Try wandering lonely as a cloud around places such as Ullswater in the Lake District today and youíll be blown off course by a crowd of photo-seekers heading in the other direction. This is Englandís busiest national park and itís not hard to see why itís so popular. The landscapes that captivated the Lake Poets and Beatrix Potter form a beguiling tapestry of fells, forests, mountains and shallow lakes. But not all is well.
Thereís a fine line to be walked between recreation, industry and conservation in the Lake District, and right now that line is looking a bit wobbly.
William Wordsworth, having felt moved to capture this romantic idyll in poetry, was dismayed at the number of people who then flocked to see it for themselves. Theyíve never stopped coming and who could blame them? Beloved by walkers and families, the Lake Districtís beauty is undeniable but somewhat artificial. Natural and cultural heritage here are inextricably linked, and they both need better protection.
Find out more in our Lake District travel guideÖ