The Lake District may once have been regarded as a summer destination, but this certainly isn't the case anymore! With cosy pubs, a calendar of winter events, and plenty of attractions remaining open throughout the season, there's never been a better time to take a well-deserved break in the Lakes - here are just some of the reasons you should!
1. Wrapping up warm for a walk on a crisp and sunny winter morning
When we're on holiday in winter we think there's nothing nicer than to embrace the cold weather and get out on a brisk and refreshing walk in the company of family and friends. Whether you're a keen walker or a complete hiking novice, there's something in the Lake District for every taste and ability, and if you're not after anything too strenuous you needn't take on mountains to find some really great views! Take a look at our Lake District winter walking guide for inspiration!
2. Snowy views
Credit: Dave Willis - mountainsportphoto.com
Nothing beats a Lake District landscape, and when it's covered in pristine white snow, it's a truly magical sight. As winter turns to spring, it can seem quite strange to feel the first warmth of the sunshine, yet still be able to see snow on the tops!
3. Cosy fires in traditional pubs and tearooms... and in your property too!
After that invigorating walk, what better way to recharge than to sit by a roaring fire in a tearoom or traditional Lakeland pub - the Lake District is home to several pubs with cosy firesides for those, especially cold winter days! And if you're looking for a cottage where you can snuggle up in front of a traditional wood burner or an open fire, you can search for properties with this feature using our online search.
4. Magical sunrises and sunsets
Thanks to the clear, crisp skies, winter sunrises and sunsets can be spectacular in the Lakes - they're wonderful to see, and great for photographers too! And at this time of year, you don't have to get up all that early to see the sun making its appearance, either!
5. Switching on the Christmas lights!
When you switch the Christmas lights on it's always great fun, especially for children, and even if you can't make the events themselves, the lights continue to make those dreary winter afternoons sparkle!
6. Christmas markets
As well as the winter light switch-ons, there are a host of Christmas markets and festive events taking place around the Lakes at this time of year. You can expect stalls packed with local produce and a warm welcome - Santa is going to be busy trying to keep up!
7. Christmas shopping
Christmas events aside, the Lake District's towns and villages are packed with independent shops and boutiques - perfect if you're looking for something that little bit different for friends and family this year. In the north of the county be sure to visit the market towns of Keswick and Cockermouth, and in the south, choose from Ambleside, Windermere, Bowness-on-Windermere, Grasmere, Hawkshead, Kendal and, a little further out, Kirkby Lonsdale!
8. Enjoying the indoors without the guilt!
Sometimes we feel just that little bit guilty spending time indoors in the summer when the weather's good outside, but on those dark winter afternoons you needn't worry! Take the opportunity to visit some fantastic indoor venues such as Kong Adventure Climbing Wall or the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, the Lakeland Climbing Centre in Kendal, or Rheged near Penrith, which offers great fun for children on those grey drizzly days!
9. Winter attractions
Although winter is traditionally viewed as the time for local historic houses and attractions to close for winter maintenance, an ever-growing number now remain open over much, if not all, of the winter season. Just some of the great places for a winter visit include (please check individual websites for dates and times):
- Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal
- Blackwell, Bowness-on-Windermere, a beautiful Arts and Crafts house overlooking Windermere
- Brantwood, Coniston, the former home of John Ruskin
- Grizedale and Whinlatter forests
- Keswick Museum and Gallery
- The Lakeland Motor Museum, Newby Bridge, a historic car museum located on the site of the former Backbarrow Blue Mill
- Lakes Aquarium, Lakeside, Newby Bridge
- Lowther Castle and Gardens
- Treetop Trek and Treetop Nets, Brockhole, Windermere
10. By boat is still best, whatever the time of year!
One of the best vantage points from which to see the Lake District scenery is from the lakes themselves. It might be chilly over the winter, but 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. Another great tip to bear in mind is that dogs are welcome on all of these services, too (Ullswater Steamers make a small charge)!
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Stay at a self-catering holiday cottage in the Lake District
Before you set off on your gastronomic holiday, take a look at our range of self-catering holiday cottages throughout the Lake District. Find the perfect holiday property to provide the right backdrop for your Ambleside adventure, whether you plan to go boating, hiking or mountain climbing. Search our collection today.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.