The Best ‘Secret’ Places in the Lake District and Cumbria

Anyone visiting the Lake District National Park and the surrounding county of Cumbria should take the time to see well known sights like the villages of Grasmere and Keswick, and Lake Windermere; all these places deserve their reputations, and are ideal for cottage holidays, walking, and climbing. However, what are some of the less well known places in the Lake District and Cumbria to see? From Spout Force Waterfall to Dentdale, these destinations represent some of the many ‘secret’ places in the area, and can be easily reached from some of the more notable attractions.

Spout Force Waterfall

This impressive waterfall can be found in the forested area of Whinlatter Place, and is located in the Western end of the Lakes – one of the main appeals of Spout Force is its secluded location, and the dense forest around it.

Crummock Water

One of the less well known lakes, Crummock Water can be found by traveling from Buttermere or Loweswater, and is dominated by the presence of the Melbreak Fell – the area doesn’t tend to get that many visitors, but is an ideal starting point for seeing the main lakes.

Winster Valley

South of Lake Windermere, the Winster Valley is distinguished by its dry stone walls, thick woodland, and by its diverse natural wildlife and flora and fauna; you can see some of the rarest birds in the Lake District in the valley, and can find small but appealing pubs like the Brown Horse Inn.

Slide Farm

Near to Ullswater Lake, Slide Farm is a picnic and fishing area that is relatively cut off from the main paths; its surrounding peaks include Hellvellyn, with Glenridding being the nearest village. Ideal if you’re exploring the Lakes by foot, and want to get off the main paths for an afternoon.


A dale that’s on the route fro Sedbergh to Dent Head, Dentdale is one of the more unique spots in the area, combining the Lakes’ mountainous landscapes with rolling hills and fells. The dale village is home to some excellent local crafts shops, as well as parts of the Settle Carlisle Railway Line along the River Dee.

Whinlatter Forest Park

The only mountain specific forest park n the UK, Whinlatter is an excellent place for exploring some of the more isolated parts of the Lakes – there are many family friendly routes and guides through the park, as well as cycling paths. Whinlatter can be reached from Braithwaite and Keswick.


Found on the River Gowan, this hamlet includes a historic Georgian church and almshouses, and has been featured in a poem by William Wordsworth. The hamlet is near to Staveley and Windermere, and includes many small cottages and other guesthouses.

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

A local favorite, the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop has existed in some form within the central Lake District village – originally owned by Sarah Nelson, who lent her name to the house, this gingerbread business is still going strong, with the recipe a guarded secret. Particularly try the gingerbread and rum butter mixture if you can.

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