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The Best way to Experience the Lake District and Avoid the Crowds in 2021

The Lakes capture our hearts and imagination, a hiking heaven of mountains and tarns with some of the most incredible views in England. Whether climbing the hills and canyoning down the rivers or discovering the landscapes that inspired Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, there is something for everyone in this mountain landscape.

This summer, when restrictions ease we can expect the Lake District to become particularly busy, so we have put together some top tips for avoiding the crowds and getting the best out of your Lake District holidays in 2021:

Tips to Avoid Crowds in the Lake District

  1. Stay on the outskirts and travel in. By bus or car.
  2. The Early bird catches the worm – travel in early.
  3. Take the less-trod paths.
  4. Pack a swimsuit!

Stay Outside The Lakes, And Travel In…

There are beautiful towns, villages and accommodation just outside the Lake District which allow easy access into the Fells and Tarns without having to stay in the more crowded central towns.

Stay in St Bees

  • St Bees is a great choice on the West Coast. Famous as the start of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk, this pretty coastal village is idea for those wanting a mix of coast, sea, lakes and mountains. From here there is easy access to the Western Lakes including Crummock Water and the stunning Buttermere Valley.

Stay in Ravenglass

  • Staying in Ravenglass, also on the West Coast, gives great access into The Eskdale Valley, Boot and beyond to Scarfell Pike! The perfect place for those looking for adventure, as the Eskdale Valley is home to brilliant watersports including Kayaking, Canyoning and more!

Stay in Ulverstone or Cartmel

  • Cartmel is known for its cuisine and restaurants! A village that is home to 2 restaurants with Michelin stars, L’Enclume and Rogan & Co, alongside a variety of independent restaurants serving local dishes and food from around the world. If you’re big on food, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
  • The birthplace of Stan Laurel, of Laurel and Hardy, in Ulverstone there is a lot to see in this often overlooked town in the South of the Lakes. From Ulverston you have access to the incredible Coniston Lake, the Old Man of Coniston and the famous Windemere Lake and town. Rather than staying in these busy towns, stay outside and travel in to see the highlights!

Stay around Kendal

  • Though Kendal can get busy, it is a larger town and the wider Kendal area boasts great accommodation outside of the town itself. There is great access from here into the whole of the Eastern Lake District, particularly Windemere, and with great access to and from by train.

Travel into the Lakes – Early in the Moring!

Whether you are a mornign person or not, the easiest way to see the best of the Lake district is to travel in early in the morning. Particularly for the more popular well-trodden routes, being there first ensures you have the mountain to yourself and avoids the mid-morning crush. There will be more parking spaces and by the time you have had your flask of coffee and breakfast on top of the mountain, you can enjoy the serene views and wander back down at your leisure avoiding the trailing crowds.


The Less well-known routes in The Lakes

If you are a more experienced hiker, get out your OS maps and plot a route that takes you away from the more common footpaths, finding different routes up the valleys, and don’t be afraid to call up a local travel company and expert to ask for advice! If travelling on your own or away from crowds, make sure to carry your own first aid kit and know where the nearest routes back into towns and to more populated areas for help.


Pack a Swimsuit

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There’s nothing more serene than swimming in a tarn, nor will many people follow you in – so you’ll likely have the lake to yourself! Note which lakes and tarns you can swim in and which you are not allowed and plan a hike to a lake for a swim – make sure to pack warm clothes and a towel for afterwards, some chocolate brownie and of course a flask of hot chocolate!


Walking Holidays in the Lake District

Take a look at our Lake District Walking Holidays – the perfect combination of inn-to-inn travel, self-guided handpicked routes, stunning walks and views to remember:

7 Day Self-Guided Walking – Lake District Round Trip

9 Day Self-Guided Walking – Lake District Round Trip

Coast To Coast Self-Guided Walking Holiday – 14-18 Days


Responsible Travel in The Lake District

  1. Leave nothing behind.
  2. Stick to the footpaths, particularly on the busier routes, to avoid extra erosion.
  3. Park in carparks and not on verges.
  4. Always follow the Countryside Code.

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