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12 Things You Didn’t Know About The Lake District

24 February 2017

Misty hills

We already know that the Lake District is a lovely place to visit. With its outstanding natural beauty, it is an area that is perfect for exploring.

But there are plenty of things that you may not know about the Lake District, and here are our 12 favourite Lake District facts that you might not have heard about!

There is only one true lake

Bassenthwaite Lake is the only official ‘lake’ in the Lake District, with all the rest being ‘waters’ or ‘meres’. However, this is only a technicality!

Thirlmere supplies water to Manchester

The Thirlmere reservoir supplies water to the Manchester area, via an aqueduct that is 96 miles long.

Seathwaite is the wettest place in Britain

On average, 140 inches of rain falls in Seathwaite every year, making it the wettest place in Britain!

Arnside is Britain’s smallest Area of Natural Beauty

The village of Arnside is the smallest Area of Natural Beauty in Britain. It is rich in wildlife, history, and stunning scenery with its woodland walks and coastal views.

It has the ten highest peaks in England

The ten highest peaks in England are all located in the Lake District and are Scafell Pike, Sca Fell, Helvellyn, Ill Crag, Broad Crag, Skiddaw, Great End, Bowfell, Great Gable, and Cross Fell.

Borrowdale Graphite

In the 1500’s, deposits of Graphite were found in Borrowdale. It was used to mark sheep initially, but during the reign of Elizabeth I it was used to improve the manufacturing of cannonballs, by lining the molds.

Skiing in the Lake District

Those who wish to go skiing in the Lake District are able to do so in Alston, conditions permitting. The slopes on Raise, next to Helvellyn provide a unique experience and are open to those who join the Lake District Ski Club.

Britain’s best road is the A591

Quantum physicist Dr Mark Hadley has determined that the A591 which runs between Kendal and the rest of the Lake District is the best road in Britain to drive along, due to its radio of bends, acceleration, and straights.

Herdwick sheep are unique to Cumbria

The Herdwick Sheep which are native to Cumbria are completely unique to the area. They are a particularly hardy breed, and their distinctive dark wool helps them survive the conditions on the fells. Beatrix Potter began farming Herdwick sheep after moving to the area.

Red squirrels

Britain’s native Red Squirrels have been almost completely replaced by their grey American cousins in England, but in the Lake District they can still be found, due to conservation efforts.

Honister slate

Slate from Honister has been used by the Queen and is used on the roofs of Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, and the Ritz Hotel in London.

Ice skating on Windermere

In 1895, Lake Windermere completely froze over for 6 weeks, and the locals and visitors to the area were able to ice skate right across the lake!

We hope these Lake District facts have given you some insight into the area’s rich history. For more information on visiting the Lake District, why not take a look at some of our other blog posts?