Cottages are everywhere in the lived-in landscapes of the Lake District. Between the green dales of the south and the high peaks of the north, they speckle the side of waters like Windermere and nestle in charming villages, such as Hawkshead. They offer a unique and local experience that's steeped in Cumbrian tradition. Before booking yours, be sure to read on for some top tips, hints and helpful information.

A classic boat crossing Lake Windermere

Lake District holiday cottages and trips

The Lake District isn't just for lovers of Wordsworth or hikers heading to Scafell Pike. There are also cottages in these parts that cater to a whole range of other travellers and types of journey.

Short-stay cottages in the Lake District for fly-in trips

There's often no limit on the number of days you need to book in Lake District cottages. That's great news for ramblers on the long-distance trekking trails that wiggle through the green valleys – they could bed down for a single night in 10 different rentals along the way. It's also helpful if you're on a quick weekend escape from the city, allowing 2 nights between Friday and Sunday to get a blast of English nature before returning home.

Adventurous expeditions to the Lake District

Outdoorsy travellers are often drawn to the northern side of the Lake District National Park. That's the most rugged part of the reserve, where stone-ribbed mountains, such as Skiddaw and Helvellyn, loom over the villages. Many a walking shop and outfitter makes its home in Ambleside, which is always a good spot to base yourself if you're keen on hitting the trails.

A secluded jaunt for 2 in the Lake District

If you're wanting to find somewhere that'll do a little tugging at the heart strings, Lake District cottages in the wilder reaches of the national park might be able to oblige. They are perfect for a minimoon escape with a loved one, to crank up the romance and offer real seclusion – there's a chance that your closest neighbours will be the sheep in the next-door field.

View above Keswick in the middle of the Lake District National Park

Types of Lake District holiday cottages to expect

Pads with steaming hot tubs mingle with pet-friendly cabins in this vast cut-out of England. Be sure to identify the features you'll need before booking your stay.

Luxurious Lake District holiday cottages

A touch of style runs through many of the cottage rentals in the Lake District. There are some that ooze elegant architecture from each of their rough-stone walls. Others have fireplaces that imbue the house with a rich, toasty, country feel. And then there are the pads that have hot tubs and swimming pools – they tend to be the most opulent of all.

Lake District holiday cottages with a hot tub

It's easy to see why a bolthole with a hot tub is so sought-after in these parts. There's really nothing better than a bubbling pool to soothe tired legs that have just ascended the pikes and summits of Skiddaw and beyond.

Pet-friendly Lake District holiday cottages

No matter whether you've a sprightly pooch who could conquer Scafell Pike or an older barker who'd enjoy meditative sniffs around Ullswater, the best pick is surely a pet-friendly rental. They are actually really common in the Lake District, probably because so many travellers look to take the 4-legged family member to the fells with them each year.

The Lake District by summer

How to get last-minute holiday cottages in the Lake District 

While booking the cheapest holiday cottages in the Lake District often entails beating the crowd, there's also a lot to be said for scoring bargains just before you're planning on leaving. You'll need to be a little amenable to destination choice, and not worried if things don't work out, but there's certainly scope for getting a great deal if you follow these 3 tips.

Be flexible with your travel plans

Leaving things late might mean you get more attractive rates in holiday cottages in the Lake District, but it also means you're likely to have fewer places overall to choose from. The upshot is that it helps to be a little flexible – travellers who haven't pinpointed an exact town or village could soon find themselves being lured to a corner of Cumbria they might not have even considered yet.

Widen your accommodation search

It always pays to widen the field of your accommodation search. You can simply broaden things out to encompass the whole of the Lake District National Park and, perhaps, even the towns, such as  Kendal, Penrith, Cockermouth and Whitehaven, which surround it. Doing that certainly means a greater possibility of uncovering any late deals.

Forgo the luxuries

While luxurious holiday cottages in the Lake District, with their panoramic decks, their fire-warmed lounges and soothing hot tubs, are a truly enticing prospect, the chances of these being left for last-minute bargains are slim.