Lake District Drive
Circular drive from Kendal through The Lake District to Keswick, Ullswater, Bowness-on-Windermere & back to Kendal.
This circular route takes you through The Lake District with some of the most beautiful lakes & magnificent mountains & much to see along the way.
From Kendal take the A591 to Windermere then continue to Ambleside along the side of the lake.
Ambleside is a busy little town at the head of Lake Windermere. Don’t miss seeing the ‘little house on the bridge’ over Stock Ghyll Beck.
Head along the A591 in the direction of Keswick. Passing through Rydal village where Wordsworth lived at Rydal Mount which is open to the public.
Follow the road along the shores of Rydal Water towards Grasmere.
Dove Cottage is a bit further up the road on the outskirts of Grasmere.
It is worth spending a little time in Grasmere, Wordsworth’s final resting spot, home of the famous Grasmere Gingerbread & lots of other quaint little shops. Wander down by the river to the lake which is really pretty.
As you leave the village look up to Helm Crag on your left & see ‘the lion and the lamb’ on top of the hill. This becomes a ‘lady playing the piano’ as you drive further along the road – I kid you not!
The next bit of road is a bit special. The steepest of climbs takes you up Dunmail Raise with Helvellyn & Striding Edge on the right hand side before you reach the summit & descend towards Thirlmere.
There are several places where you can pull off the main road along the length of Thirlmere & its popular so do this if you get the chance you will not be disappointed. You can also have a look at Thirlmere Dam which is at the far end & up a small road on the left.
Back on the main road again here are some great views of Skiddaw & Bassenthwaite Lake before entering the town of Keswick.
Keswick is not to be over looked & you may wish to make a special trip here to spend the day browsing the shops or down by Derwent Water where you can hire a rowing boat – could be the highlight of your holiday.
On leaving Keswick take the A66 in the direction of Penrith. It is possible to do a slight detour via the rather beautiful Castlerigg Stone Circle built in Neolithic times & owned by English Heritage.
Continue on the A66 through Threlkeld where dominating Blencathra can be seen on the right. Enjoy the scenery here it’s amazing & keep an eye out for the right turn to Ullswater on the A5091.
As you drop down towards Ullswater you will see the signs for Aira Force which is to the left. If you have time & good legs, climb the steep wooded path to see to top of the waterfall here. Then continue in the opposite direction to Glenridding at the top end of the lake.
Then it’s up to Brotherswater & over the steep & winding Kirkstone Pass towards Troutbeck. Now keep on the A592, across the mini roundabout & go to Bowness which is by Lake Windermere. Another busy place & one which you may wish to return to on another day. Bowness has many touristy shops, outdoor wear to buy, places to eat & Windermere Lake Cruises go from Bowness Bay.
Keep on the A592 until you pass the road the ferry on your right then turn left up Longtail Hill & pick up the B5284 road to Crook & Kendal passing by Windermere Golf Club. This road will take you back to Plumgarths roundabout where you began & there is a good farm shop then back into Kendal.