It seems like the whole country has been bathed in sunshine over the last couple of weeks, and the Lake District has been no exception. Shining in all its springtime glory, there are hundreds of places to make the most of the nice weather. Here we’ve listed just a few of our favourites.
1. Admire the Rannerdale Bluebells
At this time of year, the bluebells are painting the landscape with hues of purple and blue. Whilst in the Lake Distict, you’re likely to see many woodland areas full of these beautiful spring flowers. However, near Crummock Water is the hidden valley of Rannerdale where, in May, the bluebells cover the open fellside. The sea of gentle flowers set against the rocky background of Rannerdale Craggs is certainly a sight to behold, especially with the sun shining down the valley.
We suggest that you take the fairly easy circular walk from the Rannerdale National Trust Car Park on the edge of Crummock Water, through the bluebells, up the valley, and back over Rannerdale Craggs. There’s a tiny bit of scrambling involved, but it’s well worth it. When you reach the peak of the craggs, you can see the sun sparkling on no fewer than THREE lakes (Buttermere, Crummock and Loweswater) as well as the sea to the west.
Take a look at our cottages around Crummock Water and Buttermere.
2. Make a splash in Derwentwater
Sunny days are perfect for getting out on the water. Derwentwater offers a host of opportunities for all tastes. Head to Derwentwater Marina to hire a range of boats to take out – whether you’d like to try paddle boarding, rowing, kayaking, or windsurfing, there’s a boat for you. If you’d like to get really wet, try Ghyll Scrambling down Stoneycroft Ghyll in the Newlands Valley. Scramble, jump, and slide down this fun, scenic descent and we’re sure you’ll feel very refreshed at the end of it.
After an exciting day on (and in!) the water, you can head back to the popular market town of Keswick, on the shores of Derwentwater, to one of its many pubs, cafes, or restaurants, many of which offer outside seating so you can really make the most of the gorgeous weather.
Stay in one of our Keswick cottages to enjoy everything this area has to offer.
3. Stroll through Cockermouth
Cockermouth is a colourful Georgian market town on the edge of the national park. As the birthplace of beloved romantic poet, William Wordsworth, it is a must-visit for any literary lovers, who can step back in history in his childhood home and garden, Wordsworth House.
But that’s not all that Cockermouth has to offer. With a large selection of independent and antique shops, Cockermouth is the perfect place for shopping on a sunny spring day. Stroll down the main shopping street, and explore quaint side alleys to enjoy this lovely Georgian town.
When you’ve finished your retail therapy, pop along to one of Cockermouth’s cafes, pubs, or restaurants – many of which have outside seating - for some tasty food and a cool drink.
If you're still craving more sun, you can take a walk along the river that runs behind Keswick and admire Cockermouth Castle on its perch above the town.
Visit our page of Cockermouth cottages.
4. Picnic on Ullswater
Warm spring days make for perfect picnic weather. Glencoyne Bay on Ullswater is one of our favourites. Just a mile from Glenridding, on the Western shore of the lake, this spot seems as if it was made just for picnickers! A National Trust pay-and-display car park just across the road gives you easy access, and the dramatic scenery around Ullswater is gorgeous in the sun. Lay a blanket down on the pebble beach and sit back for a relaxing afternoon in the bright sun. Listen to the waves lapping and the birds singing their spring songs and float into bliss!
Kids will love skimming stones from the beach, and may even brave dipping a toe or two in the water.
Explore our Ullswater cottages.
5. Relax by the Loweswater lakeside
The Western Lake District is a lesser-known part of the region, but offers real beauty and tranquility that you may not find in the busier areas. The lake of Loweswater is a peaceful haven of waterfalls, ancient woodlands, and gorgeous scenery.
There are lots of sunny-day options around Loweswater. If you park at the top of Fangs Brow, you can walk right onto the surrounding fells, looking down on the glittering lake. You’ve then got the choice of walking further up the low-lying fells (and catching a glimpse of the sea on the west coast) or heading down into the ancient woodlands alongside the lake.
