The Best of the Lake District & Cumbria

Honest recommendations & hidden gems for the best places to eat, drink & visit in the Lake District, each of which are in our new Travel Guide.

1. Ambleside

Ambleside has a rich Roman history, with a fort named Galava, dating from AD79 and situated just south of the town. Today it serves as a base for those exploring the surrounding countryside and is particularly popular with climbers, hikers and mountain bikers.

2. Haverthwaite Station

Visit a bygone age by climbing aboard a steam train at Haverthwaite Station and enjoy the stunning views across Lake Windermere. The Furness Railway was developed during the 1850’s and 1860’s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, to transport coal and iron ore from the coastal mines to the heavy industries of the North West and North East of England.

3. Chesters by the River

Chesters by the River is situated in an enviable position with a deck overlooking the River Brathay. With a counter brimming with some of the finest looking cakes and brownies we ever did see, this contemporary restaurant offers rainbow salads and pizzas and flatbreads from its wood fired oven.

5. Crummock Water

Walking from the car park, the woodland dramatically opens up with incredible views of Crummock Water and over Grassmoor, Rannerdale Knotts, Mellbreak and Red Pike. Wild water swimming is popular in this lake and the more adventurous can take the (at times challenging) nine mile walk around the lake.

4. Lakeland Motor Museum

Lakeland Motor Museum has over 30,000 exhibits from around the world and chronicles the history of motoring through the twentieth century. The museum is a fantastic homage to the internal combustion engine and is housed in a converted mill. On display are cars, motorbikes, pedal cars, bicycles and the occasional unique machine.

6. Cartmel Cheeses and Bakery

Cartmel Cheeses & Bakery is one of the delightful businesses nestled within Unsworth Yard. Unsurprisingly given its name, the shop specialises in a wide range of British, Irish and French cheeses and freshly baked goods. It makes an ideal stop to gather a few picnic nibbles for a day out exploring the Lake District.

7. The Punch Bowl

The Punch Bowl is situated in the heart of the unspoilt Lyth Valley at Crosthwaite in Cumbria. Offering a ‘unique blend of old and new,’ The Punch Bowl is a luxurious country restaurant offering quality dining and stylish accommodation. Flickering fires, oak beams and polished oak floors only enhance the ambience.

8. Lingholm Kitchen

The Octagonal walled garden sits on the same spot as the old Lingholm Kitchen gardens which Beatrix Potter credited as her inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Built in a Victorian style, the garden has herbaceous borders while central areas are reserved for vegetable production which are then served fresh in the Kitchen.

9. Merienda

Merienda is an exceptionally stylish and contemporary licensed restaurant/café serving breakfast and brunch through to an eclectic evening menu. With a simple, globally influenced menu, the founders’ aim has been to use wholesome, seasonal ingredients whilst drawing inspiration from around the world.

10. Coniston

Coniston was historically famous for its ore and slate mining. During Victorian times, the Furness Railway terminated in Coniston which opened up tourism to this beautiful area. Today hill-walking, rock-climbing and boating are popular pursuits from the village base.

The Best of The Lake District Travel Guide

Honest recommendations & hidden gems

The Best of The Lake District is an essential travel companion containing hundreds of hand picked recommendations and including our own unique photography. Over 150 pages of lovingly curated places to eat, drink and visit throughout Lancashire & Cumbria, each one carefully selected by a member of the Best of England team.

A unique, beautiful and impartial travel guide to Lancashire & Cumbria with hundreds of glossy photos to inspire you to get out and discover this beautiful region of England.

Chapters include:

  • Pubs & Restaurants
  • Cafés & Delis
  • Shops & Museums
  • Hidden Gems
  • Handy A5 size
  • Honest reviews
  • Full colour
  • Easy to use

Areas covered include:

Clitheroe, Mawdesley, Cartmel, Kendal, Ambleside, Low Newton, Kirkby Lonsdale, Ormskirk

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