guest post by Amanda Andrews
The English Lake District is an area that has inspired writers and artists for centuries, and there is no better time of year to understand why then in spring. One of William Wordsworth most famous poems, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, was inspired by the large swathes of daffodils that spring up yearly along the crystal lakes and is a sight that everyone should be treated to in their lives. With sunshine on your face and fresh air in your lungs a spring holiday in the Lake District will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed like no beach holiday ever could.
The Lake District really does offer activities for everyone. The area is probably most famous as a walker’s paradise with endless trails through the hills and fells. There are walks for all ability levels and ages, from the 39 Miles without Stiles trails that are suitable for wheelchair users or families with pushchairs, to the epic Coast to Coast which reaches from the Irish Sea to the North Sea and takes from 12-14 days to complete!
Many people who holiday in the Lake District regularly like to set themselves up in one of the many Lake District cottages where they can set off on a walking trail right from the front door. Most of the walks through the Lake District are well trodden paths so you don’t need to worry if you aren’t generally a cross country walker and there are sure to be endless places to stop for a rest and take in the amazing scenery en route.
For a slightly slower pace of holiday there are endless beautiful gardens to visit across Cumbria and the Lake District, some of which were designed by the areas most famous residents. Brantwood, home of John Ruskin, is an estate filled with the treasures and curiosities of an artistic genius. The 250 acre estate offers some of the best views in the Lakes and includes walks designed by Ruskin himself, such as The Zig-Zaggy which is said to have been inspired by Dante's Purgatorial Mount.
William Wordsworth is said to have been a keen landscape gardener and the four acres of gardens at his home Rydal Mount (top photo) remain very much to his design. The garden consists of fell-side terraces and in season provides breathtaking displays of daffodils, bluebells, and rhododendrons. Take some time while you’re here to visit the Wordsworth house, where he wrote some of his most famous works, as well as the lovely on site tea room where you can treat yourself to a spot of tea and cake.
Coming up shortly in the Lake District is The Keswick Mountain Festival, a must attend event for adventure seekers! Held over five days from 16th-20th May 2012, the festival will be filled with activities, including sporting competitions, adventure challenges, and great inspirational speakers like Monty Halls and Sir Chris Bonington. Local food and drinks will be available and all this will happen on the banks of beautiful Derwentwater, in the shadows of Skiddaw and Catbells. There are lots of great last minute cottage deals by Sykes Cottages still available, and tickets are still on sale so don’t worry if this is the first you’ve heard of the event.
The English Lake District is one of the UKs great landscapes and offers an unforgettable spring holiday location. With the sun overhead and soft green grass under your feet all of your worries will quickly melt away. Whether you’re looking for a slow pace, or non-stop adventure, the English Lake District has something for you and there is no better time to visit then right now, in the beauty of spring.
Amanda is a writer and traveller who is currently based in the UK. She has travelled extensively through Europe, North America, and Australia and takes every opportunity to discover new and exciting places. Amanda is currently writing about great UK destinations for www.sykescottages.co.uk, who offer great holiday cottages across the UK and Ireland.
Photo credits: Wordsworth house, daffodils, Brantwood, Derwentwater