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The Lake District’s Most Picturesque Picnic Spots

One of the most famous and largest Lake District waterfalls, Aira Force is surrounded by truly breathtaking scenery.  The spectacular falls offer a beautiful backdrop in which to have a picnic.  By wandering around the falls and surrounding woodland, you could find yourself treading in the footsteps of William Wordsworth, who penned the famous poem ‘Daffodils’ after walking along this part of Ullswater.

Both Catbells or Ashness Bridge offer stunning views down on to the natural beauty of fell-flanked Derwentwater.  Catbells is a popular family walk, which is not too difficult a climb to reach the top, and once there the views down to Derwentwater and beyond wonderful.  Much of the lake is fringed with trees that form a blanket of golds and reds in the autumn.  But for those who want to give their legs a rest, you can also get a great view by driving up to Ashness Bridge on the other side of the lake.

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Nestling on the route between the pretty Lakeland villages of Coniston and Hawkshead is Tarn Hows.  This beauty spot is surrounded by thick, enchanting woodland and is overlooked by the dramatic Langdale Pikes and the infamous Helvellyn.  Beatrix Potter bought Tarn Hows as part of the Monk Coniston estate in 1929, before selling it onto the National Trust.  Choose the right time to visit and you can experience a true haven of Lakeland tranquillity.

Loughrigg Tarn is a fantastic spot, which is undoubtedly one of the Lake District’s hidden treasures.  It offers tremendous views of miles of rolling fells, across to the rugged beauty of the Langdale Pikes.  The serene tarn has magnificent clear blue water, which during the Summer months is adorned with beautiful water lilies.  Wordsworth gave Loughrigg Tarn the nickname of ‘Diana’s Looking Glass’ after Lake Nemi, (the mirror of Diana), in Rome’s Alban hills.

There can be few places in the world as perfect for an atmospheric Autumn walk to watch the evening sun set than Gummers How, near Windermere.  The views sweeping north across Lake Windermere are amazing, especially at this time of year when a kaleidoscope of colour bursts out of the rich Lakeland vegetation.

Talkin Tarn Country Park is situated just a few miles from the bustling city of Carlisle, and its 120 acres offers a welcome escape from the demands of city life.  The park’s centrepiece is Talkin Tarn, where you can walk along the quiet water’s edge, amongst the fallen leaves.  As well as the immense natural beauty on offer, the surrounding woodlands of Talkin Tarn Country Park are a perfect place to catch a glimpse of the ever-elusive red squirrel.

Birdoswald Roman Fort is considered to be one of the most picturesque settings along the entire 73 miles of Hadrian’s Wall.  Standing in a commanding position, high above the River Irthing, a Roman fort, turret and milecastle can all be seen from this excellent viewpoint.

High Dam Tarn, at Finsthwaite, epitomises the Lakeland beauty spot.  In fact, Alfred Wainwright once referred to this very spot as “a much nicer place than the over-populated Tarn Hows”. However, you’d be best to decide for yourself.  The views from Finsthwaite are delightful; from Lakeside and Newby Bridge over to Gummers How and High Dam Tarn.  The tarn was once used to turn the water wheels at nearby Stott Park Bobbin Mill.

Ruskin’s View, at Kirkby Lonsdale, is another one in the running for one of England’s best views. This enchanting spot, looking across the River Lune from the town’s churchyard, was considered so beautiful that it has been forever commemorated in a famous painting by Turner.  John Ruskin, so inspired by Turner’s painting was also known to have said that it is ‘one of the loveliest scenes in England’.

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