Hey! Planning on going down there for a few days this wkend (bank holiday, I know.....) Don't know much about the area as I usually head North for the hiking, but I'm meeting my girlfriend from Manchester in the Lakes and looking to set camp for the night somewhere in or near Keswick maybe and then go for a day's walking sat and another sun. Anybody got any advice or tips? Be looking for something challenging. Any help is greatly appreciated. ta.
The Old Man of Coniston is a nice big hill for you to climb up, it also has lovely scenery around there (well I suppose all of the Lake District does!). You have Coniston lake there and you are also very close to lake Windermere.
I HAVENT a clue about camping or tramping/hiking - but lm going to the Lake District in 2 weeks time - one of my close friends has a coffee/gift shop in Ambleside.
Ive been before and really enjoyed it - Ambleside is such a pretty town, set on the lake, with an abundence of pubs and the community is of mixed age groups!
[ Edit: Edited on May 23, 2007, at 1:02 AM by Purdy ]
I loved the Lake District so much I moved there! I live in Bowness but that's for the 'ice-cream brigade' if you see what I mean.
Ambleside or Keswick are best for walking centres. The only train service arrives in Windermere, but you can get the 555 bus: the open top 599 is a LOT more expensive!
Try this site for walks
Only trouble is, if you haven't booked by now, you're going to struggle, even with a 2-man tent on a campsite. Bank holidays are chocca up here, but once up a mountain you're much more alone. Wild camping up in the mountains is tolerated provided you leave no trace - take out what you take in. You might have no choice!
Try walking out of Keswick to Portinscale, then south -ish to Buttermere. There's a small campsite with a farm where you can buy milk straight from the cow - "Ooh, you'll have to wait a bit, it's still warm."
Then you could walk back the next day or get the 'Honister Rambler', the bounciest bus ride in Cumbria.
The other train option (for Keswick) is to get the train to Penrith - there's an hourly bus service to Keswick from there.
I think StevieH's suggestion of staying by buttermere is excellent. Also, if you wanted something a bit closer to town, there is a nicely situated campsite on the way up to Castlerigg stone circle, and some short strolls up High Seat and Great Dodd, both of which have good views.
For a challenge, try Helvellyn - set off from Patterdale, go up via Swirral Edge and down via Striding Edge. A long walk over Blencathra is also a good hike - you could do it from Keswick if you were feeling fit.
Looking for something challenging ? What I would most recommend is to go to Cumbrian Heavy Horses, the only heavy horse riding center in the UK. That may sound boring but that's not, especially if you are experienced. Everybody that goes there is amazed at how great the ride was. Beginners welcome and taken care of. Intermediate and experienced people may know the most hectic ride of their life ! www.cumbrianheavyhorses.com
Otherwise, I'm living in the far North-West (which is not as crowded, fortunately) so I only know this area but Broughton is a lovely little town with old charm and friendly people. Kendal is not so old and charming but there is lots to do activitywise !(There is even a famous chocolate shop, quite dear but really really nice when it's in your mouth... They also do chocolate drinks and have many specialities)