Lake District

The Lake District, also commonly known as The Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous not only for its lakes and its mountains (or fells) but also for its associations with the early 19th century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets. It has been proposed as a World Heritage Site.

The Lake District is one of the most highly populated national parks. There are, however, only a handful of major settlements within this mountainous area, the towns of Keswick, Windermere and Ambleside being the largest. Significant towns immediately outside the boundary of the national park include Barrow-in-Furness, Kendal, Ulverston, Cockermouth, Penrith, and Grange-over-Sands; each of these has important economic links with the area. Villages such as Coniston, Threlkeld, Glenridding, Pooley Bridge, Broughton-in-Furness, Grasmere, Newby Bridge, Staveley, Lindale, Gosforth and Hawkshead act as more local centres. The economies of almost all are intimately linked with tourism. Beyond these are a scatter of hamlets and innumerable isolated farmsteads, some of which are still tied to agriculture, others now function as part of the tourist economy.

The majority of the area was designated as the Lake District National Park in 1951. It is the largest of the thirteen National Parks in England and Wales, and the largest in England. It lies entirely within the modern county of Cumbria, shared historically by the counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire. All the land in England higher than three thousand feet above sea level lies within the National Park, including Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. It also contains the deepest and longest lakes in England.

The principal radial valleys are (clockwise from the south) those of Dunnerdale, Eskdale, Wasdale, Ennerdale, Lorton Vale and the Buttermere valley, the Derwent valley and Borrowdale, the valleys containing Ullswater and Haweswater, Longsleddale, the Kentmere valley and those radiating from the head of Windermere including Great Langdale. The valleys serve to break the mountains up into separate blocks which have been described by various authors in different ways. The most frequently encountered approach is that made popular by Alfred Wainwright who published seven separate area guides to the Lakeland Fells;

The four highest mountains in the Lake District each exceed 3000ft (914m). These are;

  • Scafell Pike, 978 m (3,210 ft),
  • Scafell, 965 m (3,162 ft),
  • Helvellyn, 951 m (3,118 ft) and
  • Skiddaw, 931 m (3,054 ft).

There are numerous mountains over 2500ft (762m).

Only one of the lakes in the Lake District is called by that name, Bassenthwaite Lake. All the others such as Windermere, Coniston Water, Ullswater and Buttermere are meres, tarns and waters, with mere being the least common and water being the most common. The major lakes and reservoirs in the National Park are given below.

  • Bassenthwaite Lake
  • Brotherswater
  • Buttermere
  • Coniston Water
  • Crummock Water
  • Derwent Water
  • Devoke Water
  • Elter Water
  • Ennerdale Water
  • Esthwaite Water
  • Grasmere
  • Haweswater Reservoir
  • Hayeswater
  • Loweswater
  • Rydal Water
  • Thirlmere
  • Ullswater
  • Wast Water
  • Windermere

No reviews yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.