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Slow Travel Google Map: United Kingdom, Lake District

Author: DavidX
Notes: October 2006: Lake District National Park in northern England. You may be surprised by the shortage of some markers but I've never been up Skiddaw, the other 3000 footer and I've kept to my favourites.

Historical Buildings

Blackwell [Arts/Crafts]

Designed by Baillie Scott of the Arts and Crafts Movement as a country house, the building was completed in 1900.

It's a real delight and would bear seeing a number of times.

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Furness Abbey

Picturesque remains of an important Cistercian abbey.

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Levens Hall & Gardens

Elizabethan Hall and Gardens providing a fine visit.

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Muncaster Castle

The first castle was built in the 13th century and, though much altered, it has been the home of the Pennington family since.

There is also an Owl Centre, containing different species from around the world, a children's maze and a substantial play area.

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Sizergh Castle & Gardens

Sizergh Castle was started in the 14th century.

Both the castle and garden are well worth a visit.

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Gardens

Holehird Gardens

Wonderful gardens with no entry charge, these are staffed almost entirely by volunteers.

There are three national plant collections!

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Monuments

Castlerigg

Beautiful stone circle with excellent views, particularly of Blencathra.

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Museums

Quaker Tapestry

You don't need to be a Quaker to admire and learn from this tapestry, which was done by numerous Friends in many countries.

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Rheged Discovery Centre

The exception that proves the rule! I've not been here. However I've heard glowing accounts of the massive cinema screen and other attractions.

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Parks

Grizedale Forest Park

If your children need something more than just beauty, the Forestry Commission Centre at Grizedale may be exactly where to head.

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Sights

Blencathra

Also known by the more prosaic name of Saddleback, this would be my recommendation for anybody with limited time in the District. As hard [Sharp Edge] or as easy [Hall's Fell] as you like!

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Bowfell

A splendid mountain reckoned by some to be the most shapely in England. The walk described under 'read more' is pretty splendid but note that there is one 'bad step' during the traverse of Crinkle Crags.

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Buttermere

Buttermere is one of the region's lakes that, simply in view of its situation, attracts fewer visitors than many. It can be regarded as a connoiseur's lake!

Like most, it is surrounded by fine mountains.

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Coniston Old Man

This is the highest top in the group which lends itself to a fine ridge walk starting along Walna Scar Road.

Coniston Water

This is the lake where Donald Campbell died, attempting to break his own world water speed record.

In summer there are tours on the lake.

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Derwentwater

The river Derwent flows through Borrowdale to disgorge its water into Derwentwater, the lake with Keswick at its north end.

To the sides are some of Lakeland's slightly less walked peaks, Grasmere and its group to the west and High Seat to the east.

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Eskdale

One of the real beauties of the Lake District, Eskdale is one of the highest of the valleys and provides a good access route to Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England.

It's also one of the most inaccessible by car, requiring either a long drive to the west or a route over two very severe passes, Wrynose and, steepest in England, Hardknott.

On the other hand it's possibly the easiest by public transport. Almost unbelievably ignored on the map, there is a fine narrow gauge steam railway from Ravenglass, on the main coastal line.

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Great Gable (SV)

One of the most popular mountains in the Lake District, noted for Napes Needle and the Climbers' Traverse [its traverse isn't restricted to climbers.]

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Hardknott Pass

The steepest road pass in England, Hardknott was once a terror for motorists, some of whom drove backwards for the very low gear.

You still need a cool head but it's great - and there's a Roman fort near the top on the Eskdale side.

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Haweswater

Haweswater is now a reservoir and hence is often seen well under full.

However it gives easy access to High Street and its range, a fine group of mountains named after the old Roman route that crossed them.

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Haystacks

Those from the other side of the pond may refuse to accord any interest to a mountain of only about 580 metres but if the summit of Haystacks were a bit higher, it would rate with the best in the UK.

As it is, Haystacks is where the great guidebook writer, Alfred Wainwright, who knew every Lakeland peak, chose to have his ashes scattered.

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Helvellyn

England's second highest after the Scafells. A wide [and possibly slightly boring] top but the circuit by Striding and Swirral Edges is a great outing.

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Langdale Pikes

By no means the highest but well among the most popular of Lakeland mountains. They are often a first introduction to the area but they are by no means the easiest!

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Scafell Pike

England's highest point - rated by the greatest guidebook writer of them all, Alfred Wainwright, as the finest mountain in the Lake District.

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Sprinkling Tarn

A beautiful tarn near Great End that feeds into Styhead Tarn [q.v.]

Styhead Tarn (SV)

A small tarn at the foot of Great Gable and near the start of the Corridor Route to Scafell Pike.

Tarn Hows

An immensely popular spot and a place where the disabled can enjoy great scenery.

Oddly, it is not a work of nature but that doesn't diminish its beauty.

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Ullswater

One of Lakeland's larger lakes with steamer trips in season and plenty of water activity.

The road south on the east side of the lake is delightful in itself and will take you towards the herd of red deer and the breeding area of the only golden eagles in England.

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Wast Water

By no means the biggest but one of the most sightly of the lakes.

It is the starting point for many ascents; Scafell Pike, Great Gable, Steeple, etc.

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Towns

Ambleside

Ambleside is possibly the most congested place in the Lake District and you may prefer somewhere a bit quieter to stay.

It is the northern terminus of the Lake District cruisers, Waterhead being effectively a part of Ambleside.

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Kendal

Kendal was a place where practically all visitors to the main part of the Lakes had to pass through. Now htere is a major road that avoids it and it is a pleasant and manageable market town.

See separate marker for the excellent Quaker Tapestry.

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Keswick

Keswick is the natural centre for the northern part of the Lake District. It has long catered for tourists and is a significant market town.

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Transportation

Car ferry

Honister Pass

The B5289 over the non-scary Honister Pass provides access to the fine little lake of Buttermere and its neighbour, Crummack Water.

It's a continuation of the road from Keswick beside Derwentwater and up Borrowdale.

Ravenglass/Eskdale Rail

This, one of England's most scenic preserved steam lines, is not shown on the map.

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Very scenic road

Unclassified, but in good condition, this short cut to Ravenglass or Muncaster gives superb views into the very heart of the Lake District's highest mountain area.

Some drivers go far too fast here. Beware!

Villages

Coniston

Coniston has numerous attractions. For water activities, see Coniston Water.

In the village, there is a museum connected with John Ruskin and Brantston House, his Arts and Crafts home is nearby.

The Coniston Old Man group of mountains provides a wonderful circular walk.

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Glenridding

A tiny sttlement near Patterdale, Glenridding provides the best start for the circuit of Helvellyn, England's second highest peak via Striding and Swirral Edges.

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Grasmere

A pretty village where Wordsworth's Dove Cottage is on view to the public.

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Hawkshead

An enchanting village between the Windermere Ferry and Coniston.

William Wordsworth once attended school here.

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Kentmere

The tiny village of Kentmere is a good starting point for High Street or simply for the 'Kentmere Round,' a string of mountains that enclose it.

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Ravenglass

In what is a very rare oversight, the map fails to show the significance of this small coastal village, the Lake District National Park's bit of coast.

Although not shown, there's a preserved steam line to Eskdale.

Ordnance Survey - SD 084964

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Watendlath (SV)

Ordnance Survey - NY 274163

A small, narrow, unclassified road from Derwentwater leads to the tiny hamlet of Watendlath and its tarn [small lake] The road and its destination make one of the finest venues in all the region.

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