This charming region in England's northwest recently acquired World Heritage status, writes Jemma Crew
Renowned for its soaring fells and expansive lakes, the Lake District is a both a hive of activity and a refuge for tranquil reflection.
The region in northwest England was awarded World Heritage status by Unesco in July, joining sites including the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon and Stonehenge on the prestigious list.
A Unesco committee in Krakow, Poland, backed the national park in Cumbria, which is home to England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike, its largest lake, Windermere, and its deepest — Wastwater.
Hordes of tourists flock to the region every year to appreciate its natural beauty, but there is much more to this area than picturesque views.
Here are some other reasons to holiday in the Lake District:
THE ROMANTIC POETS
Samuel Coleridge, Percy Shelley and John Keats are some of the Romantic poets who said the Lakes were their source of inspiration.
Hundreds of visitors visit Rydal Mount each year to see the home where William Wordsworth spent much of his life and his last days. He penned many of his poems in the historic house, which looks over Lake Windermere and the surrounding fells.
One of his most famous poems, I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud, was inspired by daffodils growing near Ullswater.
The house is still owned by the Wordsworth family, its website says.
Beatrix Potter holidayed as a teenager at Wray Castle in Cumbria.
She fell in love with the beautiful surroundings, making many sketches of the landscape and featuring it in books including Squirrel Nutkin, Benjamin Bunny and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.
The World of Beatrix Potter exhibition is near Windermere, the largest natural lake in England.
Holidaymakers can also visit Hill Top, the 17th-century farmhouse where she lived.
A film of the author's life — Miss Potter, starring Renee Zellweger — was filmed in the Lakes and released in 2006.
It was here that Donald Campbell died as he attempted a new water speed record on January 4 1967.
Campbell was 45 when his jet-powered boat, Bluebird K7, flipped into the air and disintegrated.
In 2001 the wreckage of Bluebird and Campbell's body — with his race suit intact — were recovered from the depths of the lake. He was buried later that year in the village of Coniston.
Nowadays people can take a Venetian gondola powered by Victorian steam technology across the water.
The Lakes boast sites of historical importance such as King Arthur's Round Table, a neolithic earthwork henge believed to be the legendary monarch's jousting arena.
The prehistoric circular earthwork can be found at Eamont bridge, just south of Penrith.
Its purpose remains unknown, but it may have been a meeting place, somewhere to trade or where ceremonies were held.
This historic haunted castle, home to the Pennington family since 1208, is in the Western Lake District Fells.
Visitors can explore the house in Ravenglass by guided tour, take a walk in the grounds, visit the owl centre or — if they're brave enough — attend ghost vigils.
The castle was named visitor attraction of the year (for sites with fewer than 100,000 visitors) in 2003 as part of awards run by VisitBritain.
LAUREL AND HARDY MUSEUM
This collection of memorabilia is in the heart of Ulverston where Stan Laurel was born, and celebrates the achievements of the famous comedy duo.
People hike for hours to get their hands on a piece of crumbly Grasmere Gingerbread.
Invented in 1854 by Victorian cook Sarah Nelson, the original handwritten recipe is stored in a safe and known by only one person.
It is said that Wordsworth, who lived nearby, taught local children in the Grasmere Gingerbread shop when the building was a small village school.