We’re going to let you in on a little secret, or 10 secrets, in fact. There are some fabulous places you can visit that are the hidden treasures of the Lakes. Here are our top picks of the real Lake District - just remember to keep them secret!
Blea Tarn is one of the most spectacular in the Lake District National Park. The tarn is just a few easy minutes’ walk from the road and there are lots of little footpaths around if you do fancy a stroll, suitable for all fitness levels and ages, with lovely views all the way.
Crummock Water is a beautiful lake that's around 2.5 miles long. You can hire rowing boats to enjoy the water itself, and the walks around the surrounding landscape provide exceptional views. You may also walk to the nearby Scale Force, the highest waterfall in the Lake District.
Duddon Valley is off the main tourist track and yet offers loads to entertain visitors, from charming villages to fantastic landscapes for walking, mountain biking, horse riding and fishing. The lack of a grand lake means few tourists venture here, but the River Duddon which passes through the valley is also great for canoeing. The little Post Office sells ice creams and fishing nets and there are 18th-century ruins to explore at Duddon Bridge old ironworks.
This is incredibly popular for wild swims and a great spot to avoid the crowds of Windermere. Esthwaite has a long silver gravel beach and you can dive in and swim among the reflections of Latterbarrow and Furness fells. There’s easy access from the lane-side car park, and a tea room with row boats to hire.
Kailpot Crag in Ullswater is considered one of the best wild swimming spots in the UK. Follow the footpath from Sandiwick leading towards Howton and after about a mile you’ll reach the crag, from which you can enjoy jumping into the water.
A wild, beautiful, and quiet place where you can enjoy great walks, cycling, horse riding, rock climbing, orienteering and canoeing. The valley is home to the most westerly lake in the Lake District, Ennerdale Water, and the nearby town of Whitehaven.
The fell of Black Combe in the Borough of Copeland offers stunning views. Black Combe can be approached by various different routes and it’s best to plan your ascent during good weather to make the most of the views.
Cathedral Cavern, Little Langdale
Cathedral Cavern is one of many slate mine caverns in Cumbria, cut by hand hundreds of years ago. Most impressive is a balcony with a sheer drop-off and there is also a substantial network of well-trodden tunnels which families can explore.
Claife Viewing Station
Dating back to the 1790s, Claife was one of several viewing stations around the lake which were constructed for the earliest wealthy tourists to the area. In the 1830s and 1840s, the station was used for parties and dances. Now, you can enjoy the café in the courtyard before walking up to the viewing station itself.
Holehird Gardens, Windermere
An incredible 17 acres of beautiful fellside gardens, with fantastic views over Windermere to the Langdale Pikes and beyond. The gardens are the work of 200 volunteers from the Lakeland Horticultural Society. The centre piece is the Walled Garden which bursts with colour throughout the season, but you can also explore the pathways through the many different gardens and three national collections.
Have we missed one of your favourite hidden treasures of the Lake District off our list? Comment below and let us know!