Are These The Top 5 Most Scenic Places in the Lake District?

Shutterstock / Michael Conrad ©

The Lake District attracts countless tourists every year, and it is easy to see why. A Cumbria Tourism survey found that 66% of visitors chose the Lake District because of its landscape.

But which areas of the Lakes make for the most picturesque photos? Armathwaite Hall, a luxury hotel and spa offering spa break deals, has collated data from Instagram hashtags and location tags to find out which locations are most worthy of your Instagram grid!

  • With sights such as Lake Windermere and Orrest Head, Windermere is the most photographed location in the Lake District.
  • Keswick is quaint and peaceful with stunning views of rolling green hills and lush open spaces.
  • Ambleside sits at the head of Lake Windermere and is thought to be one of the best bases for exploring the Lake District.
  • Ullswater is the second largest lake in England. The area offers access to the spectacular Aira Force waterfall.
  • Derwentwater is also known as the Queen of the Lakes. Here, peaceful waters are surrounded by smooth, pebbled foreshores and gentle green hills.

Scenic view Lake District

1. Windermere

#Windermere hashtags: 1,000,000
Location tags: 231,000

With plenty of shops, bars and restaurants, plus striking scenery, guided walking tours and boat trips, Windermere has something for everyone.

Although they are technically two separate areas, Windermere is very close to its neighbouring town, Bowness-on-Windermere. Both towns have plenty of photogenic views, including their traditional high streets.

Small independent businesses sit alongside art galleries and antique shops, each exhibiting lovely old-English architecture with cornicing and coloured brick patterns. Bowness’ high street stretches down to the beautiful shoreline bordering the famous Lake Windermere.

Wooden stile and stone wall with Lake Windermere in background with sun rising above horizon Pic: Istockphoto

Lake Windermere. Pic: iStockphoto

Lake Windermere offers some of the best views in the area. At 10.5 miles long, a mile wide and 220 feet deep, it is the largest lake not only in the Lake District, but also in England. The glittering azure-blue waters surrounded by striking mountains and lush green woodland create a serene sense of tranquillity. To the north of the lake, the central fells are visible, with captivating woodland shorelines to the south.

Those who decide to tackle the fell climbs and hiking routes across Windermere, such as Orrest Head, will be rewarded with gorgeous panoramic views. Time your climb so you reach a high point around sunset to truly capture a moment of serene beauty, as the gentle light catches the sparkling surface of the lake.

2. Keswick

#Keswick hashtags: 495,000
Location tags: 243,000

Quaint and peaceful, Keswick offers stunning views of rolling green hills and lush open spaces.

Keen walkers should try climbing nearby Latrigg to capture some beautiful bird’s-eye views of Keswick. It takes 2-3 hours to reach the top, but if you can spare the time, the reward is a beautiful one with the town laid out in miniature detail before you. For those who do not fancy a spot of hiking, Fitz Park is a gorgeous place to relax. Set along the riverside, it is a popular area to enjoy a picnic while capturing some shots of the water.

Castlerigg Stone Circle near Keswick. Pic: Shutterstock

Also nearby is the Castlerigg Stone Circle, an English Heritage site thought to be over 5,000 years old. It is potentially one of the oldest stone circles in the country. Views of the stones themselves are striking, but with the dramatic sweep of the mountains of Helvellyn and High Seat as a backdrop, this area is truly picturesque.

Leeann Lennox-Burrough, sales and marketing manager at Armathwaite Hall, commented, “We are delighted to be located so close to Keswick, and our guests only have a short drive to explore this beautiful location.

“As well as this glorious local town, you can also explore Lake Bassenthwaite and gaze in awe at the spectacular Mount Skiddaw in this area – it is truly a hotspot of the Lake District.”

3. Ambleside

#Ambleside hashtags: 244,000
Location tags: 109,000

Thought to be one of the best bases for exploring the Lake District, Ambleside sits at the head of Lake Windermere.

