Spring has arrived in the Lakes, and we’re finally coming out of a very long ‘proper’ winter. We’ve had lots of snow, so the Lakes has been looking very pretty and everyone has had lots of winter walks, sledging and even ski-ing. (who needs the Alps?) Easter was early and a bit cold and damp and we’re all most definitely welcoming the signs of spring. All of a sudden there are lambs in the fields, nodding daffodils and the first of the blossoms are beginning to show. With that comes milder weather, sunshine and rain and those lovely blue skies now and then!
There are lots of signs of spring that will make you smile – and here’s 5 ideas of things to do whilst you’re in the Lakes at this lovely time of year.
- Visit a Garden: Our spring gardens are full of bulbs, daffodils, and later on, bluebells and blossom. Try Holehird, near Windermere run entirely by volunteers, and with open days and talks. Hill Top garden at Far Sawrey is as near to how Beatrix Potter would have kept in when she lived in the village – informal and typical English cottage-garden style. Acorn Bank at Temple Sowerby, near Penrith has a famous walled herb garden, orchard and fruit, and at this time of year swathes of daffodils all over the estate. They also have a Spring Walk until May. Brantwood at Coniston has a series of unusual and experimental gardens laid out by John Ruskin from 1871 – 1886, with a magnificent display of field daffodils in early spring.
- Get out on a walk: From Tarn Hows, to Easdale Tarn; Wray Castle and the shores of Windermere; up on Loughrigg or along the shores of Ullswater, there are so many beautiful walks in the Lake District at this time of year.
- Take a boat trip: All our boats are up and running (in fact some of them run all year round). Choose from Windermere Lake Cruises, Ullswater Steamers, Coniston Launch, or Steam Yacht Gondola (also on Coniston).
- …Or a train trip! La’ll Ratty, or the Ravenglass railway along the west coast is one of the most scenic in England with 7 miles of spectacular scenery. Nearer to Windermere is the Lakeside & Haverthwaite steam railway, which travels a short, but exhilarating distance from Backbarrow up to Lakeside on the east shore of Windermere.
- Indulge yourself!: We may be biased, but we reckon Cumbrian food and drink is always yummy and delicious – its choosing where to go that might be a challenge! Whether you want warming home-made pub food; michelin-starred restaurants; sticky toffee pudding or Cumberland sausage – a cosy cafe or bistro, or even a sandwich to take away – we’ve got it all!
- Go lamb spotting: We love our sheep! Swaledale, Rough Fell, Lowland Mule and of course Herdwick – even Suffolks and Texel sheep – they all lamb at different times, and the Herdwicks are usually the latest – end of April and sometimes May. Read a bit more about our sheep.
7. Visit one of our special Spring Time events: Damson Day in the Lythe valley is an ancient local festival which celebrates the delicious damson in all its forms – Jam, Gin, pies and and crumbles are made from last years crop. It’s always held in April to acknowledge the blossom starting to show on the trees – look out for the frothy tiny white blossoms as you pass through the valley.