My Solo Visit to the Lake District and Why I (Probably) Won’t Go Back

visiting the lake district
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Dreams of visiting the Lake District in the fall danced around my head as I made my way north from the medieval town of York to bask in the English countryside for a few days.  My stomach filled with butterflies as I headed to what I had heard was, “Perhaps the most beautiful place in all of England”.  And that, it was.  There is no argument there.

I found myself planning to visit the Lake District when I saw pictures of the region splashed across social media.  I “oohed” and “aahed” as I scrolled through beautiful pictures of colorful trees and tiny little cottages snuggled in lush green hills.  I had a solo trip planned, where I was aiming to drive from England to Scotland.  With the Lake District located in Northern England, near the Scottish border, adding on a few days to stop in this incredible area seemed like the obvious choice.  Little did I know…


Visiting the Lake District in England

If you’re planning to visit the Lake District, I highly recommend renting a car so that you’re able to properly explore the area.


Read more about renting a car in the UK:

Why You Shouldn’t Rent a Car As a Solo American Traveler in the UK

The Best Tips for Renting a Car in the UK

The Ultimate Solo Guide to a 7-Day Road Trip Through the UK


About the Lake District

fall hues on derwenterwater lake

The Lake District is a mountainous, National Park located in county Cumbria.  It’s on the west side of England met by the Irish Sea, 4.5-hours northwest of London, and 2.5-hours southwest of Edinburgh.  Since 2017, it’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the park welcomes thousands of visitors each year who flock to see glacial lakes, rugged mountains, and historic small towns.


By the way, if you’re traveling in England and plan to visit London, don’t miss:  A Complete Guide to Visiting London


Things to Do in the Lake District

derwenterwater lake

Because the Lake District is so diverse, there is quite literally something for everyone!  You can hike, rent a boat, stargaze (it’s the darkest place in England), rope adventure through the trees, scramble/canyon through rocks, rent segways and drive through the forest.  You can visit Roman remains and stone circles, which are free activities.  And on a rainy day?  Head to the museums and galleries.  For more information on things to do in and around the area, click here.


Where to Stay in the Lake District

the streets of keswick, cumbria

Not only are there all different types of activities, but there are all different types of stays too!  You can glamp, camp, and even rent a cottage.  You can sleep in a hotel, a bed-and-breakfast, a log cabin, stay at a spa, or opt for a luxury hotel.  For more ideas on where to stay when visiting the Lake District, click here.


Towns in the Lake District

old houses in keswick, cumbria

With many different towns in the Lake District, you could base yourself in one and explore from there, or town-hop moving every day or so.  Some popular areas in the Lake District include Windermere and Ambleside – where you’ll find the largest lake in England and perhaps the most popular area in the Lake District.  If you’re interested in hiking and climbing perhaps you’ll stay near Ullswater.  And if you want to camp, head to the Langdale Valley.

I chose to stay and explore the area of Keswick, in the northern part of the Lake District; where I would spend 48-hours exploring the town.


Visiting Keswick, Cumbria

old town, keswick

Keswick is stunning. On one hand, you’re walking along cobblestone streets, passing old buildings, and visiting the busy market center.  You’ll notice pubs full of cheery chaps buying another round of beer, and restaurants packed full of friends laughing and smiling with one another.  But on the other hand, one step outside of the old town and you’re surrounded by hills and water.  Only a stone’s throw from the old town and you’ll come across one of the most beautiful and famous lakes in the Lake District – Derwentwater.

While I strolled through town solo, it wasn’t all that I had envisioned it to be.  I couldn’t help but think that if I had someone along with me on this journey, I would perhaps enjoy it a bit more.  Was it me?  Was it the people I was surrounded by?  Or was it Keswick?  Did I need to be with someone else to appreciate and value the beauty of the Lake District?

When you’re in the Lake District there’s so much adventuring to do.  By being alone, I craved to have a partner who I could bike with, hike with, rent a boat with.  And when I was in town popping in and out of pubs I noticed couples at the pub cozying up to one another in a very public manner and thought, “I wish that was me”.

Whatever it was, my solo stay in the Lake District wasn’t my favorite solo adventure that I’ve had.


Here are some of my favorite solo destinations!

The Cotswolds, England

Tallinn, Estonia

Finnish Lapland

Athens, Greece

Vilnius, Lithuania



Why I (Probably) Won’t go Back… Alone

me in front of derwenterwater lake

While the lake district is beautiful and serene, I have to say – I wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be.  Yes, it’s beautiful.  Yes, it’s quaint.  And yes it’s a great place to unwind.  But for a solo, single, gal – it wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.  And while it wasn’t my cup of tea, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be your cup of tea.  So if you’re planning a trip to England and you’re looking to be out in nature and get more off the beaten path, then visit the Lake District.  As for me?  I’ll stick to the more medieval and historic towns of England.


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Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no cost to you.


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Kylee is a Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) nurse passionate about making travel affordable and accessible to nurses. Inspiring nurses to travel both near and far, Kylee began Passports and Preemies in 2017 while volunteering in Skopje, North Macedonia as a way to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. Kylee is the original creator of the “8 Day Vacay” – a vacation geared towards nurses who aim to take advantage of the potentially 8 days off between work weeks with no need to use PTO.

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  1. Deepak
    July 1, 2022 / 8:12 pm

    In Keswick right now as a solo traveller and I feel the same thing. This would be a great place to visit with a partner. I usually gauge this by seeing how comfortable I will feel walking into the restaurants in a place. It was hard to find a single place where I wouldn’t feel out of the place. Luckily, a relatively empty Thai restaurant came to my rescue.

    • July 6, 2022 / 1:46 pm

      Hi Deepak, bummer to hear you’ve had the same experience but I’m glad that you made the most of it. Cheers to better solo travel destinations in our future!

  2. Rachel
    September 11, 2022 / 2:42 pm

    Hi Kylee, I just arrived in Keswick solo, and am getting the same vibe. I googled where to eat by myself and found your site! I’ve been coming to the Lakes since I was a tot, sometimes solo, but also with friends/family/partners. In my experience, Ambleside is one of the better solo destinations in the Lakes, it has bit more of a transient population and feels like the current centre of tourism for the Lakes, so a few more visible solo walkers/travellers (Wansfell to Stockghyll is a great hike to do solo from Ambleside). Coniston is lovely too (Tarn Hows is my prefered walk there), and it has a good few cosy pubs to provide an evening meal with an easy atmosphere. Less packed than Ambleside also. Now… to resolve my current dining problem, wish me luck! 🙂

    • September 12, 2022 / 1:06 pm

      Hi Rachel, glad to know I wasn’t alone! The area is beautiful, but again, I felt like I was missing out not being with anyone. I hope you found somewhere to dine!!

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