Posted 04 Aug 2015

Overflowing with parks, gardens, glittering lakes and rivers, the UK and Ireland are renowned for their vibrant array of natural tourist attractions. With this in mind, we’ve hand-picked our five favourite picturesque lakes to help you enjoy some relaxing and rejuvenating days out with the family, from sunbathing and picnicking to fishing and water sports.

Lough Corrib, Galway

Lough CorribLough Corrib by Denis Simonet/CCBY (Image and image size have been modified)

Lough Corrib, the second-largest fresh water sheet in Ireland, gracefully expands for thirty-five miles from Galway to Maam. Absorb breath-taking sights as you stroll along the many walking trails, discovering quiet secluded beaches as well as towering and enchanting woodlands.

Lough Corrib’s abundance of wildlife will not disappoint as the vast expanse of land hosts several species of birds, otters, stoats, frogs, bats, and more – keep an ear out for the famed “Dawn Chorus”. The scenic stretch is also home to an array of fishing spots, ideal for those wanting to cast their line – a fishing guide may be needed for your first few trips due to the size and stature of this impressive lake!

Lough Lomond, Scotland


Lough LomondLoch Lomond looking by Jim McDougall/Creative Commons(image size has been modified)

Loch Lomond is the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain. No mean feat, the Loch that lies just north of Glasgow has been a popular spot for generations of Scottish natives and visitors alike, attracted to the Loch for its inspiring landscape and tranquil atmosphere.

Enjoy an exciting day of boating, water skiing, and fishing, or, if you prefer, spend hours relaxing, sunbathing, and picnicking by the shimmering water on the beautiful and quiet stretches of grass. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy the breath-taking scenery of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, its mountains, secluded countryside, and of course, its lakes.

Hollingworth Lake Country Park and Visitor Centre, Rochdale


Lough CorribHollingworth Lake by Stacey MacNaught/Creative Commons (image size has been modified)

Known as the ‘Weighvers Seaport’ in Victorian times, Hollingworth Lake offers a beautiful waterside view and country park, just north of Rochdale and a fifty minute drive from Manchester. Set against the awe-inspiring Blackstone Edge, the lake spans over one hundred acres and offers a range of family friendly activities. You can get stuck in with boating, walking trails with or without a guide, community arts and environmental exhibitions, as well as windsurfing or dinghy sailing at The Water Activity Centre.

After working up an appetite, visit one of several attractive picnic spots or feast at one of many pubs, cafés, and restaurants. Hollingworth Lake and its surrounding Country Park is truly a destination for everyone and anyone looking to enjoy a fun day out with the family.

Lopwell Dam, Plymouth

Only three miles north of Plymouth, Lopwell Dam is worth a visit for anyone seeking out a haven for wildlife, scenery, and relaxation. Offering fantastic spots for a light picnic, some casual bird watching, or a long walk alongside the water, the designated Local Nature Reserve covers an area of around five hectares and houses a brand new café and visitors centre, welcoming guests at the recently renovated Old Pumphouse.

Feast on homemade cakes and freshly baked scones, which of course come with a generous helping of that famous, locally made clotted cream! You can also collect a ‘Lopwell Walks’ leaflet to help guide you around the wonderfully picturesque Lopwell Dam.

Golden Acre Park, Leeds


Golden Acre ParkGolden Acre Park by Terry Madeley/Creative Commons(image size has been modified)

The popular Golden Acre Park in north Leeds is famous for its exquisite gardens, delightful tea rooms, and a beautiful lakeside walk. Spanning over fifty-five hectares, it can be found not far from two of the most treasured nature reserves in Yorkshire: Breary Marsh and Adel Dam. Only six miles from Leeds City Centre, the park is home to the crystal clear Windfowl Lake, wide expanses of lush green parkland, immense woodland, several sparkling streams and ponds, a cosy café, and a gift shop.

If you’re thinking of exploring these beautiful lakes and their surrounding areas, Jurys Inn have city centre hotels in Leeds, Plymouth, Manchester, Glasgow and Galway.

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