The Lake District is both a National Park and World Heritage Site.
The Lake District is a National Park, protected because of its beautiful countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage. It offers fantastic opportunities for recreation to support the nation’s health and wellbeing, and attracts millions of visitors each year to enjoy this unique example of a living working landscape. A requirement of being a National Park is to identify its ‘Special Qualities’, which combine to produce a landscape of remarkable beauty and distinctive character that is cherished and enjoyed by the nation. The ownership, purposes and duties and the ‘Sandford Principle’ can be found on the History of National Parks page.
Our model for running a national park is not based on public ownership and people are often surprised to learn the National Park Authority owns less than four per cent of land in the Lake District. The rest is owned by organisations such as the National Trust, United Utilities, Forestry Commission and other private landowners.
For more information see Land ownership in the Lake District page.
The Lake District National Park is open to the public at all times. There are no gates or barriers barring entry to the National Park. Come and visit! Check out our popular visiting section for all you need to know when planning a trip to the English Lakes.
Head to VisitLakeDistrict.com for guides and booking all kinds of accommodation from hotels, cottages, bed and breakfasts to log cabins and lodges.
Or click here for Lake District campsites and glamping options.
Please take a look at the things to do section on our website.
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If you plan to scatter ashes, you always need the landowner’s permission to spread ashes on private land.
If you are thinking of scattering ashes on water, please try to avoid areas where people might be swimming, fishing or boating while you’re doing the ceremony. For inland rivers or lakes contact the local Environment Agency to check there is no nearby water supply.
We understand that families may wish to leave a memorial item, however, it’s important to only use biodegradable, not plastic, wreaths or flowers if you need them. Ideally, we would encourage people to make a donation towards a selected National Park project or location in memory a loved one, such as a gate or bridge, whilst at the same time contributing toward the future of the Park.
Take a look at our plan your visit page which may be very helpful for your first visit to the Lake District.
Barbecues and open fires are not permitted anywhere in the Lake District.
Fires and disposable barbecues are environmentally damaging, risk to wildlife, a fire hazard and often result in litter in the National Park.
Major landowners agreed to ban visitors from having barbecues or fires on their land to help look after our National Park. Please respect this special place and leave no trace.
Wild camping is technically not permitted anywhere in the Lake District without prior permission from the landowner. As the National Park Authority we do not have the power to allow camping on private land and we do not permit camping on the land that we own. Camping in car parks or on roadside verges is not allowed at any time.
Legally wherever you camp you must have the permission of a landowner to camp on their land. For more information please visit the wild camping webpage on our website.
Please take a look at the drones page on our website.
All powered boats on Windermere need to be registered and you need a permit for any boat on Bassenthwaite Lake (powered or not).
To register on Windermere, please visit our Windermere Registration section to find our prices and other essential information.
Please read the Access to Lakes Guide.
Please take a look at our safety videos on our water safety page, these cover carbon monoxide safety, kill cords, life jacket checks and swimming visibility devices.
If you see blue-green algae please call the Environment Agency on
For more information on what it looks like and how it can affect people and animals, please visit the blue-green algae frequently asked questions page.
We want to make sure this is a positive, vibrant organisation committed to delivering our services as efficiently and effectively as possible.
If you are innovative and enthusiastic, with a flexible 'can do' attitude, then we want you to come and join our team.
Take a look at the Jobs page, it shows all current vacancies and is updated regularly.
You can choose to help projects within the Lake District National Park by donating to the Lake District Foundation charity. You can even choose a signpost, gate or bridge to have an engraved plaque to commemorate someone or something special to you in your special place.
We regularly receive requests for memorials to be placed in the Lake District National Park. We do appreciate the importance of memorials for the families of deceased loved ones and understand how a memorial in a cherished place or landscape can provide a comfort. However if we were to give permission to all the requests we receive, the numbers involved would become extremely intrusive in this natural and beautiful landscape. For this reason we refuse all requests for memorials on land owned by the National Park. For memorials on the other 96 per cent of land in the Lake District, we ask people to contact the landowner directly.
It is worth noting that memorials, such as benches and structures, may also require planning permission. To informally discuss whether you need to apply for planning application you can talk to a duty planner or attend one of our regular planning surgeries - find out times and dates.
Please do not light fires in the Lake District, even if it looks like others have unless you are on an authorised campsite and have permission to do so.
Camp fires can easily get out of control and spread quickly, especially in times of very dry weather. These dry spells can be at any time of year but extra care is needed in the hot summer months.
We do not provide bins in any of our car parks, with the exception of Coniston Boating Centre and Glenridding. It was our policy to remove litter bins several years ago, to help encourage visitors to recycle, and take their litter home.
Generally this works very well, however there will occasionally be people who leave their litter lying around and sadly this still happens if there is a bin on site.
If you want to do your bit for the countryside and its wildlife please pick up any litter you see when you’re out walking and take it home with you or dispose of accordingly.
As diverting National Park staff or volunteers to pick up litter takes them away from other more valuable work.
It is totally unacceptable to bag dog waste and leave it behind. The Lake District National Park is for everyone to enjoy, please respect the environment and take your litter and dog waste home with you.
The Lake District has 19 million visitors a year and many of them arrive by car. Our roads are often narrow and winding and are vital for farmers and landowners to use in their every day work. So please keep them clear and park considerately in designated parking areas.
Also please avoid parking on verges which damages valuable habitats.
Take a look at our car parks.
No. Licences for trail hunting on land owned by the Lake District National Park Authority were suspended in November 2020, in May 2022 officers decided to continue this suspension indefinitely.
Find out more about trail hunting in the Lake District.