Things to do

6 outdoor activities in the Lake District for nature lovers

The Lake District is always one of the top destinations in the UK for nature lovers, whether you’re visiting from abroad or doing a staycation. Nature lovers have a great selection of activities, as it’s such a wonderful area of natural beauty. Get out of your hostel or tent and make sure to try these activities, all of which I can recommend from personal experience and being a local.

Boating

This is the Lake District, after all! Windermere is both the biggest and the most popular of the lakes, so it’s a perfect spot to rent a boat for the day. Whether you drive it yourself or get someone else to steer you around, it will offer you a new view of the surrounding landscapes as well as a different way to connect with nature. You can also spend some time spotting the various different species of bird that live around the water.

There is an array of different types of boats you can use, from rowing boats, kayaks and canoes. If none of these are your thing, you can always take one of the larger tourist boats.

Going Underground

If you want to see the majesty of nature both below ground and above, take a trip to Honister Pass. Here you can visit one of the last working slate mines in the Lake District, which is fascinating in itself. I also enjoy walking across the 200ft Infinity Bridge and climbing one of the Via Ferratas – it’s a bit like rock climbing, only with a system of ladders and fixed cables that are already set out for you.

Hiking

Would you really even consider it a trip to the Lake District without hiking? There are many hikes to pick from for people of all abilities. It’s such a beautiful area that no matter where you choose to walk, you’ll have a great time. Scafell Pike is the highest mountain peak in England, and although it’s challenging, most people of a good fitness can complete it. I also recommend Helvellyn via Striding Edge and Coniston Old Man as some of my top hikes.

Strolling with Family

If the above activities seem too strenuous and you have a young family, how about just a stroll by a lake? The National Trust-owned Tarn Hows is my favourite spot. They’re actually man-made, but still very beautiful. Try parking at Coniston and walking up rather than parking here as the car park can be very busy.

Road Cycling or Mountain Biking

If you prefer to be on two wheels than two feet, the Lake District has a lot to offer bikers as well. From road biking through valleys, off road single track trails to family friendly greenways, it has it all.

Grizedale Forest is one of my favourite spots that has trails for families and those who like to go a little harder. The most technical of trails is the North Face trail so make sure you check it out.

For road bikers the choices are endless and so is the scenery you will encounter. Be warned The Lake District is very hilly so be prepared for some big climbs by making sure you bring some snacks or energy bars with you. If you’re looking to test yourself, head on over to Ambleside and take the famously nicknamed road called The Struggle up to Kirk Stone Pass. You’ll endure a steep ascent of more than 400 meters with gradients reaching 24% in places.

Climbing

What better way to take in the panoramic views than from up high! Explore the fells and crags of the Lake District, from the heights of Scafell to something a little less intense such as Borrowdale Valley. A lot of the climbing isn’t bolted, so you’ll need a leader to place nuts and cams for the climb. If you prefer bouldering there are also lots of places to explore.

If you’ve never climbed before and would like to give it a go, have a search for a qualified guide, there’s no better place to learn than the Lakes!

The Lake District has so much to offer for nature lovers – it has to be one of my favourite spots in the UK. With so much to enjoy, you’ll be struggling to find a reason to ever leave!

Written by Jamie Knop.

Image- Wastwater, Lake District by Jamie Knop.

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