Seeing the Lake District in a Whole New Way

by Lexa Pennington /
Lexa Pennington's picture
May 04, 2012 / 0 comments

What are the first things you think of, when you hear Lake District? If you’re anything like me, you think poetry, literature, art, Wordsworth, Windermere, Beatrix Potter, long walks on the fells, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.  As well, you think of long, romantic vacations with your loved ones, walking in the footsteps of both the great literary stars and nature lovers who have flocked to the towns and villages of Cumbria for centuries.

Lake District

Buttermere - Lake District

Cottages in the Lake District

As with any vacation planning, however, reality intrudes. How can you afford a long holiday to the Lake District, England? Because you know a short weekend just will NOT be enough. Here’s a travel tip: look at Sykes Holiday Cottages. Renting a holiday cottage is an excellent idea for many reasons: a self-catering cottage can save money on eating in restaurants (and you can also shop the local markets!); you can rent cottages with comfortable bedrooms that sleep 2, sleep 4, sleep 8 (or more) by the week; if you are a traveling family, your kids will have room to roam and can be a bit noisier than in a hotel; and you can learn to live like a local for the time that you are there – early mornings atop the hills and dusky gloamings at water’s edge. It’s truly an idyllic holiday, and one that you can make come true.




Pet Friendly Cottages

What if you travel with pets? Many of the accommodations in the Lake District are pet friendly.  If you’re a dog-lover, you will appreciate the fact that you can walk the fells all day with your dog (or maybe your dog walks YOU all day?).  You’ll save money on the kennel fees, and have happier pets (and family). Most pet-friendly cottages also share a list of pet-friendly pubs and shops – so you can enjoy your entire vacation together.



Traveling with kids? This is a perfect location for families – your kids will recognize the landscape from their beloved Beatrix Potter books – and the Postman Pat tv show for littles. The Lake District has its own magic, never to be forgotten. The natural landscape is affecting, as is history come alive in ancient stone circles, Roman forts, and beautiful estates. Your cottage might even BE an historic estate – many of the Lake District cottages for rent are extraordinary historic buildings.

Windermere from Waterhead

Windermere from Waterhead




Be a part of history! There is also a plethora of activities besides walking and sightseeing – adventure activities (walking, rock climbing, mountain biking, golf, fishing, sailing, kayaking), arts events (theatre, festivals, even a sculpture trail!), and of course my personal favorite, the FOOD. You’ll love traditional foods in Cumbria, including Kendal Mint Cake, Lake District Tea Bread, Cumberland sausage, Grasmere Gingerbread, local cheeses, relishes, pickles, and jellies, and Lake District ales. The food here is different than the rest of England, because Whitehaven was a global port, and received many shipments of exotic spices and ingredients from the West Indies.  It’s a foodie wonderland, and I imagine you’ll be like me and pick up a few cookbooks and supplies for home.



Get prepared for your holiday in the Lake District by learning some new words (you’ve got the food part down). A Fell is a mountain, while a howe is a hill or mound.  A Tarn is a small lake, and a corrie is a small pool of water. Want to count sheep on your walks on the fells? It’s called Yan Tan Tethera.  Arrished is always used in the negative, and means bothered (you can’t be arrished to count sheep, perhaps?). A Clegg is a horsefly – watch out for those, on your walks (as well as cuddy splatter – I think you can ascertain that meaning). Bait is food (for humans). And you’ll want to watch the local evening news in your lovely cottage for the Border Crack and Deekabout (what’s happening in the region) before you head out to the pub.




By staying in the Heart of the Lakes, and living like a local in your own cottage, you’ll be able to get a sense of the ebb and flow of nature in Cumbria, enjoy all that cottages in the Lake District have to offer...and don’t forget to bring the pets.


Photos courtesy of flickr creative commons: Lake DistrictWindermere