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A weekend away in the beautiful Lake District

The North West of England offers such a variety of accessible experiences and is home to some of the country’s most stunning countryside – the Lake District. The beautiful National Park – which serves as the setting of the latest film adaptation of the classic children’s novel, Swallows and Amazons, starring Sherlock’s Andrew Scott and comedian Harry Enfield – is ideal for a weekend away.

Here are some of our favourite things to do in and around the Lake District, including heading out on a scenic drive adventure, enjoying a play on a riverbank and travelling along the coast in a steam train.

Weekend in the North

Lake District Scenic Drive

Lake district scenic driveAs England’s largest National Park and with so much beautiful scenery, a drive through the Lake District is a great way to start a weekend and feel like you’re embarking on an adventure like the Walker children of Swallows and Amazons. The route featured in the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain starts at its most northerly point in the pretty market town of Cockermouth. Heading south to the impressive Buttermere, you can take the smooth, accessible footpath from the village car park to the idyllic Lake Buttermere.

Further south the scenery gets wilder and steep, craggy hillsides make for some dramatic vistas. The driving route also takes in Grasmere, a picturesque village that was once home to William Wordsworth, Ambleside, a busy little town that offers some great lunch spots, and ends at the Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre to enjoy the wonderful gardens and accessible footpaths by the shore of Lake Windermere. While some elements of the drive can be steep and windy, bravery is rewarded with the stunning landscape views.

Theatre by the Lake

Derwent waterThe very apt host of the Swallows and Amazons film premiere, in our opinion this is one of the most picturesque settings for a theatre that we’ve experienced. Set on the banks of Derwentwater – a location that is pivotal in the film – Theatre by the Lake also offers a relaxed atmosphere and a programme offering that means visitors to the area can enjoy a number of different plays in one weekend or indulge in film and literature festivals.

The recent addition of the Café by the Lake is a new must visit, the large windows mean that while enjoying a lovely meal or snack visitors can also take in the views across Derwentwater, mountains such as Cat Bells and beyond. There’s a large car park next to the theatre which includes around a dozen spaces for Blue Badge holders.

Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway

EskdaleVintage steam trains with the classic whistle and plumes of smoke were in their heyday and feature in the late 1920s-set Swallows and Amazons. Travel back to the golden age of locomotives with a journey which winds through seven scenic miles of stunning countryside from Ravenglass, the only coastal village in the National Park. Known locally at the Ratty Railway, this was apparently one of Wainwright’s favourite journeys, a return trip takes one hour and 40 minutes and all four of the trains have accessible carriages with ramped access on and off.


For more ideas on making the most of your Motability Scheme car, you can read more accessible things to do across the UK, hereOpens in new window .

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Photo credits: Swallows and Amazons main image - BBC films, Lake District scenic drive - in new window , Derwent water - visitcumbria.comOpens in new window , Eskale - calflier001Opens in new window Flickr