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10th January 2018

Wildlife Watching in the Lake District

Wildlife watching is one of our favourite outdoor activities at any time of the year and from our collection of Cumbrian cottages, you are never far from a variety of flora and fauna, including red squirrel, roe deer, highland cattle and, if you’re lucky, the Lakeland otter.

Ornithologists are also well catered for. With thousands of species of birdlife flocking to the Lake District’s moors, fells, wetlands, woodlands and coastline each year. Providing the perfect spot to while away an afternoon wildlife watching.

If you’re joining us for a stay or simply visiting the area, here are some of our favourite wildlife watching locations in the Lake District.

Red Deer at Martindale Reserve

Red Deer Lake District

From our collection of Keswick cottages, it’s around a 45-minute drive along the A66 to Martindale Reserve and one of the UK’s oldest herds of red deer. Autumn brings with it the start of the rutting season, where you can capture some spectacular footage of the males bellowing and fighting for dominance and if you prefer to cut your travel time, head for Ullswater, which is a 20-minute drive along the A66 and A5091. Then hop on a lake cruise to Howtown Pier. From which the reserve is just a gentle 5 minute jaunt.

Otters at Ambleside Pier

otter in nature

From our properties in Windermere, Ambleside Pier is a 10 minute drive down the A591 and considered an ideal location if you want to catch a glimpse of the infamous Lakeland otter. Additionally, if you’re staying in one of our Keswick cottages, a 45 minute drive to the River Eden at Carlisle is also considered an otter hot spot.

Red Squirrel at Aira Force

red squirrel

If you’re feeling inspired to do a little wildlife watching during your next visit to the Lake District, why not plan a visit to Aira Force, Ullswater. Which is around a 20 minute drive from our Keswick cottages and home to a thriving population of red squirrel (thanks to feeding stations hidden high up in the trees; funded by the National Trust and Penrith red squirrel group). While these furry fiends may be the main attraction, scenic woodland trails for all ages provide plenty to see and do for the whole family.

Ennerdale Re-Wilding

highland cattle

Make sure to add a trip to the Ennerdale Re-Wilding project to your list of must-visit wildlife watching locations in the Lake District! Just an hour’s drive from our Windermere cottages, it provides the perfect opportunity to view firsthand the work involved in protecting our natural environment and meet the red squirrel, deer and highland cattle that call it home.

England’s sole surviving Golden Eagle

golden eagle

The rarity of this bird means that wherever you’re staying in the Lake District, Haweswater should be first on the visit list for a spot of unique wildlife watching. The hike will be arduous, but if you are patient and in the right place at the right time, you stand a small chance of spotting England’s sole surviving Golden Eagle.

We’ve barely scratched the surface of wildlife watching in the Lake District and there a plenty of other opportunities to spot a whole host of local residents, from seals, whales and seabirds of all shapes and sizes, to wader, ducks and geese. So be sure to pack your camera and get ready to make some lasting memories. 

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