The English Lake District

Glenridding and Ullswater © Nick-Thorne - Lake District National Park

Inscribed on the World Heritage list on July 9th 2017

The English Lake District is a mountainous area in North West England. Its narrow, glaciated valleys radiating from the central massif with their steep hillsides and slender lakes exhibit an extraordinary beauty and harmony. The stone-walled fields and rugged farm buildings in their spectacular natural background, form a harmonious beauty that has attracted visitors from the 18th century onwards.

Picturesque and Romantic interest stimulated globally-significant social and cultural forces to appreciate and protect scenic landscapes. Distinguished villas, gardens and formal landscapes were added to augment its picturesque beauty.

The English Lake District was inscribed on the World Heritage list on July 9th 2017, as the 31st site in the United Kingdom, and by that the Lake District joins a prestigious list which includes iconic landmarks such as Tower of London, Stonehenge, Giant’s Causeway and the Jurassic Coast.


Walker overlooking Kentmere by JamesCook – Brockhole jetty by Charlotte Crosby – Postbox by Michael Turner – Herdwick sheep by Andrea Hills – All photos courtesy of Lake District National Park


The development in the English Lake District of the idea of the universal value of scenic landscape, both in itself and in its capacity to nurture and uplift imagination, creativity and spirit, along with threats to the area, led directly to the development of a conservation movement which has had global influence. This influence includes the establishment of the international National Trust movement, the origin of the concept of legally-protected landscapes and the creation of the World Heritage cultural landscape category.

The Romantic engagement with the English Lake District generated new ideas about the relationship between humanity and its environment, including the recognition of harmonious landscape beauty and the validity of emotional response by people to their landscapes.


Geat Gable © Julia-Knott

Sources & Credits
Lake District National Park Nomination Document Vol.1
All photos courtesy of Lake District National Park and the respective photographers.