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The Lake District

Where and When to See the Leaves Turn in the Lake District

29th October 2021

The summer season is an excellent time to visit the Lake District, but if you want to enjoy this unique destination in all its glory, it's worth travelling in the autumn. 

The green leaves turn into striking reds, purples, yellows, and oranges from mid-October to early November, creating the perfect opportunity for breathtaking views and unbeatable memories. 

If you're visiting Grasmere for the first time and wonder where the best places are to see autumn leaves turn in the Lake District, this guide is for you. 

Where are the best autumn colours in the Lake District?

There are many places to view the Lake District's breathtaking scenery, but there are a few in particular that guarantee incredible views during your stay. Some of the best walks in the Lake District are near our hotel, offering the perfect place for you to see amazing views over the National Park. We've looked into some of the most popular spots in Cumbria to see the leaves turn below. 

Allan Bank, Grasmere

Allan Bank is home to the most beautiful gardens, which look incredible all year round. Explore the house or search for red squirrels in the nearby woodland which bursts with colour in the autumn.

One of the highlights of this area is the stunning views it offers over the Lake District National Park. There are plenty of things to do near Grasmere after visiting Allan Bank if you'd like a day trip out. 

Aira Force, Ullswater

If you want to explore the smaller details of the Lake District away from the crowds, Aira Force is a spectacular place to visit. It has parking areas for those travelling by car, play areas, and picnic areas for kids to have fun while you enjoy the oranges and reds of the autumn leaves. 

As if that's not enough, Aira Force is home to the red squirrel. This is a rare species in England, but Aira Force provides a haven for them. We recommend visiting early in the day if you want to spot the red squirrel.

Clappersgate Bridge, Ambleside

This old stone bridge across the River Brathay boasts an array of colours thanks to its heavily wooded vegetation. Clappersgate is a small peaceful village located just outside of Ambleside and the perfect place to explore, with lots of paths to adventure on through Brathay Woods. 

There are plenty of other areas to explore nearby, making it the perfect location for a day trip on your short weekend break to the Lake District. Visit the 60-foot waterfall of Stock Ghyll Force or the Great Langdale valley. The valley is a vast expanse that winds down from Ambleside through Skelwith Bridge and to the valley of Mickleden. 

Coniston Water, Consiton

Coniston is one of the most stunning places for viewing the season's colours, and it's more breathtaking when explored by a steam yacht. Sail past the lakeside and head towards Brantwood, home to the most colourful gardens. You can tour John Ruskin’s former house briefly, which is full of fine paintings, personal treasures, and beautiful furniture. 

Remember to bring your camera to capture memories of this scenic landscape. The most Northern area of Conister Water is the best for taking pictures because it's not as windy, and the water is relatively still.

Friars Cragg, Derwentwater

Derwentwater is another place that showcases the Lake District's mesmerising autumn colours in all their glory. Located between the towering fells of Borrowdale and charming market town Keswick, it's a wonderful place to visit.

A stroll by the lakeside leads you to Friar Crag, the perfect place for some photography, and there are plenty of benches here for you to sit and enjoy the view.

The best photographs are taken when looking towards Borrowdale and Castle Crag or across the lake from a bench at the crag's edge. 

Dodd Wood, Bassenthwaite

Located 500m above Bassenthwaite, Dodd Wood is the best place for a family climb. It has a car park near the A591 that leads you to myriads of footpaths in the woods. There are red squirrels here too and, if you come early enough, you have a chance of catching a glimpse of them.

If you want a more relaxing stroll, you can tour the vast expanse at the bank of Bassenthwaite Lake or visit Mirehouse, a stunning country house. There's plenty for you to do here, from walking in the woods and exploring the bee gardens or terraced gardens.

For the best view, visit the area mid-morning to catch the mist lifting with the sun's rays falling between the trees.

Penny Rock Woods, Grasmere

The woods on the southern end of Grasmere have some of the best autumn colours in the Lake District and is one of the best places for photography.

You can photograph the deep woods with a backdrop of the lake and crag. There's also a small stream and a bridge on the southeast end of the lake where you can capture the slow-moving water.

River Esk, Eskdale

It's not the most well-known area in the Lake District, but Eskdale is one of the best places to visit. Eskdale descends from the highest mountain in the district to Ravenglass and transitions from the bleak, craggy ridges to the calm River Esk.

A hike in this valley is challenging but incredibly rewarding, leading you past the River Esk. Autumn is the best time to see these views, but if you visit later in the season, you might catch a glimpse of snow gathering on the high peaks. 

Why visit the Lake District in autumn?

From the breathtaking hues of red, gold, and orange leaves to reinvigorating walks on calm pathways, autumn is one of the best times to visit the Lake District. 

Incredible scenery and stunning colours

The views in autumn can't be seen in any other season. It's a time when trees and mountains have the most vibrant hues, and bright red leaves fall off the trees. 

Imagine seeing leaves of amber, gold, and scarlet with soothing waterfalls and babbling brooks in the background from the comfort of your hotel room.

Be sure to wear a pair of walking boots if you go for any walks. You can also enjoy the satisfying crunch of the dry, bright red leaves underneath your feet!

Autumnal local events

Apart from enjoying the spectacular views, autumn is the perfect time to attend many local events in the Lake District. There's no shortage of fun at this beautiful destination, from film and food & drink festivals to country fairs.

If you visit the Lakes in early autumn, you could attend the Taste Cumbria Food Festival, the Loweswater Show, and the Cockermouth Food Festival, typically in September.

There's also the Winter Droving in Penrith and the Castle Green Beer Festival in October and bonfire night events, the Kendal Mountain Festival and more in November. 

Make the most of a quieter time of year

The summer months are always a beehive of activities, which is why it's a popular time to visit the Lake District. Although, the stunning views of autumn makes it the ideal time to visit this scenic part of the country.

Book your next holiday at our luxury lake district hotel and spa and see the leaves turn yourself this autumn. Have a look through our rooms & suites or at our special offers to find out more about our autumn and winter offers.  

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