The English Lake District is well known for its artistic heritage and its unparalleled natural beauty, filled as it is with glistening lakes, rugged mountain landscapes, and lush green valleys. All of this makes for breathtaking vistas, which is lovely and all, but it also makes for adrenaline pumping thrills, which is a little bit more exciting.
The Lake District National Park, in England’s North West, is fast becoming the adventure capital of the UK, drawing just as many people looking for a thrill as a nice country walk. With five of England’s tallest mountains calling the area home, as well as the country’s deepest and largest lakes there is no shortage of exciting activities to undertake here. Spend your days exhausting yourself on outdoor pursuits, and your evenings relaxing in a comfortable Lake District holiday cottage in front of a roaring fire, savouring the local ale. There are few better ways to spend a holiday in the UK!
Keep your two feet firmly on the ground and take to the hundreds of miles of walking and cycling paths that criss-cross the national park. The park authorities have done an admirable job in designing and maintaining paths for every ability level, ranging for nice flat trails that are suitable for wheelchair users, to epic cross country tracks that truly take you into the back and beyond. If you’re looking for a physical challenge then head for Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England and the final mountain to be tackled in the epic Three Peaks Challenge. It may not be the tallest mountain in the world but it still offers a formidable challenge, not least because of the unpredictable weather in the Lake District. You can head off on a lovely sunny morning and part way up find yourself battered by wind and sleet. Make sure you bring along your rain coat and sturdy boots!
If the view from the top of Scafell Pike isn’t as sweeping as you would like, then take to the air and see the county from a whole different perspective. Real daredevils can head up in a plane and take a tandem skydive, an activity sure to get the adrenaline pumping through your veins! There are a number of parachute centres in the area, all of whom offer on the ground training and fully trained instructors who take you up in the plane and then throw you out of it! If skydiving seems a bit extreme, then maybe paragliding or hang gliding is for you. You can take a four day course and become qualified to fly unsupervised, or take a tandem flight with a certified instructor to get an instant thrill. Paragliding is one of the most serene ways to take in the landscape from above, and after the initial leap into the air you will feel like a bird soaring on the wind currents and enjoying the beauty of the Lake District like never before.
For those with amphibious tendencies the Lake District is, quite obviously, the place to visit. The area is home to over 100 lakes, tarns and reservoirs, making it a veritable playground for water lovers, offering every type of aquatic activity you can think of. If you fancy staying on top of the water, strap on a life-jacket and a helmet and jump into a kayak. If you’ve never paddled a kayak before, don’t worry, your instructor will teach you everything you need to know – from how to steer and manoeuvre, to how to take on waves and evacuate in the water should you need to. Once you’ve mastered the basics you’re ready to take on the local mountain streams and rivers, which are at their most ferocious in the winter and spring. If you prefer to get your feet, or your whole body, wet head out on a gorge walking adventure, which is sure to be one of the most exhilarating activities you can find in the Lake District. Here you’ll be climbing up, down, and around the cascades, waterfalls, and pools of the Lake District mountains, and taking in some of the most remote and inaccessible scenery in the area. This is a pleasure that not everyone gets so be sure to make the most of it!
No matter your personal interest or style you’re sure to find the perfect adventure activity to tickle your fancy in the Lake District. From tranquil canoe rides at sunset, to bone-rattling mountain bike descents, there really is something for everyone here. Sykes Cottages offer a great range of cottage holidays throughout the region, giving you full flexibility to take in all of the activities you want to try. Many of the cottages are even equipped to store outdoor gear, so hardcore adventurers can bring along their own bike, boat, or chute comfortable in the knowledge that there is a safe and secure place to store it. So there is really no excuse, get up to the Lake District today!
Buttermere – Lake District: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30913371@N07/3861544402/sizes/z/