Top 10 Things to Do in the Lake District in Winter

Top 10 Things to Do in the Lake District in Winter

If you think the Lake District is only worth visiting in the summer months, think again. While the scenery is breath-taking in great weather, the drama of snow, ice and frost can be just as impressive.

Hiking is often better left until the clearer, drier months, but there is a lot to be said for visiting the first location on our list. There are many other delights to be found too, but we hope some of those mentioned here will be a little more unusual than the traditional offerings.

1. Aira Force

Aira Force

Aira Force is a waterfall close to Lake Ullswater. If you're in the Lakes on a rainy winters day, grab your waterproofs and head up there to take a look. Extra rain means the waterfall is far more dramatic than it would be in the summer.

2. Visit the Lake District Ski Club

Lake District Tourist Guide

Positioned near Helvellyn, you can join the club and get a free day's worth of skiing here as well. You'll need to come prepared the club doesn't offer ski or equipment hire, and it doesn't have accommodation either. This leaves you free to stay in a Lake District B&B nearby.  Find more information about Skiing in the Lake district on their website.

3. Head out onto Lake Windermere

See Lake Windermere

Many of the cruises offered by Windermere Lake Cruises are available all year round. Wrap up warm, wait for a dry (if cold) day and enjoy the experience. The Freedom of the Lake ticket means you can try more than one cruise within a 24-hour period.

4. Visit the Lakeland Motor Museum

Lakeland motor museum

Near Lake Windermere? Head south to Backbarrow and visit this charming museum. It's open throughout the week and the year, and there are thousands of exhibits to see. There's a tribute to Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell here too, and the famous Bluebird. See more info on the Lakeland Motor Museum website.

5. Visit Fell Foot Park

Fell Foot Park

This National Trust venue is open all year round, although the café closes in the winter months. If you're up for some serious exercise, there's a park run that takes place throughout the winter at 9am every Saturday. Register ahead of time (there's no charge) and enjoy a route that takes you around the park, right by the shores of Lake Windermere. Find out more on the National Trust website.

6. Drop into the Kendal Museum

Kendal Museum

This is a fascinating indoor option that regularly hosts different exhibitions and events. The museum is open from Tuesday through until Saturday every week. Check ahead of time to see what's on when you're in the area.

7. Save a day for the Rheged Centre

Rheged centre

This is a must-see for the whole family. You can enjoy a nice meal here, check out a 3D film, visit one or more of the 10 shops on-site, and indulge in lots more besides. Rheged is also central to many of the main destinations in the Lakes, making it easy to find.

8. Visit the Lakes Aquarium

Lakes aquarium

What better place to stay out of the rain and explore the underwater world? The aquarium is packed with different areas including the Seashore Discovery Zone, the Virtual Dive Bell and the English Lake District (of course). Great for all the family.

9. Visit the 1657 Chocolate House


A tempting choice to make in Kendal, this house was built in the mid-1600s. It's impossible to resist treating yourself, but if you're looking for a special gift you can put one together yourself too. Ideal to pop into while exploring Kendal or the surrounding area.

10. Experience the World of Beatrix Potter

World of Beatrix Potter

Apart from closing on Christmas Day and for a three-week period in late January-early February, this exhibition is open year-round. Explore various familiar areas, including the Peter Rabbit Garden and Mrs Tiggy-winkles kitchen.

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