Things to Do When It’s Raining in the Lake District

You can’t always guarantee sunshine in the Lake District, but that shouldn’t dampen your spirits! Rain or shine, the Lake District National Park offers a range of activities and places to explore. Take it from us, Herdy’s know how to have fun in the rain. Here are some of our top recommendations to ensure you have a memorable visit, even when the heavens open.

Herdy's Top Activities

Water Sports: Embrace the Lakes

Raini in the Lake District: a child paddleboarding on a lake

Photo Credit: Ben White 

Why not dive right into the fun with some water sports? After all, it doesn’t matter if you fall in! Paddleboarding is a fantastic option for first-timers looking for a gentle yet fun activity on the water. If you’re visiting with family, renting a rowing boat can be a great way to explore the serene lakes together. For those who crave a bit more adventure, kayaking and canoeing are perfect for navigating the Lake District’s stunning waterways. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned pro, these activities ensure that the rain only adds to the adventure.

Top Spots For Paddleboarding

  1. Lake Windermere | Graythwaite Adventures
  2. Coniston | Coniston Boating Centre
  3. Ullswater | Ullswater Paddleboarding
  4. Derwentwater | Get On The Lake
  5. Wastwater | Paddleboarding on Wastwater requires you to take your own board.

Take A Boat Cruise: Stay Dry, See More

Rain in the Lake District: a large boat filled with passengers on Lake Windermere

Photo Credit: Jonny Gios

When the rain is bouncing, a boat cruise is an ideal way to see the lakes without getting soaked. Lake Windermere offers all-year-round cruises with covered boats, allowing you to enjoy the stunning views in comfort. Sit back, relax, and take in the picturesque landscapes as you glide across England’s largest lake. This is a perfect activity for all ages, making it a great choice for families or couples looking to experience the beauty of the Lake District from the water.

Windermere Lake Cruises are the go-to company for exploring England’s largest lake by boat. They offer three routes and a variety of passes.

Find out more about Windermere Lake Cruises HERE>

Catch A Film: Cosy Up Indoors

Rain in the Lake District: bags of popcorn in a cinema

Photo Credit: Corina Rainer

The Art-deco Royalty Cinema in Bowness is a great place to escape the weather and enjoy a classic or new release. Zeffirellis in Ambleside offers not only films but also delicious vegetarian dining options on-site. The Alhambra in Keswick and the Roxy Cinema in Ulverston are also excellent choices, each with its ewe-nique character and cosy atmosphere. A movie day can be a perfect way to unwind and take a break from outdoor adventures.

Did ewe know?

Some big Hollywood blockbusters have been filmed right here in the Lake District…

  1. Supernova: Starting Colin Firth and Stanly Tucci, the couple drives all over the Lakes in their RV visiting many of the counties most famous beauty spots. 
  2. Miss Potter: This film truly shows the Lake District at its best. With filming locations included Louhrigg, Grasmere and Coniston. 
  3. Withnail & I: The cult classic was filmed in and around Shap, including the infamous red phone box scene which was shot in the village of Brampton. The phone box remains a tourist attraction for fans of the film.
  4. 28 Days Later: The final scene of Danny Boyles’s epic post-apocalyptic film was shot around the village of Ennerdale.

Star Wars, The Force Awakens: Episode VII of one of the biggest movie franchises of all time had one of its most iconic scenes filmed in the Lake District. Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite combine to create the planet of Takondana, with views of Skidaw in the distance.

Herdy character with green body

Potter Around the Shops: Retail Therapy

The Herdy store in Kendal, shop front

At Herdy, we know a thing or two about shopping in the Lake District! The region is packed with independent boutique shops that offer unique gifts and local crafts. Wander through the charming streets of towns like Keswick, Ambleside, and Grasmere to discover new and exciting finds to take home. And of course, don’t forget to visit our Herdy stores for some ewe-nique gifts to remind you of your time in the Lakes.

Whether you’re looking for a special souvenir or simply enjoying a leisurely browse, shopping in the Lake District is a great way to spend a rainy day.

How to find us

  • Ambleside, 3 Lake Rd, LA22 0AD, also the home of Herdysleep
  • Kendal, 13-15 Stramongate, LA9 4BH, Herdy HQ
  • Keswick, 8 Tithebarn Street, CA12 5ED
  • Grasmere, College Street, LA22 9SZ, our first Herdy store
  • Bowness-On-Wondermere, Lake Road, LA23 3BT
A graphic of a Herdy store

Learn Something New: Museums and Galleries

Rain in the Lake District: A woman looking at art work in a gallery

Photo Credit: Adrien Olichon

The Lakes has a rich in history and culture, and a rainy day is the perfect opportunity to delve into its heritage. Visit a Lakeland museum or art gallery to learn something new and fascinating.

Some of our favourites

  • The Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal showcases stunning works of art by local and international artists. They also have works dating back to the 1700s as part of their permanent collection. 
  •  A firm family favourite, the Pencil Museum in Keswick offers a quirky and informative experience, totally unique to the Lake District.
  • Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House in Bowness-on-Windermere, is a beautiful example of the Arts and Crafts movement.
  • Wray Castle in Ambleside provides an intriguing glimpse into Victorian architecture and design. There are also some beautiful walks around the grounds for you to enjoy.
  • Don’t miss Dove Cottage in Grasmere, the former home of poet William Wordsworth, where you can step back in time and explore the life and work of this literary giant.

Waterfall Walks: Nature’s Beauty Enhanced

Rain in the Lake District: a waterfall in the lake District

Photo Credit: Ian Cylkowski

Rain can actually enhance the beauty of the Lake District’s waterfalls, making them even more spectacular. Don your waterproofs and set out to explore some of the region’s most stunning cascades.

Take a look at some of our favourites for a rainy day:

Rydal Falls | Set in the grounds of Rydal Hall this is a very popular beauty spot, make sure to set off early to avoid the crowds. You can walk the circular route to Buckstone Jump back to the falls. The route is only 3 miles long with little elevation, so perfect for rainy days.

Ghyll Force | This breathtaking beauty spot is particularly impressive after a rainfall. The lush, verdant surroundings and the powerful rush of water create a magical atmosphere that’s well worth a visit.

Colwith Force | Colwith Force on the River Brathay cascades down a total of 40ft, creating impressive waterfalls. The River Brathay drains the Langdale hills, connecting Little Langdale Tarn to Elterwater. Further along, Skelwith Force, channels the water through a narrow gap, forming a striking curtain fall, especially after rain.

Take a Tour: Scenic Journeys

Rain in the Lake District: A steam train driving through a woodland

Photo Credit: Sugden Guy

If you prefer to stay dry while still seeing the sights, consider taking a tour by bus or train. The Lake District’s bus services are convenient and affordable, with journeys starting from just £2. The 555 bus route is particularly popular, taking you through the heart of the Lakes with plenty of stunning scenery to enjoy from the top deck. For a more nostalgic experience, explore the lakes by steam train with the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. This charming railway offers a scenic journey through the picturesque Eskdale Valley, providing a ewe-nique way to appreciate the area’s natural beauty.

You can find out the latest bus information HERE>

And information about the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway HERE>

Whatever the weather, you’re sure to enjoy your visit to the Lake District. Embrace the rain and discover the many wonderful activities and sights this beautiful region has to offer. From water sports and boat cruises to museums, shopping, and scenic tours, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

And remember, a little rain never stopped a Herdwick from having fun—so why should it stop ewe?