The government has announced that the Lake District National Park is to be put forward as the UK’s next nomination for World Heritage Status, with the final decision expected to be announced in 2017. If successful, England’s famous national park will join some of the world’s most eminent heritage sites on UNESCO’s top heritage list, which currently includes the Taj Mahal, Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon and our very own Hadrian’s Wall. But after a string of failed bids dating back to the 1980s, how likely is it that the Lake District will be successful this time around?
Here at Sykes Cottages, we can’t really think of a more fitting nominee for the World Heritage bid. Peppered with historic sites and comprising many of England’s highest peaks and deepest lakes, the Lake District is one of the UK’s most cherished holiday destinations and one which has won the hearts of Britons since the days of William Wordsworth. That said, the uncompromising folk at UNESCO will need more convincing than that if they are to accept the Lake District’s bid. So, we’ve put together a list of fun facts about that the Lake District that we hope may make UNESCO stand up and take notice- or at least, inspire our loyal readers to pay the Lake District a visit themselves! So don your hiking boots, grab a compass, leash your pup and prepare yourself for a wander into the wonders of the Lake District with Sykes Cottages.
Ten golden nuggets from the Lake District
- The Lake District is the UK’s largest national park, covering 885 square miles of untouched glens, time-forgotten hamlets and lofty peaks. Put simply, it’s a sight to behold.
- The national park contains the highest mountain in all of England: Scafell Pike. Forming part of the district’s Southern Fells, Scafell stands at 978 metres (3,209ft) and is ascendable by a number of straightforward pathways. At its summit, hikers are treated to a breath taking panorama- so lace up those boots!
- At the base of Scafell Pike lies Wastwater, England’s deepest lake. Formed by a glacier over 12,000 years ago, Wastwater is 243 feet deep, 3 miles long and half a mile wide. In 2007, ITV named the vista of Wastwater Britain’s favourite view, so you’ll want your camera at the ready as you take a stroll around its banks.
- Although called the ‘Lake’ District, the national park only contains one lake (Bassenthwaite). The rest are actually waters, meres, or tarns. FACT.
- The Lake District has had a huge impact on literature through the ages. From the poetry of Wordsworth, Byron and Coleridge, to the fables of Beatrix Potter, Arthur Ransome and Ernest Hemingway, the beauty of the Lakes has been rousing creativity for centuries.
- Here’s some BIG numbers for you: The Lake District is home to around 14,650 archaeological sites, 275 ancient monuments, 1,760 listed buildings and 23 conservation areas- Need we say more UNESCO?
- You’ll need your pac-a-mac and wellies for a stroll in Seathwaite, the wettest inhabited place in England. On average, 3500mm of rain fall on this soggy hamlet each year, compared to just 2060mm in nearby Ambleside.
- Real ale fan? You’re in luck. The Lake District and Cumbria are home to more microbreweries than any other English county.
- The Lake District is home to several ancient and rather unusual traditions. Local mutts are said to compete in ‘hound trails’- long distance races which require them to follow the scent of aniseed; and, weather hardened Lakeland gents still compete in a form of Westmorland wrestling popular amongst Vikings- so stay on their good side!
- One of the Lake District’s most popular foodie exports is the Cumberland Sausage, a coiled sausage up to 50cm in length. Similar to the Cornish Pasty, the Cumberland Sausage was granted Protected Geographical Indication in 2011, so you can only enjoy this culinary treat within the Lake District’s borders.
Rent a cottage in the Lake District with Sykes Cottages
Wren’s Nest, Keswick. Cottage ref. 18408
Want to wander lonely as a cloud? Book a self-catering holiday cottage in the Lake District from Sykes Cottages. We’ve over 500 cottages in the Lake District for you to choose from, so find your favourite today and discover the wonders of this future World Heritage Site for yourself.