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Top 5 UK Lakeside Destinations

Travelers Today       By    David Thompson

Updated: Jun 10, 2022 02:54 PM EDT

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Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash

(Photo: Jonny Gios on Unsplash)

The UK is home to some of the world's most scenic lakes. Around these lakes are picturesque towns and villages brimming with charm and history. Aside from their spectacular natural landscapes, these villages have ancient cobblestone streets lined with bustling squares, Medieval churches, and festive markets. 

Here are the top five lakeside destinations in the UK that are truly worth visiting.

1. Buttermere, The Lake District

Buttermere lake is one of the smallest lakes in the Lake District, sitting beautifully among the northern fells. Dominated by the towering fells, the scenic valley where Buttermere sits is accessible only by a single road. Going on a lovely stroll around the shores is one of the best ways to enjoy the lake's gorgeous views. 

The Buttermere Lake may near one of the smaller Lake District Villages, but the Lake has plenty of interesting attractions to explore. One of these is the little Church of St James, originally consecrated in 1507. A special feature of the church is the "Shepherd's Gate", a wrought iron gate, which you'll find at the entry to the porch. There is also a stone tablet at the church's windowsill, a memorial to the famous author of guidebooks, Alfred Wainwright. The window overlooks the Haystacks, his favourite place to walk and where his ashes were scattered upon his request.

The Honister Slate Mine, which lies in the twisted Honister Pass Road, is another beautiful scenery worth checking out in Buttermere. It offers guided tours and has a gift shop where you can find souvenirs, including a small gift made from the iconic slate. 

2. Lake Windermere, The Lake District

At 10.5 miles long, Lake Windermere is England's longest body of water and is dotted with several islands. The picturesque lake is surrounded by majestic mountains, lush woodland, and scenic parklands, drawing millions of visitors to visit each year! Offering plenty of fun activities for people of all ages, Lake Windermere is certainly one of the best places to see in the Lake District.

One of the most popular things to do in Windermere is to cruise the lake. There's a wide range of boat trips by the lake that will tour you around the lake and admire the most amazing scenery. You'll pass through secluded bays and small islands while surrounded by the most stunning views! After spending some time at the lake, take the time to explore the charming villages by the lakeside. Ride the old steam train travelling between the Haverthwaite Village and the Lakeside Pier. Visit the nearby attractions, such as the Lakeland Motor Museum and Lakes Aquarium.

There are many other things to explore in Lake Windermere that you may have to spend several days in the area to fully enjoy your visit. So, check out some of the fantastic Cumbria hotels in the South Lakes to stay, if you're considering spending a few nights in Windermere.

3. Dozmary Pool, Cornwall 

The Dozmary Pool is a legendary body of water along Bodmin Moor. Steeped in legend, myth, and mystery, the Dozmary is a wonderful place to enjoy peace and quiet. Even in the middle of summer, the air is cooler, with mists coming from the lake. However, the water is generally too cold to swim at. Also, since there are no trees around its edges, the Dozmary Pool can get very windy. Still, it's a mysterious and atmospheric place to visit and a great spot to enjoy a picnic.

The Dozmary Pool is strongly associated with King Arthur's mythical sword, the Excalibur. In fact, the area has several natural features named after King Arthur. Legend has it that King Arthur rowed out into the Lady of the Lake and was given the Excalibur sword.

Dozmary Pool has a circumference of about a mile and is part of what is now called the "Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty". It lies about nine miles from Bodmin, just over a mile from Bolventor. The best way to reach the lake is through the road coming from the A30.

4. Ullswater, The Lake District 

Ullswater is a gorgeous lake surrounded by majestic mountain scenery and scenic rolling hills. At about seven and a half miles long, it's the second largest lake in England. It's also one of the deepest lakes in the country, with a depth of about 250 feet. 

There are many fun outdoor activities to enjoy by the Ullswater Lake. Embark on an exciting bike ride through the fells, explore the lake on a canoe and discover its hidden beaches. There are also plenty of attractions close to the lake, such as the Lowther Castle and gardens, an imposing castle surrounded by a vast park with a coffee shop and cycle hire.

The Ullswater is also home to some of the best glamping in Lake District National Park. So, if you ever decide to spend a few days here, booking one of these luxury Lake District glamping sites is highly recommended. These camping sites are surrounded by stunning nature views and will make your visit to the Ullswater truly unforgettable.

5. Kielder Water, Northumberland 

In Northumberland, you'll find the Kielder Water, the largest artificial lake in the UK. The lake was built around the mid-seventies to supply water to the rivers of North Tyne, Wear and Tees and is now a haven for those who love outdoor adventures, such as hikers and cyclists. Wildlife lovers will also love exploring this lake, home to half of the country's native red squirrels.

Depending on your interests, you will find many things to see and do at Kielder Water and Forest Park. The Bakethin Nature Reserve is worth a visit. Located at the north end of Kielder Water, the nature reserve has easy access to the Bakethin hide, which offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the reserve's wildlife. There are also trails connecting you to nearby attractions like the Salmon Centre, Kielder Castle, and the Lakeside Way.

If you only have enough time to visit one attraction, make it the Kielder Castle. It's also a wonderful place to enjoy cycling and has plenty of hiking trails suitable for all levels. There are also bikes for hire for those who would rather choose to cycle.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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