Want to find a secluded spot in the Lake District? It’s perfectly possible to escape the crowds if you venture off the beaten track.
The Lake District is a place of sheer, unspoilt beauty. That much you know. But did you know that the UNESCO World Heritage Site is also home to some of the UK’s most incredible, tucked away spots as well? From hidden beaches that are perfect paddling, to hills where you can enjoy the sunset without the crowds, and even some tiny iconic buildings that you can enjoy just on your own, or with family and friends, if you’re clever enough, you can always find a quiet corner to enjoy Lakeland’s natural beauty, even at the peak times.
Here are 5 lesser known secluded spots to check out…
Ulpha Bridge, Duddon Valley
Hidden away in the south-west corner of the Lakes, the Duddon Valley is a remote area of river beaches, ancient woods and twisty lanes that lead to the sea. The lack of a grand lake means few tourists venture here, but at Ulpha Bridge grassy banks, fringed by trees, open out to shallows for minnowing or deeper pools for jumping. The little Post Office sells ice creams and fishing nets and there are 18th-century ruins to explore at Duddon Bridge old ironworks.
Tongue Pot waterfalls, Eskdale
Tongue Pot forms a long emerald pool beneath a waterfall in the cleft of a mountain beck . Just beneath a mountain packhorse bridge, where the Lingcove Beck joins the Esk, a pebble beach shelves down on one side and an oak tree overhangs, its knobbly roots making good handholds. Up and downstream, Esk Falls, Kail Pot and Lingcove Beck form yet more pools, the grey rocks streaked with sinuous white quartz veins. When the sun is shining there is no better place on earth to be. Close by are the Roman Fort and narrow road pass at Hardknott.
Force Crag Mine
As you walk the gently rising mine track from just outside Braithwaite village, it is hard to believe that this beautiful area of the Lake District fells was once the backdrop to a mining industry. Hugging the side of the fell with the winding beck below, you are lead to the head of the Coledale valley and the sheer dark face of Force Crag. For over 200 years men have worked in this isolated spot digging for lead in the early years and then later barites and zinc.
This is a fantastic spot for a great view, just a short stroll across flower-studded pasture to a rocky headland looking out to sea. Time your visit right, after the daytime walkers have gone home, and you will experience an amazing sunset, surrounded by calling birds including oystercatchers and curlews on the sands, warblers and blackbirds on the land, with the sea lapping below. Explore secluded paths between the bushes and find the hidden ways down to pebble beaches, where children (and adults) can beachcomb and rock-scramble. Or find the Giant’s Seat and sit for a while, soaking up the peace. Jack Scout is a great place to view the Lakeland hills and the surrounding countryside. See stunning sunsets from this area, and also see the tidal bore.
Just a short walk from Ambleside you’ll find Stagshaw Garden, an informal woodland garden which in the spring and summer bursts into life with an absolute blaze of colour and wonderful scents. The rambling paths and unusual combination of shrubs, trees and plants give this garden an enchanted feel, with a different delight around each corner.
Created by Cubby Acland, a former National Trust land agent in 1957, the garden has an outstanding collection of rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas, as well as many other unusual trees and plants. There are more than 300 shrubs set among the large native oak trees, and carpets of native daffodils and bluebells in the spring. Look out for the Painters’ Palette as you wander. Here Cubby planted an array of different camellias to represent an artist’s palette, complete with a small thumb hole!Despite its proximity to Ambleside and the main A591, Stagshaw is a quiet place where you can sit in peace and enjoy views out to the lake and mountains beyond – a welcome sanctuary from the hustle and bustle below.
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