If you are looking for somewhere to chill out, recharge your batteries and make the most of the stunning Lake District countryside, explore some of the most beautiful lakes at your own pace:
The most northerly of the major lakes, Bassenthwaite lies between Keswick and Cockermouth. The best views of Bassenthwaite lake, indeed, one of the best views in the Lake District, can be had by taking the minor road from Braithwaite village that leads up to the Whinlatter Pass. A pull-by part way up the climb provides wonderful views over the lake. On the eastern shore is Mirehouse, a quiet Georgian house with connections to Lord Tennyson and other Victorian literary figures. Close to Bassenthwaite village is a RSPB bird sanctuary.
Lying roughly parallel to Lake Windermere, Coniston Water is famous as the site of Donald Campbell's successful attempts to break the world speed record. Campbell's final record attempt led to his untimely death, and the story of Campbell's Bluebird is just one of the fascinating bits of local history you will learn about if you take one of the steam gondola trips that leave from Coniston pier. Across the lake from Coniston village is Brantwood, the home of Victorian author John Ruskin. The Brantwood estate is full of opportunities to walk and enjoy the outdoors. Coniston itself caters to those wishing to enjoy outdoor activities as well, and offers a good range of accommodation.
One of the most 'developed' of the lakes, Derwentwater offers some of the best boating and water sport opportunities, with numerous marinas and boat hire companies serving visitors. The major destination on Derwentwater is Keswick, at the north end of the lake. On the eastern shore is the Bowder Stone, a fascinating natural site, where a huge boulder is tipped up on one corner in a seemingly precarious state of balance. Take the Watendlath road to reach a viewpoint giving superb views over the lake and surrounding hills. To the south, follow the River Derwent into Borrowdale, a narrow valley with access to some of the best hill walking routes in the region.
The major lake in the north east of the National park, Ullswater is a gateway to the region for visitors departing the A70 (M) at Penrith. Turn left at Rheged and you find yourself on a twisting, winding road that leads past the gates of Dalemain, a lovely Georgian stately home. In a few miles you catch your first glimpse of water, and for the next 10 miles the road hugs the northwestern shore of Ullswater.
There are several parking places with small beaches, but if you carry on to the southern end of the lake you reach Glenridding.
The largest Lake in the Lake District, and, indeed, in all of England. The village of Windermere is the tourism capital of the south Lakes, with accommodation and a variety of outdoor activities.
Steamers ply the lake year round, and there are facilities for boating and water sports, museums, gardens, and family attractions.
If you are planning a romantic weekend or midweek break in the Lakes, why not spend a few nights in a romantic Windermere cottage, with its own outdoor hot tub, whirlpool bath for 2, relaxation chairs and log burning stove?