One of the most inspiring places to visit in the UK has to be "The Lakes" up in Cumbria, where the mountains merge with forests and of course large expanses of water.
It's a haven for those who love the outdoors and nature, whether that is from a sporting and adventure point of view, or from the relaxing, get away from it all standpoint.
Either way, the Lakes will not disappoint.
I have covered some areas of this wonderful national park in other posts, but for this I will focus on just a few spots that I have grown to love starting with Derwentwater in the north of the park.
The lake itself sits to the south of Keswick and is approximately 4 miles long and around a mile wide with a few islands in the middle. Surrounded by the local fells, it is a beautiful place to explore.
This image shows the lake with Derwent Island and the ever impressive "Cat Bells" rising up behind it. It was a fairly calm spring day when this was taken, but you are never too far away from the drama of a thunderstorm!
The full length of the lake is impressive and it does fit naturally into the hillsides with most of the shoreline covered in trees with the odd exception.
This image was taken from the campsite in Keswick and you can see Derwent Island again to the left and the previously highlighted "Cat Bells" over to the right.
The larger mountain ranges lie off in the distance and once again it looks ominous overhead.
Once you move away from the actual lakes themselves you can explore the fells and this gives you a real sense of size and also provides some understanding of where the water comes from to fill up these great bodies of water.
The village of Grasmere is the setting for a trip up to Easdale Tarn, a high level area of water that has collected following glacial activity. From this tarn flows the amazingly named "Sour Milk Ghyll" a waterfall that the locals in times gone by likened to the appearance of, yes you guessed it, sour milk.
The waterfall is very impressive and with a pathway that follows its course, you can really get some amazing views of the park.
Once you have climbed to the point on the above image where the water starts to cascade down over the rocks, then you can take a look out over the valley below.
Quite stunning with the rocks of the waterfall eventually blending in with the forests and flat green fields below.
Of course when you speak to most people about the Lakes they will always talk about Windermere and quite rightly so.
A haven for tourists, but also for the lovers of the Lakes as well, it works well for everyone and is always somewhere that I will go back to.
On a warm sunny day, you can get out on one of the steamers that run from Bowness and you can explore the waters, look at the fells and just relax.
The Lakes is a gem in the UK countryside, always lots to do and always a great place to visit no matter what time of year.