Lake District National Park

Contour map of Lake DistrictThe Lake District National Park in the UK offers some of the best walking areas in Europe if not the world. Many UK residents are surprised at the scale and grandeur of the Lake District which is of a much greater scale than the national parks of The Peak District or Snowdonia and has grandeur rivalled only by the Scottish mountains in the UK. The lakes, which give the area its name, are nationally important for their range of habitats, and species such as vendace, charr, crayfish and schelly. Nutrient-poor lakes, such as Wast Water, contrast with more nutrient-rich lakes like Esthwaite Water. High in the mountains can be found some stunning Tarns, which are sadly under threat from tourism but are still beautiful to behold. The area is also home to some Ancient woodland, as well as some semi-natural woodlands. The semi-natural woodlands add texture, colour and variety to the landscape and also provide a home for native animals and plants. The high rainfall in the core of the National Park favours woodlands rich in Atlantic mosses and liverworts, ferns and lichen. The presence of wood pasture, pollards and old coppice woodland form part of the rich cultural heritage of the National Park.

The real treasure of the Lake District is its superb high level walks. These can be demanding and not for the unskilled in winter months. The relatively open character of the uplands, and the lack of modern development, is especially important. To walk freely across the fells, or climb their crags, is liberating and gives a feeling of wildness. To many the Lake District is a place where it is possible to feel remote, yet know the nearest settlement is never far away. Wildlife abounds with such areas as Ennerdale Forest being home to the very rare Red Squirrel and wild deer as well as a small population of Pine Martins, one of the UK’s rarest predators.

For those that love history there is the superbly preserved Roman Fort at Hardknot pass and for food lovers some superb pubs and inns such as the Old Dungeon Ghyll at Great Langdale and the Boot Inn (formerly the Burnmoor Inn) at Boot at the foot of Hardknot pass (http://www.burnmoor.co.uk/index.htm)


The Lake District is covered by four Explorer maps

OL4OL4 English Lakes North West, includes Keswick and Buttermere.
OL5OL5 English Lakes North East, includes Ullswater and Helvellyn.
OL6OL6 English Lakes South West, includes Wastwater and Scafell Pike.
OL7OL7 English Lakes Sount East, included Windermere and Grasmere.