Known famously around the world, Cumbria has some of the best and most visuallyb-ewe-tiful walks during the autumn months. As the landscape transitions from rich greens to deep ambers and reds, autumn is arguably the best time to enjoy this glorious landscape and the views it has to offer.
So pack your flask and butties and get yourself to…
Nestled between the lively market town of Keswick and Derwentwater is a garden haven and must-see attraction. Hope Park’s lush gardens offer scenic walks with multiple picnic spots to stop and admire the stunning landscape and views of the iconic ‘wedding cake’ tree.
Nature enthusiasts will be captivated by the enchanting woodland pathways, where diverse wildlife, including native red squirrels, frogs, pheasants, deer, birds, and butterflies, make an appearance.
Families will find Hope Park a treasure trove of entertainment. A charming café awaits hungry tummies, and there's an assortment of mini-games, from crazy golf, as well as a putting green. If the golf starts to get a bit too competitive, you and the family can partake in a race with remote-control boats on a replica of Derwentwater Lake.
Hope Park offers two car park options within walking distance. The Lakeside Car Park, situated right next to Hope Park has prices ranging from £3.50 for 2 hours to £10.40 for 12 hours. For a more budget-friendly alternative just a short 4-minute walk away, consider Keswick Central Car Park, offering affordable all-day parking for just £4.00.
Ranked number 7 on the UK’s greatest views, Buttermere is a cherished destination in the Lake District. It has gained popularity among hikers, offering a breathtaking journey through lush forests and over majestic mountains. During late summer and into the autumn months, the heather that coats the landscape begins to flower, creating a crimson coloured carpet that spans for miles over the Cumbrian fells.
This scenic trek provides an authentic experience of the national park, making it an ideal choice for newcomers.
One of the standout features of this walk is the mesmerizing reflection cast by the towering mountains into the Lake. However, the true gem lies at the conclusion of the journey – a charming, traditional pub awaits for a well-deserved pint or pot of tea.
The adventure commences and concludes at Buttermere GR NY175170, covering a distance of approximately 6.2 miles. Depending on your pace and the number of stops you make to savour the scenery, it can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. The terrain, with a difficulty rating of 2, needs a steady footing in places but is manageable for most.
For those arriving by car, the most convenient parking option is the Buttermere car park, which operates on a pay-and-display system.
Located to the west of the national park, Wast Water in Wasdale offers a serene escape. For those seeking a leisurely stroll, the main attractions here are the breathtaking vistas and the relaxing reflections on the lake. However, if you crave adventure, there are some exciting options to explore:
1. Mountain Goat High Mountain Passes Tour
Cost: Approximately £70.00 per adult
Duration: 8 hours
This guided tour will take you through the Lake District Central mountains and Western Fells, showcasing the scenic beauty. Group sizes are limited to 16 participants.
You'll travel in a comfortable Mercedes Sprinter minivan with onboard commentary.
Opt for the shuttle bus to Gosforth Village, where you can rent a paddleboard or a bicycle for a delightful 30-minute ride to Wast Water.
The main walking trail spans about 5.6 miles with a gentle elevation of 350 feet. Completion time typically falls between 2 to 3 hours, depending on your pace.
Parking can be a bit tricky, but we recommend using the shuttle bus and utilizing the National Trust Car Park. If you prefer to drive independently, there's a small parking area in Wasdale Head on the lake's northeastern side. However, please note that it may be challenging to find available parking spaces.
The walk's terrain varies but generally requires a steady footing. Despite this, it promises a peaceful and relatively easy journey, making it well worth the visit.
Nestled 1,000 feet above sea level, Whinlatter Forest beckons as an ideal walking destination for families and nature enthusiasts. This picturesque woodland boasts a range of amenities, including food and drink stalls, playground, bicycle rentals and more. All the walking trails begin and conclude at the campsite. Most of the walks are suitable for those aged 10 and over.
Among the more accessible and family-friendly adventures is the guided Alpaca walk, hosted by Alpaca Ever After. Prices for this ewe-nique experience begin at £38.00 per person, with group sizes capped at 12. Proceeds contribute to Alpaca Ever After's mission of rehabilitating alpacas within the Lake District National Park. While the exact duration of the walk isn't specified, plan for approximately 1.5 hours of alpaca adventures!
For those seeking a more demanding trek, Whinlatter offers access to the Seat How Summit Trail. Along this circular route, you'll be treated to panoramic views of Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite Lake, Skiddaw and Helvellyn mountain ranges. The path ascends approximately 500 meters through lush forests and heather moorland, covering a distance of roughly 6.6 miles and requiring around 4 hours to complete.
The level of difficulty for these trails can vary based on individual preferences and fitness levels. If you're up for a real challenge, consider tackling the Summit Trail.
Convenient parking is available adjacent to the campsite for a fee of £8.00.
Ennerdale, nestled on the northwestern fringe of the Lake District National Park, is an enchanting destination that truly comes alive during the autumn months. This pristine corner of Cumbria boasts vibrant natural landscapes and is home to a pioneering wildland restoration project, making it an excellent choice for nature enthusiasts.
One of Ennerdale's autumn highlights are the Larch trees that grace the riverbanks, adding a majestic touch to the scenery. Before they fall, their needles turn a bright bronze-yellow, dramatically altering the landscape.
For those seeking a warm welcome and a taste of local culture, the Gather Café in Ennerdale Bridge offers a charming community-owned space to relax, supported by Forestry England and Wild Ennerdale.
Ennerdale's Wellbeing Trail is another reason to visit during the autumn months. This trail guides you through a serene forest, encouraging mindfulness and relaxation. Themed panels along the route invite you to connect with the forest environment, while a forest wellbeing journal (available here) enhances the experience. The 2-mile trail, starting at Bowness Knott car park meanders through peaceful woodlands, a lakeshore waterfall, and historic sites.
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