WELCOME TO THE LAKE DISTRICT, ONE OF BRITAIN'S BEST-LOVED OUTDOOR DESTINATIONS OF ALL TIME
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Lake District National Park
|Area||2,362 km2 (912 sq mi)|
|Established||9 May 1951|
|Governing body||Lake District National Park Authority|
|Criteria||Cultural: ii, v, vi|
|Inscription||2017 (41st Session)|
The Lake District National Park is a national park in North West England that includes all of the central Lake District, though the town of Kendal, some coastal areas, and the Lakeland Peninsulas are outside the park boundary.
The area was designated a national park on 9 May 1951 (less than a month after the first UK national park designation — the Peak District). It retained its original boundaries until 2016 when it was extended by 3% in the direction of the Yorkshire Dales National Park to incorporate areas such as land of high landscape value in the Lune Valley.
It is the most visited national park in the United Kingdom with 16.4 million visitors per year and more than 24 million visitor-days per year, the largest of the thirteen national parks in England and Wales, and the second largest in the UK after the Cairngorms National Park. Its aim is to protect the landscape by restricting unwelcome change by industry or commerce. Most of the land in the park is in private ownership, with about 55% registered as agricultural land. Landowners include:
- Individual farmers and other private landowners, with more than half of the agricultural land farmed by the owners.
- The National Trust owns about a quarter of the total area (including some lakes and land of significant landscape value).
- The Forestry Commission and other investors in forests and woodland.
- United Utilities owns 8%
- Lake District National Park Authority (3.9%)
The National Park Authority is based at offices in Kendal. It runs a visitor centre on Windermere at a former country house called Brockhole, Coniston Boating Centre, and Information Centres. It is reducing its landholding.
In common with all other national parks in England, there is no restriction on entry to, or movement within the park along public routes, but access to cultivated land is usually restricted to public footpaths, bridleways and byways. Much of the uncultivated land has statutory open access rights, which cover around 50% of the park.
Farmland, settlement and mining have altered the natural scenery, and the ecology has been modified by human influence for millennia and includes important wildlife habitats. Having failed in a previous attempt to gain World Heritage status as a natural World Heritage Site, because of human activities, it was eventually successful in the category of cultural landscape and was awarded the status in 2017.
LAKE WINDEMERE, ENGLAND
Windermere is the largest natural lake in England. It is a ribbon lake formed in a glacial trough after the retreat of ice at the start of the current interglacial period. It has been one of the country’s most popular places for holidays and summer homes since the arrival of the Kendal and Windermere Railway‘s branch line in 1847. Historically forming part of the border between Lancashire and Westmorland, it is now within the county of Cumbria and the Lake District National Park.
The Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre, also known as the Brockhole National Park Visitor Centre, is a visitor centre and tourist attraction managed by the Lake District National Park Authority. It is situated on the shore of Lake Windermere, roughly equidistant between the towns of Bowness-on-Windermere and Ambleside. It includes the Brockhole house and 30 acres (12 ha) of grounds, including 10 acres (4.0 ha) of formal gardens and an adventure playground. The centre organises a number of activities, including orienteering, kayaking and open water swimming, as well as regular exhibitions.
The site that is now the visitor centre was bought in 1896 by William Gaddum, a silk merchant from Manchester, as a summer house. He had the house built the following year, to a design by the architect Dan Gibson. The gardens were created by Thomas Mawson, known for his work in the design of gardens during the Arts and Crafts movement. Beatrix Potter was a frequent visitor to the house, and makes reference to it in her Journals. In 1946 William Gaddum died and the house was sold. In 1948 the house was converted into a convalescent home. The Lake District National Park Authority purchased the property in 1966, and in 1969 it was opened as the UK’s first National Park Visitor Centre.
Entrance to the centre and its grounds is free of charge, although a charge is made for car parking. The centre is situated off the A591 road between Windermere and Ambleside. Stagecoach bus routes 555 (Lancaster to Keswick) and 599 (Bowness-on-Windermere to Grasmere) stop outside the centre. Both these routes also serve Windermere railway station.
In the grounds of the centre is a jetty served by a number of boat services provided by Windermere Lake Cruises between March and October. A passenger launch service runs from Ambleside, returning to Ambleside via Wray Castle on the opposite side of the lake. A second launch service runs from Bowness-on-Windermere, returning to Bowness via Ambleside. A third service, known as the Bike Boat and operated with a boat adapted to carry cycles, shuttles across the lake to and from Bark Barn in Claife.
LET'S EXPLORE THE MAGNIFICENT LAKELAND!
The stream which flows over the waterfall is Aira Beck, which rises on the upper slopes of Stybarrow Dodd at a height of 720 metres (2,362 ft) and flows north-easterly before turning south, blocked by the high heather-covered slopes of Gowbarrow Fell. It turns south on its eight-kilometre journey to join Ullswater, at a height of 150 metres (492 ft). One kilometre before entering the lake, the beck makes the 20 metres (66 ft) leap down a rocky and steep sided ravine at the falls known as Aira Force. The water falls approximately 22 metres (72 ft) to a rocky pool, from where the beck continues through a shallow valley to the lake.
The river name Aira is derived from Old Norse eyrr, a gravel bank, and Old Norse á, a river, hence The river at the gravel bank, a reference to Aira Point, a gravelly spit where the river enters Ullswater. The Old Norse word fors, waterfall, has been adopted into several northern English dialects and is widely used for waterfalls, with the English spelling ‘Force’. Thus, The waterfall on gravel-bank river.
Cat Bells is a fell in the English Lake District in the county of Cumbria. It has a modest height of 451 metres (1,480 ft) but despite this it is one of the most popular fells in the area. It is situated on the western shore of Derwent Water within 3 miles (5 km) of the busy tourist town of Keswick. Its distinctive shape catches the attention of many visitors to the Lakes who feel compelled to climb to the summit after seeing it from the viewpoint of Friars Crag on the opposite side of Derwent Water. Renowned Lake District writer and walker Alfred Wainwright acknowledges the popularity of Cat Bells among fellwalkers of all abilities by saying:
It is one of the great favourites, a family fell where grandmothers and infants can climb the heights together, a place beloved. Its popularity is well deserved: its shapely topknott attracts the eye offering a steep but obviously simple scramble.