Moving to the Lake District: The Ultimate Guide

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Moving home can be a huge undertaking, and moving to the Lake District is no different. We have compiled some helpful information for you during your move.

The Lake District National Park, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is one of England’s most picturesque and sought-after regions. Nestled in the country’s northwestern corner, this region is famous for its lakes, forests, mountains, and rich cultural history. Whether you’re considering a move for its unparalleled natural beauty, tranquil lifestyle, or the vibrant communities that dot its landscape, the Lake District has something for everyone.

The lovely and picturesque Lake District National Park (nominated for Unesco world heritage status, with a decision on the bid expected in 2017.) is in the county of Cumbria. The Villages and towns  that are within the National Park include:

  • Ambleside
  • Broughton-in-Furness
  • Coniston
  • Grasmere
  • Hawkshead
  • Keswick
  • Windermere

Cumbrian towns that are outside of the Lake District National Park include:

  • Barrow-in-Furness
  • Carlisle
  • Cockermouth
  • Grange-over-Sands
  • Kendal
  • Lancaster
  • Maryport
  • Millom
  • Penrith
  • Ulverston
  • Whitehaven
  • Workington


House prices within the National Park are slightly higher than other areas of Cumbria, which should be considered if you are planning on moving here. An article in the Financial Times put it at around 18% premium for house price within the park: “There is already a hefty 18 per cent premium for homes within the boundary of a national park and an 8 per cent premium for properties within three miles of a park, according to research on housing in 10 of the UK’s national parks released by Nationwide Building Society last December. The average house price in the Lake District Park stands at £253,000, says Nationwide.”

The following links are not affiliated with us in any way. Go Lake District has no control over the content of the sites, and no endorsement of any of the products or services contained on the sites is implied.

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Estate agents

Education & Schooling

You can find out the names of the many schools in the area in UpMyStreet and read reports on the schools by Ofsted (both links open in new window). Whether you are looking for a primary school or a secondary school, you should be able to find one that suits you.


I decided to link to Wikipedia rather than list every school here.



Employment opportunities across the county are wide-ranging, though there is a definite lean towards the leisure, tourism, and hospitality industries, but there are plenty of options for those looking for year-round or long-term employment. Cumbria is also known for supporting self-employment or start-up businesses in a range of areas.


Public transport in the Lake District


The West Coast mainline runs to the east of the Lake District, connecting Oxenholme, Penrith and Carlisle with London and Glasgow. A direct train runs from Manchester to Windermere. Local trains call at Kendal, Staveley and Windermere. There is also a route following the Cumbrian coastline.


Towns and villages such as Ambleside, Windermere, Coniston and Keswick are linked by bus, with extra services in the summer. Find out more at: GoLakes Travel – buses (opens in new window)

Minibus tours and bus explorer tickets

There are many companies offering you the chance to sit back and watch the scenery. Take a look at our Minibus tours and bus explorer tickets page.

Steamers and launch trips

Taking a cruise is a great way to experience the beautiful Lake District views. Our on the water section has more details.

Public transport – useful links

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Helpful Moving House Links

By car

The average journey time from London and the southeast is about five hours. It takes about one and half from Manchester and two hours from York.

The M6 runs to the east of the Lake District National Park:

  • Take Junction 36 and then A590 for the southern end of the Lake District
  • Take Junction 40 and the A66 or A592 for the northern end of the Lake District

If you’re using satellite navigation, check out the Postcodes for Sat Nav page on the lake district site.

Even A roads can be quite twisting so allow extra time for your journey and for finding a space in Car parks in high season. Example journey times are:

  • Kendal to Keswick: one hour
  • Windermere to Keswick: 40 minutes
  • Kendal to Wasdale: one and a half hours

Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass between Eskdale and the Langdales have gradients of 1 in 3 and Honister Pass between Borrowdale and Buttermere is 1 in 4, making them some of the steepest roads in England!

Local organisations and projects

Local businesses

Local communities

  • Crake – (removed communities between Coniston and Ulverston
  • Threlkeld – village four miles east of Keswick

Local councils

Local parish councils

Local media

A primary source and a lot of this information can be found here (source no longer exists).

Ashness Bridge, Borrowdale, Lake District
Looking North from Watendlath
Sunset at Thirlmere, Lake District
Loweswater View from Melbreak - Lake District

The Lakes by Area

You may hear the Lakes being referred to by their various parts, so to help you better understand the distinct characteristics of the various parts of the Lake District, let’s break it down into North, Central, and South Lakes.

North Lakes


Scenery: Dominated by the mighty Skiddaw and the serene Derwentwater, North Lakes boasts some of the most dramatic landscapes in the region.
Towns & Villages: Keswick is the main hub, offering a mix of culture, history, and shopping opportunities.
Activities: Ideal for serious hikers and climbers, with paths leading up to Skiddaw and Blencathra.

Why Move Here?

Peace & Quiet: Less touristy than some other parts of the Lake District.
Rich History: Ancient stone circles and historic homes.
Community: Strong sense of community with regular events in Keswick and surrounding villages.

Stunning scenery at Derwentwater, near Keswick
Western shores of Lake Windermere

Central Lakes


Scenery: Home to the iconic Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, and the beautiful Lake Windermere.
Towns & Villages: Ambleside, Grasmere, and Windermere are popular towns, each with its own charm and attractions.
Activities: Boating on Windermere, exploring Grasmere’s literary history, and hiking up the Langdale Pikes.

Why Move Here?

Cultural Hub: Central Lakes is often considered the cultural heart of the district, with many galleries, theatres, and festivals.
Accessibility: Well-connected to major cities and towns, making it ideal for those who want the best of both worlds.
Variety: From the bustling life of Windermere to the quiet corners of Grasmere, there’s a place for everyone.

South Lakes


Scenery: Gentle rolling hills, expansive estuaries, and the serene Coniston Water.
Towns & Villages: Cartmel, with its famous priory, and Ulverston, known for its festivals and markets.
Activities: Steam yacht gondola rides on Coniston Water and exploring the history of Swarthmoor Hall.

Why Move Here?

Undiscovered Gem: Less frequented by tourists, South Lakes, offers tranquillity and a slower pace of life.
Gastronomy: Home to some of the region’s best eateries and the famed Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Coastal Beauty: Proximity to the coast means beaches and sea views are within easy reach.

In Conclusion

The Lake District is not just a national park; it’s a way of life. Each region, from North to South, offers its own unique experiences, communities, and landscapes. Whether you’re looking for a vibrant community, a peaceful retreat, or a mix of both, the Lake District is a place where memories are made and dreams are realized. Before making a move, it’s always recommended to spend some time in each area to truly feel its essence and determine which part resonates most with your heart.

Church at Cartmel

Top Tips for Moving to a Home in the Lake District

  • Take time and pick your area carefully.

  • Do your research.
  • Consider costs and affordability.

  • Check schools and transport.