When Is the Best Time to Visit the Lake District?

Exploring the Lake District in Different Seasons: A Year-Round Journey

We might be biased (actually, there’s no might about it) but we think the Lake District is worth visiting at any time of the year.

Where to start

With majestic fells, glorious lakes, abundant and varied wildlife, historic houses and gardens, fascinating museums, mysterious stone circles, a rich industrial history, and top-notch food and drink in cosy pubs, restaurants, and cafes – not to mention the area’s renowned literary connections, one visit just won’t be enough to fit it all in.

Read on for just a few of the reasons we think you should visit the Lake District all year round. And if you need somewhere to stay when you get here, we’ve got the perfect retreat waiting for you.

Lakeland Retreats' guide to the Lake District through the seasons...

 

What to pack when exploring the Lakes >

Spring

March to May

Come in spring for bluebell blankets in the woodlands, hosts of poetry-inspiring golden daffodils, and the scent of wild garlic in the hedgerows.

Come for the playful sight of new-born lambs gambolling in the fields, and trees budding and blossoming back into life.

For Peter Rabbit-themed fun and Easter events in historic houses and museums.

For walks on thawing fells as winter’s chilly hold melts away.

For warmer weather, lengthening days and drier skies (May is often one of the driest months in the Lake District). For the first of many outdoor festivals and fairs. And for the wildlife emerging from hibernation and birds returning from their winter holidays abroad.

Read our guide for visiting the Lake District in Spring.

Summer

June to August

This is the peak tourist season in the Lake District. The weather is usually at its warmest and driest, making it ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, boating, and picnicking.

Summer sees the Lake District at its busiest and its buzziest. The towns and villages are alive with tourists but it’s also easy to escape the crowds by venturing out to the lesser-visited fells.

Enjoy the longer days and warmer evenings and take in beer festivals, food festivals, music festivals and country shows.

Explore historic houses and see the vibrant gardens in colourful full bloom.

Go wild swimming or stand-up paddleboarding in the warmer water, or take it easier with a cruise on a lake.

Sit outside in a beer garden and enjoy a local ale. Or leave the car behind and enjoy an open-top bus ride through the spectacular scenery.

Read our guide for visiting the Lake District in Summer.

Autumn

September to November

Autumn is a fantastic time to visit if you enjoy the beautiful foliage. The changing colours of the trees around the lakes and hills create a stunning landscape.

The weather can still be pleasant in early autumn, making it suitable for outdoor activities. It’s also a less crowded time compared to summer.

Head to the Lakes in autumn for getting cosy in country pubs. For wildlife spotting and colourful photo opportunities.

For smaller crowds and less busy roads.

For steam train rides and boat tours with views of the glorious countryside.

For dramatic waterfalls, wild swims (if you don’t mind it a bit chilly) and leisurely lakeside strolls.

For picking fruit from the hedgerows and making your own jam. And for Halloween spookiness and bonfires and firework displays that light up the night sky.

Read our guide for visiting the Lake District in Autumn

Winter

December to February

Winter transforms the Lake District into a picturesque wonderland, especially if you enjoy a cosy, festive atmosphere. With hikes on snow-topped fells and frosty forest walks. Lively Christmas markets, and twinkling lights at festive events. Mulled wine and roaring fires in cosy, welcoming pubs. And clear night skies that are a stargazer’s paradise.

Cruise on crystalline lakes and admire the beauty of the winter wonderland scenery.

Enjoy steam train rides and indoor activities aplenty, from climbing walls to puzzling places.

Treat yourself to a Michelin-starred meal (it is Christmas, after all).

Or meander around picture-perfect villages and explore nooks, crannies, cobbles and ginnels galore.

Read our guide for visiting the Lake District in Winter

What kind of experience are you seeking?

Ultimately, the best time to visit the Lake District depends on your interests and what kind of experience you’re seeking. Take a look below to see what kind of stay you’d like when you decide to come…

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