There is only one place to start if you are thinking about the major attractions of this part of Cumbria. Do you want a clue? It is all about water. The Lakes are set in wonderful surroundings. Water sports take place on the largest of them though everything is regulated within the status expected of the National Park. Speed limits are strictly enforced.
For the less energetic there are popular cruises on lakes such as Ullswater and Windermere, the two largest lakes in the region.
Walking and cycling
Some people just want to stroll; others are more energetic. There are many popular walks that are perhaps more than a stroll. They include walks up Scafell Pike, the highest point in England at over 3,200 feet and in Great Langdale with its series of impressive hills. The Pike is in Eskdale which has its own steam railway line to Ravendale on the coast.
If you want to move at a faster pace yet forget about the car you may opt for cycling. There are several off road opportunities should you want to avoid potentially busy roads. It is worth doing some research before arriving because there are a number of little known trails that may attract you.
With a bit of luck you might catch a glimpse of the red squirrel that only lives in small pockets in the UK despite being the native breed. The more powerful grey squirrel has taken over throughout the country; many regard it as vermin.
The Lake District is the place for inspiration. Many talented people have lived and worked there over the years; William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter are just two examples. Their former homes are preserved for tourists to visit. Beatrix fell in love with the Lake District in her teens and spent her adult life immersed in its community. She donated her home, Hill Top, near Sawrey to the National Trust on her death in 1943.
It is natural that with such a history the Lakes should provide the artistic and the cultural. The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal is certainly worth including on your itinerary. Whilst visiting Bowness on Windermere you might call in to the Old Laundry Theatre or go to the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.
Lake District Cottages by Lake Cottage Holiday fit in nicely with the environment and there are a number of locations to pick from depending on the main things you want to see or do.
The area is very reliant on tourism; there has been a thriving slate business historically and the last working mine in Honister is another place to visit. Man has made an impact on this area of natural beauty. Tarn Hows looks stunning but it was manmade as was Thirlmere which was dug to provide water for Manchester nearly 100 miles south.
There is much to do, and perhaps on your first visit you will not be able to fit everything in. You could always return both for weekend breaks and further summer holidays. There is always a welcome at any time of the year.