Hit the lakes and fells with a Lake District self catering break

The Lake District's one of the most popular outdoor playgrounds in the UK, and whether you're there for a short break or a longer holiday, there's no better way to experience it than from your very own self catering holiday rental. Getting a place with all mod cons and cooking facilities gives you all the independence you need to enjoy the lakes and fells with complete freedom, and it can also be a great way to stretch your budget, especially if you manage to snag a last-minute deal.

Holiday rentals for couples and groups

The Lake District's got holiday rentals to suit all preferences and pockets, from rustic-chic wooden lodges and log cabins to quaint, slate-roofed cottages in chocolate-box Lakeland villages. There are plenty of more spacious places for larger groups, while couples will love cuddling up next to the fire in a romantic holiday cottage. For those in the market for a bit more luxury, you'll find some properties come with their own hot tubs, or even swimming pools.

Time to lace up those hiking boots

A holiday in the Lake District is all about getting into the great outdoors. The area's home to England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike, along with other classic fell-walking routes including Skiddaw, Blencathra and Helvellyn. If you're more about the lakes than the mountains, you could get out on the water by renting a kayak or taking a ferry ride. And with so many dog-friendly holiday rentals available, your canine companion can join you on your outdoor adventures, too.

Top spots for a Lake District holiday rental

With such a wealth of mountains, lakes, museums and even castles to explore, one of the biggest decisions about a self catering holiday in the Lake District is where to base yourself. Staying somewhere like Ambleside or Windermere will put you right in the heart of the action, while larger towns like Keswick and Kendal have more going on and are closer to major road routes, meaning you can cut back on travel time.

Plant yourself right in the middle of it all in Keswick

Keswick is the undisputed honeypot of the Lake District, and holiday rentals here are among the most popular in the area. This bustling market town is within easy reach of many of the Lake District's major mountains and attractions, and it's also got unusually convenient road access from elsewhere in the country thanks to the nearby A66. Keswick itself is a lively place, full of well-stocked outdoor shops and relaxed pubs.

Amble straight out onto the fells from Ambleside

The outward-bound types seem to have a special affinity for Ambleside. Perhaps it's the location – at the head of Lake Windermere and just below the Fairfield Horseshoe – but the place has become a hub for walkers, mountain bikers and watersports enthusiasts. If you're looking to fine-tune your equipment, the town's stacked with gear shops, and with more than its fair share of pubs and tearooms, a holiday cottage in Ambleside makes a great base.

Take a cruise on Lake Windermere

If Keswick and Ambleside cater more for the outdoorsy crowd, then Windermere's all about visitors looking for a few more creature comforts. These days, the village of Windermere is pretty much indistinguishable from its neighbour, Bowness-on-Windermere, and together they form a genteel little enclave of independent shops, posh tearooms and foodie pubs on the banks of Windermere. This part of the Lakes is inextricably linked with the writer Beatrix Potter, and if you're staying in a holiday home in Windermere, you'll want to take the ferry across to her former home in the village of Near Sawrey.

Nibble a slab of Kendal mint cake

Kendal's one of the easiest places to get to in the Lakes, and its proximity to the M6 motorway makes a Kendal holiday rental a great bet for a short break. It's also got a busier cultural scene than some of the other, more outdoor-focused towns in the Lake District, with museums, art galleries, performing arts venues and even castles. It's home to the famous mountaineering snack, Kendal mint cake, and a bar of the stuff is an obligatory Cumbrian souvenir.