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Cumbria

If you want to experience the British countryside at its most spectacular then Cumbria would be a great place to start. It's a hub for walkers and hikers, but if you're after something a bit more energetic, why not try your hand at abseiling, caving or mountaineering? You can go kayaking, fishing and windsurfing on one of the many gorgeous lakes, or you could take to the air and go ballooning or paragliding – what better way to see the whole region at a glance? And as for keeping children occupied, a holiday cottage in the Lake District is bliss for everyone! Treat them to an afternoon of karting or quad biking, let them try shooting or paintball, or just hire some ponies and encourage them to explore the countryside the old-fashioned way.

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However, a holiday cottage in the Lake District is not just about walks and extreme sports, it is also about culture and history. With everything from Roman remains and ancient churches to stone circles and crumbling castles, this region is bursting with stories of times gone by. It is also strewn with stunning old houses, whether you’re visiting Wordsworth House, Holker Hall or Wray Castle. The local towns and villages have plenty to offer: Ambleside is a charming Victorian town with lots of literary connections (think William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter), Whitehaven is a popular Georgian town, and Bowness-on-Windermere is a year-round destination for visitors. Whether you want to relax in a lakeside café and soak up the atmosphere or get out into the wilderness and go boating or rock climbing, Cumbria has a huge amount to offer. Not for nothing is this one of the most popular destinations in the country!

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