A World-Class Destination | Secrets of the Lake District | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

A World-Class Destination | Secrets of the Lake District

Travel writer Helen Locke tells you all the hidden gem locations to visit when you're in the Lake District

Earlier this year, the Lake District deservedly became a World Heritage Site, deemed to have “outstanding international importance”. Explore the Lakes and you are sure to uncover amazing hidden spaces and surprising local history.

The Force of the fells

Enjoy tantalizing glimpses of misty fells whilst shopping and eating out in Keswick. Then kayak around the nearest lake, Derwentwater and you will be surrounded by the magnificent, fir-tree-littered scenery used in iconic shots of Star Wars X-wing fighters in The Force Awakens. Shooting also happened locally for 2016’s charming Swallows and Amazons remake.


This mountain offers exciting, varied terrain, especially that of Striding Edge (a precarious, steep-sided ridge of angular rock). Research and prepare thoroughly as there is a high death toll here - summer is probably the safest time to go. Don’t follow the historic example of Charles Gough, a Romantic artist who perished here, survived by his dog, Foxie. She remained near to Gough’s bones and was honoured with a Wordsworth poem (although some dramatic souls created the unlikely suggestion that she ate her master’s corpse for survival). Part of Wordsworth’s heartfelt poem, ‘Fidelity’, is engraved near the 3117ft summit.



I couldn’t write about the Lakes without mentioning Buttermere (pictured). This secluded lake is pure, unspoilt beauty. Hidden streams tumble down, feeding the vast waters. Access is difficult, and requires a drive along high winding roads, but for those who love the outdoors, the silence of this lake is worthwhile for its great calming effect.


Keswick, Helvellyn and Buttermere all have YHA youth hostels. At the time of writing, you can book Birmingham-Keswick National Express coach journeys (Leaving 11th Dec, returning 15th Dec) for £80.60, (£53.90 with a Young Person’s National Express Coachcard).

English Literature student at the University of Birmingham


26th October 2017 at 9:00 am

Images from

Helen Locke