The Lake District: Exploring Britain’s newest UNESCO World Heritage site

Date Posted: 11/07/2017

Lake District

The Lake District National Park in Cumbria has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, so it’s the perfect time to point out some of the best places for groups to visit in the area.

Unsurprisingly the stunning national park has been praised for its beauty by the world leaders of UNESCO. It was one of 33 sites across the world to be highlighted and was championed for the inspiration it has provided to artists and writers.

The Lake District is the 31st place in the UK and overseas territories (in total)  to be put on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which you can see here.

To celebrate, we’ve put together some of the most interesting and exciting experiences for groups to enjoy during a visit, ranging from treetop adventures and a lakeside distillery to a gingerbread shop and a very important literary house.

Plus, we’ve added some accommodation options for those parties looking to extend their visit.

Grasmere Gingerbread, Grasmere

Grasmere Gingerbread is a cottage that makes and sells – you guessed it – gingerbread. A secret recipe that’s known by just one person, a colourful wooden spoon garden and an enticing aroma of gently baking gingerbread that permeates the village of Grasmere all add to the fairytale-esque quality of the shop. Groups of up to 20 can pre-book a talk with one of the staff and sip on a cup of tea or coffee while learning all about the history of the shop.

Grasmere Gingerbread

Pictured: Grasmere Gingerbread. (Photo credit: www.golakes.co.uk).

Windermere Lake Cruises, Windermere

Windermere is England’s largest lake, and Windermere Lake Cruises offers lake trips varying from 45 minutes to three hours long. Many of the cruises include on-board commentary, and the experience gives visitors a chance to see mountain scenery, secluded bays and the many wooded islands typical of the Lake District’s stretches of water. Organisers travel free with parties of 20 or more passengers, and free coach parking is available at the Bowness and Lakeside piers.

The Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite

A lesson in whisky, gin and vodka distilling – who could ask for more? The Lakes Distillery, located near Bassenthwaite Lake, offers an insight into a modern distillery, and comes complete with a field of fleecy alpacas, a well-stocked shop and an immersive information room. A distillery tour includes an-depth look at the various processes of spirit creation; a visit to the stillroom and the barrel warehouse; and a guided tasting of the three spirits made on site. Group dining is available in the distillery’s bistro.

Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

In the market town of Keswick, groups should make time for a show at Theatre by the Lake; a contemporary theatre showing a number of productions throughout the year. It’s located on the shores of Derwentwater and groups of eight or more will receive discounted ticket rates on selected shows, a dedicated group booking co-ordinator and catering options in the adjoining Café by the Lake.

Wordsworth Cottage

Pictured: Dove Cottage, Grasmere.

Dove Cottage, Grasmere

If learning about the ‘Lake Poets’ sounds appealing, head to Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum. The cottage is where William Wordsworth lived between 1799 and 1808, and also where he wrote his most famous poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. Groups taking a tour will find out about what inspired Wordsworth and what his daily life was like, as well as visitors he entertained during his time living there like fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Treetop Trek, Windermere

Treetop Trek – an adventure experience in a forest – allows groups to enjoy a woodland escapade in the heart of the lakes. Comprising of 35 treetop challenges, this exciting day out allows participants of all ages swing, climb, balance and fly through ancient woodland canopies before racing down a 250-metre zip wires towards Lake Windermere. Group rates are available for parties of ten or more people.

Extend your visit: places to stay

The Pheasant Inn, Bassenthwaite

On route to the secretive Western Lakes stands the 17th century Pheasant Inn. Once a coaching house flanked by both the beautiful Bassenthwaite Lake and imposing Sale Fell, The Pheasant now offers weary travellers respite in the form of a 15-bedroom traditional luxury hotel, fine dining restaurant and bistro. Bedrooms feature antique furnishings and retro radios, and the bar sells over 70 blends of whiskey.

Grasmere

Pictured: Sheep in Grasmere.

Brimstone Hotel, Great Langdale

Brimstone Hotel is described as one of the premier hotels in the Lake District, and is suitable for smaller groups seeking the higher end of budget accommodation. Nestled deep in the Langdale Valley, the hotel has suites looking out over bubbling brooks and waterfalls, and houses the Brimstone Spa where thermal experiences and Himalayan salt steam treatments can be expected. An infinity pool also stretches from inside the spa outside into the lakeland landscape.

Sharrow Bay, Ullswater

Sharrow Bay is a country house hotel. Set in the heart of the lakes, it commands views of the eastern shore of Ullswater. Sharrow Bay’s 17 rooms come complete with king size beds, antique furnishings and panoramic views of the lake and fells. Guests can dine at its fine dining Lakeside Restaurant, known for its range of local delicacies including west coast scallops, herdwick lamb and sticky toffee pudding.

Tottergill Farm, Brampton near Carlisle

Tottergill Farm boasts a collection of ten luxury holiday cottages set in 46 acres of private land overlooking the Cumbrian countryside. Quieter than the tourist honeypot sites of Windermere and Ambleside, Tottergill affords guests a different slant on Cumbria. Each of its characterful cottages are emblazoned with original features, such as wooden beams and exposed masonry. All the cottages come with crackling wood burning stoves and many have bubbling hot tubs.

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