Lake District National Park

Lake District National Park, Kendal: Hours, Address, Lake District National Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Lake District National Park

Lake District National Park
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
About
Guided walks in the Lake District National Park
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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MikeyG53
Emersons Green, UK1,923 contributions
Super views, interesting activities and great fresh air
Sep 2021
We decided it was time to re-visit the Lakes and explore a few areas new to us, stay in a different town, and have a longer time to explore. We chose Kendal because the National Park boundary is a mile or so out of the town, it is also a different sort of town to Penrith where we stayed on our previous visit.

We arrived on the Monday afternoon and took in a visit to Sizergh Castle (reviewed by me separately here on TA).

On Tuesday we toured around Lake Windermere and Coniston Water. We took in Tarn Hows (reviewed by me separately here on TA), and generally stayed away from the main roads: choosing the small roads that took us over the fells and gave stunning views.

On Wednesday we drove to Wast Water (reviewed by me separately here on TA) again avoiding the main roads, taking in Ravenglass.

On Thursday the weather was not so good so we didn’t go far away from Kendal, and in the afternoon we just drove around the small lanes in the M6 corridor towards Penrith and then onto Sedbergh as the weather improved.

Sadly we had to start our journey home by 09:30 on Friday, so we only saw glimpses of scenery as we journeyed to the M6.

The highlight of the week for us was Wasdale, it was just stunning and the air was so fresh, also it was not as crowded as Windermere and Coniston. We’ll be back!
Written 13 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

eddiest
Crawley, UK7 contributions
we are all supposed to love their dogs
Sep 2021 • Couples
same old same as, scummy arrogant dog owners allowing their ‘pet dogs’ to chase sheep and s##t n leave it in bags on the path and in the trees
Written 5 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

RaynesMark
Wimbledon213 contributions
Seven Lake Guide plus other local highlights
Jul 2021
Introduction

This review is aimed at giving you a quick and honest guide to visiting seven of the lakes and some tips on visiting other places of interest.

During the summer months if you want to visit any of the lakes or major attractions my advice is not to start your day too late in the morning, if you are driving and this is particularly true of lake Windermere. However there are oasis of calm, read on.

Wastwater

This lake is out in the West of the county and requires a bit of effort to get there - you will be rewarded. Unless you are staying close to the lake, then I strongly recommend an early start. When I could get a signal on the maps app, I was taken on a ride or terror on single track and sometimes unmaintained roads, a city car, in a procession of 4 by 4s. It was well worth the effort and I was rewarded for my early start with a parking spot right on the lake shore. In my mind this is the most beautiful of all of the lakes, sitting in the region of England's highest mountains. Views on the lake surrounded by mountains are spell binding. A picturesque stone bridge sits over a fresh stream that empties into the lake. Although camping is not permitted some quietly do and don't seem to be causing any harm. The pleasure of cooling my feet in the lake as the sun rose higher in the sky was really relaxing. The good news is - if you make the effort to get here, this is one lake you can walk around without have to cross farmer Giles's land. A bit later on in the day the canoeists and water sports people arrive to enjoy in their own peaceful way, this short, deep and mysterious lake. Please note that unless you go to Wasdale head, there are not facilities here.

Rydal Water

Is one of the smaller lakes and not far from Windermere but it scores much more highly in the beauty stakes. It has a more impressive and mountainous backdrop and you can walk around one full side of the lake. There is a delightful river than runs close to the White Moss car park and after a long walk, dunking ones feet into the clear waters is magical. I never did find the cave above the lake, but there is one there, somewhere. There are a couple of small car parks, so don't think you can arrive after lunch and get a spot. There are toilet facilities but no cafes or shops, so best to bring your own and of course take your trash back home with you.

Grasmere

A stones throw from Rydal, Grasmere lake is a bit of a hike from Grasmere village. The village is endearing with a few shops including a Beatrix Potter shop, a cafe on the river and a few other places to eat. There is a tiny and famous gingerbread shop. Parking is a bit pot luck. If you can park in the school, that's a really neat spot, but get there early. There are other small car parks that rapidly fill. There is a field on the edge of the village that can also be opened up for parking and there is also causal parking outside of the village. Part of Grasmere lake is not accessible to the public, hence the long hike to the bankside. Once there though there are quite a few spots where you can sit and swim or take in the natural beauty.

