A group of people on a guided walk in Legburthwaite

Have yourself a World Class Lake District Summer

21 June 2018

July marks one year since the Lake District became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in celebration of this milestone we’re encouraging everyone to experience their very own World Class Summer.

Each week throughout the summer we’ll be totting up ten wonderful ways for people to enjoy this magnificent National Park and help us care for this this special place. 

Whether you’re a Lake District local, planning your summer holiday in the Lakes or dreaming of your next trip, our weekly list, giant ice lolly posters and social media chatter will definitely give you inspiration and ideas.

Our Ranger, Suzy Hankin, is in the #LakeDistrictSummer spirit and you can be too by following our weekly challenges!

Ranger Suzy Hankin holding the #LakeDistrictSummer ice cream in Ullswater

1. Go Green!

Kicking off our #LakeDistrictSummer guide is an eco-friendly idea, reminding us all to think green…and it couldn’t be easier than in the Lakes.

From 22 June – 1 July is National Green Transport Week so we challenge you to cut the carbon and travel by bike, bus, boat or foot as often as you can during your time here.

Not only will you be doing your bit for the environment, but you’ll experience the Lakes in the best possible way. So, dust off your cycling skills, take to the water or pull on your trusty walking boots and immerse yourself into green living in the Lake District! Find out how you can travel around the Lake District sustainably.

We hear from our Sustainable Transport Adviser, Emma Moody, about what her seven best ways are to discover the Western Lake District. Read her blog.

2. Visit old to learn something new

The Lake District is steeped in history, boasting a huge variety of amazing historical sites. Why not visit one to learn something new about this special place?  

There’s certainly plenty to choose from including mines, quarries, historic houses, castles, forts, stone circles and of course the world famous Pencil Museum.  

One of the most recently renovated historic sites here in the Lake District is the Coniston Coppermines. In May this year a two-year conservation project came to completion, during which 150 items of repair, stabilisation and reconstruction were carried out. To mark the end of this project, and to inform visitors of the mining heritage of Coniston, an information ‘hub’ was unveiled.

To take a step back in time collect your free Coniston Copper walking guide from one of our visitor centres or the Ruskin Museum and head to the Coniston Coppermines YHA where you can visit the new ‘hub’. Plus, you can also book onto a guided walk of the Coniston Coppermine trail to hear more about this historic site from a local expert.

3. Reach new heights 

The landscape of the Lake District is very special indeed.  It’s so special in fact it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has been for one year now (as of 9th July).

So, the latest instalment of our #LakeDistrictSummer guide is a challenge for you to experience the Lakes from new heights!  

For the adventurous, why not tackle one of the famous fells like Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England, or Helvellyn, which was this year voted Britain’s favourite walk?

If you’re less familiar of routes around the Lake District you could try a guided walk and let a Lake District expert lead the way. Over the coming weeks you could follow in the footsteps of Wordsworth at Aira Force, explore Loughrigg Fell from Grasmere to Langdale Valley or take to Cathedral Caves near Coniston.

Short of time or not a walking enthusiast? Treat yourself to breath-taking views from the Lake District passes such as Honister, Whinlatter or Kirk stone…visiting the highest pub in the Lake District may be better suited to your bucket list!  

4. Spread the word!  

The summer holidays are here and by now you’re probably ready and rearing to head out into this fantastic weather we’ve been having, and explore the Lake District!

Make the most of your time in the Lakes and head to one of our visitor centres to meet our amazing, knowledgeable staff who can advise you on all you need to know for your trip; whether you’re in need of ideas of things to do, directions and maps, or you need to charge your phone, they’re on hand to help!

You can pick up a lovey Lake District souvenir from our information centres too and all the money made goes straight back into looking after this National Park.

Do get in touch whilst you’re here using #LakeDistrictSummer and we’ll share our favourite posts for all to see.

5. Get out on the water  

It’s National Parks Week (22 - 29 July) and the perfect occasion to introduce the next of our #LakeDistrictSummer challenges. The theme this year is ‘Discover National Parks’ so it’s a great occasion to visit the Lakes and get to know this World Heritage Site a little better.

You could make a splash on your next trip to the Lakes, after all water is what we’re known for, so a trip to this National Park wouldn’t be complete without taking a dip!

