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How to Spend 1 Day in the Lake District

How to Spend 1 Day in the Lake District

England’s Lake District—a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site—has something for all: magnificent mountain-and-lake scenery, historical sights, walking trails, picture-perfect towns, and adventurous outdoor activities. With so much to see and do, read our tips for experiencing its treasures in just one day. 

Morning: Admire the Scenery

A full-day tour that provides an overview of the region’s stunning scenery is ideal when time is limited. Book a day trip around 10 lakes: roaming lush valleys and high passes to admire picture-perfect Grasmere, Thirlmere, Buttermere, and other gems. In winter, choose a half-day foray around Lake Windermere, Tarn Hows, and other highlights to see them at their most atmospheric—framed in mist and snow-tipped peaks. Otherwise, set your sights on a particular area of the Lakes, perhaps with a morning tour of Lake Coniston and the craggy-peaked Langdale valleys. Other options include private tours with customizable itineraries and, for those based in London, a whistle-stop look at the region with convenient return transport by rail from the capital.

Afternoon: Explore Further

Continue any day trips this afternoon, perhaps exploring the market town of Keswick and ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle with a guide for insight. Alternatively, follow in the footsteps of early 20th-century botanist and children’s author Beatrix Potter, who lived in, and loved, the Lakes. Visit Hill Top, her onetime home, now a museum, along with other Potter-inspired experiences such as a Lake Windermere cruise and time at Esthwaite Water, where she fished from her boat and penned botanical drawings. For something outdoorsy, enjoy a cruise on Ullswater or a gill-scrambling adventure—ascending rocks through waterfalls and natural pools. Railway buffs and walkers will love riding the Ravenglass and Eskdale train through the spectacular Western Lakes, hopping off at various stations to hike and explore.

Evening: Slow the Pace

Make the most of the glorious scenery this evening with a relaxing stroll along the shores of Lake Windermere, Coniston, or Grasmere. Or, book an early evening cruise on Lake Windermere to admire the sunset from the water before finishing with dinner at one of the many inviting restaurants, wine bars, or pubs in Bowness. 

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7 Tours and Activities | All Lake District Tours

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Lake District Rail Day Trip from London

Lake District Rail Day Trip from London

star-4.5
Experience the untamed beauty and literary heritage of England’s Lake District on this guided day trip from London, with round-trip rail tickets included. On arrival, explore this epic region by minivan, visiting Lake Windermere, Hawkshead, and Tarn Hows. In summer, enjoy an added visit to Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s former farmhouse; a scenic lake cruise, and tea at the famous Lindeth Howe hotel. Upgrade to first class rail tickets for extra comfort.
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  • 13 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$300.35
From
$300.35
Taking safety measures

Mountain Goat Full Day Tour: Ten Lakes Tour of the Lake District

Mountain Goat Full Day Tour: Ten Lakes Tour of the Lake District

star-4.5
Experience some of the highlights of the Lake District National Park on this full-day Ten Lakes Spectacular small-group tour from Windermere. Traveling by air-conditioned minivan with an expert guide, explore the beauty spots and villages of central Lakeland as you learn about its history. Ascend high mountain passes, visit a waterfall, take a sightseeing cruise, and see ten of the most beautiful lakes, including Buttermere and Thirlmere. Discover Borrowdale and quaint villages such as Grasmere; visit Castlerigg Stone Circle; and enjoy free time for lunch in the market town of Keswick.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$50.04
From
$50.04
Taking safety measures

Beatrix Potter's Half Day Lake District Tour Including Lake Cruise

Beatrix Potter's Half Day Lake District Tour Including Lake Cruise

star-4.5
Visit the Beatrix Potter house and some of the Lake District’s prettiest locations on an afternoon tour from Windermere. After a scenic Lake Windermere cruise, travel through idyllic countryside to Hill Top, the Beatrix Potter home where the beloved children’s author lived during the early 1900s. See the garden and rooms left as she would have known them and learn about her life here. Finish with a visit to the quaint village of Hawkshead, where poet William Wordsworth attended school; and Tarn Hows, one of Lakeland’s most gorgeous spots. Please note Hill Top is an additional £11.80 per adult and £5.90 per child. This must be booked with Mountain Goat at least 24 hours before the tour departs
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$68.48
From
$68.48

Beatrix Potter: Afternoon Half Day All-Inclusive Tour with an Expert Guide

Beatrix Potter: Afternoon Half Day All-Inclusive Tour with an Expert Guide

star-5
Without a rental car, rounding up the Lake District spots beloved by Beatrix Potter in a half-day is near-impossible. Ideal for time-crunched visitors, this small-group tour from Windermere, Bowness, and Ambleside visits many such places in a few hours. Explore Beatrix’s Hill Top home, see Esthwaite Lake where she fished, visit Hawkshead, and learn detail about her life and characters via the onboard commentary that you might never otherwise hear.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$92.18
From
$92.18

Ghyll Scrambling Water Adventure in the Lake District

Ghyll Scrambling Water Adventure in the Lake District

star-5
Immerse yourself in the wild scenery of the Lake District—and try out an outdoor activity that’s unique to the area—on this adventurous tour. Ghyll scrambling involves donning a wetsuit, helmet, and other equipment, and climbing, sliding down, and hopping from pool to pool in the Lake District’s ghylls, or mountain streams. For this small-group activity, choose from morning or afternoon departure times—and prepare to get wet.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$65.84
Price varies by group size
From
$65.84
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Ullswater Lake Boat Ride

Ullswater Lake Boat Ride

star-4.5
Discover the delights of the Ullswater Valley on this 2.5-hour Ullswater Lake boat ride. Hop aboard your sightseeing boat at Glenridding Pier and head out onto the gentle waves. Gaze out over the rugged peaks and rolling hills, and enjoy a moment of complete tranquillity. Break your cruise up with visits to Howtown and Pooley Bridge, and perhaps enjoy a stroll to explore the countryside at your leisure before cruising back to base. A good range of seating options are available on board to ensure your comfort. 
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  • 1 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$22.12
From
$22.12
Taking safety measures

Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway: Ride All Day Ticket

Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway: Ride All Day Ticket

star-4.5
Enjoy a day on the railways and discover centuries of engineering heritage with this full-day Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway ticket. Hop aboard your train in Ravenglass and take a seat to begin your rail adventure. As you chug through the English countryside, enjoy panoramic views over the Lake District’s ancient woodland and rolling hillsides. Gaze over soaring peaks such as the Scafells, and perhaps hop out at any of the seven stops to explore further on foot. Afterward, visit the museum at Ravenglass to learn of England’s rich railway history. 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$21.31
From
$21.31
Taking safety measures