Thirlmere

This is in fact two natural lakes merged into one giant reservoir. It is a pity this glorious mountain lake is not more accessible because it has a primeval feel about it, wooded, remote and mountainous. There are some walks down from the road where there are a few pay and display sport and in places you can scramble down to the lake shore. There are a couple of small waterfalls, although difficult to see, are nevertheless wonderful. More could be done to improve access to and views of the lake which are often obscured. There are warning signs about the dangers of swimming here, due to the constant coldness of the water. I would also recommend could grip walking shoes or boots as even though there are well defined paths, it is easy to slip.

Derwentwater

This is one of the more popular lakes at the North end of the county but easy to get to from Kendal or Windermere. Don't start out too late though! The town of Keswick sits close to the lake which I have heard can be a bit wild west at night. However during the day, it is a really nice place, to wander, grab lunch or a coffee.

The lake is about a 15-20 minute walk from the town centre, though there is a car park near the lake side. Derwentwater is a far more picturesque and cleaner looking lake than either Windermere or Coniston. Its more mountainous and natural looking. Although there are good bank side walks and boat rides, like some of the other lakes, a lot of land is in private hands which seems strange for a national park. From the town you can walk about half a mile before having to join a well appointed walkway that circumnavigates marshland before you rejoin the lake. A good day out, Keswick and the lake.

Lake Windermere

Windermere may be the largest, most famous and most popular of the lakes, but I must say it is was underwhelming. The lake is portrayed on TV as peaceful and relaxed and this is rather misleading for it is choked with tourists and does not have the same mountainous backdrop of the other lakes. Much of the lake district is inaccessible to the general public as much of the land is privately owned. While this may benefit the environment it confines tourists to small, crowded pockets on some but not all of the lakes.

Ambleside - Lake Windermere

Please note there are really two Ambleside's, the village and the part of the town that sits on the lake. Ambleside village is well worth a visit in its own right, with a decent little bakery, some decent cafes, shops and a quirky old stone house bridging a little river (almost runs dry in the summer). The Ambleside by the lake you see on Country file is a good 25 minute and ugly walk from the village. If you want a parking space here you had better start out early in the day. This is where the boats and ferries depart from and parking is pretty limited. Please note pre-booking on-line of boat trips seems to be required at the moment. There is a decent cafe on the shore, a chip shop that charged me well over £1 for a can of coke, a couple of decent pubs, a shell and trinket shop run by a guy from Blackpool and for some reason a pet shop. Now all of this activity is in a very confined space, even if you include the adjacent lake side park and fields beyond. My tip would be to visit Ambleside by the lake in the evening, it is easier to park and has a real nice ambience about it around the pubs as the sun goes down.

Coniston

Coniston lake is not far from Windermere but on a long winding road journey. It is a bit prettier than Windermere and its waters cleaner. It seems more popular with causal watersports folk and swimmers. A river cuts down from Coniston village into the lake. When I visited there was a real mix of people there, from the young and beautiful, to couples and even a large group with a barbecue going. Where Coniston wins out over Windermere, is less people, more space and a generally more attractive place. Coniston village is between 20 minutes and 30 minutes away on foot, though there is some parking at the lake. The village is fairly pretty has a few decent looking pubs and takeaways. It has a calmer feel about it. The only negative here was the grumpy girl serving in the garage, no serving is the wrong word.

Other Places of Interest

Ulverston

A small town in the South West of the county best known as the birthplace of Stan Laurel. There is a fine sculpture of 20th Century comedy legends Laurel and Hardy close to the museum dedicated to them. There is even a little sculpture of the dog Laughing Gravey, tugging at Ollie's trousers. The Laurel and Hardy museum is worth a visit if you are in the area for an hour or so. It is a bit sparse but has various costumes, film clips, photos, a collection of vintage products and even what it purported to be the bed on which Stan Laurel was born. Ulverston has a few places to eat or to get takeaways. I wanted to call out to the ice cream parlour, real value for money and great.

Arnside

Arnside was recommended to me if I wanted fish and chips by the seaside. A short drive from Kendal it is a good place to catch some evening sun and those fish and chips. Its a fairly pretty hamlet with a couple of shops, decent looking pubs and some lovely walks on the shoreline. There is also a rather quaint rail line that crosses the bridge over the estuary.