Don’t worry, if wetsuits aren’t for you then avoid the wild water swimming and water sports and set sail instead! You could rent a little motor boat or hop on the Coniston Gondola, Ullswater Steamer, Windermere Lake Cruises or Derwent Water Cruise.

If you’d prefer to admire the water from land, then a guided walk or guided cycle ride may be just for you. Later this month a guided walk will be adventuring to Wainwright’s favourite fell where beautiful views of Buttermere are guaranteed, and there is also a family guided cycle ride planned along the shores of Windermere too. You can even combine all of the above with a ‘bike boat’ from Brockhole-on-Windermere to Bark Barn.

6. Give something back

In honour of World Ranger Day (31st July) we’re dedicating this World Class Summer challenge to letting you know how you can do your bit to help us to look after this spectacular landscape, just as our Rangers do.

With 19 million visitors per year and 3,200 kilometres of Public Rights of Way, it takes a lot of work from a cast of thousands to help keep the Lake District special.  So, we challenge you to give something back.

Ways you can give back to the Lake District:
  • Pick up any litter you find and take it to the nearest bin
  • Park your car in an official car park where the proceeds go back in to looking after the Lakes
  • Join us as a volunteer and you could be involved in a variety of tasks, from greeting visitors to maintaining and repairing paths and leading guided walks
  • Support the work of Fix the Fells who maintain the mountain paths across the Lake District
If you’d like to know more about the work of our Rangers, or just love the Lakes and want to learn more about this wonderful place, then this brand-new summer experience could be just for you. Find out more about the Lake District Ranger Boat Adventure now and be quick to book, there are limited places and it’s only running until the end of September!

7. Spend a Lake District Pound 

On your next visit to the Lake District be sure to exchange your spending money for the beautifully designed notes that can only be spent here in the Lake District. The Lake District Pound is a brand new currency to launch this year and supports the fantastic local businesses here in this National Park.

The brand new notes are truly unique (in fact they’re even the UK’s first and only regional currency), they feature beautiful illustrations of iconic Lake District figures and we’re sure you’ll love them. The illustrations on the notes will change each year so you can continue to add to your collections on each visit.

You could spend yours at an attraction, or sampling some local food and drink, or even picking up gifts from your trip to take home with you. Don’t miss the exclusive Lake District World Heritage water bottles which are now available to buy at Brockhole and our visitor centres too.

You can exchange your Lake District Pound at Bowness Post Office, Brockhole or our visitor centres at Ullswater, Keswick and Bowness. Also, if you don’t spend them all they make a lovely souvenir from your trip and all proceeds will go to two fantastic local charities; the Lake District Foundation and Cumbria Community Foundation.

9. Get outdoors!

If you haven’t yet embraced the great outdoors this summer then now is the time to plan a wild activity of your choice before the season passes you by…it’s our challenge to you!

From camping (or glamping if you prefer) to wild swimming and outdoor pursuits, there are activities aplenty in the Lakes and your #LakeDistrictSummer wouldn’t be complete without a truly outdoors adventure.

Keep on the right tracks as you explore; whether you’re walking, cycling or horse riding – take a read of these guidelines before you take to the roads. Or, if you’re planning on making a splash instead then be sure to hear the advice of our Rangers on water safety before you dive in!

10. Enjoy a taste of the Lakes

The final spring/summer bank holiday is upon us, as is our last #LakeDistrictSummer challenge, so be sure to see the season out in style with a tasty treat.

The Lake District is full of incredible food and drink so we challenge you to try something new.  Whether it’s traditional favourites like Kendal Mint Cake or Grasmere Gingerbread or something new like Damson Gin or Herdwick Lamb Koftas.

This summer brand new Lake District World Heritage Site water bottles and coffee cups have launched too, so you can take your taste of the Lakes away with you. Pick up your bottle or cup from our visitor centres today.

Check back every week for your next summer mission to help you have a World Class #LakeDistrictSummer.  

We would love to see you working your way through our list, so share your photos with us using #LakeDistrictSummer for a chance to be featured on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.

Psst! If you just can’t wait for all ten ideas to be shared throughout the summer, then head outdoors and search for one of our Lake District ice lollys in our Visitor Centres at Bowness, Keswick and Ullswater; giving you all the tips you need to treat yourself to a World Class summer.

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