The Lake District is unquestionably one of England's greatest natural treasures. It's so rich in breathtaking landscapes that it was the inspiration for Romantic poets from Wordsworth to Coleridge. And it's got fairy-tale villages dressed in dark stones and peppered with fire-crackling pubs. If you're planning on heading here on your next escape, be sure to read this guide to lakes cottages, which offer a truly unique and traditional place to stay in the middle of the fells.

The rocky top of Scafell Pike

Types of holidays to plan in lakes cottages

With their cosy hearths and hearty kitchens, lakes cottages can be that home away from home you've been searching for. They are also versatile accommodations that can suit a whole medley of different types of trip.

Walking holidays to lakes cottages by the mountains

The Lake District National Park rings its borders around some of the highest mountains in the country. The peak of them all is Scafell Pike, which shoulders atop the wide valley of Great Langdale. In the next dale over, you can pick out lakes cottages in places like Rydal, Hawkshead and Ambleside, each with a direct line to the trekking trails up to England's superlative summit.

Trips with the dog to the Lake District

The abundance of adventure that the Lake District can offer makes it a fine place to take the pooch. The most intrepid sniffers can hit the Walla Crag Trail or the challenging route to Grisedale Pike. The lazier hounds can enjoy boat rides on the Windermere steamers. If you do decide to bring the floppy-eared pal to the peaks, ensure you select the pet-friendly filter when searching for lakes cottages.

Romantic lakes cottages for 2

Whether it's tracing the poetic history of Wordsworth in Rydal Mount, or rowing across the reflective surface of Derwent Water, the Lake District has plenty of romantic activities up its sleeve. There are also cosy cottages in the area to match. They tend to be compact and charming, with vernacular architecture and maybe even a log fire.

Lake Windermere views

Ways you can get a great deal on lakes cottages

England's richest natural landscapes don't have to come at too hefty a financial cost. You can score some great bargains in the Lakeland region, especially if you follow these 3 handy hints.

Head to Kendal for lakes cottages outside the park

While it's surely the delights of the Lake District National Park that have drawn you to this stunning corner of England, you don't haveto stay in the midst of the reserve itself. By making for the town of Kendal just outside the boundaries of the protected area, it is possible to get lakes cottages at a reduced price. And you can delve into the enthralling exhibits of the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry – entirely dedicated to local heritage.

Secure your lakes cottage nice and early

There's never a time when cottages around the lakes and fells of this glorious region aren't in demand. That means it's a good idea to search for your stay as early as you can. Beating the crowds means getting a wider range of lettings to pick from, which, in turn, means a higher chance of scoring a bargain.

Consider autumn or winter in lakes cottages

There's something truly special about the moment the woodlands of Grasmere and Grizedale start to change colour. The boughs turn rust-red and auburn around October and November, creating a walker's wonderland. Meanwhile, wintertime ushers in ice and snow across the Lake District, giving the country pubs – especially those with fires – a heart-warming feel. These also tend to be the cheaper times of year to visit.

Lake Windermere in the fog and mist

Where should I look for my lakes cottage?

The Lake District is a vast place. It ranges from the Irish Sea coast in the west to the foothills of the Pennines in the east. Between those two borders, it's got oodles of enticing spots and villages. Where you go should depend on what you want to do.

Walkers set out from Ambleside

With hikes through wooded gorges to the Stock Ghyll waterfall and treks up high Loughrigg Fell overlooking Lake Windermere, Ambleside has all sorts of easy and challenging walks in its vicinity. It's also packed with outdoorsy equipment shops and plenty of cosy hikers’ cottages.

Hawkshead rarely fails to enchant

Zig-zagging lanes of moss-caked cobblestone weave through ancient Hawkshead, so the moment you step foot in this once-Norse town, you can instantly see why it was such an inspiration to the Lake Poets. In short, if you're after a taste of rural Cumbrian life, with hearty pubs and crooked cottages, this is the place to go.

A visit to Lake Windermere

There's a chance you could bag yourself a lakes cottage that's actually right by the side of a lake by heading to Windermere. This long, expansive stretch of water is a fine place to base yourself. It hosts mysterious Wray Castle on its western banks, along with the Holehird Gardens on the eastern side, where blooming flowers and tree nurseries abound.