Experience the World Heritage cultural landscape of the Lake District

Lakes Ignite 2018 Enjoy the stunning scenery of the Lake District on a Mountain Goat Tour Brantwood, home of John Ruskin, the writer, artist and social reformer Vew from the window at Dove Cottage in Grasmere, Lake District Stargazing at Grizedale Forest with astronomer Robert Ince Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House (photo Tony West) The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal Allan Bank in Grasmere, Lake District Rydal Mount and Gardens

The landscape of the Lake District has been inspiring artists and writers for centuries and now it has been recognised by UNESCO and awarded World Heritage status.

The Lake District National Park has collaborated with northern poet Tony Walsh to create this unique short film, ‘Reflecting On The Lakes’, celebrating what it’s like to live, work and love the National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.


To mark this historic moment Lakes Culture has developed these Signature Experiences with Go Lakes to help you understand and enjoy what makes the Lake District so special and to let you in on some things to do that you may not find in the guide books!

Based on its iconic geographical locations these experiences will enable you to explore the Lake District’s identity, its role in conservation and how it has inspired so many artists and writers to produce great work.

Our Lakes Culture World Heritage experiences will take you on a journey of a lifetime

So, whether you are a lover of literature, contemporary art, an adrenalin junkie or happier staring at the stars or tucking into an afternoon tea, there is something for everyone!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Lakes Ignite 2018
Lakes Ignite 2018

The cultural story continues in 2018 with the Lakes Ignite festival, which sees six contemporary artists showing new pieces of work in response to the World Heritage status across six different locations in the Lake District.

Spark your imagination from January to July 2018 with Lakes Ignite a celebration of contemporary art in a World Heritage cultural landscape

Each installation provides a different perspective on our World Heritage story using very different media including metal, wood, mirrors, inflatables, performance and virtual reality. So whether you’re 8 or 80, come and spark your imagination in 2018 and experience art in our celebrated Lake District landscape.

Below, you will find a brief description of all the artworks and where you can see them. For more information including a map and interviews with the artists please visit our Lakes Ignite pages

// Slung

Michael Shaw’s flamboyant Slung is composed of two large fluorescent pink and orange striped inflatables, suggesting a pair of huge lungs that inflate and deflate as though breathing the fresh air of the rich open countryside. You can find Slung in The Mountain Hall at Rheged from 10 January to December 2018.

// Arctic Char

From 18 January, outside the Ambleside Salutation Hotel in Ambleside you will find a shoal of Arctic Char handmade in steel by Brian and George Fell. This sculpture showcases a rare and notable Lake District fish whose survival acts as a barometer of climate change.

// Ordnance Pavilion

Studio MUTT has created a colourful, interactive architectural intervention, in the picturesque Langdale Valley behind Wainwrights’ Inn, celebrating the impact Ordnance Survey mappings have had on our interaction with the landscape. Get up close to icons of OS maps as you’ve never seen them before until the end of July.

// Mountains We Made

Charlie Whinney has created a new landscape in which to think, play and wander through. Constructed from sustainably sourced oak from Grizedale Forest, Mountains We Made invites young and old to walk along sections of Lake District mountains created from steam bent wood. Mountains We Made can be found next to the play area at Grizedale Forest.

// Time Mirror

Di Mainstone’s Time Mirror is a large tessellated funnel shaped structure, covered in polished mirror-like steel, which allows audiences of all ages to experience and capture the stunning Lake District surroundings in an experimental and abstract way. The Time Mirror experience will open alongside Blackwell’s Centre of Ceramic Art exhibition from 18 May until the end of the July.

Find out more about Lakes Ignite on Go Lakes

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Castlerigg Stone Circle near Keswick, photo by Richard Gale
Castlerigg Stone Circle near Keswick, photo by Richard Gale

Keswick and Ullswater boast the breathtaking scenery of Skiddaw and Helvellyn and the Mountain Goat Tours are a great way to see the Lakes. Taking you from Windermere over the Lake District’s highest mountain pass to enjoy the impressive views over Ullswater.

// Castlerigg Stone Circle

You can then stop at one of the UK’s oldest stone circles at Castlerigg before exploring the glacial valley of St John’s in the Vale. The trip ends with a delightful opportunity to wander around the historic village of Grasmere.

Find out more about Keswick and Ullswater on GoLakes

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


From April to October, arrive in style with this unique opportunity to travel across Coniston Water in the National Trust’s pristine Steam Yacht Gondola. Typically used by wealthy Victorians, the Gondola today will drop you off at the jetty at Brantwood, where you can go on to discover Ruskin’s famous home.

// Brantwood

Ruskin was a lover of art and architecture and a radical thinker in Victorian society and his influences are still seen today; he inspired the founders of the National Health Service, the National Trust and public libraries.

The interior of Brantwood is a pleasure to explore and outside the eight beautifully designed gardens – including the journey to Dante’s Paradise – provide further delights of discovery, you even have a chance to play the musical stones, before rejoining the Gondola for your return journey.

