THINGS TO DO IN THE LAKE DISTRICT
Low Millgillhead is a great place to use as a starting point to explore the Lake District. The nearest lake (3 miles) is Loweswater Lake which has some lovely woodland walks right by the lake, with a good pub (The Kirkstile Inn) at the other end. There are even a couple of rowing boats that you can hire from the nearby farm. The Rannerdale valley runs to Loweswater and in May, the bluebells here will take your breath away.
If you go beyond Loweswater, you will reach Buttermere Lake with Crummock Water just beyond. Again there are good walks here and a small tea shop.
Having visited Loweswater and Crummock Water, drive through the Newlands Valley, over Whinlatter Forest Pass to Braithwaite and Keswick beyond. At Whinlatter there are a variety of forest trails for walking and mountain biking, as well as an awesome play area for children and café. You can also ‘Go Ape’ here.
At Keswick there is plenty of things to do. A busy market town (market day is Thursday and Saturday) with plenty of outdoor shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Here you can go boating on Derwentwater lake, hire bikes, play pitch and putt, take a trip to the Puzzling Place or the Pencil Museum (both good when it’s raining). There is also a Theatre and Cinema. Or you can just go on a variety of fantastic walks with amazing views!
The valley of Ennerdale is a fabulously wild place where there are still more sheep than people. It is just a 4 mile drive away and a great place for mountain biking, climbing or walking up some of the highest mountains the Lake District has on offer. If you prefer, you can walk around the lake – a large part of which is pushchair friendly. Ennerdale village is a few miles from the lake and has a couple of pubs and a good playground for kids.
Beyond Ennerdale is the aptly named ‘Cold Fell’. Driving over here you will see horses roaming over the moorland. These horses belong to Bradley’s Farm who take people pony trekking.
Once over Cold Fell you arrive at the Lake District’s coastal village of Ravenglass which is a small fishing village and the terminal of the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway – a small steam railway which runs 7 miles over the Eskdale, taking in beautiful scenery over the journey. You can also visit Muncaster Castle with its gardens and owl centre. There are the ruins of a Roman bathhouse in Ravenglass with the ruins of a Roman fort at Hardknott Pass in Eskdale.
Eskdale is beautiful with good pubs and fantastic surroundings. Stanley Ghyll is a beautiful waterfall at the end of a walk that reminds me of being in the rainforest. Start either at the War Memorial or St Catherine’s church.
Scafell Pike is the Lake District’s highest mountain. You can either walk up here from Eskdale or the top end of Wasdale. The Wastwater Lake in the Wasdale valley was voted Britain’s Best View in a poll taken in 2007. It is a fantastic place to be in the dead of night when the stars shine brightly.
Cockermouth (7 miles from Low Millgillhead) is another lovely town that still has an array of interesting little shops. There is also a Sainsburys, as well as some great restaurants and cafes. The Bitter End pub has a small brewery and serves good food. The Quince and Medlar is a good vegetarian restaurant. If you have little ones, then Jordon’s Jungle at Cockermouth is an indoor play area – good if it’s raining.
If you want to step back in time (or find the best weather) take a trip to Allonby beach or Silloth. There is a good golf course at Silloth. There are also golf courses at St Bees, Cockermouth, Whitehaven and Workington.
The Georgian town of Whitehaven is ten miles away and was once the second biggest port in Britain, and has a lovely harbour area. Find out more about Whitehaven’s history at The Beacon museum. There is also a Tesco and Morrisons here although for general high street shops or multiscreen cinema go to Workington (about 9 miles from Low Millgillhead).
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