People often think of the Lake Districtas a popular summer holiday destination, but the area offers so much when it comes to the colder months of the year. If you are prepared to wrap up warm with an extra layer of clothing you will find plenty of attractions still open, winter events galore; and of course the odd cosy pub waiting with an open fire to entertain you.
Here’s our top eight reasons for visiting the Lakes in Winter:-
1. Snow Capped Mountains
If your idea of the perfect picture postcard is snow-capped mountains in breath taking scenery then the Lake District is a must to visit in the winter. We are lucky to get many of the hills covered in a blanket of white throughout the winter even when the lower levels are clear. Bring you camera and enjoy amazing Instagram opportunities.
2. Winter Walking
The walking season in the Lakes doesn’t stop during the winter – the area just takes on another xxxx. Here’s your chance to embrace the cold weather and experience the Lakes at its best. And in our minds, there’s nothing better than a brisk walk on the hills on a beautiful crisp morning. Whether you are a novice of keen hill walker, the Lake District has something for every ability. Here’s a National Trust guide to some of the best Winter Walks in the Lake District.
3. Spectacular Sunrises and Sunsets
The sunrises and sunsets in the Lakes can be truly spectacular in the winter. The photographic opportunities are boundless and given the location half way up the country you don’t have to get up that early to experience the sun make an appearance.
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Sunset at Coniston by @wolfypic // What beautiful colours! Now…what's your favourite place in the Lakes you would love to see featured here? Let us know in the comments section below and we'll look for the very best shots in those specific areas! Have a great week in the wonderful Lake District // Want to be featured? Follow us and keep tagging your shots #lakedistrict (and tag us in the picture too!)
4. Cosy evenings in front of a Pub fire
The Lakes are not short of pubs – but what better way to recharge your batteries sat by a roaring fire after that invigorating walk on the hills. Snuggle up with a pie and a pint in front of a traditional wood burner at one of the cosiest pubs in the county. Here’s a list of the top ten cosiest pubs in the Lake District.
5. The Christmas light switch on
The switching on of the Christmas lights in any town is a big event and what better way to kick off the Christmas season than to be a part in the big switch-on.
You can catch the Christmas lights being switched on throughout the Lake District in 2017:-
- Windermere – 25th November 2017
- Keswick – Friday 24th November 2017
- Cockermouth – Sunday 19th November 2017
- Kendal – Sunday 19th November 2017
- Ambleside – Saturday 18th November 2017
6. Christmas Markets
Alongside the Christmas light switch on you will find plenty of Christmas markets taking place across Cumbria. With most stocking locally produced goods, they provide a fantastic boost for the local economy, and you can usually pick up some unique and interesting gifts for your loved ones. You’re likely to see Santa make an appearance too!
- Windermere Christmas Market – Saturday, 9th & Sunday, 10th December, 2017
- Ambleside Christmas Market – Saturday, 18th November, 2017
- Hawkshead Christmas Market – Saturday, 2nd & Sunday, 3rd December 2017
- Keswick Victorian Fayre – Sunday, 3rd December, 2017
- Taste Cumbria Christmas, Cockermouth – Saturday, 9th & Sunday, 10th December, 2017
- Kirkby Lonsdale Christmas Fair Weekend – Friday 1st December – Sunday 3rd December 2017
7. Historic Houses & Attractions
Traditionally the main Lakes attractions and historic houses have closed during the winter for maintenance, but an ever-growing number are now remaining open all year round.
Here’s a list of some of our favourite attractions to visit during the winter:-
- The South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Dalton
- Lakes Aquarium, Lakeside
- Dove Cottage and Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere (closed 7th – 31st January)
- Blackwell Arts and Crafts House, Bowness, (open from mid January)
- Museum of Lakeland Life and industry, Kendal
- Brantwood, Coniston – home of John Ruskin
- Keswick Museum and Gallery
- The Lakeland Motor Museum, Newby Bridge
- Lowther Castle and Gardens
8. Enjoy a winter boat trip
Many years ago the cruise boats would be tied to the pier at the end of September, or hoisted from the water for a lick of paint. Nowadays you can take a cruise at any time of the year, the only exception being when there is high wind or exceptionally heavy rain.
Even though it might be chilly over the winter, you can still cosy up and enjoy the views from inside the cabins with Ullswater Steamers, Windermere Lake Cruises, Coniston Launch and Keswick Launch – check the website of each for sailing dates and times.
For dog lovers – don’t forget dogs are welcome on all of these services too (Ullswater Steamers make a small charge)!
*Main image – Arg-Flickr