stone throne, made by another adventurer, which gave us the perfect spot to relax in the sun and dip our toes in the cool water. One thing we do suggest is taking a picnic and relaxing to the sound of the water gently lapping the shore. Absolutely amazing!
You can also apparently take a kayak, boat or canoe out on this reservoir, although you’re not allowed to swim.
Postcode: CA12 4TW
Alpacaly Ever After , Coffee, Ice Cream & Alpacas
Yes, that’s right the Lake District is home to alpacas and thanks to Alpacalyeverafter you can take one of these beautiful creatures for a walk, in the stunning grounds of Lingholm Estate. Booking is essential and the experience can be a little pricey, but you can also enjoy the beauty of this estate without going on a Llama or alpaca trek. We found this place by chance and enjoyed vegan ice-cream, coffee and a falafel wrap in the sun. Explore the sensory garden, spot an alpaca and enjoy the naturally beautiful surroundings of this Lake District World Heritage site.
This company specialises in rehoming alpacas and llamas from all over the country and gives them a wonderful new home with the best of care. All the activities take place outdoors and their team are fully trained.
Postcode: CA12 5RY
Website: Alpacaly Ever After