For budding writers there is a wonderful opportunity in September to let the Brantwood estate inspire you when it opens its doors as a literary retreat, allowing you to look at the ways in which writers have expressed the different landscapes.

// Grizedale Forest

Grizedale Forest is the UK’s first forest for sculpture. It is a beautiful space to explore, with artworks located across ten square miles of woodland and a new installation, Mountains We Made, by Lakes Ignite artist Charlie Whinney.

Grizedale Forest is a perfect spot for an outdoor art adventure!

For a stellar night-time adventure Grizedale Forest hosts tours of the constellations, allowing you to enjoy the light pollution free dark skies above its forest canopy. There are a number of events throughout winter and spring, hosted by Robert Ince, including Jupiterwatch and Dark Sky Festival, promising unforgettable magical starlit experiences.

Find out more about Coniston and Grizedale on GoLakes

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Di Mainstone is bringing Time Mirror to Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House from 18 May - July for Lakes Ignite
Di Mainstone is bringing Time Mirror to Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House from 18 May – July for Lakes Ignite

// Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House

Blackwell, is a masterpiece of the Arts and Crafts movement and is located overlooking England’s largest lake, Windermere, and the Lake District fells beyond. This beautiful house, designed by architect MH Ballie Scott, has a calendar of unmissable exhibitions and events and is the location for one of the Lakes Ignite installations from May 18 this year.

Di Mainstone’s Time Mirror is an interactive sculpture that will allow audiences of all ages to experience and capture the stunning Lake District surroundings in an experimental and abstract way.

The Time Mirror is a large tessellated funnel shaped structure, covered in polished, mirror-like steel, that can spin 360 degrees to reflect the landscape from any angle and tilt to reflect the sky and mountains. The Time Mirror will also reflect back any participants that interact with it, capturing them in the Lake District landscape and allowing them to create abstract portraits of themselves on mobile phones, set within the stunning landscape at Blackwell.

// Lake Ranger Boat Adventure

You will be guided by an on-duty Ranger to experience the National Park by water for a trip that combines incredible views and a real life adventure. You will learn about the vital tasks they carry out on lake and the fascinating ecology and history of Windermere – you might even find yourself on a rescue mission!

All aboard on the Lake Ranger’s patrol boat to experience the Lake District National Park like never before!

Be prepared to step into the Ranger boots to learn to drive the boat yourself and cruise around the beautiful lake. On board (or somewhere special) you will enjoy a tasty locally sourced picnic, while listening to stories about how the lake was formed – all while experiencing the thrill of a being aboard an active enforcement vessel.

Experience the Lake District in a unique way aboard the Lake Rangers Patrol Boat. Explore the lake and learn all about it from our expert crew. Find out what it’s like to be a Ranger in the English Lake District World Heritage Site.

All aboard Lake Ranger Boat Adventure from £150 – book your tickets here

Each session starts at Brockhole:

Morning – 10am start
Afternoon – 2pm start
Evening – 6pm start

// Brewery Arts Centre

Enjoy a Landscape Photography Weekend! On this two day workshop you will learn the key techniques to improve your landscape photography. Looking at composition, use of filters, long exposure techniques together with how to use a few simple steps in photo editing software to create stunning landscape images.

This workshop is for those with some experience and participants should have a good working knowledge of their camera. There will be a mixture of tutor-led demonstrations, hands-on use of camera controls and software demonstrations. Book your place on the Landscape Photography Weekend here

Find out more about Windermere, Kendal and Ambleside on GoLakes

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Inside Dove Cottage, Grasmere in the Lake District (photo The Wordsworth Trust)
Inside Dove Cottage, Grasmere in the Lake District (photo The Wordsworth Trust)

// Dove Cottage

One of the Lake District’s most well known associations is perhaps with William Wordsworth and Dove Cottage in Grasmere is where he wrote many of his greatest poems. Discover more about life within these intimate cottage walls that he shared with his sister, wife, children and many other notable names from the Romantic Movement.

Step back in time in Dove Cottage as you explore the dark panelled rooms with their authentic furniture, that provide an unforgettable insight into this celebrated literary home.

// Allan Bank

Continuing in Wordsworth’s footsteps you can journey on to Allan Bank where the Wordsworth family lived for three years. The National Trust has partially restored the property, following a fire in 2011, into a welcoming house where children and adults alike are encouraged to relax in the library, play the piano, draw or paint in the art room and are even allowed to write their ideas on the walls.

// Rydal Mount

Completing the trip you can book afternoon tea at Rydal Mount, Wordsworth’s home from 1813 until his death. The house is situated in a four-acre estate with views out to Lake Windermere and Rydal Water. Included with your booking is a booklet about Rydal Mount and a copy of his most famous poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.

Find out more about Grasmere and Rydal on GoLakes

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


From 5 star hotels to lakeside camping and self-catering to pod glamping there are so many great places to stay in the beautiful Lake District… find out more and book your stay via GoLakes

GoLakes operates as a Fair Booking website, ensuring the best deal for visitors and the local economy.