Autumn Gold in the Lake District

Autumn is here, ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.’

Where else would you rather be but the glorious Lake District?

Autumn gold brings its own pleasures – the temperatures drop a bit, we get some more rain, but the colours are always spectacular.

Its a bit more relaxed and quieter too,  as the kids have gone back to school, but there is still so much to see and do.  Choose from a trip on a boat on a lake; a mountain top; the beer garden of a local pub.  Or get out on a bike trail or two, or simply browse our villages.

Half term week, with Halloween and Bonfire night really bring in the autumnal atmosphere.

View our Autumn deals here.

We’re taking £50 off selected 4+ night breaks from October 1st-December 21st!

There’s lots to do, from outdoor swimming, to country fairs, walks and talks, festivals, events and activities.

And of course, our amazing food and drink.

Here’s a few highlights for the months ahead:


Saturday 31 August: Chillswim Coniston Water

Sunday 1 September: The Loweswater Show at Lorton

13-22 September: Heritage Open Days various locations

Friday 6-8 September: Lakes Alive Festival, Kendal

Saturday 7-8 September: Holker Chilli Fest – Holker Hall, Cark-in-Cartmel

Thursday 12 September: Westmorland County Show, Kendal

27 & 28 September: Kendal Torchlight Carnival

Rydal Boathouse by Mike Hilton, Tranquillian Photography
Autumn Gold at Rydal Boathouse by Mike Hilton, Tranquillian Photography


11-13 October: Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Kendal.  Each October one of our favourite market towns Kendal, hosts a unique celebration of comic art, with artists, writers, and fans from all over the world to celebrate the world of comics.

This year’s packed line up includes over 70 comic artists, writers, and creators in attendance, five comic exhibitions, and a number of comic film screenings.

Saturday 12 October: Wasdale Head Shepherds’ Meet and Show

Half Term and Autumn Adventures:

The National Trust always have some spook-tacular offerings over half term:  The views and autumn gold are spectacular, which makes for perfect outdoor adventures with the kids and lots of things on offer inside too if the weather is wet.

Besom making and pumpkin carving are firm favourites!

Wray Castle, near Ambleside is a great place to entertain the kids  – you’ll find links between Beatrix Potter’s time spent here, and traditional fairy tales, story-telling sessions and food and drink in the cafe.

Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway at Newby Bridge: On board the train, there will be various Halloween themed craft activities. Come in fancy dress and join in the fun!

Lowther Castle, near Penrith :  A place full of stories, Lowther is stuffed full of fabulous half-term fun: October Half Term workshops, garden walks, cycle hire, woodland activities,  find out about the Ghosts of Lowther, the dogs of Lowther, and join in on Bonfire Night with  fireworks and fun.

World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness: : Lots of spooky crafts and activities inside and the garden to wander in.

Winter Droving: Penrith:  Now in its eighth  year and one of the most spectacular events of the season, celebrating Cumbria’s rural heritage, the festival harks back to the old tradition of herding farm animals over long distances to sell at market at the end of the farming year.  Music, masks, food and general mayhem ensues in Penrith Town Centre.  There’s a fancy dress dog competition and the day concludes with an evening torch procession where everyone is invited to wear a mask and join in the fun.  Saturday 26 October 10am till late.

Holker Hall, near Cartmel:   Head over to Holker for a spooky trail in the gardens and Halloween craft sessions.  Enjoy the Witches and Wizardry School: an interactive theatre event featuring some of Hogwart’s best known characters, and create some magical potions!  Friday, 26th & Saturday, 27th October, 2018 (Theatre performances); Thursday, 25th & Sunday, 28th October (Halloween craft drop in).  

Brockhole on Windermere: are hosting a Halloween Spooktacular  with loads of scary, spooky and fun half term adventures to be had.


Friday 14-17 November: Kendal Mountain Film Festival  

Every November, we bring thousands of outdoor enthusiasts from across the globe together to share and celebrate the best stories from the world of adventure. Stories of human endurance, breathtaking environments and soul-stirring journeys. We live for adventure. Join us.’

