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The Lake District

What to Do in the Lake District in Winter

25th January 2022

Winter is a magical season and nothing is more beautiful than seeing the sparkling peaks dusted with snow. The Lake District is one of the most incredible places in the world and it's a breathtaking place to visit all year round.

From enjoying a hot chocolate in front of a cosy open fire to going on an invigorating walk through the countryside, there are lots to do during the winter season. 

Our guide covers some of the best winter attractions and places to explore during your break in the Lake District.

Photograph the beautiful snow-capped mountains 

With breathtaking scenery and unbeatable views of nature, the Lake District National Park is the perfect place for photography lovers. One of the best times of year to capture candid photographs is during the winter months, where you can spot magical scenes of snow-capped peaks underneath the glistening winter sun. 

There are endless views to take in around Grasmere, Ambleside and Windermere during your winter break in the Lake District. Some of the best places for photographs in the Lakes include Orrest Head, Derwentwater and Buttermere. If you're lucky, you might be able to catch some spectacular sunrises and sunset views as well. 

Enjoy the winter sun on a crisp walk

The Lakes are always a popular destination for walkers, but nothing beats a stroll outdoors during a crisp winter morning. There are plenty of refreshing winter walks to choose from, and some of the best walks in the Lake District are right on our doorstep. 

Aira Force, Catbells and Rydal Water are just a few of the most popular walking trails to explore during this time of year. Tucked away near Ullswater, you'll find Aira Force, a magical waterfall that can freeze colder weather, making it the perfect spot for an invigorating winter walk. Catbells is extremely popular with hikers and offers frosty views over Borrowdale, Derwentwater, Newlands Valley and Skiddaw. 

Both Rydal Water and Grasmere are ideal for a morning walk straight from your hotel room and great for dogs. You could include a trip to Rydal Caves or take a wander towards Grasmere village. 

If you go out for a walk during the winter months, make sure that you always wrap up warm and have the right equipment.

Take in breathtaking views on a boat ride

If you want to enjoy some of the best vantage points in the Lake District during the colder months, taking a boat ride can be a great activity during a winter stay. This is an ideal thing to do if you want to see everything the Lakes has to offer without going for a hike. 

You can hop aboard Windermere Lake Cruises or the Ullswater Steamers and take in panoramic views of the mountains and landscape around you. It might be cold out on the lake, but it's worth it. Check the timetables before visiting to find the perfect time and journey. 

Delve into the local food

The winter season might bring some stunning views but nothing beats sitting in front of a roaring fire on a cold evening. Why not take some time out from exploring to enjoy a romantic meal at our luxury restaurant in Grasmere and try some scrumptious food. 

Enjoy a well-deserved break from the cold weather and taste our delightful afternoon tea made from delectable local produce and freshly baked cakes. You can sip on some wonderful spiced and fruit teas as you look out onto the calming lake outside. 

Alternatively, you could complement your romantic break in the Lake District by delving into some of the famous local food at some of the most popular cosy pubs and restaurants in Grasmere. There are many cuisines to try in Grasmere, with great choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Explore Cumbrian heritage and culture

One of the best things to do on a sunny winter morning is to discover all of the local heritage and culture Cumbria has to offer. There is something for everyone to explore, from historic houses to museums and art galleries.

Historic houses

World-renowned poet William Wordsworth's former home Dove Cottage is nearby and a fantastic place to visit. You can explore the poet's life and experience some of the inspiration behind some of the most iconic poetry. 

For book and art lovers, you should spend time visiting Hill Top near Windermere, the home of much-loved children's author Beatrix Potter, or Brantwood where artist John Ruskin once lived in Coniston.

After visiting Hill Top, the World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness on Windermere is a great place to go. You can find out even more about the life and experiences of the author.

Museums and art galleries

When you visit the Lake District your first thought might not be to go to a museum or art gallery. However, there are lots of delightful places to go and see. There's the Windermere Jetty, where you can hear tales of boat building and Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, which features exhibitions from local and international artists.

Escape the cold at local attractions

Don't worry if you think it's too cold outside to enjoy some winter walking as there are plenty of indoor attractions to visit locally in Cumbria. The Lakes Aquarium in Newby Bridge is a great day out, especially if you have children. You can catch a glimpse of arctic charr, piranhas and otters. 

If you enjoy climbing but worry it's too cold, the Keswick climbing wall is a great option. Stay warm and dry all day but test out your climbing skills on a variety of different walls.

A tour of the Lakes Distillery is another great option if you want to escape the cold. Find out how their alcohol is made and how the company was founded. For all things chocolatey, the Grasmere Chocolate Cottage is a must-visit location. They specialise in hand-crafted chocolates which are a perfect treat after a day of taking in the scenery.

Visit exciting winter events

Depending on the month you visit, you might be able to make the most of some winter events during your visit. In December, you can explore the festive Christmas markets in the Lake District and search for food, drinks and gifts. You may even be lucky enough to see some Christmas lights switch-on events. 

During January and February, explore the local market in Keswick or try some winter walks with The Lakes Mountaineer. 

Go shopping for gifts

Once you've finished exploring historic houses and attractions, why not go shopping for gifts and mementoes to keep from your luxury break in the Lake District. Leave your relaxing hotel room and spend time investigating some of the best shops in Grasmere and the surrounding area.

There are lots of unique independent shops to search, including Herdy, Lakes Art and Cunninghams. You could also plan a whole day trip to do some shopping in Bowness on Windermere, Ambleside, Keswick or even Kendal. 

Enjoy a Lake District winter break

There really is no better time to visit the Lake District than during winter. Whether you're dreaming of a short weekend break in the Lake District or a long staycation to discover everything in the region, you'll always have a magical time on your trip. 

At the Daffodil Hotel & Spa, we have several chic hotel rooms and suites for you to stay in, each with its own unique features. Enjoy unbeatable views over the lake or relax and unwind in our award-winning spa

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