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The county of Cumbria is one of the most beautiful areas of Britain. It
is a county with a wealth of historic towns and villages to explore
including Carlisle, the county town and one of ancient Rome’s most
far-flung outposts; Kendal - home to the famous Kendal Mint Cake; and
Kirkby Stephen in the Eden valley, where around a thousand years ago the
Danes built a shrine to the ancient Norse god Loki.
The main reason that millions upon millions of tourists have travelled to this part of the world is to explore the spectacular landscape of The Lake District National Park - the first (and at 800 square miles) the largest national park in England. The Lake District was popularised by 19th Century landscape painters and Romantic poets like William Wordsworth who pictured himself wandering through it “lonely as a cloud”, looking down on an ancient and craggy landscape studded with jewel-like lakes.
The mountainous skeleton is composed of 500 million year old lava from prehistoric volcanoes, overlaying even older slate. Glaciers gouged out the U-shaped valleys, and during the last Great Ice Age the Lakes themselves were formed. Towering over the region are Helvellyn, Honister and Scafell Pike – which at 3,206 feet, is England’s highest mountain.
This inspiring landscape of “tarns” (mountain lakes) and “becks” (streams) plunging into the green dales over vertiginous waterfalls becomes a more popular tourist destination every decade. Its estimated that 14 million people a year come here to do there own wandering – or climbing, fishing, sailing, mountaineering, pony trekking, kayaking, landscape painting, or just exploring the little dry-stone towns and villages scattered through the majestic landscape. Even at the height of the season the Lake District is still big enough for you to find your own haven of peace and tranquillity away from the bustling crowds.
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