Whether you go by the meteorological start date, or the astronomical start date, there is little doubt that that here in the Lake District, autumn has arrived. Already it is noticeably darker in the evenings, the air is slightly cooler, and Skiddaw is ablaze with purple heather. July and August might be the most popular time for tourists to visit this World Heritage Site, but we think autumn is better for so many reasons.

Forget Summer, Autumn is the Best Time to Visit the Lake District

Stunning autumnal views

Whilst Autumn doesn't technically begin until Friday the 22nd of September, it seems to have already begun here in the Lake District. Here are five reasons why Autumn is the best time to visit the Lake District.

1. Spectacular Displays of Colour

Firstly, and perhaps the best reason to visit in the autumn, is to see the spectacular display of colour that the trees and other plants put on each year. Forests turn from green to shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown with everything in between, whilst on the floor under the canopy you will find bright red toadstools. Hedgerows are dotted with purple blackberries, red rosehips, and yellow crab apples.

2. The Kids are Back in School

Second, it’s quieter. The children are back in school, and so with the exception of October half term, the entire area feels infinitely more peaceful. In July and August, you can struggle to find a car parking space. In autumn, you can have an entire valley to yourself.

3. It's More Cost Efficient

Third, it’s cheaper. As it’s a less popular time to visit, hotels, campsites, etc. drop their prices considerably, and you can get some fantastic low cost deals.

4. Ample Cups of Tea Kind of Weather

The fourth reason is the weather. Okay, maybe we can’t exactly guarantee it will be good, in fact, it probably won’t be with rainfall levels creeping up, but in between the rain showers, there is still a chance of some warm sunshine before winter takes hold. Furthermore, if you get up early enough, now is the time to see some spectacular displays of low level mist above the lakes and rivers, or Brocken Spectres upon the fell tops.

5. All of the Whimsical Autumnal Events

Finally, we have some fantastic events taking place this Autumn in the Lake District to really get you in the autumnal spirit. There’s the Taste Cumbria Food Festival at the end of September, the Winter Droving in Penrith in October, and the Kendal Mountain Festival in November just to name a few.

Top Five Things to Do in the Lake District this Autumn

Autumn at Buttermere

Autumn at Buttermere

Still not sure if an Autumnal trip to the Lake District is for you? Here’s just a tiny selection of things you can get up to whilst you are here.

1. Kick up the Leaves & feel like a kid again

Kicking Leaves

There is nothing more liberating that running through a woodland and kicking up the leaves. It’s a lovely activity to do with the kids, and those who are kids at heart. And, there is nothing better than the crips autumnal Lake Distrit air to make you feel whole again.

We have some great family friendly walks with the walks around Brandelhow, Tarn Hows, and Low Wood & Wastwater being particularly good for autumn leaves.



2. Pick Fruit to make your own gin (...or jam)

Picking Fruit

Early Autumn is the the perfect time for hedgerow scavenging. There are crab apples, cherries, and rosehips galore, which all make wonderful jams and cherries. You will find lots of sloes around Loweswater for sloe gin. However, you do need to be able recognise which fruits are safe to eat, so if you are not sure, stick to blackberries as they are easy to spot.

Whinlatter Forest and White Moss around Grasmere are popular blackberry picking spots. However, if they have been picked clean, then let us let you in on a local secret. On the road between Paddle School in Eaglesfield, the B5289 at Low Lorton, the hedgerows are brimming with plump blackberries that make excellent jam.


3. Spend an Evening with a pint by a cosy fireplace

Fireplace Pub

As the weather turns, pub landlords in older establishments start to light their open fires to keep the patrons warm. Sitting beside an open fire with a pint of locally crafted Cumbrian ale is the perfect way to end a blustery day out on the fells.

And, if beer is your forte, check out all of the local breweries here in the Lake District


4. Do Some Early Christmas Shopping

Early Christmas Shopping

Before you know it, autumn will give way to winter and Christmas will be upon us. With so many independent shops, the Lake District is a brilliant place to find gifts for your loved ones. Why not get your Christmas shopping started early? 

Choose from locally crafted jewellery, confectionary, whisky and more. Ambleside and Keswick are treasure troves of wonder for shopping enthusiasts, with the latter hosting a market twice a week.


5. Remember, Remember the 5th of November

5th of November Celebrations

Here over bonfire night? There are free or low-cost displays taking place across the Lake District, including the spectacular Carlisle Fire Show. And, if it's your first time in the UK and you've not ever celebrated Bonfire Night then you are truly in for a treat!

Check out the full list of Bonfire Night events taking place here in the Lake District.