Picnic Bench Ambleside by Mike Hilton, Tranquillian photography
Autumn Gold at Picnic Bench Ambleside by Mike Hilton, Tranquillian photography

The Great Outdoors

1.  Enjoy Aira Force

Aira Force, just above Ullswater is a natural playground, and has gorgeous walks, waterfalls of course, and you may spot a red squirrel.  The views down the valley are breathtaking and its a place to escape for a while.  The autumn colour here is spectacular.  There are gorgeous walks right across the tops along Gowbarrow, to Pooley Bridge, or head in the other direction towards Glencoyne Bay… the inspiration for Wordsworth’s Daffodils (but you’ll have to wait till spring to see those…).

There’s a lovely tea-room and you can catch a steamer from the jetty.


2.  Take a boat ride

Whether you’re at Ullswater, Coniston or Windermere, our lovely boats continue ferrying you around the lakes, with gorgeous views of the autumn gold all around you.

3.  Get out on a bike!

We’ve lots of options for bike hire in the lakes – road bikes, tourers or mountain bikes, or electric bikes, which are great for all the hills around here!  You still have a great day out, a good work out and some fresh air – as you still need to pedal, but these beauties can help you cruise up hills when you need to.

Check out the award winning Bay Cycle Way from Barrow to Lancaster, with electric & other bike hire points along the route; or the Lakes & Dales Loop.

4.  Indulge your tastebuds

  • Autumn is a great time to indulge in comfort food, and of course, the Lakes has a great reputation for scrumptious, locally sourced food and drink.
    The Lakes Distillery on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake make their own whisky, gin and vodka in the most glorious setting. They’ve also an excellent bistro too.
  • Over on the west coast, you can find out about what was one of the most important ports in England – Whitehaven, where Rum was one of its biggest imports. The Rum Story tells the tale.
  • If you’ve a sweet tooth, then Kendal Mint Cake, Grasmere Gingerbread, and Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding should help to satisfy you, not to mention the hand-made chocolate shops, cake shops and bakeries you’ll find in every town.
  • Cumberland sausage is a meaty tasty treat, and local delicacy. You’ll find it on the menu in most pubs in the county. Eat with mash and onion gravy. Yum !
  • Award Winning Kendal Crumbly & Kendal Creamy Cheese from Low Sizergh Barn and made with their own organic milk is cheesy heaven.

5.  Fancy a beer?

We reckon we’ve probably got the biggest selection of locally brewed ales, and micro-breweries in any county in the land – always a good reason to quench your thirst.  (this is one that deserves a separate blog all on its own).

Just explore any of the towns and villages but here’s a few to whet your whistle:

Barngates Brewery based at the famous Drunken Duck inn near Ambleside – tie in a walk around Tarn Hows before or after.

The award winning Coniston Brewing Company is home to Bluebird Bitter and other popular ales, based at the Black Bull Inn & Hotel, Coniston.

Hawkshead Brewery only started in 2002 is now based in the village of Staveley near Kendal. They also serve a nice Cumbrian tapas – if you can imagine that!

Strands Inn and Brewery, Nether Wasdale
Way out west in glorious Wasdale tie this one in with some serious walking.

Ulverston Brewing company.
Home of the famous Laurel & Hardy themed beers and the Laughing Gravy Bar!

The Brown Horse Inn at Winster started making its own beer in 2010 and has been so successful it now supplies other pubs.

6. Off the beaten track

Just a short walk from Ambleside is the National Trust’s Stagshaw Garden, an informal woodland garden, with rambling paths and an almost enchanted feel; which changes again with the autumn season. It’s close to the A591 but gives peace and sanctuary with lovely views out to the lake and mountains.

So come and enjoy the mellow season that is autumn in the Lakes, there’s so much to do and enjoy here.

It could become your favourite season…

View our Autumn Gold specials here and don’t forget we’re taking £50 off all breaks over 4 nights from October 1st to December 21st.