Self-catering holiday accommodation in The Lake District

Tourism in the Lake District is now the National Park's major industry. Approximately 14 million visitors visit each year from throughout the UK, USA, Germany, Spain, China and Japan. Many come to enjoy the scenery they don’t see at home, the peace and quiet they don’t get at home and what is often a unique walking experience.

There are those who visit specific attractions within the National Park or come to take part in an outdoor activity. Many prefer to enjoy the freedom and unstructured day that the great variance in rental self-catering accommodation affords them, be it a cottage, chalet, apartment, holiday home, a bunk house - especially for big groups, youth hostel, caravans or even camping. They can cater for themselves, sourcing locally produced food, or enjoy one of the many fine restaurants, pubs and cafes in the area. Many are accompanied by their family pet, as most self-catering cottages are fully pet-friendly - rented on a temporary basis for vacations of a week (sometimes two) a weekend or short break.

Planning a vacation in The Lake District?

Renting a cottage, holiday chalet or lodge will guarantee you the freedom to come and go as you please without having to worry about returning for dinner at a set time.

Whether the cobbled streets of Ulverston, the charm of Keswick and Coniston or the buzz of cosmopolitan Kendal appeals to you, there are plenty of vibrant market towns and villages to visit. All the towns have a visitors centre to enable you to get up to the minute information of what's on and where to go when you visit.

A leisurely afternoon tea in magnificent surroundings can be taken at one of the historic houses, many of which have their own fabulous gardens to visit and admire. In fact, some are consistent, world-famous award winners. With over 60 to choose from, Wordsworth's home and magnificent gardens at Rydal and Ruskin's at Brantwood near Coniston are two of the gardens in the Lake District that are most definitely worth a visit.

The area's rich heritage, culture and history can be traced through the many historic ruins, many with local legends to enthrall and captivate. There are also plenty of parks and relaxing wide open spaces providing a great, safe family day out in the fresh air.

During the year, the visitor will find many arts, culture, music, food and theatre festivals that are regularly held throughout the Lake District.

And if you want something a little different, why not visit the home of the world's longest pencil in Keswick, or enjoy a day out at the Grizedale Forest Park with its rope bridges and zip slides as well as the famous Ridding Wood trail Silurian Way. Or for those charged with reading a gentle bed-time story for the younger family member, perhaps you might care to take them to check up on the origins of Peter Rabbit.

Self-catering doesn't of course mean visitors should be tied to the stove in their cottage kitchen during every mealtime! Eating out is also one of the many pleasures found in the Lake District. There is something for everyone - bread loaves produced by local bakeries, real ale to locally-produced non-alcoholic cocktails and even Michelin-starred restaurants. There's just plenty to eat in plenty of places.

And of course, no visit to the Lake District would be complete without mentioning boats on the lakes. Several of the district’s lakes allow boating activities, both wind and motor powered. The more adventurous can charter their own mini-cruiser, or perhaps join the hundreds and thousands who simply relax and let the captain steer them on a trip on one of the world-famous and iconic Windemere steamers.

And all the activity, whether adventurous or cerebral, still allows time for what some might say is one of the most enjoyable and possibly relaxing activities in the Lake District – shopping. Whichever your prefer, whether window or purchasing, you will always find a traditional high street to walk along. In every Lake District town the visitor will find a veritable range of independent retailers and craft centres, all selling locally made designer goods and products, from art and jewellery, to clothing and foodstuffs, and of course, much more besides.

Visiting The Lakes by rail

Trains run to Oxenholme (near Kendal), Windermere, Carlisle, Barrow, Kendal and Penrith - Cumbria has some of the most picturesque train journeys in the UK with breath taking scenery.

Lake District cottages

Brothersfield Cottage, sleeps 10 in Glenridding and Southern Ullswater.

Large property for holiday let in Cumbria near Glenridding and Southern Ullswater with 4 bedrooms, sleeps 10, No pets, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available.

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The Hollies, sleeps 10 in Windermere and Troutbeck Bridge.

Holiday home in Cumbria near Windermere and Troutbeck Bridge with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, No pets, Ground Floor Facilities, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available, All En-suite.

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Holly House, sleeps 10 in Pooley Bridge and Northern Ullswater.

Luxury accommodation in Cumbria near Pooley Bridge and Northern Ullswater with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, No pets, Pub within 1 mile, All En-suite.

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The Larches, sleeps 10 in Kirkby Stephen.

Accommodation for a large group in Cumbria near Kirkby Stephen with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, No pets, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available.

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Wood View, sleeps 10 in Coniston and Grizedale.

Large holiday house in Cumbria near Coniston and Grizedale with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, Pet friendly, Barbecue, Cot Available.

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Holly Lodge, sleeps 10 in Cockermouth and the North West Fells.

Group accommodation in Cumbria near Cockermouth and the North West Fells with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, Pet friendly, Barbecue, Cot Available.

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Outdoor holiday activities including Gorge Scrambling in The Lake District

The outdoor activity purists who want to see some of Britain's finest waterfalls, pools and rivers from some rather unique views will scramble their way up and down a mountain river course by "ghyll (the northern dialect for a narrow mountain stream) scrambling", or, as it’s better known by those outdoor types, gorge scrambling.

This rather unusual method of getting back to nature in the Lake District lays somewhere between taking a rather steep walk and ‘climbing, but-at-the-same-time-not-climbing’ rocks. There are plenty of water features, rapidly flowing waters and of course, plenty of rocks to see.

Whether you’re a seasoned adventurist or simply a total novice, gorge scrambling is rather addictive, and when undertaken once, the scrambler will most certainly want to do it again. One of the great things about gorge scrambling is the many types of gorges, each with individual heights and water speeds that suit all ages and every ability.

Not only is it very exciting, but it is a completely fascinating sport. It’s a truly experience which may admit is strange to find in the heart of what is one of the most beautiful regions in the country. You will find amazing water sounds as it falls down beside you and under your feet, lurches, plunges, rapids and the lack of anyone around for miles, completely exhilarating.

In fact, it doesn’t take all that long to become a, expert! You’ll find you’ll soon become a seasoned pool jumper and rock hopper, having a terrific time and getting completely soaking wet!

However, with it perhaps not being the most 'subtle' of Lake District activities, not many hotel proprietors will appreciate wet and muddy participants making their way through their hotel lobby to change for dinner!

For this reason, renting self-catering accommodation in either a cottage, chalet or lodge is the perfect choice to avoid the look of disdain on staff or fellow guest’s faces as you walk through the lobby following and exciting day gorge scrambling. And maintaining your independence means you have total control over your daily arrival, departure and meal times.

However, don’t worry if you have never been gorge scrambling before. You can have an instructor to accompany you on an induction - but none the less exciting - half-day scramble that the whole family will enjoy. Just ensure that no member of the family has a water phobia.

All you need to do is grab some walking boots (or strong trainers), a warm jumper, waterproofs, a towel and a change of clothes, especially if you want to perhaps enjoy the totally unique experience of standing under a waterfall.

But don’t forget to be ready for any sudden change in the weather. You might set out under a clear blue sky, but the Lake District can produce thunderous rain in the same afternoon! And always make sure plenty of people know where you are.