Take In The Highest Mountain Peaks In England At This Beautiful National Park

Compared with other countries, the mountains of England don't seem all that daunting; Scafell Pike, the highest summit in the country, reaches only 3,209 feet. Yet what the nation's peaks lack in stature is easily made up for in terms of accessibility and outstanding natural beauty.

Scafell Pike resides in the Lake District, one of England's most rugged and popular national parks. All but six of England's 50 highest peaks are situated in the scenic region, with seven of them topping 3,000 ft. With its fells, lakes, tarns, cute villages, and hiking trails, the Lake District holds an irresistible allure for visitors who love the great outdoors, although waterproof jackets are recommended as certain parts are the wettest place in England!

The Lake District also has a special place in the nation's imagination, influencing the likes of William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter, and Arthur Ransome (his famous children's novel "Swallows and Amazons" is set in the area). The area's stunning scenery has inspired UNESCO, which declared the national park a World Heritage site in 2017. The Lake District makes for a perfect destination for avid hikers and those seeking a breath of fresh air. Here is what you need to know for a trip to England's most popular natural spot.

The Lake District has mountains galore

In his definitive series "A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells," author Alfred Wainwright lovingly described 214 of the Lake District's mountains. Suffice it to say that you're never far away from a peak; and the big one is, of course, Scafell Pike. Situated close to the center of the region and surrounded by several other tall summits (including its brother mountain, Scafell at 3,162 ft), England's highest mountain can be done in a day with a fairly vigorous 11-mile hike from the tiny hamlet of Seathwaite. If the weather is fine, you can see as far as Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.

England's third-highest mountain, Helvellyn (3,117 ft) presents a different sort of challenge, with craggy but manageable scrambles up its ridges. Skiddaw (3,054 ft) in the north of the region near Lake Bassenthwaite is another popular hike with a demanding climb to the summit. For a lesser-known route, you can spend the day tackling the trails of Kirkstone Pass, a lengthy hike that takes in several lofty crags.

These options are among the highest peaks in England, but you'll be spoiled for choice anywhere in the Lake District. If you aren't sure which one to pick, maybe think about your destination for a post-hike pint. A good walk in the Langdale Pikes is rewarded with quality ales at the historic Old Dungeon Ghyll, while the Wasdale Head Inn is a great place to sample traditional pub grub after summiting Scafell Pike.

The Lake District is very popular with tourists

The Lake District is tucked away in the far northwest corner of England with miles of remote coastline to the west; the Scottish border to the north; Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North Pennines Area of Outstanding National Beauty to the east; and the popular seaside resort of Blackpool to the south. While almost everywhere in mainland Britain is within a day's drive, the journey from London to Lake District is a significant one by U.K. standards, taking around five hours by car. If you are traveling from the capital, it's fun to break up the trip with a layover in Manchester or Liverpool.

While Lake District conjures up images of majestic peaks, lakes, and isolated trails crisscrossing the fells, you won't necessarily be enjoying them alone. Over 18 million people headed to the national park in 2022, and certain areas can get very busy during the high season. The small town of Windermere and its neighbor, Bowness-on-Windermere, are the most popular destinations for visitors flocking to Lake District. Keswick is a favorite haunt of hikers thanks to its proximity to some of the most beautiful fells and Derwent Water, another picturesque lake.

To beat the crowds and get a sense of adventure, head to the wild and windy valleys of Wasdale and Eskdale or the remote uplands of the region around Lake Bassenthwaite. Hikers taking on the steep slopes in this area will be rewarded with views into Scotland.