The woodlands are truly peaceful and, whilst sheltered from the strongest rays from the sun, the dappled light across the woodlands floor turns Loweswater into a mythical haven. There are also a couple of pebbled beaches as you walk along the shore - perfect for a break from your relaxing stroll. Boats can also be hired if you would like to get onto the water.
See our cottages around Loweswater.
6. Explore the Solway Coast
The Solway Coast, whilst not in the Lake District National Park, is within easy reach. As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is well worth a visit, especially on warm days when you might be craving a bit of seaside fun.
With miles of quiet sandy beaches, you are spoiled for a choice of seaside activities. Enjoy building sand castles, taking a stroll, dipping your toes in the water, or just sitting back and enjoying the hypnotic sound of the waves and the cries of the gulls. Head to the popular seaside village of Allonby to taste some of its famous homemade ice cream. Be prepared to wait, though, as there’s often a queue of people –proving the ice cream’s popularity amongst both locals and visitors!
Take a look at our seaside cottages along the Solway Coast.
7. Muncaster Gardens
One of our absolute favourite places to visit, especially at this time of year, is Muncaster Castle in Ravenglass. In the spring, the gardens are in full bloom and the grounds are a celebration of colour. It’s definitely one not to miss.
Muncaster isn’t just gardens, though. The grounds are extensive and include stunning views of the surrounding valley and fells, children’s play areas, and the ever-popular Hawk and Owl Centre, with daily flying displays by the nationally-renowned Hawk Conservancy Trust.
There are also a host of events taking place throughout the year. At the end of May you’ll want to catch the Muncaster Festival with all sorts of entertainment and activities to get involved with. It’s the perfect place for a sunny spring day out.
Treat yourself to a stay in one of our Ravenglass cottages.
8. Cruise on Lake Windermere
There’s nothing quite like being by the water on a sunny day. And you can’t get closer to the water (without getting wet!) than taking a boat.
Lake Windermere is not only the largest lake in the Lake District, but is also the largest in England. Stretching for more than 10 miles between Ambleside and Newby Bridge, it offers lots to explore. One of the best ways of getting around the lake is by taking one of the popular Windermere Cruisers – boats that sail from one of three points and take you past some of the lake’s islands. You can choose to spend your day cruising on the boat, or hopping on and off as you please at any of the launches, all of which offer something different to do.
On a sunny day, you’ll love seeing the surrounding scenery from one of the region’s most popular lakes, and the breeze in your hair is simply invigorating. You might never want to get off the boat!
Explore our cottages around Windermere.
9. Take a drive over Honister Pass
If you’re a fan of driving, you might want to try the route along Honister Pass, one of Cumbria’s highest passes, which rises to 1,167 feet at its peak. Whilst you are recommended to avoid Honister Pass in wet, windy, or icy weather, it can be a truly stunning journey when it's sunny and dry.
The steep, twisting roads are surrounded by truly breathtaking Lake District fells. As long as you take extra care on this difficult road, you will be rewarded with a sight that few visitors to the area ever see. So, wind your windows down, feel the warmth of the sun, and enjoy cruising in your car.
Take a look at our cottages around Honister Pass.
10. Climb Scafell Pike
Scafell Pike is the highest peak in England, and is a favourite with walkers in the region. The challenging climb is hugely rewarding and well worth the effort as long as you are well prepared and an experienced walker.
Whilst the sun is out during the spring, it’s not as warm as summer, making walking conditions perfect. The cooler weather makes for a more comfortable climb and helps you to enjoy the experience even more.
There are lots of different ways up Scafell Pike, and we’ve provided a handy guide to the different routes. If you’re not yet prepared to tackle England’s highest mountain, why not try an easier walk? We have some handy suggestions available for all sorts of routes. Wherever you choose to walk, enjoy the spring breezes, the gorgeous views, and, of course, that brilliant sunshine.
Whatever your favourite sunshine activity is, you can enjoy it in or near one of our dreamy Lake District Cottages. Visit our online search facility to find your perfect holiday cottage.
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