From going on a ‘death walk’ over a valley to some of the best hiking in the UK, here are some amazing adventures you’ve just got to have in the Lake District, England
“You’ve never been to the Lake District before!? You have got to be kidding me – it’s one of the most beautiful places in the UK!”
That was virtually everyone’s response when I told them I was heading up to the Lake District for the first time ever. It seemed not only had all my friends been, but they were 100% sure I was going to love it there.
I don’t know why but the Lake District has always evaded me on my tour of the UK. I know it’s got some of the best hikes and views around (which is usually enough for me!), but apart from that I didn’t know what else there was to do there.
Well let me tell you now – if you’re into your adventures then the Lake District is the place for you!
Yes it’s got the hiking, but you can also do pretty much every water sport imaginable (I’m a little bit gutted I didn’t do any wakeboarding while I was in the Lakes), and the Via Ferrara Xtreme tour is one of the craziest climbing experiences I’ve ever had in my life.
If you’re looking for some amazing adventures to have in the Lake District then you can’t go wrong with any of these.
Do the Via Ferrata Xtreme Tour at Honister
At Honister you can two things – buy some slate from the last working slate mine in England, or hang off the side of a mountain for three hours and walking over a high wire that’ll reduce even the toughest people to nervous wrecks.
Using the original miners tracks up the mountain, there are two Via Ferrata (which means iron way) routes to choose from – the original route or the Xtreme route.
I did the Xtreme route, and well, it was pretty extreme!
The Via Ferrata Xtreme route consisted of a series of iron ladders, high wires and cargo nets, all very high up on the side of a mountain. Apparently this route is seven times higher than Big Ben and taller than the Shard so yeah, it’s pretty sketchy at times.
By far the scariest bit is the 100m long Infinity Bridge (otherwise known as the ‘death walk’), a long hire wire over the valley where you get blown around by the wind from side to side with just the thinnest bit of cable to stand on. Yeah, that’s an experience to remember!
One of the best things about the Via Ferrata is the views of the Lake District at the top of Fleetwith Pike – at times you’ll question why you’re doing the Via Ferrata, but with views like this you quickly realise it’s worth it.
Price: £45 | Website: http://honister.com/via-ferrata/
Kayak and standup paddle board at Coniston
If you’re into your water sports then you’ll want to head to Coniston. From hiring a row boat to standup paddleboarding and other adventure activities, if it involves fun in the water then you’re guaranteed to have it here.
During the summer Coniston water is teeming with kids learning how to sail and with families zooming around on speed boats for the day, and it’s in an incredibly beautiful spot too.
If you don’t want to get out on the water then you can hire bikes at Coniston and ride around, and there’s a really nice café at the Coniston Boating Centre too.
Looking at getting on the water myself, I hired a kayak and a paddleboard for a morning taking in the stunning scenery of the Lake District.
I absolutely love paddleboarding – I find it so peaceful and relaxing – but it didn’t exactly end well. Make sure you watch my video to find out what exactly happened!
Price: £20 for up to two hours | Website: http://www.conistonboatingcentre.co.uk/
Hike up to Catbells in Keswick for some of the best views around
Obviously you can’t go to the Lake District without going on at least one hike (partly to burn off all the amazing food you can get there!)
One place that came highly recommended to me was the Catbells hike in Keswick. This is one of the most popular viewpoints in the Lake District and once you get to the top it is easy to see why.
One of the best things about hiking Catbells is it’s a real beginners hike and it only takes an hour or two (depending on how many times you pause for breath!) to reach the summit.
A word of warning though – during summer this is a really popular spot and it’s really hard to get a parking space for this hike so much sure you head off early!
Price: free! | Website: https://www.walklakes.co.uk/walk_26.html
Drive on some of the most beautiful roads in the UK
If you’re looking at seeing as much of the Lake District as possible then hire a car and zoom around the countryside.
As I don’t own a car I picked up one from Carlisle with Hertz and then drove from town to town stopping off a cute villages and incredible viewpoints along the way.
To give you a sense of how good the driving is here – loads of car commercials are shot in the Lake District, and with winding roads and rolling hills in the background it’s easy to understand why.
Even though I was trying to pack in as many mini adventures as I could while in the Lake District, just driving around was an adventure in itself.
If you’re looking for one of the best roads, it has to be climbing up to Honister – just sensational. All those petrolheads among you will love that one.
Price: car hire at £24 a day | Website: http://hertz.co.uk/
Get wet canyoning at Windermere and really get the adrenaline pumping
Another thing the Lake District is famous for are huge canyons and gorges in the area. This makes it a bit of a playground for big kids with a number of adventure activities to choose from.
If you like abseiling, canyoning, rock climbing or scrambling, then Windermere takes the number one spot as the best place to do it, but it doesn’t really matter where you are as you’ll be able to find these activities all over the Lake District.
Oh, and if you don’t know what canyoning is, it’s basically abseiling and throwing yourself down mountains and waterfalls. Usually there are a couple of natural rock slides thrown in there for good measure too. Either way, it always involves a lot of water and it always is a lot of fun.
Price: Varies on each activity but between £40 to £80 per person | Website: http://www.lakelandascents.co.uk/adventure-days/
You see, I told you there were some amazing adventures to be had up in the Lake District! The hardest thing is deciding which ones to do!
If you’re looking for some of the best places to eat at in the Lakes then check out Wanderlust Chloe’s amazing guide on the best restaurants in the Lake District.
My trip to the Lake District was part of Cumbria Tourism, Visit England and Hertz’s campaign promoting places to visit in England – not all adventures have to be abroad! As always, views are entirely my own and without bias.
Have you ever been to the Lake District before? If so, what are some of your favourite adventures to do there? Let me know in the comments below!
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