What to do in the Lake District

What to do in the Lake District, England: Tips and Attractions

I had been in the evocative landscape of the Lake District for a few days when, while consulting the local bus timetable booklet, I made an exciting discovery: a circular route that could be traveled by public transport. This isn’t just a convenient opportunity to get to a specific stop, take a walk, and get back on the bus to explore a new location; rather, it’s the opportunity to travel through one of the most scenic and fascinating roads in the UK. But what path am I talking about? Of the legendary Honister Rambler, this is the name of the route that buses 77 and 77A take, starting from Keswick every hour of every day in the summer.

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The Honister Rambler

But I want to start by giving a couple of tips first.

  • Tip number one: don’t dare take the same route by car. The roads are very narrow and the Lake District Park deserves that the air remains as clean as possible and that there is no traffic.
  • Tip number two: If you suffer from car sickness, this is not the choice for you unless you have taken some medication.
Honister Pass sign

I take the bus around nine in the morning from Keswick station going anti-clockwise. You cross truly enchanted and fantastic landscapes for about half an hour, until you arrive, after many hairpin bends, at the highest point of the route: theHonister Pass. This is a place that deserves to be visited and known.

Visit Honister Slate Mine

L’Honister Pass it has been lived for years by many miners, given that in these mountains there are large mines Slate, the slate, which can be found on the roofs of all the houses in the Lake District. The bus will drop you off at a hostel (yes… there is a hostel up there). A few steps further down you will find the entrance to Honister Slate Minethe main mine which can now be visited in groups. There is a café in the Slate Mine complex where you can contact the mountain guides to proceed towards the only via ferrata in the whole of the United Kingdom.

I couldn’t see it with my own eyes but, from what I was told, it is a via ferrata with a good level of difficulty and, although expert mountaineers arrive there, it is not possible to climb without the presence of a guide.

Trekking all’Honister Pass

All the activities offered on the Honister Pass can be booked online and it is convenient to do so. For walking and trekking, however, there is no reservation to be made. My advice is to bring a nice jacket because it is very windy and above all an excellent pair of trekking shoes.

Second tip is to never leave the authorized routes: if you see a sign that stops you for some reason, stop. As I was telling you, the area was once dotted with mines which are now disused and there may be places where the ground is unstable and it is not convenient for anyone to get into trouble: the mountain is beautiful and must be respected in full and above all it must be lived with a high sense of responsibility.

After wandering around the roof of the Lake District for a while, we get back on the bus, to continue towards Buttermere, fantastic place at the bottom of the valley beyond the pass. To reach this village with the lake of the same name you need to go all the way down Borrowdale.

The Borrowdale

In Northern England the valleys are all called Dales, from the Viking Dalr (which in German becomes Tal) and that of Borrow it’s something that seems to have come out of a Turner painting. Believe me, sit as far forward as you can in the bus so as to have a good view of the driver’s windscreen: in this way you will enjoy the spectacle of a road that descends, bend after bend, bridge after bridge, watercourse after watercourse.

Borrowdale winds along a road that exudes a profoundly ancient atmosphere. I became deeply passionate about this route: I loved the gentle descent of the bus while I enjoyed the colorful landscape dotted with a thousand shades of green.

Come fare l’Honister Rambler

The Honister Rambler it’s a bus tour that can be done for just a few pounds – you can get a day pass for around £5. Bear in mind that a weekly pass in the Lake District will cost you £25 for unlimited travel. For more information on timetables and ticket costs go here.

There it is really not worth having a car and it is often not recommended. Better to opt for the bus for its slowness, the quiet travel, to enjoy the narrow streets of the villages (where private cars often cannot go), and the smile of the drivers who recognize you after a few days. This was also part of my trip to the Lake District.

I would like to recommend this itinerary if you want to see and experience a piece of authentic England.

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