Need some inspiration for your next trip or just want to relive fond memories of your last? These books about the Lake District are guaranteed to fill you with a wanderlust for adventures old and new.
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Reading is a great way to build up anticipation for your next trip. Ever sat pouring over a guidebook, listing all the places you want to try and cram into your next weekend away? Or read a story and fallen in love with the description of a place so much so that you know you just have to visit there one day?
I always like to read about places that I’ve visited – especially fiction books or memoirs. I find that seeing place names that I recognise makes the story feel more alive and gives me a stronger connection to the characters. Even better is reading a book set in the place that I’m currently in!
Here are some books for you to put on your reading list next time you plan a trip to the Lake District. If you can think of any others you think I should have mentioned, then shoot me a message in the comments!
Classic Children’s Books About the Lake District
Swallows and Amazons (Vintage Children’s Classics)
The first book in the classic children’s adventure series by Arthur Ransom, set in the beautiful Cumbrian Lake District.
> I was given this collection as a gift when I was younger and I still treasure it to this day! This is a beautifully presented box-set of 12 original stories and illustrations by Beatrix Potter, set in and around her home in the Lake District.
Historical Fiction Set in the Lake District
The Herries Chronicle
If you like historical fiction, then this one’s for you! Written from his home in Keswick, Hugh Walpole penned this once famous four-volume saga about the dramas of the Herries family. Set against the backdrop of his beloved Lake District, Walpole takes you on a journey from the early 18th century, right up to his present day in 1930s Britain. Think passion, drama and family feuds, mixed with some beautifully descriptive accounts of the Cumbrian scenery.
Set in the mid-1930s, this book is about the dale that was evacuated and flooded, creating a reservoir to supply the city of Manchester with water. An insightful account of the devastating impact this had on the small rural community who had lived there for generations.
Mystery & Suspense Books Set in the Lake District
The Windermere Witness (Lake District Mysteries)
In the first of five Lake District Mystery books by Rebecca Tope, the Windermere Witness introduces Simmy, a wedding florist who finds herself a prime witness in a murder investigation. The following four novels, set in different parts of the Lake District, follow Simmy as she gets caught up in yet more sinister goings on.
Centred around the narratives of two women – an established author and a novice writer – this is a psychological thriller set against the backdrop of the Lake District. It’s an easy but compelling holiday read.
Memoirs of a Life in the Lake District
The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District
James Rebanks comes from a family of shepherds who have lived and worked in the Lake District for generations. Part memoir, part history of farming, this book gives a passionate account of his life and his role in rural society. A compelling and insightful read for those who want to take off their tourist goggles and view the world through the eyes of a local farmer.
Fascinating Facts About the Lake District
I Never Knew That About the Lake District
If learning quirky little known facts about a place really helps to bring it to life for you, then you’ll enjoy this book by Christopher Winn. Full of secrets, legends, and hidden places, it contains all the Lake District pub quiz trivia you’ll ever need!
The Lake District in Poetry
Selected Poems (Penguin Classics)
I couldn’t really write a post on books set in the Lake District and not include a selection of poems from William Wordworth, could I? This collection includes some of his most famous works.
Lake District Travel Guides
Pictorial Guide To the Lakeland Fells Collection 7 Books Set By Alfred Wainwright (50th Anniversary Edition)
These books contain reproductions of the original manuscript by the late Alfred Wainwright. His writing is so descriptive in parts that you’ll be able to imagine the walks as if you’d been on them yourself.
The Rough Guide to the Lake District (Travel Guide with Free eBook) (Rough Guides)
We don’t go anywhere without a guide book and I love seeing them all on my bookshelf at home. This new guide from Rough Guides is great as it comes with a free e-book so you don’t have to carry the actual book with you on those long hikes!
I know lots of people have very strong opinions over whether Lonely Planet or Rough Guide travel guides are the best, whereas my bookshelf is a wonderful mish-mash of the two! Anyway, here is the Lonely Planet version of the Lake District Travel Guide, filled with all the usual tips, tricks and maps that you’d expect. I’ll leave you to decide which one to go for!
Want some more Lake District inspiration? I’ve written a guide to all the things you can do in the Lake District. Plan your next adventure now!
I hope this post has helped you satisfy your Lake District literary needs. Have you read any of the books mentioned here? Let me know in the comments!