Summer might be the most popular time to visit the Lake District, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only time you should head up there. We absolutely love Autumn in the Lake District, and we are hoping to head back there ourselves during this October Half Term. We think you’ll love it too, whether you are looking for a big family adventure or treating yourselves to a cosy hotel break.
Here are 5 things that make Autumn such a great time to visit the lakes:
If you’re looking for spectacular scenery, Autumn might actually be the best time of year to visit. From late September, the Lake District becomes ablaze with colour. Bright reds, oranges and yellows taking over from the greens of Summer. Whether you want to snap some stunning photographs, soak in the beautiful surroundings, or just see the region as you’ve never seen it before, in Autumn it has lots to offer.
Grasmere and the surrounding peaks really come alive, with a wealth of colour reflected off the waters of Grasmere and Rydal Water. Don’t forget to hunt out some of the famous gingerbread while you’re there.
Like many other popular Lake District destinations, Buttermere is another place that really comes into its own when Autumn sets in. As it is one of the smaller lakes, the water is often calm and still meaning the full spectrum of Autumnal colours are reflected perfectly in the lake.
Buttermere is a fab walking destination for young families, with easy access for pushchairs it makes it an ideal place to visit during October Half Term. A gentle walk around Buttermere should only take a couple of hours, so take a picnic or a flask of warming soup, brave a barefoot paddle if you dare (brrr, I’m more of a wellies girl), skim stones and just soak it all in.
There are some fantastic events that are unique to the lakes during the Autumn months, perhaps none more so than the Winter Droving at Penrith. Although it’s named after the start of the Winter season due to (usually) being situated on the final day of British Summer Time, it actually takes place slap bang in the middle of Autumn and is running across an extended 4 nights in October this year.
This is one of Cumbria’s most loved cultural events, a festival of food and art inspired by the tradition of droving animals. The iconic masked procession features fire torches and music, with a bit of magic thrown in for good measure. The annual town celebration will be slightly different this year due to the impact of Covid-19. As mentioned above it will run for longer but to reduced numbers for safety. However, that doesn’t mean it will be any less spectacular.
Throughout October Half Term, Brockhole Visitor Centre near Windermere hosts it’s Spooktacular event. Once you have your pumpkin pass you will have access to a range of activities, from Pumpkin Trails to Witchcraft Workshops on site.
Brockhole is the ideal place for a full autumn family day out. Why not stop by the cafe for a bite to eat and let the kids enjoy the adventure playground and burn off some energy? With covid-19 safe yet spooky events running from 21st-31st October this year, we can’t wait to visit!
No Weather Worries
Ok, so sunshine is definitely not guaranteed. But, catch the weather at the right time and the crisp autumnal air and fleeting sunshine makes for a invigorating but beautiful combination. If you get up early enough, now is the time to see some spectacular displays of low level mist above the lakes and rivers, or even the first snow fall up on the tops.
Just remember to pack plenty of layers, cosy knits, the essential waterproofs plus some sturdy footwear and you’re good to go!
If the weather does take a turn for the worse, it doesn’t matter too much because there are…
If the weather really turns, it simply gives you the perfect excuse to visit some of the brilliant attractions around the region.
Honister Slate Mine, just outside of Keswick, is the last working slate mine in England, and offers a whole range of exciting experiences for families and for thrillseekers alike. There are fully guided mine tours, and the indoor opportunity to climb the mine itself.
The seven mile classic steam railway at Ravenglass and Eskdale is also a great idea for a rainy day out, especially when the scenery will be at it most beautiful. Their cosy covered carriages are perfect for taking in the idyllic surroundings in complete warmth and comfort.
Or, see the spectacular scenery and colours from a different perspective and get aboard one of the many lake cruises and steamers that the area has to offer. If it gets a bit chilly you can still enjoy the scenery with a cuppa from the heated interior.
If comfort’s your thing, then simply find a…
With roaring open fires, comfortable chairs and a history to be proud of, there’s nothing better than a cosy Lake District pub for escaping the weather. You’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice with historic pubs and traditional tearooms at every turn. Whether it’s after a day walking with the wind in your face, or just a quiet place to read and daydream you’ll enjoy them all the more at this time of year.
If you have been inspired to visit The Lake District this Autumn then please remember to adhere to local covid-19 restrictions, and to respect the local community. To check the current guidelines click here. Most of the attractions and events mentioned in this post will require pre-booking, please contact the site directly for the most up to date information.
Disclosure: This post is a collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views are my own.