Five top tips for what to do in the Lakes in Winter

Five top tips for what to do in the Lakes in Winter


What to do in the Lakes in winter

Some holiday resorts have high and low seasons. Some places go to sleep in winter; others, such a ski resorts, come to life then.

But the Lake District is unique because it’s busy and popular and very beautiful all year round.

In fact, we are just heading into the only “fairly” quiet period of the year when, for a few weeks, some hotels and restaurants are closed while exhausted hosts grab their only chance for a holiday themselves.

The streets will be quieter, the roads less busy, especially when compared with the Christmas and New Year period we’ve just experienced here, easily as busy as midsummer.

But late winter can be so rewarding. In January and February, the days are starting to get a little longer, but the queues outside the tourist attractions are shorter. The hills are quieter, but the views can be terrifically rewarding, especially when there’s an inversion: clouds in the valley, blue skies above the fell tops.

And when the snow falls…as it often does in January and February…the Lake District is transformed. Adventures on the high fells take on a new dimension, while even a low-level walk can be a path through a winter wonderland.

So here are our five favourite things to do in the Lakes in winter.

1: Go for a walk, whatever the weather. Make sure you’re dressed in layers; you’ll be surprised how quickly you warm up on a brisk walk. Go in hope of surprise views from the top of Orrest Head or Loughrigg, or walk along the shore of Windermere from Claife viewing station to Wray Castle. Buy your kit at the local business, Cunningham’s in Ambleside.

2: Visit a museum. We love the tiny Armitt Museum and Library in Ambleside. The Armitt is a unique combination of museum, library and gallery devoted to preserving and sharing the cultural heritage of the Lake District. Here’s you’ll find a large collection of botanical watercolours by Beatrix Potter. And the surprise for art aficionados is one of the country’s most important collections of work by Kurt Schwitters, who influenced the development of twentieth-century art and lived in Ambleside during his final years. 

3: Take in a matinee. Better still, take the kids or the grandchildren to see the Gingerbread Man at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake, on for a couple of days in February. See the full details of what’s on for the next few months (you’ll be amazed by the variety and the high standards) 

4. Curl up with a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of wine at the cinema. We have two independent cinemas nearby, The Royalty in Bowness  and Zeffirellis in Ambleside, where there’s FIVE screens, the latest offerings, screenings throughout the day and evening, and live jazz at the weekends 

5. Do something completely different. Not far from here we have one of the best places in the country to watch birds and other wildlife, at Leighton Moss. Here is the largest reedbed in north-west England and it’s home to a wide range of spectacular wildlife including otters, bearded tits, marsh harriers, egrets and red deer. Open every day.


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