The Lake District: Spectacular Views That Will Last A Lifetime
Let the colours of nature allure you
With mesmerising miles of beauty to captivate you, and all the shades of green lining the rolling hills, blue-coloured hues in the fells and the golden glow on the mountain tops, explore what England proudly calls the Lake District National Park, which is 600,000 acres large, making it the country's largest. The unique area situated in the North of England, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to 16 beautiful lakes, including the famous Lake Windermere and 150 adventurous peaks. Not only do all of the aforementioned attract tourists from all over, but the Lakes also boast captivating wildlife, exciting hiking trails and water sports, and scenic cycling routes. Find your way up to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, standing at an astonishing 978 metres high and swim in the waters of Wastwater Lake, the deepest in all of England. This natural wonder hidden within the hills and fells of the country will give you all the excitement you need for a halal-friendly family getaway. Read on to plan your enchanting weekend in the fairytale land, which is closer to home than you may think.
How to get to the Lake District
The Lakes are well connected to the rest of the UK via the motorways, and many may opt to travel by means of car, as part of a road trip with atmospheric views to appreciate on the drive. Anyone who lives a bit further away can get a train, plane or bus to the city of Manchester, where a car can be rented. For those who do not drive, there are direct trains from Manchester that are approximately an hour from the Lakes and national coaches. From London, the journey would take around 3 hours by train and 5 hours by car.
Make the most out of a halal-friendly weekend trip
Within the Lake District, there are no mosques or prayer facilities, but they can be found just over an hour's drive away in the major cities close by, such as Bolton and Manchester. What the Lakes do have, however, is an abundance of natural beauty. Immerse yourself in nature and reflect on all of the Almighty’s splendid creations. Enjoy the serene and tranquil atmosphere and remember praising your Lord is also an act of Ibadah. Looking at all the beautiful waterfalls and wildlife will remind us of what we have to be grateful for, which we can often forget in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Become close to Allah by praying in the serene atmosphere and pack your travel prayer mat to make sure you're ready for all your daily prayers.
If you're looking to go hiking during your stay, the Lakes have you spoilt for choice! There are many different trails to go on, with them all varying in difficulty. For beginners, a good recommendation would be to try the Orrest Head route, which is a 2.8 mile trek to the top, where you'll get unrivalled views of Lake Windermere and the Pennines. If you have time to spare and energy, try a hike around Derwentwater Lake, a 10-mile walk across the water, with stunning views throughout. Or if you're really up for a challenge, the Catbells route is one for experienced hikers and climbers as it has steep steps along the way.
If you want to take to the water, why not try a sailing experience on the lake? Hire a sailboat for 2 hours and explore much of the water and beautiful scenic views of the Lake District. Sailing Windermere offers a package for such an experience for £125. Alternatively, if you'd rather relax and watch the world go by, there are ferries available that allow you to explore England's biggest lake without getting up from your seat. Both sailboats and ferries can be boarded from Bowness-on-Windermere.
When to visit the Lake District
Whilst one may typically think the best time to visit the countryside would be the summer, the Lake District is one of the places in England where the seasons do not affect the appeal of the area. Each season offers a different vibe - the blooming flowers of the spring, the sunny blue skies of the summer, the change of the foliage in autumn and the snow-capped mountains in the winter. Whilst spring and summer bring water sports, late-night barbecues and picnic vibes, autumn and winter will see you cosying up in a cabin, and finishing the evening with a hot chocolate or a dip in the hot tub. The peak season is during April and October but with mild winters and cooler summers, the weather is mostly wet and muddy. Be sure to pack your wellies and a raincoat!
Where to stay in the Lake District
Entertainment in the Lake District is plentiful and entirely your choice as to what you prefer. Guided walking tours are available from March through October, and activities such as water sports, hiking, archery, rifle shooting, ziplining and riding a Segway are available. There are many places to stay in the Lake District, but we will be introducing the most popular.
The historical town on Ambleside is home to the head of Lake Windermere. Take a walk and witness the beauty of the Loughrigg Fell, the nature and the trees of Grizedale Forest. Enjoy the adventure and sail across Waterhead Pier, go fishing in the Esthwaite Water Trout Fishery and enjoy family fun at the Go Ape Grizedale.
