Although Windermere and the Lake District are England’s most popular national park, attracting over 16 million visitors each year, you may not know some of the most interesting facts and figures about this stunning region.
Stretching over an area of around 900 square miles, the Lake District gained National Park Status in 1951, which attracted thousands more visitors, along with improved rail links to Windermere from Manchester. The National Park is protected and promoted widely through the UK and the rest of the world, and boasts some of the best natural attractions in Europe.
Luxury spa cottages in Windermere are attracting more guests than the lakeside hotels, and if you are planning a romantic weekend, a cottage break is the perfect choice.
Running from Caldbeck in the north to Lindale in the south and from Ravenglass in the west to Shap in the East, the Lake District is home to coastal towns and rugged countryside, with stunning lake and mountain scenery.
Farming and agriculture have historically been the main industry in the region, and Cumbria is also famous for the Herdwick Sheep breed which can survive the harshest environments. Sheep farming is still an important industry, along with tourism.
Cumbria still provides tons of granite and slate, used in the building industry and many local houses were constructed using local materials. Quarrying has left its marks on the landscape, but much of the Lake District remains unscathed. Thirlmere provides water for up to 1 million homes in Manchester, and Windermere is Cumbria´s largest lake at over 10 miles in length.
Famous former residents included poet and author William Wordsworth, who spent much of his life in and around the lakes. He attended school at Hawkshead and lived in Grasmere from 1799-1813, and Rydal Mount from 1813-1850.
Two of the most visited attractions in the Lake District today are Wordworth´s former home, Dove Cottage in Grasmere and Rydal Mount. Beatrix Potter´s former house, Hill Top is also a major attraction and it was left to the National Trust in the author´s will on the condition that nothing in the house was changed and that it was opened up to the public.
Millions of tourists flock to the park to enjoy the mountains and fells, to cruise across the lakes and to feel at one with nature. Hiking, horse riding, walking, swimming and sailing are just some of the most popular attractions in the Lake District, along with a wide range of farmer´s markets and annual festivals and events.
Windermere is the perfect place to base yourself if you are planning to explore the Lake District, and whether you are driving or using public transport, there are plenty of options available to you. The Mountain Goat Tours are particularly popular with visitors who want to leave the car at home, and offer full day excursions and half day trips to some of the Lake District´s most famous locations.
Wherever you stay in the Lakes you will not be far away from the stunning landscapes which make this part of the world some famous, and Windermere Lake Cruises offers visitors the chance to explore the Lake close up, and hop on and off at different points of interest en route.
Luxury cottages and spa cottages in Windermere book up quickly so if you are looking for a special break in the Lakes, start looking early for your perfect Lake District accommodation.