Spring in the Lake District sees woodlands carpeted with flowers, stately home gardens in bloom, and longer days giving more walking opportunities. The start of 2018 been one of the coldest winters we have had here for a while, so as we wait for the last of the snow to melt away and spot the daffodils emerging from their long sleep we look to the warmer months and the opportunities they will bring. Thinking of booking a short break this Spring? Here’s why you should choose the Lake District.

1. Daffodils

Field of Golden Daffodils

It’s a sight that will stay with you for years to come, as Wordsworth noted in the end verse of his famous poem, “I wandered Lonely as a Cloud:”

          For oft, when on my couch I lie

          In vacant or in pensive mood,

          They flash upon that inward eye

          Which is the bliss of solitude;

          And then my heart with pleasure fills,

          And dances with the daffodils.

Carpets of daffodils can be found across the Lake District in the early spring, and they really are a sight to behold. One of the best places to see them is along the northern shore of Ullswater by Glencoyne Bay, though you will also find them around other lakes. In the past, Ullswater and Cockermouth have both had special Daffodil events, and whilst nothing has been organised yet for 2018, do keep an eye out on our events listings for more information. Perhaps you may end up inspired to write your own poem.

2. Herdwick Lambs

Herdwick Lamb

Spring is the time when the lambs will start to make an appearance in the low level fields around the Lake District. With their deep black fleeces and adorable protruding ears we think that the Herdwicks are the cutest breed of lamb there is. You will see lambs in the Lake District fields from around late February onwards, but Herdwicks tend to lamb later and their lambs usually make an appearance in April. If you want to get close to lambs, check out either the Gincase in Silloth, or Walby Farm Park near Carlisle – both of which offer lamb feeding experiences.

3. The Start of the Show Season

Homemade Marmalade

After the long winter months that are only broken up by Christmas and New Year, we are really looking forward to the start of the show calendar here in the Lake District. We have a great mix of shows and fairs coming in 2018. Along with the delightful agricultural shows, we have festivals that celebrate damsons, flowers, beer, sausages, and more. It’s going to be a whopping year for shows, but it’s worth noting that several shows have moved from their usual dates so do check in advance if you have a particular favourite.

This spring, look out for Words by the Water, Penrith Goes Orange, and the Ulverston Walk Fest, amongst others.

4. Bluebells


If you missed the daffodil spectacle, then don’t despair. Late spring sees the return of bluebells to the woodlands and fellsides of the Lake District. Carpets of yellow are replaced with carpets of blue, and their arrival tends to coincide with the arrival of much warmer weather. We think the best display of bluebells can be found at Rannerdale, near Buttermere. If you want to combine a walk with a view of bluebells, then check out our top five bluebell walks here.

5. Clock Changes Bring Lighter Evenings

We might not have the weather of the south, but here in the north we do benefit from longer days throughout the spring and summer. The clocks spring forward at the end of March and the change means that the evenings start to draw out, giving much more opportunities for longer walks. Take advantage of the later sunsets and plan a picnic tea rather than a lunch. You will find it much quieter than during the midday period, making the experience even more romantic. It makes losing the hour in bed much easier to bear.

6. Stately Homes & Castles Reopen with Gardens in Bloom

Leven's Hall Gardens

The Gardens at Levens Hall (Grahamec / Wikipedia.org)

Many of our stately homes and castles close over the winter. Collections are cleaned, and outside spring and summer bulbs are planted ready for the return of visitors. Most reopen in February or March. Many of the stately home gardens are awash with colour during the spring, with magnolia and blossom trees being particularly striking. We love the gardens at Mirehouse, Lowther Castle, Muncaster Castle, and Levens Hall. You will find colourful blooms and wondrous topiary in their beautifully maintained gardens.

7. Wondrous Wildlife

Closeup of a Red Squirrel

Closeup of a Red Squirrel

Spring heralds new life and, here in the Lake District, we have it in abundance. The Osprey make a welcome return to Bassenthwaite and can be seen soaring above the water as they search for food whilst waiting for their eggs to hatch. Other nesting birds can be heard chirping in the trees, whilst Herons stand tall on the banks of rivers. Spring is particularly good for spotting red squirrels since the trees’ early buds do not provide a complete cover. Baby squirrels will start to emerge from their dreys in April, and their parents can often be spotted searching for food. Dodd Wood is particularly good for spotting red squirrels. For more information on animals in the Lake District, have a look at our quick guide.

8. Easter Egg Trails Like No Others

2018 Easter Egg Hunt in the Lake District

Each year the National Trust team up with Cadbury to put on Easter Egg hunts over the Easter holidays. Many take place in the grounds of the Trust’s wonderful stately homes and gardens, but here in the Lake District, most of the Trust’s property is natural land around the Lakes. This means that the Easter Egg trails are particularly special, with National Trust rangers and volunteers hosting a range of activities as part of the trails that get children enthusiastic about natural play. Trails this year are taking place at Ennerdale, Buttermere, Whitehaven Coast, Wordsworth House, Derwent Water, Allan Bank, Coniston Water, Tarn Hows, Claife Viewing Station, Wray Castle, and Sizergh Castle. For more information, visit the official site.