10 Reasons to Visit the Lake District in Autumn

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10 Reasons to Visit the Lake District in Autumn

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 to the region – in fact, it might not even be the best time. We love the autumn in the Lake District, and there are plenty reasons we think you’ll love it, too. Here are 10 of the things that make autumn such a great time to visit the Lake District:

Autumn Colours

Lake District Autumn Colours

If you’re looking for spectacular scenery, the autumn might actually be the best time of year to visit. In the autumn months, the Lake District becomes ablaze with colour, with bright reds, oranges and yellows taking over from the greens of summer, making it one of the most spectacular times to visit. Whether you want to snap some stunning photographs, soak in beautiful surroundings, or just see the region as you’ve never seen it before, visiting in the autumn is ideal.

Refreshing Walks

Lake District Autumn Buttermere

Catch the weather at the right time and the walks at this time of year are as good as if not better than during the summer. The crisp autumnal air and haze of sunshine make for a potent, invigorating combination. Places with plenty of foliage are ideal for the season – Borrowdale is one of the most wooded valleys in the Lake District, so really comes alive during the autumn, while the still waters of Buttermere look incredible when reflecting the autumn colours. For a longer walk with more of a climb, try Walla Crag, with its superb views of Great Wood. You can also try one of our Family-Friendly Walks, which are all still possible to tackle in autumn – just remember to check the weather forecast first. If the weather does take a turn for the worse though, no matter, because…

Cosy Pubs

Lake District Autumn Pub

Roaring fires, low ceilings, comfortable chairs and a tangible feel of history – there’s nothing better than a Lake District pub for escaping the weather. You’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice for historic pubs and inns, and after a day walking in the fells with the wind in your face, you’ll enjoy their comforts all the more at this time of year.

Whiskey and Gin



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If a pint of ale and a fireside seat isn’t enough to warm you then you could always try something slightly stronger – and the Lakes Distillery is the perfect place to do so. Based on the shore of Bassenthwaite Lake, right next door to our caravan park, the Distillery produces its own gin, vodka and blended whiskey, made with the crystal-clear water found in the Lakeland fells. There are tours, tasting evenings and a bistro to take in, as well as a delightful herd of friendly Alpacas.

It’s Less Busy

Lake District Autumn Quiet Road

One huge benefit of visiting this time of year is the lack of crowds. While the peak season of June to August is lovely, it can also mean enduring packed car parks and gridlocked traffic – as well as large, bustling crowds of people. Visit in the autumn though, and you’ll find that a region popularised for its tranquil beauty will actually *be* tranquil, allowing you take in the peace and quiet at your own leisure, and feel a deeper connection to the stunning surrounding landscape.

Unique Events

There are also some fantastic events unique to the region during the autumn, perhaps none more so than the Winter Droving at Penrith. Although it’s named after the start of the winter season, due to being situated on the final day of British Summer Time, it actually takes place slap bang in the middle of autumn, on Saturday 27th October this year. This is one of Cumbria’s most iconic cultural events, a festival of food, culture and art, inspired by the tradition of Droving animals. The iconic masked procession features fire torches, music, magic and mayhem.

The Forests of Folklore event at Wray Castle is also unique to the Lake District, exploring the inspirations behind some of Beatrix Potter’s darker characters. Taking place from 20th October until 4th November, you can learn about the Germanic folk stories that made their way into her books, play hide and seek with eerie shadows of traditional folk characters in Wray Castle’s indoor forest, and see the same rooms that the teenage Beatrix explored when she stayed at the castle in 1882.

Art and Culture

Lake District Autumn Rodin Thinker

Auguste Rodin, The Thinker, 1880-81, The Burrell Collection © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

If the weather gets a bit TOO autumnal, you’ll still be spoilt for choice for things to do, with a number of excellent exhibitions taking place in the Lake District through the autumn. Kendal’s Abbot Hall, in particular, has some fascinating exhibitions to see. Rodin’s The Thinker has been on display since the summer, in an exhibition that comes to an end on Saturday, 27th October. This is followed by ‘The Story of a Life by Grayson Perry’ from Friday 9th November, with the Turner Prize winning artist displaying two giant tapestries in the intimate gallery spaces at Abbot Hall. There is also an accompanying exhibition of spotlight loans of Perry’s work at the Blackwell Arts & Crafts House in Bowness-on-Windermere running from 21st September until 6 January.

A Spooktacular Halloween

Lake District Halloween

Autumn also means Halloween, and there are some fun events around the region to really get you in the spirit of things. Allan Bank and Grasmere’s woodland trail is being taken over by spooky pumpkins from 15th to 31st October, where children can venture into the woods to see how many they can find. Acorn Bank is hosting a wand and broom making workshop for aspiring witches and wizards on 27th October. Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is home to a spectacularly spooky Ghost Train on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th October.

For a particularly atmospheric Halloween experience though, why not brave one of Britain’s most haunted castles? Muncaster Castle is hosting a week of chilling Halloween events between 23rd and 28th October, which will include Monster Cabaret, Scary Maze, Ghostly Grotto, Scary Storytelling, Cannon Firing and Arroween Archery, as well as a spooky Halloween Tour of the castle.

Take to the Water

Lake District Autumn Cruise

See the spectacular scenery and colours from a different perspective – you actually get some of the best panoramas from aboard one of the many cruises and steamers that take to the water, and if it gets a bit chilly you can still enjoy the scenery from their heated interiors. Coniston offers some of the best displays of colour in the Lake District, and they’re best viewed from aboard the atmospheric Steam Yacht Gondola, which runs until the end of October – the Coniston Launch also runs a winter timetable beginning in November. Ullswater Steamers run services throughout autumn, and ferry you to some of the most spectacular sights in the region, while Windermere Lake Cruises also offer services throughout the season.

A Host of Great Attractions

If the weather truly is too harsh to get out for a long walk, don’t worry – this just gives you the 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, outdoor Via Ferratas 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 day out, especially in the autumn when the scenery will be at its most beautiful. Their cosy covered carriages are perfect for taking in the idyllic surroundings in complete warmth and comfort.

Book lovers can also explore the Lake District’s literary connections – Dove Cottage at Grasmere, Rydal Mount, and Wordsworth House are all must see destinations for fans of Wordsworth’s work, while Beatrix Potter devotees will want to make the pilgrimage to Hill Top, her beloved Lake District home.

There are so many great family-friendly destinations in the region that we had to compile some of the best ones – you can find our 10 Great Family Days Out in the Lake District here.

Feeling inspired? Why not book your autumn stay in the Lake District with Herdwick Croft? We’ve got a special autumn offer running until 17th November 2018 – book only for two nights or more at our scenic touring park and you’ll get a 15% discount!

We also own a superbly renovated luxury holiday cottage that sleeps up to 8 people – learn all about Herdwick View here.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling: 017687 76241 or email: info@herdwick-croft.co.uk

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