top of page

Portfolio > On Location (UK) 2 > Lake District 3                                                                            Click on an image below to reveal enlarged version

Lake District National Park, UK

The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains (or fells), and its associations with William Wordsworth and other Lake Poets and also with Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin. The Lake District National Park was established in 1951 and covers an area of 2,362 square kilometres (912 sq mi). It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. The Lake District is today completely within Cumbria, a county and administrative unit created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972. However, it was historically divided between three English counties, Cumberland, Westmoreland & Lancashire, sometimes referred to as the Lakes Counties. The three counties met at the Three Shire Stone on Wrynose Pass in the southern fells west of Ambleside. All the land in England higher than 3,000 feet (914 m) above sea level lies within the National Park, including Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. It also contains the deepest and largest natural lakes in England, Wast Water and Windermere respectively. The Lake District National Park includes all of the central Lake District, though the town of Kendal, some coastal areas, and the Lakeland Peninsulas are outside the park boundary. The area was designated a national park on 9 May 1951. It retained its original boundaries until 2016 when it was extended by 3% in the direction of the Yorkshire Dales National Park to incorporate areas such as land of high landscape value in the Lune Valley.

It is the most visited national park in the United Kingdom with 15.8 million annual visitors and more than 23 million annual day visits, the largest of the thirteen national parks in England and Wales, and the second largest in the UK after the Cairngorms National Park.

Fells (Mountains & Hills)

The four highest mountains in the Lake District exceed 3,000 feet (914 m). These are:Scafell Pike, 978 m (3,209 ft), Scafell, 965 m (3,166 ft), Helvellyn, 951 m (3,120 ft) & Skiddaw, 931 m (3,054 ft).

 

Northern Fells

The Northern Fells are a clearly defined range of hills contained within a 13 km (8 mi) diameter circle between Keswick in the south west and Caldbeck in the north east. They culminate in the 931 m (3,054 ft) peak of Skiddaw. Other notable peaks are Blencathra (also known as Saddleback) (868 m (2,848 ft)) and Carrock FellBassenthwaite Lake occupies the valley between this massif and the North Western Fells.

North Western Fells

The North Western Fells lie between Borrowdale and Bassenthwaite Lake to the east and Buttermere and Lorton Vale to the west. Their southernmost point is at Honister Pass. This area includes the Derwent Fells above the Newlands Valley and hills to the north amongst which are Dale HeadRobinson. To the north stand Grasmoor, highest in the range at 852 m (2,795 ft), Grisedale Pike and the hills around the valley of Coledale, and in the far north west is Thornthwaite Forest and Lord's Seat. The fells in this area are rounded Skiddaw slate, with few tarns and relatively few rock faces.

 

Western Fells

The view towards Wast Water from the cairn built by the Westmorland brothers in 1876 to the SW of the summit of Great Gable, which they considered the finest view in the district.

The Western Fells lie between Buttermere and Wasdale, with Sty Head forming the apex of a large triangle. Ennerdale bisects the area, which consists of the High Stile ridge north of Ennerdale, the Loweswater Fells in the far north west, the Pillar group in the south west, and Great Gable (899 m (2,949 ft)) near Sty Head. Other tops include SeatallanHaystacks and Kirk Fell. This area is craggy and steep, with the impressive pinnacle of Pillar Rock its showpiece. Wastwater, located in this part, is England's deepest lake.

Central Fells

The Central Fells are lower in elevation than surrounding areas of fell, peaking at 762 m (2,500 ft) at High Raise. They take the form of a ridge running between Derwent Water in the west and Thirlmere in the east, from Keswick in the north to Langdale Pikes in the south. A spur extends south east to Loughrigg Fell above Ambleside. The central ridge running north over High Seat is exceptionally boggy.

 

Eastern Fells

The village of Glenridding and Ullswater.

The Eastern Fells consist of a long north-to-south ridge, the Helvellyn range, running from Clough Head to Seat Sandal with the 950 m (3,118 ft) Helvellyn at its highest point. The western slopes of these summits tend to be grassy, with rocky corries and crags on the eastern side. The Fairfield group lies to the south of the range, and forms a similar pattern with towering rock faces and hidden valleys spilling into the Patterdale valley. It culminates in the height of Red Screes overlooking the Kirkstone Pass.

 

Far Eastern Fells

Haweswater Reservoir from Harter Fell.

The Far Eastern Fells refer to all of the Lakeland fells to the east of Ullswater and the A592 road running south to Windermere. At 828 m (2,717 ft), the peak known as High Street is the highest point on a complex ridge which runs broadly north–south and overlooks the hidden valley of Haweswater to its east. In the north of this region are the lower fells of Martindale Common and Bampton Common whilst in the south are the fells overlooking the Kentmere valley. Further to the east, beyond Mardale and Longsleddale is Shap Fell, an extensive area consisting of high moorland, more rolling and Pennine in nature than the mountains to the west.

 

Southern Fells

Coniston Water from Holme Fell.

The Southern Fells occupy the southwestern quarter of the Lake District. They can be regarded as comprising a northern grouping between Wasdale, Eskdale and the two Langdale valleys, a southeastern group east of Dunnerdale and south of Little Langdale and a southwestern group bounded by Eskdale to the north and Dunnerdale to the east.

The first group includes England's highest mountains: Scafell Pike in the centre, at 978 m (3,209 ft) and Scafell one mile (1.6 km) to the southwest. Though it is slightly lower it has a 700 ft (210 m) rockface, Scafell Crag, on its northern side. It also includes the Wastwater Screes overlooking Wasdale, the Glaramara ridge overlooking Borrowdale, the three tops of Crinkle CragsBowfell and Esk Pike. The core of the area is drained by the infant River Esk. Collectively these are some of the Lake District's most rugged hillsides.

The second group, otherwise known as the Furness Fells or Coniston Fells, have as their northern boundary the steep and narrow Hardknott and Wrynose passes. The highest are Old Man of Coniston and Swirl How which slightly exceed 800 m (2,600 ft). The third group to the west of the Duddon includes Harter Fell and the long ridge leading over Whitfell to Black Combe and the sea. The south of this region consists of lower forests and knolls, with Kirkby Moor on the southern boundary. The southwestern Lake District ends near the Furness peninsula and Barrow-in-Furness, a town which many Lake District residents rely on for basic amenities.

List of lakes in the Lake District

Bassenthwaite, Brotherswater, Buttermere, Coniston, Crummock, Derwent Water Elterwater, Ennerdale, Esthwaite, Grasmere, Haweswater, Loweswater, Rydal Water, Thirlmere, Ullswater, Wastwater &

Windermere

 

Major lakes shown within the National Park

Only one of the lakes in the Lake District is called by that name, Bassenthwaite Lake. All the others such as WindermereConiston WaterUllswater and Buttermere are meres, tarns and waters, with mere being the least common and water being the most common. The major lakes and reservoirs in the National Park are given below...

 

Bassenthwaite LakeBrotherswater, Buttermere, Coniston Water, Crummock Water, Derwent Water, Devoke Water, Elter Water, Ennerdale Water, Esthwaite Water, Grasmere, Haweswater Reservoir,

Hayeswate, Loweswater, Rydal Water, Thirlmere, Ullswater, Wast Water & Windermere.

bottom of page