We have a had a couple of dreary weeks here in the Lake District, and as a result, it has been easy to miss the changing landscape, given that much of it has been shrouded in low cloud and rain. However, in between the showers, the sun does occasionally break through with streaks of light from the heavens illuminating the fells, trees, and lakes below.

During these precious moments the changing leaves are highlighted, and the golden hues of red and brown become strikingly vivid. This delightful display of colour is a great reason to visit the Lake District this October. However, if you are planning to visit us this season for a stroll bedecked with swirling leaves then don’t leave it too late, as winter is marching on.

Buttermere

An autumnal Buttermere

An autumnal Buttermere

Buttermere in the autumn takes on a mystical atmosphere, especially if you visit early in the morning on a calm day. With little or no wind the lake becomes a mirror, reflecting the spectacular colours of the various trees that are dotted along the lakeshore. A walk around the lake will take approximately two-hours. Alternatively, a stroll up Haystacks is not too strenuous and is rewarded with tremendous views of Buttermere and Crummock Water beyond. Afterwards, reward yourself with a meal in the Ship or the Bridge Inn.

 

Walla Crag & Ashness Bridge Above Derwent Water

Ashness Bridge

Ashness Bridge

You don’t have to go too high to enjoy outstanding views, and during the autumn, this low level walk is one of the most picturesque. Walla Crag sits above Derwent Water, and in late September and October, the woods surrounding the crag and those on the lake’s islands are ablaze with colour.

Ashness Bridge is one of the Lake District’s most photographed spots, and the autumnal colours create a beautiful scene that takes in Skiddaw and part of the lake. The National Trust have created a delightful route that takes in the crag and the bridge.

 

Loughrigg Fell

Loughrigg Fell

Loughrigg Fell

Loughrigg Fell is a popular hill for beginner walkers. It is low level, with a peak of just 335 metres, but its isolated location free from other fells means that it offers panoramic views, with Rydal Water, Grasmere, Elterwater, and Windermere all visible from its summit.

There are numerous options for ascents up the fell, but for an autumnal delight we recommend parking at White Moss off the A591 and strolling through the woods between Grasmere and Rydal Water, stopping at Rydal Cave along the way, before heading up to the fell summit.

 

Slater Bridge – Little Langdale

Slater Bridge

Slater Bridge

Unlike Ashness Bridge mentioned above, there isn’t a road close to Slater Bridge (an ancient pedestrian bridge), which means that it tends to be quieter than its Borrowdale equivalent. The delightful little bridge close to Little Langdale Tarn is a favourite of photographers, especially during the autumn.

There are a number of options for reaching the bridge, but this LDNPA Miles Without Stiles route is an easy and gentle stroll that takes in pretty woodland and ancient mine workings. Alternatively, a popular route is to take the Cumbria Way from Skelwith Bridge to Colwith Force, and then following the permitted trails to the bridge.

 

Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows is one of the Lake District’s most popular walking spots, and in the autumn, it is truly divine. Surrounded by trees, the small body of water has a glass like appearance, reflecting the captivating colours and creating an enchanting atmosphere. The route around the tarn is pushchair and wheelchair friendly, and it is therefore an ideal route for families with young children. For further details, check out our family friendly walking guide here.

 

Thirlmere

Thirlmere

Thirlmere

Most people who visit the Lake District will encounter Thirlmere as they drive along the A591 between Grasmere and Keswick. For the majority, that is as close as they will get to exploring the lake, preferring instead to head to more popular areas, such as Windermere and Derwent Water. It’s a great pity, as amongst the woodlands that surround this vast reservoir there are secret tarns, crags with wonderful views, and delightful waterfalls.

Over 2,000-acres of larch and spruce trees were planted around Thirlmere in 1908, and during the autumn, the larches turn from green to delightful shades of yellow and golden brown, lighting up the entire valley. There are several walks in the area, but we particularly love the route to Harrop Tarn from Dobgill Bridge, and Raven Crag from the dam – neither of which are particularly arduous.

 

Low Wood & Wastwater

Wastwater

Wastwater

Low Wood, at the south-western end of Wastwater, is an ancient woodland that is often missed by visiting tourists who instead travel to the other end of the lake for the start of the route up Scafell Pike. Even during the height of summer, it can feel very peaceful here, and in the autumn, the deciduous trees create a magical atmosphere.

On a calm day, where the lake meets the River Irt, the yellow, red, orange, and brown shades are reflected beautifully in the water, and the wood is also home to one of the best views of the Lake District – up Wastwater towards the village of Wasdale and Scafell Pike. Check out our walking guide here.