The Lake District in Winter is the quietest time to explore. You don’t get the crowds of tourists which summer months bring to the area. It’s quite the luxury to feel like you have the whole Lake District to yourself.
The solitary nature of winter in the Lakes make it magical with blue skies and snow-capped fells, walking for hours without seeing a soul and miles of unspoilt scenery.
Castlerigg Stone Circle
Perhaps one of the most photographed and famous attractions in the area. With panoramic views across valleys and mountains. The Winter Solstice marks the dawning of the shortest day of the year and the point where the days begin to get longer. Around an hour after sunrise, the sun finally peaks over the crest of fells in a majestic spectacle.
People gather each year to watch the event. The stone circle is overlooked by the mighty Hellvelyn, Skiddaw, and Blencathra. Castlerigg Stone Circle is located about eight miles from Borrowdale.
Sometimes difficult to access in heavy snow, but Whinlatter forest is one of the finest local attractions. In winter it’s much quieter allowing you to escape into the woodlands on one of the many paths or mountain bike cycle routes. Whinlatter is home to the longest purpose built mountain bike trail in the Lakes. There’s a spot of Gruffalo orienteering for those that way inclined and a festive trail to search for the perfect Christmas Tree. The café is open throughout the year, perfect to warm up after your explorations.
Wellies are needed for the adventurous WildPlay area. Children can go back to nature and have a truly memorable and enjoyable afternoon. The Go Ape centre is also located here and open throughout the year.
The fells, although beautiful can often be a little more treacherous to climb in winter, especially for the inexperienced walker. The Lakes, however are at their arguably most beautiful. Much quieter than the summer months, and the winter landscape is nothing short of breathtaking. And then there’s the comfort of hearty food and a warm fire awaiting your return.
A few idyllic walks located close to Hazel bank Country House are:
Derwentwater is beautiful in Winter. Morning mist over the lake and reflections of a snow-capped Skiddaw can be seen.
The ten-mile walk takes you through oak woodland, lake shores and to the pretty market town of Keswick.
Derwentwater Is just a ten minutes’ drive or a half hour walk from Hazel Bank Country House.
Buttermere offers a favourite Lake District, winter walk, just over 4.7 miles in length it takes around a couple of hours to do.
It’s a beautiful mix of woodland, lakeshore and fells. The area feels remote and provides a perfect winter escape. Buttermere is about a 25-minute drive from Borrowdale.
Crummock’s icy clear waters are overlooked by the dramatic peaks of Melbreak Fell, which makes for a dramatic landscape. It feels remote and offers a short walk of just two miles. It’s just under ten miles away from Hazel Bank and is a thirty-minute drive.
Keswick is a bustling market town and during the summer months it can become quite busy. In winter, with its pretty lights over cobbled streets it looks like a picture postcard.
There are plenty of independent shops, it’s easy to find speciality gifts, with countless charming coffee shops. Dogs are welcome too – Keswick has been voted England’s most canine-friendly town. The parks are clean and picturesque. A stroll down to visit the ducks of Derwentwater is a great way to spend a winter’s afternoon.
King Kong Climbing Centre, Keswick
On a rainy day, there’s King Kong Climbing Wall in Keswick. With some impressive climbing walls and a hard play area for children. Hard play is a more grown up and adventurous alternative to soft play, with small climbing walls, a fort, and for the brave, a dragon’s mouth to climb through.
The Puzzling Place, Keswick
The Puzzling Place in Keswick achieves something only attractions rarely seem to, appealing to an audience both young and old. Full of mind-boggling illusions which will make you question reality. It’s a fun way to spend a few hours, with an anti-gravity room and much more.
(Under 5’s free)
Theatre by the Lake
Possibly one of the most beautiful settings for a theatre, close to the shores of Derwentwater. They offer independent theatre, visiting shows and films carefully chosen for entertaining and thought-provoking performances. Take a look at their website to find out what’s on during your visit the Lakes.
Local Ale and Spirits
The Lake District has become well-known for its fantastic selection of locally brewed and distilled drinks. A Loweswater Gold beside an open fire is many a visitors idea of perfection. There’s also the Lake Distillery near Bassenthwaite where you can sample the first ever British Isles blended whisky and take a tour around the distillery in which it was created.
Winter food markets in the Lakes
The Lake District in Winter is a favourite for foodies. Cumbria is renowned for its local produce, throughout the year there are farmers markets and food festivals celebrating the county’s cuisine. Take a look on the Taste Cumbria website to see if one is being hosted during your stay.
A favourite foodie haunt is Grasmere Gingerbread which is made using a secret recipe and distributed throughout the world. The shop is well worth a visit, the smell is amazing and once tried it’s never forgotten.