7 things to love about winter in the Lake District

Windermere-NorthIt has to be said that I’m not a big fan of winter. I really feel the cold, plus I hate the fact it’s always dark before the end of the working day.

I’m also not a fan of the ice and snow, as I equate slippery surfaces with imminent pain. Take the time I ended up lying on my side in a supermarket car park – the bruise was a corker… Or perhaps I could put my fear down to a childhood accident in which I received a black eye whilst on one of those old fashioned sledges with a supposedly ‘responsible adult’!

In the spirit of positive thinking though, I have been reflecting on the great expanse of time that lies between us and next spring, and realise that there are plenty of things to like about winter too, especially in the Lakes:

1. Brand new vistas

We acquired a brand new view from our windows in the space of a day this autumn. As the leaves fall off the trees across the Lake District, new scenery and fantastic lake views suddenly appear where they were earlier hidden behind the summer season’s foliage.

One of the views from Holehird
One of the views from Holehird, Windermere

2. Christmas lights

Although I think we’re all agreed that Christmas starts off too early everywhere (the end of Halloween acting as the starting gun for a two-month marathon of Christmas madness), it’s lovely to see the towns and villages across the Lakes put up their Christmas lights. Christmas aside, the sparkle brings atmosphere and warmth, whatever the temperature outside.

The Christmas lights in Wainwright's Yard, Kendal town centre
The Christmas lights in Wainwright’s Yard, Kendal town centre
Wainwright's Yard
Wainwright’s Yard

3. Cosy days indoors

I associate sunshine with being outdoors, so when it’s nice outside and I’m working inside, I quickly feel cooped up. In the winter I am much more content working away in my little office when its cold and blustery outside.

But when you need to get out, there are lots of great indoor attractions and places to go on horrible days in the Lakes – just take a look at my post on things to do on a rainy day from earlier this year. It’s also lovely to sit in the window of a local café on a cold day with a hot drink (and maybe even a cake!), watching the world go by.

4. A refreshing short walk on a cold day

There’s nothing like a walk on a cold, crisp sunny day. As you have probably already gathered, I’m not a big fell walker, but I do like a more gentle stroll on flat or gentle terrain. There are plenty of short and medium-length walks to enjoy in the Lakes, often with great views for very little outlay of energy (see my post on Queen Adelaide’s Hill in Windermere) – it’s not all about the big hills!

Windermere from Millerground
Windermere from Millerground

5. The shortest day

OK, this isn’t specific to the Lakes, but I think it’s worth pointing out. Once we get to December 22nd (in 2015) it’s the winter solstice, or shortest day, and things are then on the up again. The days slowly begin to lengthen, and before we know it we’ll be into the spring and summer seasons.

6. Snow on the hills

This year has so far been exceptionally mild, but normally in the winter you can expect to see the fells dusted in the white stuff. That means that for snow lovers, even if it’s not white beneath your feet, you get to enjoy picture postcard scenery at a distance… and without any of the inconvenience.

Windermere from the Hammarbank viewpoint
Windermere from the Hammarbank viewpoint

7. Photography

Autumn’s arguably my favourite time of year for photography, but there’s plenty of interest in winter too that you won’t find at any other time of year: low light (without having to get out of bed at the ridiculously early hour you have to in the summer!), the silhouettes of leafless trees, snow, winter planting and dramatic mists.

Hellebore in winter
Hellebore in winter

What’s your favourite thing about winter in the Lake District? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

One Comment

  1. Of course, there’s also nothing like curling up in the warm with a really good novel at this time of year. If you haven’t read my post on novels based in the Lake District, it’s here at: http://lakedistrictgems.co.uk/2015/08/08/lake-district-novels/ 🙂

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