The Lake District is generally agreed to be England’s finest national park. Unlike last week’s Scottish Highlands suggestion, though, during spring and summer in the Lakes you won’t be alone in the wilderness: you’ll meet hundreds of others out enjoying the countryside. Which is great, except that most of the people out enjoying the fresh air on the hills will later be spoiling it by driving back to their hotels and cottages. Like most English national parks, the Lake District is easily accessible from a major motorway, and 93% of the 8-9 million annual visitors come by car. So, despite its low permanent population, it has a serious seasonal problem with congestion, car parking, and other blight from the influx of car-bound tourists. Visitors are literally destroying the same wildlife and spectacular natural landscape that they are coming to see, as dual carriageways, bypasses and ever bigger car parks get built — merely inducing more demand and congestion. In 2003, the local authorities even looked at the feasibility of introducing a Lake District Congestion Charge. Clearly it would be irresponsible to drive to the Lake District and add to these problems. But surely it’s not possible to have a break in the lake district without a car?