The Lake District is one of England's most visited regions - for good reason. Much of this hilly region of north-west England is included in Lake District National Park.

This largest of England's National Parks provides an exciting mix of mountain and lake scenery. Postcard-perfect in summer, in fall the brown bracken of the mountain slopes contrasts with the reds of oak forests and the beginnings of snow-white frosting on the mountain peaks.

The Lake District is a walker's paradise at any time. One of the most popular of the multitude of fine hill-walking opportunities is Scafell Pike, at 3210 ft the highest mountain in England. Another popular walk is Helvellyn, which can be a pleasant stroll or a distinct challenge, depending upon which path you choose.

The adventurous will want to try the approach along the narrow ridge of Striding Edge. Be warned: the weather can change suddenly, and even if it looks fine at lower elevations, the peaks may be subject to unpleasant conditions. Always check the weather forecast before setting out.

Shap Abbey
Shap Abbey

For the less adventurous there are countless trails among the lower fells and around the shores of the lakes which make for fine walking. The "Mountain Goat" buses will get you to most of the main passes for fell walking. If you prefer a more leisurely style of exploration, you can take a regularly scheduled boat trip on one of the lakes.

The spectacular scenery of the Lake District has drawn literary figures for generations. One of the most popular was William Wordsworth, who lived at Dove Cottage, which is now a museum of the poet's life and works. Beatrix Potter, author of Peter Rabbit tales, lived at Hill Top, near Ambleside, and Brantwood was the home of John Ruskin, the influential Victorian art critic and writer.

Near Keswick is Castlerigg Stone Circle, an atmospheric circle of standing stones set in a natural amphitheatre of hills and peaks. The circle can easily be accessed from the town centre.

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