Cumbria is big. Really big. It’s England’s third largest county after North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, whilst the Lake District national park is England’s largest, covering a whopping 912 square miles. However, don’t rule us out if you are planning a mini-break, as you can easily fit in some of the best sights in just 48 hours. This itinerary features low level walks that would suit most abilities. Here's our suggestion for your weekend away.

Friday Evening

Yachts on Lake Windermere

Yachts on Lake Windermere

Start your long weekend in Bowness-On-Windermere. Grab an early dinner at your hotel or at one of a number of amazing eateries in the town, such as Porto for fine dining or New Hall Inn (AKA the Hole In t’Wall) for classic but delicious pub grub. Then, if the weather is good, head over to Bowness Pier and hop onto a sunset cruise.

Saturday Morning

Views of Lake Windermere from Orrest Head

Views of Lake Windermere from Orrest Head

Make the most of your weekend and ditch the lie-in for a walk up Orrest Head – the fell that inspired Alfred Wainwright to ditch his native Lancashire in favour of a life in the Cumbrian peaks.

Saturday Lunch Time

Shops in Ambleside

Ambleside Shops (Nilfanion / Wikipedia.org)

After your walk, take a short drive up to Ambleside and reward yourself with a hearty lunch and a slice of cake. Spend an hour or two strolling around the delightful shops in the town.

Saturday Afternoon

Thirlmere

Thirlmere

Take Britain’s Best Road, the A591, from Ambleside towards Keswick. Stop in Grasmere to sample some world famous Grasmere gingerbread, and then continue on towards Keswick, perhaps stopping at Station Coppice car park on the way that overlooks Thirlmere and gives access to the lake shore via a short stretch of path.

Saturday Evening

Keswick Centre

Keswick Centre (chrisd2105 / bigstockphoto.com)

Arrive in Keswick late in the afternoon and book into a hotel for the night. Take a half hour stroll to Friars Crag, and grab a bite to eat in the town, where you will find pubs and restaurants galore. Then finish your evening by catching a show at the Theatre by the Lake.

Sunday Morning

Bowder Stone

Bowder Stone in Keswick

Rise and shine early for another packed day of adventure. After a good old-fashioned full English breakfast at your hotel, take the road from Keswick towards Borrowdale. Briefly stop at the Bowder Stone on the way for a look at one of the quirkier attractions in the Lake District, then continue through the Borrowdale Valley up onto the Honister Pass. At the top of the pass, stop at the Honister Slate Mine where you can take an underground mine tour, starting at 10.30am.

Sunday Lunch Time

Buttermere

Buttermere (Richard Webb / geograph.org.uk)

Continue down the pass and arrive at the village of Buttermere. Grab lunch in the village, either at one of the two pubs (The Fish Inn and the Bridge Inn) or the two cafés (Croft House Farm Café and Syke Farm Tea Room).

Sunday Afternoon

Buttermere Lake

Buttermere Lake

Finish your trip with a stroll around Buttermere lake. There is a path that goes around the entire lake and it will take you approximately two-hours. Reward yourself with an ice cream from one of the two cafés in the village before heading back home. Go via the Lorton road towards Cockermouth and then the A66 that will take you alongside Bassenthwaite Lake before heading up to Penrith and the M6.