Morecombe

Is another good stop for evening fish and chips and an ice cream. It too is a short drive from Kendal. However, don't expect much else here for this art deco town is mostly in mothballs, even on the promenade during high season, such a pity. Still the beach is popular with local youngsters who seem harmless enough. There is a spookily life like sculpture of comedian Eric Morecombe on the promenade and it is such a pity, he is alone here, without his comedy partner Ernie Wise. Parking was not a problem here, but only because this is a place in decline, the local council cannot even be bothered to to maintain a small garden on the beach front. Sure it will never compete with Blackpool down the coast, but being so close to the lakes it is such a waste. From my point of view it had fish and chips an ice cream van a few slot machine arcades, so I was happy.
Written 22 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

David B
Oxford, UK48 contributions
Go east!
Jul 2021
I have visited the Lake District many, many times; the scenery is fantastic and the towns welcoming.

However, at the moment I can only say STAY AWAY. Keswick is so crowded as to be unbearable, Kendal is traffic, traffic, traffic. Every layby between the two was full, and the standard of driving we saw was appalling, especially from motorcyclists frustrated with the traffic.

On a Tuesday evening we tried to find somewhere to eat out in Kendal. Everywhere was either closed (presumably the businesses haven't survived the lockdowns), not serving food (!), or fully booked until late in the evening. And this is BEFORE the COVID restrictions are relaxed and BEFORE the school holidays.

Having just spent the week exploring Northumbria, equally lovely countryside, but far fewer holidaymakers, I wish I had stayed east of the Pennines!
Written 13 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MrMrsHappyR
Liverpool, UK877 contributions
Fabulous Area
Jun 2021 • Couples
Amazing and beautiful area of Britain with so many things to see and do. Bowness/Windermere is probably the most famous and busiest with boat trips on the lake and lots of nice shops. Ambleside is also nice with some great pubs and outdoor clothing shops. Gaynor's (there are two shops) in Ambleside has some great deals on Outdoor clothing such as Mountain Equipment, Berghaus, Rab, North Face, etc. Keswick is a lovely old town with some nice walks. There is an ancient set of standing stones surrounded by mountains near here at a place called Castlerigg.
Written 25 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

places2seeplaces2go
England, UK4,549 contributions
Simply Stunning
Apr 2021 • Couples
Visited The Lake District for a week at the beginning of May21. The Uk was just coming out of lockdown so everything was still very quiet. We thoroughly enjoyed everything we did & saw (please see some of my more specific reviews if you want more info). Our favourite place though was Wast Water which even on a cloudy & drizzly day was stunning.
There is so much to see & do that we are already talking about another holiday in 2022.
Written 3 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Compass48854930837
10 contributions
Beautiful Landscape and Adventurous
Dec 2020 • Family
I would higly recommend Lake District National Park for holidays with family. How many days depends on what exactly you want to achieve. May be 3-5 days to start with and then depending upon what adventure you want to undertake you may want to come back again.

Please see a short Video I did on Lake District on YouTube. Please look at channel Camera Travel & Me.

Please Subscribe my YouTube chanel ( Camera Travel & Me) if you like my work.

Places not to be missed during holidays at Lake District
Windermere
KESWICK
DERWENT WATER
BUTTERMERE
ULLSWATER
COINSTON WATER LAKE
HIKES TO CAT BELLS, SKIDDAW, SCAFELL PIKE ETC.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks
Dev
Written 10 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steve G
Banbury, UK19 contributions
Stunning!!
Sep 2020 • Couples
We spent 3 magnificent days walking around the many trails which the lake district has to offer, we were never disappointed once, the views are absolutely stunning and I've never used the word WOW so much, every view is a WOW moment, would definitely recommend a trip and a stay in Ambleside.
Written 3 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

rayrest
London, UK7,342 contributions
Outstanding
Aug 2020 • Couples
Number one thing to do is visit Grasmere. Number two is to visit Wast Water and number three is to visit lake Windermere. All are pictured. If you do anything more than that then its a bonus.
Written 26 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CANNOMAD
Stuttgart, Germany753 contributions
Would love to visit in the summer
Mar 2020
This is a very beautiful area of the UK to drive through, which we chose on our way north to Scotland. The roads were good and due to the time of year, they were not busy. There are many small villages to stop at for a rest or something to eat along the routes through the park. I would love to come back in the summer to enjoy the view when the trees are in leaf.
Written 27 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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