After This, You’ll Be Desperate to Visit the Lakes in Winter
18 December 2018
Winter, the dark months. The seasonal closing of door. Our time for hibernation, sniffles and moaning about the weather.
Summer, as lovely as it is, has a monopoly over staycations. This isn’t news.
The moment summer hits we dart from our hidey holes, millions of us jostling for our patch of wilting sun. The hotter we get, the better. The sun, our ruler.
It’s understandable – considering Britain's sometimes chill and often rainy climate.
What about winter? Does it have an appeal beyond containing Christmas? Of course. And as for the Lake District, it might just be the smartest and romantically moving time of year to visit. It’s about remembering, that honestly, we love winter – we just forget why.
Crisp Winter Walks
Walking (clearly) generates body heat. Generating body heat in summer isn’t biologically desirable.
The thing is, it’s arguably, easier to keep warm in winter than cool in summer. Moving is less of a chore too, once you get going.
Couple this with fairy tale walks in the Lakes, ranging from relaxed waterside strolls to mountain hikes and you’ll experience something special.
Cosy Pub Firesides
After an invigorating walk, where you’ve breathed deep the clean, refreshing Lakes air and your nose is a like glacé cherry…where do you go to warm your extremities?
Pub. Or more specifically, pub with crackling fire. Summer is for beer gardens and winter is for pub firesides.
The Lakes does rustic pubs and much as gastro – there’s an atmosphere to suit everyone. Let’s not playdown the magical rejuvenating properties of a malty ale or rich wine. Or whatever your favourite tipple is.
Snow Capped Mountains
The Lake District National Park lays claim to all the land in England higher than 3000 ft above sea level. This includes Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain – 3068 ft.
What sort of views will you experience? On a clear day, from the top of Scafell Pike you’ll be able to see Snowdonia in Wales, the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland. Which is incredible.
Being so elevated, whilst the lowlands are green, the mountains of the Lakes can be snowy, like dark fins sifted with icing sugar.
Even when it causes infrastructure issues, snow still excites us.
Winter Light & Sublime Sunsets
Photographers extol the wonderous aesthetic properties of “the golden hour”. It’s the period before sunset when light takes on a softer quality. Everything looks burnished and surreal, as if in a dream.
Although the summer golden hour cannot be mimicked, winter has a unique gift. The sun is always relatively low, which gives the light a gentle, ethereal quality unseen for the rest of the year.
Also, naked trees cast long, finger-like shadows, which whilst not “pretty” are atmospheric in a moody way. Winter is perfect for the introspective among us.
The Lake District never struggles to look good, but a winter sunset reflected in the silvery waters of Windermere or Grasmere Lake is – sublime.
(Your Instagram followers will thank you).
Speciality Shopping Wonderland
The Lake District is a haven for independent businesses of all different types – especially outdoor clothing. There’s also an array of farm shops, markets, designer maker boutiques, fashion shops, gift shops – you name it.
As convenient as Internet shopping is, it’ll never contend with the tactile creativity found in local communities. In the pretty towns and villages of the Lake District, shopping for Christmas or in the January sales feels traditional, but trendy. Here, perhaps you’ll find the unfindable.
There’s always one or two people seemingly impossible to buy for – the Lakes will help.
Whisky is Made for Winter
A primal fire, in the night, in the wild country somewhere, blended with pure water and bottled.
That wonderful amber tipple, whisky. It’s not a summer drink, is it? Its fiery warmth is made for cold days. Therefore, a whisky distillery tour is the perfect winter activity. The Lakes aren’t known for whisky though…
Until now. The Lakes Distillery is putting Cumbria on the whisky map. In a renovated Victorian farm, they’ve created something special – the first ever British Isles blended whisky called, “the one”.
Hotel Offers & Peaceful Dining
If you made a list of the pros and cons of winter breaks vs summer – it’d be a tough choice. What one lacks the other makes up for in a different way.
In summer, there’s far more daylight and being outside can be a real pleasure. Summer is also prime holiday season. In the Lake District restaurants fill up in the blink of an eye, shops are busier, parking is harder, and hotels reach capacity.
That’s not meant to be a discouragement. The Lake District in summer is what romantic poems are formed from, literally.
What this is meant to do, is give winter a fighting chance.
Because winter is the least favoured time for staycations (disregarding Christmas time), unless our preference changes, it’ll always have a key thing summer doesn’t. Quiet.
Quiet more than anything, helps us unwind and recharge within our busy lives. So, it could be you’ll find a winter break more relaxing. It’s also a time when hotels offer the best deals (hint hint).
Have the Lakes to Yourself
We’re offering a special stay in our stylish and intimate four-star hotel in Grasmere –
For a price you’ll regret missing
The Rothay Garden Hotel is a sanctuary from the urban, the hectic and the stressful. It’s about slow living and slow exploring.
The Lake District is yours for the leisurely taking.