The Lake District: When’s Best to Visit?
‘It’s not called the Lake District for nothing!’
This phrase can be heard regularly around the Lakes in times of extremely wet weather. Looking at the statistics and historical weather reports for the area, it’s easy to see why, even if your only experiences in Cumbria to date have been set to a glorious backdrop of summer sunshine.
When you’re planning a holiday in the Lake District, you’re probably already aware that you’re taking a bit of a gamble in terms of the weather. Thankfully the majority of travellers choosing to visit the area are doing so for the rolling hills, stunning scenery, outdoor pursuits and fine cuisine. But a dry day couldn’t hurt either, right? So while Summer feels like the obvious choice for a trip to the Lakes, there’s plenty of other things to consider such as heavy traffic, busy attractions or lack of accommodation.
Being a mountainous region and sitting right next to the sea in the North West of the country, the lake District is of course the wettest region in England. Although this is only part of the story, as there tends to be a huge difference depending whereabouts in the region you’re staying. Seathwaite, Borrowdale for instance receives around 130 inches of rainfall a year, compared with Keswick, where a still fairly wet 58 inches of rainfall is more likely.
Generally March to June are the driest months of the year, despite not being as warm as July and August. So if you don’t mind the temperature being a little cooler than in the height of the summer months, maybe a Spring or early summer break would appeal to those of you looking to keep dry on the fells. Visiting the area outside of the school summer holidays also comes with the benefit of reduced visitor numbers, more parking availability and generally less expensive accommodation and prices. You’ll also get to see the region bloom and come to life with blossoming trees and re-emerging wildlife.
So, with an average of 176 wet days per year for the ‘drier’ Keswick area of the region, there’s always a chance you’ll get wet in the Lakes… but the best time of year to visit really does come down to two things; preference and luck.
Best Time of Year to...
...avoid the Lake District rain (not a guarantee!): April to July
These are the only months of the year where the average number of ‘rainy days’ is less than 12 and average rainfall is under 3.5 inches.
...catch some sunshine (also not a guarantee!): June to September
As is the case with most areas of our wonderful island, the Summer months provide the warmest temperatures with averages pushing 20C in July and August, perfect for a wild dip one of the region’s bodies of water.
...have the area to yourself: October to April
With over 12 million visitors flocking to the lake District every year, our single-carriageway roads can get a little clogged up, as can the queues for a Windermere cruise. This is particularly evident over bank holiday weekends and of course, during the summer holidays.
If you’re able to take advantage of the bookend months either end of the summer holiday period (April/May and September/October), you’ll be treated to spring or autumn scenery that many visitors will have never experienced. But you’ll also find it easier to get around the region!
To summarise, there isn’t really a bad time to come to the Lake District. You’re going to enjoy an incredible experience whether it’s in the summer sunshine or the chillier dark nights of autumn. But as with any popular holiday destination, home or abroad, we tend to be drawn in by the prospect of longer, lighter days and a promise of sunshine. Your ideal time of year to come to the Lakes all depends on what’s more important - the weather (which, remember, still has a high chance of letting you down) or the prospect of additional peace and quiet.
Whichever you prefer, we’ve got you covered at Littlemere. Contact us today to find out more about the Lake District, or keep an eye on our blog for more features!