Diving in to the Great North Swim in Windermere copyright Cumbria Tourism
Diving in to the Great North Swim in Windermere


The Lake District National Park is a major tourist destination for both UK and overseas visitors. In 2007 8.3 million visitors came to enjoy the spectacular landscape and rich cultural heritage in a peaceful setting.

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Why do people come to the Lake District?

  • Spectacular landscape
  • Peace and quiet
  • Outdoor pursuits
  • History and culture
  • Attractions
  • Events

Is the Lake District a visitor attraction?

Although it attracts many visitors, the Lake District is not a “visitor attraction”. It does not charge an entrance fee nor is it owned or managed by a single organisation. It is an area of land which is half as big again as Greater London. It measures approximately 40 miles from north to south and is 30 miles wide. As well as spectacular hills, lakes and woodlands it has towns, villages, farms and businesses and it is home to 40,800 residents.

Top ten Lake District attractions

The most popular attractions in the Lake District according to research by Cumbria Tourism in 2012 were:

  1. Windermere Lake Cruises - 1,247,689 visitors
  2. Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole (opens in new window) - 228,048 visitors
  3. Whinlatter Visitor Centre and Forest Park - 226,156 visitors
  4. Ullswater 'Steamers' - 215,000 visitors
  5. Grizedale Visitor Centre and Forest Park - 185,180 visitors
  6. World of Beatrix Potter - 132,818 visitors
  7. Honister Slate Mine - 129,476 visitors
  8. Theatre by the Lake Keswick - 125,500 visitors
  9. Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway - 105,000 visitors
  10. Hill Top - 99,489 visitors

Source: Cumbria Tourism - Visitor Attractions Monitor. Please note this only includes visitor attractions who provided data for 2012 and gave permission for their figures to be published. Some visitor numbers may be estimated.

Useful links

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Learn more about the UK's 15 National Parks

National Parks - Britain's breathing spaces logo

For facts and figures about other National Parks, check out National Parks - Learning about (opens in new window).