Every season comes with its own great reasons to visit the beautiful Lake District and spring is no exception. With bluebells in full bloom, a range of boat trips taking place on Cumbria’s lakes and lots of nature to enjoy, the Lake District is an ideal choice for a springtime short break or holiday.
Here are five of our favourite reasons to head to the Lake District during spring:
Enjoy a perfect picnic
Is there a more quintessentially British springtime activity than going for a picnic? There are lots of picturesque Lake District locations where you can lay down a blanket, open up your picnic basket and enjoy an al fresco lunch with all the trimmings. Our favourite settings include the shores at Tawn Hows and Lake Buttermere, which also make lovely spots for a walk, along with the grounds of Wray Castle.
Not only will you find a selection of picnic benches and flat open spaces at Wray Castle but there is even an indoor picnic room, just in case the rain comes along to spoil your fun.
It’s up to you what you pack in your picnic, but we’d recommend some local Lake District delicacies include Cartmel sticky toffee pudding, Keswick pies from The Pie Mill, jams and chutneys from the Hawkshead Relish Company and some famous Grasmere gingerbread.
Visit gorgeous gardens and a miniature village
The magnificent Holker Hall is an impressive Lake District stately home that’s just a short drive from Cartmel, with 23 acres of beautiful gardens to explore.
Springtime in the gardens is a riot of colour and you’ll find plants that range from traditionally homegrown to something a little more exotic. Meander around the Holker Labyrinth before seeking out the huge 22-metre lime tree that dates back to the 17th century.
Not far from Holker Gardens, you’ll find the Lakeland Miniature Village which is comprised of 100 buildings made from local Coniston slate. Take a walk around this little village and you’ll find small versions of Beatrix Potter’s farm Hill Top, Windermere’s Bradley Clock and even an oriental garden.
Where to stay: Try Rossendale House in Cartmel.
Have a family day out at Fell Foot
There’s lots of fun to be had on a visit to the National Trust site Fell Foot. This lakeside park can be reached by a ferry from Lakeside across Windermere and is a great choice for a family-friendly outdoor adventure.
You can hire rowing boats at Fell Foot, go nature spotting on a walk around the park or head to the children’s playground. During May half term, there’s also a range of sporting activities to try including frisbee on the lawns, badminton and volleyball.
It’s also well worth calling at the Lakes Aquarium at Lakeside on your way to or from Fell Foot, where you can see aquatic life including clownfish, pufferfish, diving ducks and otters.
See the Lake District bluebells in bloom
The Lake District is well-known for its beautiful bluebell woods which are in full bloom during the month of May. You can see swathes of these blue flowers throughout the Lake District, but our favourite bluebell walks include:
Rannerdale to Buttermere – The Rannerdale fell is famous for its carpet of bluebells at the bottom of the valley and panoramic views from the top.
Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood – This 5-acre Woodland Trust spot near Windermere is home to an abundance of bluebells and wild garlic and is also a great choice for bird-spotters.
White Moss Wood – This pretty bluebell wood includes lots of accessible pathways so is an ideal walk for families with young children and buggies in tow.
Hit the water on one of the lakes
You can’t plan a spring holiday to the Lake District without venturing out onto the water! Bassenthwaite is the only actual lake in the lake District but Windermere is the longest body of water at just under 10.5 miles.
You’ll find a selection of boat trips operating on the largest lakes, including Windermere, Derwentwater, Coniston and Ullswater, with cruises, pleasure steamers, ferries and launch boats amongst the options. Many of the boat trips will call in at an assortment of jetties so it makes an ideal way to get around and visit various attractions or just enjoy the scenery from a different perspective.
There are also various water sports that take place on Lake Windermere and Lake Coniston including sailing, water skiing, wakeboarding and paddle boarding. For even more great ideas for things to do on the water, take a look at our guide to the Lake District's most magical lakes.
Has this inspired you to head to the Lake District this spring? This is just a small selection of the things to do on a short break or holiday and the Lakeland Cottage Company has a range of family-friendly Lake District cottages to choose from.
Planning to visit at another time of year? Take a look at the best times to visit the Lake District.