With gorgeous views of the lake stretching out before you, Waterhead Pier is a brilliant place to take photographs. For those who want to head out on the water, there are rowing and motor boats available for hire, so you can capture a tranquil image of the open water. Maybe with an appearance from a few ducks or swans if you are lucky!

A short walk from the pier takes you to Stagshaw Gardens. Managed by the National Trust, these gardens offer stunning views of the lake via an atmospheric walk through the closely packed trees.

In the colder months, visit at sunset for some moody shots infused with the deep colour of the turning leaves and branches laced with frost. In the warmer months, a daytime visit gives you the opportunity to capture the magnificent sprays of purple and pink flowers in full bloom.

Part of the Stock Ghyll Force waterfall in Ambleside,. Pic: Shutterstock

Another scenic spot lies a short walk from the town centre. Stock Ghyll Force is an incredible 70-foot waterfall. The crashing white waters and woodland backdrop make for a stunning composition. This is made even more gorgeous by the yellow daffodils that appear beneath the trees in spring.

Downstream from the waterfall stands Bridge House. A popular source of inspiration for many artists, this tiny building was originally an apple store for the nearby Ambleside Hall. It’s now owned by the National Trust.

4. Ullswater

#Ullswater hashtags: 179,000
Location tags: 116,000

The second largest lake in England, Ullswater may be 7.5 miles long, but it is less than a mile across. Dramatic views border the lake, with sweeping mountainsides standing proudly to the south and softer hills rolling by to the north.

If you are visiting Ullswater, make sure not to miss Aira Force. This magnificent waterfall standing at 65 feet is accessed through peaceful glades of lush green. The backdrop for William Wordsworth’s poem Somnambulist, this stunning waterfall really does express the beauty and power of nature. Red squirrels tend to explore the woodland near the waterfall, so a little patience could reward you!

Ullswater. Pic: Shutterstock

For those in the mood for a fell walk, try the Gowbarrow Fell trail. Winding paths open out into sweeping views of the peaceful countryside against the backdrop of the shining Ullswater Lake. If you are lucky enough to have no cloud cover, the gentle curves of the hills on the other side of the lake are visible, illuminated by clear, blue skies, lending your photographs a further level of interest and beauty.

5. Derwentwater

#Derwentwater hashtags: 167,000
Location tags: 112,000

A few minutes’ walk from Keswick town centre lies Derwentwater, a stunning three-mile-long lake. It is also known as the Queen of the Lakes due to the way the waters are cradled by the surrounding fells. Peaceful waters are surrounded by smooth, pebbled foreshores and gentle green hills.

The glittering waters of the lake are home to four islands. You can see their varied flora and fauna clearly from one of the boat tours on offer. Cutting through the calm, glass-like water on a boat is one of the best ways to get close-up, tranquil shots of the lake itself.

Once back on dry land, try completing The Derwentwater Walk – a scenic 10-mile journey around the lake. This walk takes you past gorgeous woodland and offers wonderfully inspiring views of the lake.

Derwentwater. Pic: Shutterstock

Make sure not to miss Friar’s Crag, one of the best places for a stunning landscape shot. Writer and artist John Ruskin once said that the view from this point was one of the finest in Europe. There is a monument erected in recognition of his work next to the beautiful view of the breathtaking lake and misty hills in the distance.

It is no wonder than the woodland visible on the other side of the lake is said to have been the inspiration for many of author Beatrix Potter’s beautiful nature and woodland sketches.

About Armathwaite Hall and Spa

Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa has stood magnificently on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake in one form or another since the 11th century.

The multi-million pound, award-winning spa facilities opened in 2009. The continual refurbishments of facilities have recently included the upscale Lake View Restaurant. The hotel is currently upgrading eight of its rooms as part of a £1.1 million investment.

Armathwaite Hall was named Best Luxury Spa in the 2019 Candis Spa Awards and shortlisted for the Large Hotel of the Year Award in the 2019 Cumbria Tourism Awards.

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