5 Lakes In The Lake District You HAVE To Visit

My wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary a few months ago, and she wanted to go somewhere special. We’re keen travellers. In our bedroom, there’s a map of the UK overflowing with pins, designating all the places we’ve visited. But when we came to look at it back in May, we noticed there was one big area that was yet to be poked. The Lake District. And my word, it was about time.

This was a holiday like no other. It was warm when we travelled, which meant plenty of outdoor activities, wonderful hikes, delicious barbecues, and all-around good times.

There are several large houses to rent in the Lake District, but we chose Hillside House, a perfect accommodation for a family like ours. The house unfolds across two floors, with vast open-plan living areas, 7 en-suite bedrooms, an exquisite kitchen, and even its own gym and swimming pool. The grounds are also beautiful, spread across nearly 3 acres of land, with a pony paddock and football nets for our boys.

We kept our itinerary fairly simple. We arose mid-morning, made some breakfast, and enjoyed each other’s company for an hour or two. When it approached midday, we would travel into the hills in all our hiking gear and wander the Lake District until around five o’clock, when we would travel to one of the nearby villages. Because of our late breakfast, we would normally skip lunch and make up for it during dinner at one of the restaurants – every one of which seemed to love us!

Lake District

The Best Lakes In The Lake District

These hikes weren't just aimless wanderings, either. During our time in the Lake District, my wife wanted to visit at least five of the famous lakes. We were there for one week, so that meant one lake a day from Monday to Friday, and then resting up and fully enjoying the facilities of Hillside House on Saturday and Sunday.

It was a fabulous idea, especially for anyone who loves nature and wants to experience the quintessential English countryside at its most glorious. I should mention to anyone looking to stay in this particular house that not all of the lakes were close by, and we had to travel to a few of them by car.

This wasn’t too much of an issue, however, as it meant we could see even more of the beautiful Lake District scenery – without feeling like our legs were going to buckle by the time we’d seen enough!

Here are the lakes we visited below, as well as why we loved them:

  • Windermere

This was the first one we wanted to visit, as it’s the largest natural lake in England, with a load of things to see. There are plenty of boat cruises on offer here, and you can even try out a few water sports like kayaking, powerboating, or water skiing.

  • Derwentwater

Surrounded by low hills and forests, this was one of the best hikes we ever had during our holiday. The lake itself is 2 miles long, and for anyone who wants to go and visit one of the islands, there is a company that offers island hops on a regular basis.

  • Grasmere

My wife is a big literature fan, which meant that Grasmere was right at the top of her list of lakes she wanted to visit. Described by the poet, William Wordsworth, as “the loveliest spot that man hath found”, this was indeed a gorgeous spot, with plenty of walking paths that allow you to take it all in.

  • Buttermere

A lot of hikers go in search of that “wow moment” – where you simply stop and stare for a few minutes and try to get your head around the majesty of what you’re seeing. For us, this was Buttermere. Surrounded by rugged mountains and pebbled beaches, Buttermere is not only one of the most beautiful places in the Lake District but the whole of England. There is also plenty of wildlife on show here, including otters, ospreys, red deer, and even a few red squirrels.

  • Bassenthwaite Lake

Speaking of wildlife, I’ll finish this list off with Bassenthwaite Lake – the last lake we visited before going home. I’m a keen fisherman, but because our days were so full of hiking and other activities, I hadn’t managed to get in a single session during our stay. My wife, however, seemed keen to get rid of me for a few hours!

Lake District

While she and the rest of the family had a pub lunch in the nearby village, I sat and tried my luck at Bassenthwaite Lake. Here, I caught some roach, perch, and brown trout and, of course, I let them all go. I didn’t need any extra mementoes to take home with me. My memories of the Lake District, and everything it had to offer us, were strong and meaningful enough!