The Lake District’s dramatic glacial landscape is a haven for walkers, cyclists, sailors and climbing enthusiasts. Only one body of water, Bassenthwaite, is actually a lake. The bigger bodies of water in the Lake District are generally named as a mere or water, while smaller ones are denoted by tarn. Some refer to Windermere as Lake Windermere, although that is not strictly correct. Well-known waters in the area besides Windermere include Brotherswater, Buttermere, Coniston, Derwentwater, Haweswater, Thirlmere, Ullswater and Wastwater, each of which has its own unique character and charm. Our favourite is Buttermere because the best walk in our opinion is over Red Pike and Haystacks.

Linthwaite House, with its convenient location alongside key transport links and close to all the major heritage attractions, is an ideal base from which to explore the Lake District and outlying areas.

What is it about the Lake District, which inspired some of England’s greatest writers and artists? During your stay, why not find out about the lives and works of some of the area’s most famous people: William Wordsorth, Beatrix Potter, John Ruskin, Arthur Ransome and John Cunliffe (famous for Postman Pat), to name a few.
Dove Cottage in Grasmere was the home of poet and writer William Wordsworth, from 1799 to 1808. Dove Cottage is now the home of the Wordsworth Trust and is the place where Wordsworth spent his most productive years. It is linked to Rydal Mount (Wordsworth’s most beloved home) by what is called the Coffin Path, a spectacular 50 minute (gentle) walk, with spectacular views.
Rydal Mount was Wordsworth’s home from 1813 until his death in 1850.
If you are keen to follow the trail of William Wordsworth you can also see the graves of William Wordsworth and his family in the village churchyard at Grasmere.
Wordsworth’s birthplace is in Cockermouth, north-west of Keswick and you can visit his birthplace and childhood home Wordsworth House, now a national trust property.
Artist and philosopher John Ruskin’s history lives on in and around Coniston Water. Coniston Launch (or the National Trust’s Gondola) can take you to Brantwood, Ruskin’s home on the shores of the Lake. You can drive directly to it if preferred. Open all year.
Of course there are numerous other famous writers, including Beatrix Potter and Arthur Ransome, with strong connections in the Lake District.
Beatrix Potter’s home Hilltop, where she wrote many of her famous children’s stories, has been kept exactly as she left it, complete with her furniture and china. There is a traditional cottage garden attached to the 17th-century house. Pictured above is the World of Beatrix Potter an attraction where the Lakeland tales of Beatrix Potter are brought to life. Visitors can also learn more about the life of Beatrix Potter.
Arthur Ransome based a lot of the places in his books on real places many of which were places in the Lake District. Lake Windermere and Consiton Water was the setting for Swallows and Amazons and it is thought that ‘wild cat island’ is in fact Peel island on Consiton Water. Captain flint’s houseboat was inspired by the Steam Yacht Gondola which still sails around Coniston, although this was eventually modelled on Esperance (now at Windermere Steamboat Musem). Coniston Launch offers special interest cruises that explore the locations used by Arthur Ransome in his books.
John Cunliffe, creator of Postman Pat, lived and taught in the area. His Postman Pat books are set in Kendal and the remote valley of Longsleddale.
The Lake District offers an array of places to visit and is home to many magnificent Historic Houses and Gardens. If you are you an avid gardener or enjoy looking at what other people achieve in theirs we’re sure you will enjoy looking around some of the best gardens in the Lake District.

Recommended Houses & Gardens

Blackwell – The Arts and Crafts House

Blackwell is one of England’s most important surviving houses from the turn of the 20th century. Designed by M. H. Baillie Scott between 1897 and 1900, it is a superb example of Arts and Crafts movement architecture. It occupies a stunning position overlooking Windermere and has recently been restored and opened to the public as a gallery for craft and applied arts. Opens February – December (check which dates – they vary each year) Open 7 days a week from 10.30am – 5.00 pm. In November, December, February & March closing time will be at 4.00pm. Run by the Lakeland Arts Trust which also operates the Abbot Hall Gallery in Kendal, hosting many groundbreaking art exhibitions.

Tel: +44 (0)15394 46139 Web:

Sizergh Castle, (National Trust) near Kendal

The home of the Strickland family for over 760 years, the medieval castle was extended in Elizabethan times and has an exceptional series of oak-panelled interiors with intricately carved chimney-pieces and early oak furniture, culminating in the magnificent Inlaid Chamber. The castle is surrounded by handsome gardens which include a particularly imposing and beautiful rock garden. The estate has flower-rich limestone pasture and ancient woodland supporting numerous species of butterfly. Open until 31 October, Sunday – Thursday. House: 1pm – 5pm. Cafe, Shop & Gardens: 11am – 5pm. Estate: 9am – 5pm.

