The fells and bracing waters of the Lake District have become synonymous with the backcountry of northern England. They are laced with slate-topped, stone-clad towns where tearooms mingle with enchanting literary museums. That means there are all sorts of possible escapes to have in these parts, with cottages that can suit families as much as romantic couples and dog walkers.

Cottages to rent in the Lake District sit beneath some of England's highest peaks

Different types of cottages to rent in the Lake District

Before booking your Cumbrian escape, it's wise to give a little thought to the features you'd really love to enjoy. Whether that means a steaming hot tub beneath the high hills of Wasdale or a pad for the dog to enjoy on the banks of Derwent Water, there should be something to suit.

Pet-friendly options in the Lake District

The Lake District is the perfect place to consider inviting your 4-legged friend. You'll find loads of pooch-filled pubs fringing the waterside walks in the region, while the Ravenglass and Eskdale heritage railway near the coast welcomes well-behaved barkers for a steam-puffing ride.

Lake District cottages with hot tubs

Who could blame the hill walkers fresh from Scafell Pike for wanting a dash of luxury when they return to their chosen abode? There's surely no better way to ensure just that than by opting for a Lake District cottage with a hot tub.

Character cottages in the Lake District

The whole of Cumbria is rooted in a rich architectural tradition of hardy, stone-built homes and arched packhorse bridges. That's precisely what awaits in the rentals of the Lake District, which can often seem untouched for more than a century. Rough limestone exteriors mingle with sloping slate roofs clad in moss and ivy to create boltholes you won't forget in a hurry.

Some Lake District locals

The various holidays to have in Lake District cottages

Holidays to the Lake District are often spent on the hiking trails that swirl around Scafell Pike. But they might not be for everyone. This region also magnetises literary buffs and relaxation seekers with its fusion of poetic spaces and languishing boat rides. Here's a look at just 3 of the popular types of trips the national park lends itself to…

Lake District cottages for short breaks

With Carlisle and Glasgow to the north, and Manchester and Liverpool tucked to the south, the Lake District can be accessed by millions of people in just a couple of hours. That makes it prime weekend-break territory. Loads of cottages are ready and waiting for 2- or 3-night stays, with efficient check-in procedures that could have you out and on the trekking tracks of Buttermere and Skiddaw in no time at all.

Lake District cottages to rent for 2

Names like Holbeck Ghyll and L'Enclume imbue the Lake District with a culinary creativity that would make even London jealous. But romantic meals of meticulously-crafted northern food are just the start for travelling couples in these parts. You can also enjoy meditative cruises on Lake Windermere, or just snuggly nights in by the fire.

Cottages for culture vultures in Lake District towns

Because this region is steeped in such strong building traditions, many of the cottages here will enchant travellers with a penchant for vernacular architecture and northern style. Meanwhile, just outside the door in places like Rydal and Bowness-on-Windermere, exhibits chronicle the epic poems of William Wordsworth and the enthralling tales of Beatrix Potter alike.

An ancient stone circle in the middle of the Lake District

Destination choices for Lake District cottages to rent

So, you've settled on the Lake District as your next destination? Before you get lost in dreams of stone-walled fells and mirror-like waters, it might be worth picking the particular town you'd like to reside in. There are some that really stand out from the crowd:

Ambleside is for the trekkers

Ambleside is a nerve centre of Lake District walking routes. Many paths start and end in the town, so it's understandable there's a whole pack of boot stores and coat shops vying for your attention. A cottage here could also be your ticket to the summit of Scafell Pike, which lurks past the great slab of Bowfell in the valley next door.

Get lost in Hawkshead

A rabbit-warren of moss-sprouting lanes and overhanging cottages welcomes travellers to Hawkshead. Come spring, the whitewashed boltholes bloom with rhododendrons and sweet honeysuckle, lending the place even more charm. Literary buffs will be able to tread the alleys where a young Wordsworth once trod, while pub lovers have hearty alehouses buzzing with local chatter.

Find cottage stays in Keswick 

Keswick is nestled within a lovely bowl of mountains, facing the sloshing Derwent Water on one side and the hulking Skiddaw peak on the other. It's got taverns and tearooms, old market squares and the amazing Castlerigg Stone Circle – thought to be as much as 5,000 years old.