Enjoy the mountainous views at this hotel within the national park. Only a 15-minute drive from Lake Windermere, you can walk or enjoy the views on the way to the heart of the Lake District. Breakfast is included and the ‘free cancellation’ option can be selected.
Halal-friendly hotels in Ambleside
The market town of Keswick is home to beautiful walks including Derwentwater, Catbells Lakeland Walk and lookout points with panoramic views such as Surprise View. Families can enjoy the wildlife at the Lake District Wildlife Park and explore ancient ruins at Castlerigg Stone Circle.
Borrowdale Gates Hotel, Keswick (4*)
At the Borrowdale Hotel situated next to the river, you will appreciate the natural beauty views. Halal food and alcohol-free rooms can be requested in advance.
Halal-Friendly Hotels in Keswick
Take a boat trip across the iconic Lake Windermere, in the town of Windermere. Walk across historical sites such as Orrest Head and Rydal Water. Whatever season you visit, the scenic views of the Holehird Gardens will delight you, and you can even explore archery and treetop activities at the Brockhole on Windermere. Families with children will particularly enjoy the Lakeland Pony Trek.
At the nearby Bowness-on-Windermere, find yourself exploring museums such as The World of Beatrix Potter, perfect for children, and Blackwell Arts and Crafts House. Make sure to ride on the Windermere Ferry at least once if you get the chance, and if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous try your hand at sailing.
At this cosy and welcoming hotel, Lake Windermere and the World of Beatrix Potter is only a 15-minute walk away. As it is a bed and breakfast, you will be sure to start your day off well with a hearty meal. Halal food is available close by and alcohol-free rooms can be requested.
Halal-Friendly Hotels in Windermere
Halal food may be hard to find in the Lake District, however, there are some halal restaurants in Bowness-on-Windermere and Penrith Valleys. In the other areas, there are plenty of cafes and tea rooms which will allure you with the aroma of freshly baked goodies and a hot beverage. It doesn’t get more British than this. Do your bit and support small businesses, the little things we do on holiday can make a big difference.
For breakfasts, try out the Home Ground cafe in Windermere - for a vegetarian option of poached eggs on sourdough bread, which will give you the energy boost needed for a day of exploration. The yoghurt with pineapple puree and marzipan is an absolute must for those with a sweet tooth first thing in the morning. But get there early - at around 9am, the queues can stretch to 10 people deep, such is its popularity.
There are also vegetarian and seafood options at most restaurants and artisan shops. Be sure to pack snacks to take with you whilst you're out discovering. It's also worth trying out the Fish & Chips in one of the many 'chippies' and eateries throughout the Lake District. And don't forget to have some ice cream either from a boutique ice cream parlour serving up many different flavours, especially on a warm summer's day.
Be sure to try out some Kendal Mint Cake, especially if you're going on long trails, which is a peppermint energy bar that will give you an instant hit if you're feeling exhausted. It was popularised when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbed Mount Everest in 1953 and had provisions of Kendal Mint Cake in order to reach the summit. Word of warning: only eat this in small blocks sparingly as it has a strong taste - do not underestimate the burst of energy you'll get eating it!
No trip to the Lakes would be complete without paying a visit to the 150-year old Grasmere Gingerbread shop. The owner, Sarah Nelson, was a source of inspiration and still is for the women of today. Try the famous gingerbread - a cross between a cake and biscuit with a chewy centre. The recipe is a closely guarded secret and is the same as it was in 1854 with the staff even dressed in Victorian outfits. Be prepared to queue up for a while, particularly during peak tourist season, as it's enormously popular with visitors.
Be sure to also check out The Wild Strawberry, Keswick, housed in the oldest and most characterful building. They employ and source their ingredients locally. Indulge in the sweet treats whilst taking in the incredible views of nature.
Rolling hills, mountains and fells
The Lake District is beautiful in spring and summer with the colours changing seasonally, the ripple-like effects in the lakes will keep you bewitched. As with the change of the seasons, activities change and so do the experiences. Many famous writers, painters, and poets have been inspired when immersed in the beauty of the Lakes, so you too should let your creativity flow in the heart of nature.