A. The Lake District attracts more than 12 million visitors every year.
Q. What attracts so many people
A. The Lake District is renowned for its stunning scenery and spectacular landscapes - the fells, lakes, dales, mountains, moorland and villages all contribute to its overall beauty - which cover 880 square miles, making it the largest of Britain's 11 National Parks.
Q. What are the best parts to visit
A. Central & Southern Lake District: A visit to the central area of this National Park would be incomplete without visiting the actual lakes. Windermere, Thirlmere, Coniston Water, Grasmere and Ullswater can all be found here. You'll also find William Wordworth's former home, Dove Cottage, near Grasmere and John Ruskin's home, Brantwood, near Coniston Water. The villages of Kendal (famous for its mint cake) and Sawrey (where Beatrix Potter lived) are also located in this central area.
Lake District Peninsulas: The main areas here are Cartmel, Lakeside, Barrow-in-Furness, Ulverston and Grange-over-Sands.
Coastal & Western Area:This area of the Lake District combines some beautiful lakes (e.g. Wastwater and Buttermere) with some great beaches and England's highest mountain - Scafell Pike. Some of the best villages here are Muncaster, Gosforth, Caldbeck, Ireby, Whitehaven, Silloth-on-Solway and Ravenglass.
Northern Lake District: The market town of Keswick is a favourite stop in the northern area, mainly because it has a great Tourist Information Centre, but also because the town itself has several museums, theatres and art exhibitions. Special sites of interest include the magnificent lake Derwentwater and Friars Crag.
Eden Valley and the Northern Pennines: This also forms part of the Northern Lakes and is an area well known for its wild and beautiful open moorland, which is incredibly peaceful and picturesque to visit. Lake Ullswater, Penrith Castle, the villages of Appleby and Pooley Bridge, and Kirkstone Pass and its stunning views are among the attractions here. Carlisle and Hadrian's Wall also form part of the Northern area.
Q. Can you recommend any good places to visit for a daytrip during a holiday in the Lake District
A. Some of the best places to visit for a daytrip include the following:
Dove Cottage and The Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere: Dove Cottage was Wordsworth's home (which he shared with his sister Dorothy) from 1799-1808, it dates back to the 17th Century and is open to the public, a guide provides a 20 minute tour of the house for all visitors after which you are free to roam the house at your leisure. For more information call 015394 35544 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 015394 35544 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 015394 35544 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the website at www.wordsworth.org.uk. Other Wordsworth houses to visit include Cockermouth (his birthplace), for more information call 01900 824805.
Beatrix Potter Gallery, Hawkshead: As the Lake District's most famous daughter, Potter is celebrated in several locations here, none more so than in this gallery which contains artefacts and information on her life alongside the original illustrations for her numerous children's stories. For more information call 015394 36355. You can also visit Potter's house at Hill Top, Sawrey (for more information call 015394 36269). Alternatively if you are a big fan and wish to take a Beatrix Potter tour of the Lake District (call 017687 75173 for more information).
Brantwood, Coniston: One of the great Victorian poets and artists, John Ruskin moved here in 1872 after many visits to the Lake District. His former home is now open to the public and owned by the Brantwood Trust. The house contains many of Ruskin's paintings and his furniture. For more information call 015394 41396 or visit the website www.brantwood.org.uk.
Keswick Museum, Keswick: the museum here dates back to 1898 and is famous for its Poets Corner which contains a collection of original manuscripts and memorabilia belonging to William Wordsworth, Hugh Walpole and Robert Southey. For more information call 017687 73263.
Keswick Car Museum, Keswick: This isn't any ordinary car museum; it is subtitled "cars of the stars" as it contains famous cars from TV and film. Its star studded vehicles include the Batmobile, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Reliant Robin from Only Fools and Horses, Lady Penelope's pink Rolls Royce - FAB1 from Thunderbirds, the James Bond collection of cars, Knightrider's KITT and famous cars driven by The Avengers, The Saint, The Prisoner and the A Team. For more information call 017687 73757 or visit their website: www.carsofthestars.com.
Laurel & Hardy Museum, Ulverston: Stan Laurel was born in Ulverston in 1890, so it is a fitting, if relatively unknown, site for the world's only Laurel & Hardy Museum. The collection here includes letters, photographs, furniture and personal items belonging to the comedy duo. There is also a cinema that shows their films all day, free of charge. For more information call 01229 582292 or visit the website: www.laurel-and-hardy-museum.co.uk.
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal: This gallery is situated in a beautifully restored Georgian villa and is worth visiting on a daytrip to Kendal as it exhibits some of the art inspired by the countryside surrounding it. For more information call 01539 722464.
Adrian Sankey Glass Makers, Ambleside: You can watch and partake in traditional glass blowing here and visit the glass studios. For more information call 01534 33039.
Appleby Castle, Appleby: Situated within the beautiful village of Appleby, the castle stands in 25 acres of parkland. For more information call 017683 51402.
Duddon Ironworks, Broughton-in-Furness: The remains of Duddon Iron Works have recently been restored and are now open to the public. The site was established in 1736 when iron ore was first mined here and remained open and working until 1866. For more information call the Tourist Information Centre at Broughton-in-Furness on 01229 716115.
If you plan to visit the Lake District for a holiday, please note that some areas are closed due to foot and mouth restrictions. More information on the Lake District and the current situation on foot and mouth is available from the following websites: http://www.lake-district.gov.uk, http://www.cumbria-the-lake-district.co.uk and http://www.visitcumbria.com.
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by Karen Anderson