Hidden gems in the Lake District

Want to find a quiet spot in the Lake District to explore on your own, or with family and friends? From secluded gardens to take in the view, hidden beaches that are perfect for a paddle to historic homes ready to share their stories, we’ve plenty of hidden gems and lesser-known spots where you can escape the crowds at busier times.

Get up close to Beatrix Potter's watercolour illustrations at the Beatrix Potter Gallery

Beatrix Potter Gallery and Hawkshead

Tucked away in the village of Hawkshead, Beatrix Potter's gallery is one of the only places you can see original watercolour illustrations and drawings from one of our favourite Lake District authors. A new exhibition explores the importance of flowers in Beatrix's life, and brings together her books, sketches, watercolours and decorative items.

Visitors relaxing in the garden on a sunny day in June at Wordsworth House, Cumbria

Explore the childhood home of 'wild child' William Wordsworth

In the Cumbrian town of Cockermouth, just 15 minutes from Keswick, you’ll find the childhood home of romantic poet and conservationist William Wordsworth. The quiet walled garden, where William learned his love of nature, is filled with heritage fruit trees, flowers and vegetables. Inside the Georgian townhouse, the rooms give a glimpse into life in the 1770s. Book your visit for a guided tour around the modest home that was the backdrop to William’s outdoor upbringing.

Two women explore the gardens at Acorn Bank in spring

Discover a secret garden at Acorn Bank

Close to Penrith, Acorn Bank is a tranquil haven with views over the Lakeland and Howgill fells. With an 800 year history, the estate is peppered with glimpses of its once industrial past. Today, the walled gardens shelter a collection of medicinal herbs and traditional fruit orchards bursting with spring blossom while the historic woodlands are home to birds, red squirrels and a host of wildflowers. A short walk along the Crowdundle Beck you’ll find the working watermill, restored by volunteers and now producing its own flour.

Visitors in the house at Sizergh

Spend the day exploring a family estate at Sizergh

Home to the Strickland family for more than 800 years, the medieval manor house at Sizergh stands proudly at the gateway to the Lake District. Situated just outside of Kendal, in the 1,600-acre estate you’ll find a traditional walled garden, apple orchard and designed rock garden perfect for a gentle amble. The kitchen garden supplies the onsite café. Or head further afield and explore wildlife-rich woodlands and wetlands. Inside, the house is a treasure-trove of items and trinkets collected by 26 generations of the family and houses the best surviving example of Elizabethan wooden panelling in the world.

Two people looking at paintings at Townend

Step inside a traditional Lakeland farmhouse at Townend

A traditional Lake District stone and slate farmhouse, Townend is nestled in the village of Troutbeck, near Windermere. Home to the Browne family for 400 years, Townend is full of intricately carved furniture and rare books. Outside, stroll along the gravelled pathways in the cottage-style garden and take a seat among the colourful flowers, vegetables, herbs and traditional fruit trees and soak up the views across the valley described by Beatrix Potter as her favourite.

A family looking over a dry stone wall in the grounds of Allan Bank in Cumbria

Discover a hidden corner of Grasmere

Set in tranquil grounds a short stroll from Grasmere, the gardens and woodlands at Allan Bank are a great place to see native red squirrels and settle down for a picnic on the lawn. With views across Grasmere lake and surrounded by imposing fells, it is the perfect base for a lakeshore stroll or a more strenuous hike. Once home to poet William Wordsworth and National Trust co-founder Canon Rawnsley the unassuming Georgian house is hosting a temporary installation shining a light on their legacies this year.

A viewing bench at Stagshaw Gardens

Escape to Stagshaw Garden

Just a short walk from Ambleside you’ll find Stagshaw Garden, an informal woodland garden offering a quiet haven of tranquillity. Explore the rambling paths that give the gardens an enchanted feel, with a different delight around each corner.

Sandscale Haws and the Duddon Valley Estuary

A quiet beach with a mountain backdrop at Sandscale Haws

Head further afield and discover a hidden haven for people and wildlife at Sandscale Haws. Take in the views across the Duddon Estuary onto the Lakeland Fells, feel the sand between your toes as you wander along miles of sandy beaches and explore wild dunes that are home to orchids, bees and butterflies.