Tel: +44 (0)15395 60070 Website:

Levens Hall and Topiary Gardens

The Hall is a magnificent Elizabethan mansion built around a 13th century pele tower. It is the family home of the Bagots and contains a collection of Jacobean furniture, fine paintings, the earliest English patchwork and many beautiful objects. The world famous award winning gardens were laid out from 1694. The Topiary, beech hedges and colourful seasonal bedding create a stunning visual impact. Open until 10th October, Sunday – Thursday. Garden 10am – 5pm. House 12pm – 4.30pm, last admissions 4pm.

Tel: +44 (0)15395 60321 Website:

Brantwood, Coniston

The home of John Ruskin from 1872 until his death in 1900. A poet, artist and critic, he was also a social revolutionary who challenged the moral foundations of 19th-century Britain. The house is filled with his drawings and watercolours, together with much of his original furniture, books and personal items. Open daily until end November: 10h30–17h00. Open Wednesday to Sunday from end November 2016 to mid-March 2017. Check website for details of opening times.

Tel: +44 (0)15394 41396 Website:

Holker Hall

The home of Lord and Lady Cavendish, displaying grand architecture and furnishings. It has 25 acres of national award winning gardens; including water features, rare plants, trees and shrubs. The Annual Garden Festival is an event not to be missed: hosting displays many direct from Chelsea, to the wonderful Festival Show Gardens, to hundreds of quality Trade Exhibitors, the Floral Art Marquee, Fine Foods and Fine Crafts. Open until 3rd November, Sunday – Friday. Hall: 11am – 4pm. Gardens: 10.30am – 5.30pm. Gift Shop: 10.30-5.30pm.

Tel: +44 (0)15395 58328 Website:

Holehird (Home of the Lakeland Horticultural Society)

+44 (0)15394 46008
Overlooking Lake Windermere, at the top of Troutbeck Valley, the stunning gardens offer spectacular views over Lake Windermere and the Lakeland Fells. Open daily dawn to dusk, except Christmas Day and FREE!

Townend (National Trust), Troutbeck

+44(0)15394 32628
Townend is a unique farm house once owned by the Brownes. Was apparently Beatrix Potter’s favourite. It seems everything was carved out of oak including the furniture. Includes a wonderful example of a bank barn. Open Easter to end October.

Fell Foot Park, (National Trust) Newby Bridge:

+44 (0)15395 31273
This Victorian park, restored to its former glory, offers substantial access to the lakeshore of Windermere, where there are leisure facilities in season including rowing boat hire, and fine picnic areas. Situated East of Newby Bridge. Open daily all year, 9.00 – 19.00 or dusk if earlier. Facilities 31 March – 4 November 11.00 – 16.30.

Acorn Bank Garden and Watermill, near Penrith:

Ancient oaks and the high enclosing walls of this delightful garden keep out the extremes of the Cumbrian climate, resulting in a spectacular display of shrubs, roses and herbaceous borders. Sheltered orchards contain a variety of traditional fruit trees and the famous herb garden is the largest collection of medicinal and culinary plants in the North. A circular woodland walk runs along Crowdundle Beck to Acorn Bank watermill, which although under restoration is open to visitors. Open 29 March – 2 November daily 10.00 – 17.00. Closed Tuesdays.

Dalemain, near Ullswater

+44 (0)17684 86450
In the 12th century a pele tower was built on the site where Dalemain is today, this was then followed by the construction of a hall onto the tower creating a manor house. During the reign of Elizabeth I two wings were added to the hall and then in the mid 18th century a Georgian facade was added to the Elizabethan parts of the house, giving it the appearance it retains to this day.Not only renowned for the fascinating building and its collections, the grounds surrounding Dalemain are both beautiful and varied, they include an array of beautiful walks. Open 23 March – 13 October Sun – Thurs 11.00 – 16.00. Gardens, restaurant, tea room and agricultural and countryside collections 10.30 – 17.00

Muncaster Castle, Gardens and  Hawk & Owl Centre, Ravenglass:

+44 (0)1229 717614
Muncaster Castle, home to the Pennington family for 800 years, is a genuine treasure trove of art and antiques. Its Great Hall, Octagonal Library and elegant Dining Room are all windows on a grand past. But Muncaster’s wild history reveals a flipside to life in a stately home. The castle evolved from the Pele Tower, built to repel marauding Scots. Those who stay here say it is haunted by ghosts, including the legendary Tom Fool. The Hawk & Owl Centre within the gardens of Muncaster Castle is open daily Feb-Dec (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) and entry is included in your Gardens ticket. Bird Displays; Sky Hunters bird of prey displays daily mid-March to end October at 2.00pm, then 1.30pm November through to December 23rd plus a display devoted to the World of Owls daily at 11.30am from Easter through to 25th October.
Please visit our National Trust page for more information.