48 Hours In Lake District: Things To Do, Where To Eat, Drink, & Stay

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
48 Hours In Lake District: Things To Do, Where To Eat, Drink, & Stay

There are two types of travelers- one who prefer to holiday in a cosmopolitan city amidst all luxury and two, those who love the countryside. I belong to the second category. There’s a charm in living the countryside life and exploring the hills, fields, and mountains. What’s nothing to not love!

I had been longing to visit Britain’s countryside, and it finally happened when my husband was transferred to the United Kingdom. Unlike most people, London was not the first thing on my mind. The picturesque countryside was the only thing on my mind. Thankfully, we were posted in Derbyshire- in England’s East Midlands. The city of Derby mostly consists of hills, and uplands and I was living the life I dreamt of.

Planning The Trip

Months later, my husband and I decided to go on a weekend getaway to the countryside. I started researching places around Derby and that’s when I stumbled upon the scenic Lake District. Famous for majestic mountains, pristine highlands and home to poetic writers- Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, Lake District is one place where nature remains untouched.

Here’s how we planned a 2-day trip to the charming Lake District.

Our Itinerary

We hired a car from Derby and drove down to Keswick. Rain or shine, Lake District’s hills, and valleys always look their best. The two and a half-hour drive luscious moorland, pretty castles, and cute cottages. There are plenty of motels on the highway, so don’t forget to stop by and enjoy a hot cuppa amidst the stunning backdrop. We drove past Ambleside, a small town situated at the tip of Windermere.

Top Tip: We recommend you start early in the morning and grab breakfast at one of the highway motels. Breakfast with a view-what’s not to love!

Day 1

Rydal Mount

Day one was dedicated to historic buildings in Windermere. We started with the spectacular Rydal Mount, the historic residence of William Wordsworth. The house carefully preserves the priced possessions of the Wordsworth family, including a five-acre garden. We wandered around the garden, peeped into his writing hut and browsed his library. Before we proceeded, we also grabbed a delicious bite at the Tea Room that served a selection of homemade cakes. We walked into the house as a regular visitor and soaked in the breathtaking views. History buffs can also opt for an exclusive guided tour of the garden.

Beatrix Potter’s home

We then stopped by the charming home of Beatrix Potter- a former children’s author. Perched at the Hill Top, the house gave us a chance to explore Potter’s furniture, photos, paintings, and her gorgeous garden. We ended the evening with a slice of Sarah Nelson’s gingerbread, at the famous Grasmere Gingerbread.

Day 2

Lake Windermere

No trip to Lake District is complete without a trip to England’s largest lake- Lake Windermere. The spot was pretty and docked with an array of shops, skirting the large water body. You can walk, cycle, or go on a segway to get a feel of the place. But, the best part is the water itself. We booked a cruise from the Bowness pier and would highly recommend it. There are several combinations you can book- cruise and one attraction, cruise and two attractions, full-day cruise and much more.

Windermere Jetty

Credits: Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories/ Facebook

We opted for a cruise trip with one attraction- the Windermere Jetty museum. After a stunning sail that took us through  magnificent mountains, secluded bays, and wooded islands, we disembarked at the Windermere Jetty. The museum showcases a stunning collection of speed boats, steam launches, sailing yachts, and motorboats- on water and in the gallery. We grabbed lunch a quaint cafe by the lake and headed over to our last stop for the day.

Tickets to the cruise can be booked online, after which a receipt will be sent to your email.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

A 30-minute drive lead us to a land we had only seen in dreams! The Castlerigg Stone Circle is a fascinating collection of boulders, dating back to the Neolithic period. Historians and archeologists are unsure why this structure was built. The place was so gorgeous, we spent hours clicking pictures, and soaking in the panoramic view. 

Our last stop for the day was The Lakes Distillery- 20 minutes from the Castlerigg Stone Circle. The distillery produces gin, vodka and whiskey. The tasting tour not only let us watch, but also allowed us to taste all three. We sealed the day with a lip-smacking dinner at the distillery’s tiny restaurant.

Top Tip: There’s a fully-stocked liquor shop if you wish to take something home

Day 3

Travel from Lake District back to Derby

This was the day we realised how unpredictable UK weather can get. We traveled in September, when the woodlands would be covered in autumnal colours. To our surprise, we woke up to heavy rains that morning. We had to wait until 1:00 pm to head back home. The drive from Keswick to Derby normally takes about fours hours (including stops). However, it took us about seven hours to reach home. It was raining heavily and we had to take multiple pit stops to wait for the rains to subside.

Stay Options

From remote cottages to luxury hotels, Lake District offers a wide range of stay options you can pick from. However, we decided to skip luxury hotels and cottages and opted for youth hostels. I highly recommend YHA Keswick if you’re up for an idyllic countryside holiday, with stunning views of River Greta and Fitz Park.

Credits: yha.org.uk

The hostel offers shared dorms, and private rooms. We opted for a private room with balcony. The room was spacious and equipped with bunk beds and offered a stunning view of the river right outside. You can imagine what our mornings must have been like :)

Credits: yha.org.uk

The ground floor houses a café bar and a dining room facing the river. There’s also a self-catering kitchen and social space with AV facilities and free wifi.

When To Visit

November to February is considered peak winter and the region is covered in sheets of ice. The busiest season is between June and August when the weather is conducive but the prices are sky high. September and October are also ideal with the woodlands boasting a stunning autumnal colour.

Food In Lake District

Food is the least concern you must have while on a trip here. The place is dotted with petite cafes and luxury hotels serving Sunday roast, fish and chips, steaks, and pies. Here are few delicacies you must not miss:

1. Sarah Nelson’s gingerbread, at the famous Grasmere Gingerbread

2. Kendal Mint Cake: A popular treat among mountaineers and trekkers, this is a glucose-based confection flavoured with peppermint. The cake also comes in brown, white, extra-strong and chocolate covered versions

3. Sticky Toffee Pudding at Sharrow Bay in Ullswater: Dessert lovers, this one’s got to be on your food bucket list

Currency: Pound


Car is the best mode of transport in and around Lake District. However, if you’re exploring the place in summer, cycling around could also be a good option. Walking or booking a cruise is also a great way to get to know the place. Lastly, minibus tours are also available for those who’d like to sit back and enjoy the views.