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Wildlife watching in the Lake District

Posted on 10th January 2018 by CE Team

Wildlife watching is one of the favourite outdoor activities in Lake District at any time of the year. From any one of our Lake District cottages, you are never far from areas where you can view myriad varieties of wildlife, including red squirrel, red deer, roe deer, shaggy highland cattle and, if you’re lucky, the secretive otter. Ornithologists are also well catered for. From the coast to the lakes, fells, wetlands, moors and woodland there are thousands of species of birds to track and photograph.

View red deer at Martindale Reserve

red deer in Lake District

From one of our cottages in Keswick, a 45-minute drive along the A66 will take you to the Martindale reserve, and one of the UK’s oldest herds of red deer. The autumn sees the beginning of the rutting season, where you can get spectacular footage of the males bellowing and fighting for dominance of the herd. If you prefer to cut your driving time, add a lake cruise to your list of things to do in Lake District. Head for Ullswater, which is a 20-minute drive along the A66 and A5091. Take a lake cruise to Howtown Pier. From there the reserve is just a few minutes walk.

Otters at Ambleside Pier

otter in nature

From one of our Windermere cottages, Ambleside Pier is a 10 minute drive down the A591, and considered a hotspot if you want to catch a glimpse of the otter. If you’re staying in one of our cottages in Keswick, a 45 minute drive to the River Eden at Carlisle is also considered a good otter viewing area.

The Red Squirrel Ramble

red squirrel

Make sure your outdoor activities in Lake District include a visit to Aira Force on Ullswater. A 20 minute drive from our cottages in Keswick, it has a thriving population of red squirrel, helped along by feeding stations erected in the trees by the National Trust and the Penrith and District red squirrel group. While squirrels may be the main draw, the woodland walks provide a variety of different wildlife and fauna and are enjoyed by all the family.

Ennerdale Re-wilding

highland cattle

Add a visit to the Ennerdale Re-wilding project to your list of things to do in Lake District. An hour’s drive from our Windermere cottages provides the opportunity to view firsthand the work involved on a re-wilding project. While red squirrel, deer and highland cattle call it home, it is also a magnificent example of the work involved in returning the land back to its natural state.

England’s sole remaining Golden Eagle

golden eagle

The rarity of this bird means that wherever you’re staying in one of our Lake District cottages, Haweswater should be on the visit list. The hike will be arduous, but if you are patient, and in the right place at the right time, you stand a chance of a personal siting of England’s sole remaining Golden Eagle.

We’ve barely scratched the surface of wildlife watching in the Lake District. The wildlife ranges from coastal seal and whale watching, to seabirds of all types, to waders, ducks and geese in the lakes and wetlands, to the flora and fauna of woodland and forest. Wherever you chose to stay, your days – and camera – will be full of lasting memories.