The Lake District, also known as The Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains (or fells) and its associations with the early 19th century writings of William Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets.
Historically split between Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire, the Lake District is now entirely in Cumbria. All the land in England higher than 3,000 ft (910 m) above sea level lies within the National Park, including Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. It also contains the deepest and longest lakes in England, Wastwater and Windermere.
Lake District National Park:
The Lake District National Park includes nearly all of the Lake District, though the town of Kendal and the Lakeland Peninsulas are currently outside The Park boundary.
The area, which was designated a national park on 9 May 1951 (less than a month after the first UK national park designation - the Peak District), is the most visited national park in the United Kingdom with 15.8 million annual visitors and more than 23 million annual day visits, the largest of the thirteen national parks in England and Wales, and the second largest in the UK after the Cairngorms. Its aim is to protect the landscape by restricting unwelcome change by industry or commerce. Most of the land in the park is in private ownership, with about 55% registered as agricultural land.
In common with all other national parks in England, there is no restriction on entry to, or movement within the park along public routes, but access to cultivated land is usually restricted to public footpaths, bridleways and byways. Much of the uncultivated land has statutory open access rights - which cover around 50% of the park.
The lakes and mountains combine to form impressive scenery. Farmland and settlement add aesthetic value to the natural scenery with an ecology modified by human influence for millennia and including important wildlife habitats. The Lake District has failed to be approved as a natural World Heritage Site, because of human activities, such as commercial forestry, which have adversely impacted the park's assessment. Another bid is being prepared for World Heritage Status, this time in the category of cultural landscape.