There’s good reason why this rugged, beautiful landscape in the far northwest of England is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and why it’s inspired poets and artists for hundreds of years. In fact, there are many reasons to visit this place, which can appear starkly dramatic one second and pastorally idyllic the next.
For a start, there are 16 stately lakes, along with countless other placid meres, rushing rivers, and glacial tarns. There are more than 200 hills and mountains, which draw 19 million visitors a year. There are 26 miles of unspoiled coast. And then there are the many pretty towns and villages which dot the valleys. The towns are lovely, and here are five of the best ones in which to base yourself when you visit the Lakes District.