The Beginners Guide to The Lake District – Episode 3 | The North Lakes

Published: Friday 27th Sep 2019

Written by: Alex Barton

If you haven’t yet seen the first two episodes of this series, we recommend you check out episodes One and Two before reading this.

Episode 3 is covering the wild and wonderful North Lakes – sweeping fells, beautiful valleys and lush mountain forests.

Catbells and Derwentwater Lake District Cottages

The North Lakes can be just as popular as the South Lake District, whilst this area of the national park is much more ‘open’ in terms of spacing of towns and the large valleys that occupy this area, it is a very popular visitor destination all year round. Keswick is widely considered the heart of the north lakes and is the most popular town, but there is plenty more to this area:

  • Keswick – A beautiful market town on the shores of Derwentwater where you can find plenty of shopping including supermarkets, local businesses, chocolate shops, cafes and everything in between. Keswick hosts lots of events all year round including the popular summer Mountain Music Festival and The Festival of Light.

Keswick lake district cottages

  • Bassenthwaite Lake – The only water in the National Park that has the word ‘Lake’ in its name. Bassenthwaite is a long finger-shaped body of water that flanks the western slopes of Skiddaw.

Bassenthwaite lake district cottages

  • Skiddaw – The largest mountain in the North Lakes and third largest in the Lake District. A truly breath-taking sight as you arrive into the area as it dominates the town of Keswick. A tough walk but well worth it for the views at the top.

Skiddaw Lake District cottages

  • Borrowdale – A stunningly beautiful valley, flanked by large fells on either side. Thick lush trees litter the valley with a village at the very bottom. You can find a view from Derwentwater, looking into ‘The Jaws of Borrowdale’ - One of the best views in the Lake District.

Frairs Crag

  • Whinlatter – England’s only mountain forest. Whinlatter is an adventurer’s dream. Mountain bike trails, a Go Ape course and a Segway course can all be found here. The perfect experience for your Lake District holiday.

Whinlatter Forest cottages

  • Penrith – Penrith is the largest town in the North Lakes and sits right on the M6. If you are travelling to the Lake District from North Yorkshire or Scotland, you’ll probably arrive via Penrith. An old market town that is very pretty and doesn’t see huge amounts of visitor numbers if you’re seeking a quieter break.


There is lots more to discover in the North Lakes. In you’d like to experience as much of the Lake District as you can during you stay, we highly recommend staying in the central Lake District. This region provides easy access to all four corners of the national park meaning you can spend a day of your holiday in each area!

We offer several beautiful Lake District cottages in and around the Grasmere central Lakes area. For a full list and to find your next perfect holiday home retreat, click here.


Alex Barton



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