Here at Central Helicopters we like to celebrate the incredible destinations of our pleasure flights, and this month we thought we’d bring you some facts and trivia about the Lake District. Whether you are interested in one of our helicopter experiences to this unique national park, or simply want to top up your trivia, our Lake District: 10 Things You Didn’t Know guide might just pique your interest.
1. RING OF FIRE
Five hundred million years ago The Lakes stood on the edge of the so-called “ring of fire”.
This was an area of intensive volcanic activity with lava and basalt being thrown up resulting in the creation of some of the area’s craggy peaks.
2. ANYONE FOR ICE SKATING?
You’ll be flying right over the impressive Lake Windermere, but did you know, that in 1895, visitors and locals were ice skating right the way across it! It was completely iced over for six weeks.
3. IT’S A WHITEWASH
The picture-perfect white Lake District cottages originally got the look for more practical reasons, being coated in red lead and limewashed to keep out the damp.
4. A LOT OF FLUFF
Look carefully during your helicopter tour and you’ll spot grey sheep dotted around the fells.
These hardy creatures have super thick coats of wool, creating a protective barrier in blizzards – they have even been known to survive under a blanket of snow for days on end while eating their own wool.
5. HOW DEEP IS YOUR LAKE?
The Lake District is of course well-known for having England’s largest lake, Lake Windermere (cameras at the ready). But, do you know the country’s deepest? Well, that title also goes to the Lake District, with Wastwater measuring in at 243 feet, or 74 metres.
6. SUITS YOU SIR!
We couldn’t write a top-10 without looking ( or slightly smirking) about some of the customs of the 40,000-plus people who live in the Lake District. One of those that has to be near the top is Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, which dates to the Viking era. Here, grown men grapple with each other while wearing the traditional costume of long johns and an embroidered vest with a velvet centre piece over the top… coming to a high street near you!
7. WRITE ON!
During the 16th century, graphite was discovered in the hills and used to make pencils, and to mark sheep. Today, the Pencil Museum in Keswick attracts almost 100,000 visitors each year.
8. WET, WET, WET
One more accolade for you… the park is also home to England’s wettest inhabited place — about 140 inches (356 centimeters) of rain falls on Seathwaite each year. Someone pass me a brolly!
9. THE REALLY WILD SHOW
As late as the 19th century, wild, remote areas of the Lake District were seen as uncivilised, and even dangerous. That didn’t put off one of the area’s best-loved residents, William Wordsworth, who took inspiration in the spectacular, rugged countryside that others dared not explore.
10. WHO KNEW? THE LAKE DISTRICT HAS… ONLY ONE LAKE!?
The only official lake in the Lake District is Bassenthwaite Lake – all the others are ‘Waters’ or ‘Meres.’
Discover the Lake District on one of our unforgettable pleasure flights.