THE LAKE DISTRICT

 

If you have a few days to devote to the trek up to England's Lake District, do it. You'll feel like William Wordsworth floating lonely as a cloud, or Beatrix Potter's carefree animal friends roaming her quaint farm, or Miss Elizabeth Bennett forgetting the Darcy's of the world and breathing in deep of nature.

Or maybe, you'll just enjoy being out of cell service for a few days someplace really beautiful.

Read my travel posts on the Lake District here.

 

EAT

SARAH NELSON GRASMERE GINGERBREAD: The birthplace of gingerbread is a tiny shop near the church in Grasmere... and the women working in the closet-sized shop wear old-fashioned aprons & bonnets. You may be a bit surprised at the biscuit-like (read: "cookie-like" if in America) consistency of this forerunner to Starbucks gingerbread loaf. Oh, and get some homemade fudge while you're there. I mean, you might as well. Then take the spoils of your visit and wander lonely like a cloud through the church cemetery and pay your respects to the Wordsworth family.
Church Cottage, Grasmere, Ambleside LA22 9SW | +44 15394 35428

APPLE PIE BAKERY: This sweet place is a favorite for breakfast when in Ambleside. In fact, after landing their the first morning we ever were in Ambleside, we've never ventured anywhere else.
Rydal Rd, Ambleside LA22 9AN | +44 15394 33679

HOLE IN THE WALL PUB: When you're in Windermere, eat lunch at The Hole in The Wall Pub. It's completely cozy and ticks all the boxes your mind will have for the stereotypical British pub.
Robinson Pl, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3DH | +44 15394 43488

DO

WINDERMERE: Regardless of where you stay in the Lakes, plan to spend a half-day meandering around the "big" town of Windermere. You'll find cute shops, little tea rooms and boats for rent around the lake. 

DOVE COTTAGE: Go visit William Wordsworth's home in the Lakes. See where his family crammed into a small home and the land that inspired him to write many of his works.
Grasmere, Ambleside LA22 9SH | +44 15394 35544

HILLTOP FARM: Visit Beatrix Potter's charming home in the Lakes, Hilltop Farm. See how her drawings and musings over little animals ignited something truly special in children's literature. Her work and legacy are seen so well in that sweet little place.
Near Sawrey, Ambleside LA22 0LF | +44 15394 36269

THE WORLD OF BEATRIX POTTER: After skipping this stop over the previous years, I finally decided to give this stop a chance. Woah baby, this was way cuter than I imagined. If you have a kids -or fond childhood memories involving Peter Rabbit- make this stop when you go to Windermere. (And, if you're in the lakes, you should go to Windermere.) There are gorgeous "It's a Small World" like scenes for each of the stories by Beatrix Potter, sans the boat ride, unfortunately. Complete with a stop by Mr. MacGregor's garden, tea + cakes at the cafe downstairs, and a knit hat complete with bunny ears from the children's shop- this was a fun way to spend the afternoon. {Editor's Note: You don't need to pay to enter the cafe or gift shops.} Admission for adults: £7.
Crag Brow, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3BX | +44 15394 88444

 

STAY

AMBLESIDE CENTRAL HOTEL: I always try to stay at the Ambleside Central Hotel in, well, Ambleside... It's a tiny hotel that sits above the hotel's Italian restaurant. It's nothing to write home about, but I love spending a few nights in this cozy hotel. I always make a haul at the grocery story for candy to watch movies on TV at least one night we are in town.
10 Lake Rd, Ambleside LA22 0AD | +44 15394 34628

THORNEYFIELD GUEST HOUSE: If you're looking for an affordable option with a homey feel, Thorneyfield will have all you need. With it's sweet owners, Alan and Alison, you'll feel right at home... and the perk of waking up to the smell of fresh bread is hard to beat. Don't expect frills and posh digs, but go for cozy and kind.
Compston Rd, Ambleside LA22 9DJ | +44 15394 32464

RED LION GRASMERE: Also a good option! Less to choose from at night for dinner since the town is much smaller, but the hotel was super cute & cozy. (I think it's also part of the Best Western franchise, if you're into collecting BW points.)
Red Lion Square, Grasmere, Ambleside LA22 9SS | +44 15394 35456