“I wandered lonely as a cloud, that floats on high o’er vales and hills, when all at once I saw a crowd, a host, of golden daffodils; beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze...”
― William Wordsworth, 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.'
Sparkling blue lakes, sweeping fells, award-winning restaurants, and cosy cottages with roaring open fires; the Lake District is the perfect destination for romance. This beautiful land of wild and emotive scenery has long been an inspirational place for poets, writers and artists. So, whether it be for Valentine’s Day, a honeymoon, anniversary, or simply a reminder to your loved one of how much you care, a romantic holiday in the Lake District is a must.
We’ve put together a romantic guide to the Lake District, including things to do, places to eat and sights to see with that special someone. From tranquil lake cruises to enchanting journeys by steam train, there are plenty of things to do in the Lake District for couples. Read on to discover how to enjoy the perfect romantic Lake District getaway.
Visit the home of a Romantic poet
Rydal Mount near Ambleside was the beloved home of William Wordsworth, one of the most renowned English Romantic poets of all time. The house and its beautiful gardens are open throughout the year for couples to explore and see where Wordsworth penned many of his works such as the quintessential Lake District poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. Share an afternoon tea in the tearoom or enjoy a peaceful picnic together in Dora’s Field, adorned with a carpet of daffodils in spring, in honour of Wordsworth’s daughter.
Stay nearby at: North Cottage, Ambleside
Enjoy a dreamy journey by steam
One of the most relaxing ways to admire the gorgeous scenery of the Lake District is by cosying up together on a vintage steam locomotive. The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway offers a magical journey chugging through the picturesque Leven Valley at the southern end of Windermere. Combined tickets are available to take in some popular attractions along the route including the Lakes Aquarium, The World of Beatrix Potter and the Lakeland Motor Museum, or you could surprise your significant other by connecting with a steamer at Lakeside Pier and enjoying a romantic cruise to Bowness or Ambleside.
Stay nearby at: No1 Rose Cottage, Bouth
Pick up an aphrodisiac
No romantic holiday in the Lake District is complete without taking a trip to Grasmere Gingerbread. This lovely little shop greets all who visit with an inviting aroma of freshly baked gingerbread, still made with the same recipe invented in 1854 by Victorian cook Sarah Nelson. And as well as being incredibly tasty, this sweet and spicy cross between a biscuit and a cake, is also held highly as an aphrodisiac. Ginger is said to have once been used in love potions and spells, why not see for yourself?
Stay nearby at: The Pavilion At Applethwaite Hall, Windermere
See a show at the theatre
A top choice for a romantic evening in the Lake District would be the Theatre by the Lake. Enjoying a beautiful spot on the shores of Derwentwater in Keswick, the theatre hosts a wide variety of live performances from contemporary to classic. Make your night extra special with a relaxing sail across the lake, then treat your loved one to a glass of fizz in the theatre’s bar before taking your seat in the stalls.
Stay nearby at: Beehive Barn, Caldbeck
Book a romantic boat trip
When people picture romantic Lake District breaks, they often conjure up images of rowboats gently drifting across calm waters. So why not recreate the scene from The Notebook and hire a boat for the two of you to explore the lakes on? There are numerous places to hire boats in the Lake District: you could choose a canoe for two at Derwentwater, a historic steamer trip at Ullswater, a classic sailboat at Windermere, or a traditional rowboat experience at Coniston Water. Find a secluded spot to admire the beauty of the surrounding mountain scenery from the water’s edge and enjoy true peace and tranquillity.
Stay nearby at: Somewhere, Coniston
Indulge in a special meal for two
Couples are spoilt for choice with the number of romantic restaurants in the Lake District, including four Michelin-starred eateries, The Samling, Forest Side, The Gilpin, and L’Enclume. From traditional fellside inns to chic champagne bars, the Lake District has a strong reputation for some of the best dining in the UK, perfect for going that extra mile to celebrate an occasion with someone special. Many also boast breathtaking views over the lakes and the fells beyond, a perfect backdrop for an indulgent evening out.
Read our guide to 20 of the best Lake District restaurants for more inspiration.
Stay nearby at: Wharton Loft, Cartmel
Walk hand-in-hand through the countryside
The Lake District was described by John Ruskin as one of the three most beautiful scenes in Europe. There are so many romantic walks in the Lake District to choose from where you can witness these incredible views together. One of the most popular with couples is a wander up to Friars Crag where a perfectly placed bench welcomes lovers to sit and soak up the dreamy scenery of Derwentwater and the Borrowdale Valley. You’ll soon see why this is one of the most romantic places in the Lake District, as well as a top proposal spot. And at night, this viewpoint transforms into one of the best places to watch the stars sparkling in the sky – a flask of hot chocolate and some snuggly blankets are all you need.
Find more scenic strolls with our guide to the best walks in the Lake District.
Stay nearby at: The Bothy – Lake District, Windermere
Take your romantic ramble to the next level by bringing along a cute and fluffy alpaca! One of the best romantic days out in the Lake District, you and your partner can partake in a private alpaca walk through Whinlatter Forest or around the stunning grounds of the Lingholm Estate including Beatrix Potter's summer home, closed to the general public. During this one-of-a-kind experience at Alpacaly Ever After, you can both get up close and personal with your friendly alpacas, help with feeding time, and even take them for a swim. It's definitely an activity you won't forget in a hurry!
Stay nearby at: The Dairy – Lake District, Coniston
Share a kiss at a waterfall
Set in a verdant green forest, the dramatic 70-foot cascade of water known as Aira Force is one of the most romantic places to get engaged in the Lake District. Just off the shores of Ullswater, whisper sweet nothings as you wander through the woodland, retracing the steps of the biggest romantic of all, William Wordsworth. After a short walk to the top of the dazzling falls, you’ll find a tiny bridge that spans the rushing water – an invigorating spot to share a kiss with your partner. Look out for the wishing tree, where visitors traditionally hammer coins into the bark using stones before making a secret romantic vow. End your trip with an indulgent slice of cake in the National Trust café.
Discover more waterfalls with our guide to 10 pretty waterfalls in the Lake District.
Stay nearby at: The Nook – Lake District, Kentmere
Snuggle up in a cosy cottage
After a wonderful day of romantic activities in the Lake District, there’s simply nothing better than pouring a glass of wine and snuggling down in front of a glowing open fire with your other half in a cosy cottage for two. Tuck yourselves away in one of our romantic cottages in the Lake District and make the most of each other’s company amidst the beautiful scenery of the lakes and fells. Perhaps you’ll pick a secluded hideaway with a bubbling hot tub where you can sip champagne together under the stars, or maybe you’ll choose a retreat where you can sink into the soft sheets of a four-poster bed at the end of a blissful day. Click the button below to find an idyllic romantic getaway to relax, unwind and spend some extra special time together.
For more inspiration, have a read of our blog, Ten romantic Lake District cottages for winter.