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Things to do/see in the Lake District

Looking for things to do/see that are off the beaten path in the Lake District in August. I'm aware of most of the outdoor things (the national park, hiking, lakes, water activities) and all the Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth attractions. Also using for reference. Does anyone have recommendations for charming villages, pubs, tea rooms, or other unique things to see/do in the area? We will have a car.

Also, can I assume that mosquitoes will be bad this time of year?

Posted by
6730 posts

One thing we don't have in the Lake District is mosquitoes. Midges, which are their near equivalent, are a Scottish thing.
There aren't any insects which will be a nuisance to you.
I've got the events calendar for August out now so will be back shortly with that.
One of the things you want to try to do is to get to one of the Agricultural Shows or Lakeland Sports Days.

Posted by
414 posts

The drive over Hardknott Pass was pretty enjoyable. We slept in our van in the carpark at the Woolpack Inn near Eskdale. It was a lively enjoyable pub.
I did my morning run back up Hardknott and came across the remains of a roman fort.
Hiking around that area we visited the impressive Stanley Ghyll waterfall and found a lovely old church (St Catherines). Also some cool buildings in the village of Boot.
Sunday roast lunch at a great pub in Santon Bridge.
We camped that night at Wasdale. Loved that area. The morning run was up Scafell Pike the highest peak in England. Wonderful views,

Broughton in Furness is hardly a highlight but we found ourselves there one lunchtime and enjoyed a nice lunch in the friendly Square Cafe.

Honister Pass is also a nice bit of road although you could pretty much say that about all the roads we drove.

Keswick was pretty crazy with tourists but a wander out to Castlerigg Stone Circle was worthwhile.

One place we ended up sort of by accident was the Arnside/Silverdale A.O.N.B which borders the Lakes N.P. We'd never heard of it prior to visiting it.
We pulled in there on our way back from Scotland and slept in the forest. Some lovely villages interesting bit of countryside, enjoyed exploring it.

PS. Not a mozzie to be seen.

Posted by
6730 posts

Right I'm back.

By the way with the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway that is still on a pre-booked basis. You have to choose at booking whether you want to be in an enclosed carriage, a semi-open or an open and your seat number, so you take your chances on the weather. Time was, BC, when you could pick and choose on the day, indeed book on the day. At the other end do take the chance to take the short walk into Boot Village and the water mill, also the riverside walk to the charming Country Church. There are a couple of nice pubs in the village. While in that part of the world go to Muncaster Castle and check his opening times, but try to get down to Richard Woodalls farm shop at Waberthwaite Post Office- some of the best sausages, hams and bacon you will ever taste.

So back to Country Shows-
2 August- Cartmel Show- at the Cartmel Racecourse- a very historic village in it's own right;
3 August- Lake District Sheepdog Trials- at Ings (between Windermere and Kendal);
6 August-Fell Pony Society Breed Show- at Dalemain Mansion (near Ullswater and Penrith);
17 August- Rydal Sheepdog Trials and Hound Show
20 August- Lakeland Country Fair at Torver (just beyond Coniston);
27 August- Grasmere Lakeland Sports and Show (probably the biggest of the Sports Days)
28 August- Keswick Agricultural Show (one of the bigger shows)

The Sports Days all include fell running races, hound trails and Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, and are huge fun.

There is also the Taste of the Sea Festival- a big food festival featuring the huge range of produce in the County, and lots of live Music - 12 to 13 August at Maryport. This is 30 minutes drive from Keswick, on the coast. While there take the chance to visit the important Senhouse Roman Army Museum

If you come down to the coast do come down to the fine planned Georgian town of Whitehaven- visit the Beacon Museum (for the general history of the town, including mining and John Paul Jones) but especially visit The Rum Story for it's specific history of the town's trade with the Caribbean- and how Whitehaven was once the 2nd or 3rd biggest port in the UK. And the side story of the associated slavery is told honestly as well.

If staying at Keswick don't miss seeing a show at The Theatre by the Lake and going to a movie at the wonderful Alhambra Cinema/Movie Theatre

Posted by
6730 posts

It really is invidious to single out individual pubs or tea rooms. When outside the main tourist towns you'd be hard pressed to find a bad one.
But if going down to Waberthwaite there is the Brown Cow in the village and the wonderful Byre Tea Room in the nearby village of Bootle (I think they only have facebook, not a website).
At Keswick, if you go to Castlerigg Stone Circle do go round the corner to Threlkeld (where there is the little known Quarry Museum). In Threlkeld Village there are a couple of good pubs, but also a surprisingly good Coffee Shop in the Village Hall.
If going down Borrowdale while totally spoilt for choice for eating and drinking try the 'Flock In' at Yew Tree Farm, Rosthwaite, known for it's use of local Herdwick sheep meat in it's dishes- a very special kind of lamb.

Just off the A66 (but worth diverting off onto the old road through Braithwaite) at the end of Bassenthwaite Lake (west of Keswick) you have the Lakes Distillery (Gin, Vodka and Whisky) with tours. Nearby for afternoon tea you have the smart Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa, and also the Bassenthwaite Lake Station- where you can dine (Breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea) either in the restored station or in the Railway Coaches used in the remake of Murder on the Orient Express- they get rave reviews.
If you can get to one of their Gourmet Dining Evenings or Murder Mystery Evenings grab the opportunity, but tickets sell like hot cakes.
Yet another slightly unusual thing you can do every Saturday evening is a Windermere Lake Cruise with buffet and live music- travelling on one of the Lake 'steamers'.

This hasn't even scratched the surface of possibilities. Half the fun is finding places for yourself, rather than being guided to them.

Posted by
121 posts

These are some fantastic suggestions, everyone! Thank you!