Discover the golden colours of Autumn in the Lake District
We always look forward to Cumbria in the autumn, across the Lake District and indeed, throughout the County, we get to enjoy a different landscape. The vibrant greens of the spring and summer are replaced by the drama of gold, bronze, bright red and more shades of orange than you can count. There’s really nothing to beat a crisp autumn morning walk. The air somehow smells sweeter, and you can often get the glorious autumnal fanfare all to yourself.
We’re often asked to recommend beautiful walks and places to visit that really show off the autumn colours at their best. The truth is it’s very hard to choose. But here are a few of our favourites for exploring Cumbria in the autumn.
1. Rickerby Park Carlisle
Rickerby Park sits in the centre of Carlisle and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Salmon swim upriver to reach their spawning grounds and if you’re lucky you may get catch sight of an otter or kingfisher. The park has plenty of places to sit and admire the views or enjoy the tranquility. Cattle are in the park during parts of the year and there are places to park.
The park was once overlooked by the largest fort on Hadrian’s Wall. If you are planning to walk the path through Carlisle, you’ll go through Rickerby Park.
2. Dodd Wood
Dodd Wood summit looms 500m above Bassenthwaite Lake. There is a choice of trails, easily marked and great for a family climb. The car park is well marked off the A591, (make sure you have some £1 coins) and the climb starts straight from the car park. Look out for red squirrels and pack your camera as the views are stupendous. There is always cake at the Sawmills Tea Room.
If you’re not up to hiking, take a tour around Mirehouse, a beautiful country house and grounds on the bank of Bassenthwaite Lake. Explore the terraced gardens, the bee gardens and the heather maze or take a stroll through the woods. More information is available at www.mirehouse.co.uk, including opening times for the house and the tea rooms.
3. Latrigg above Keswick
Little Latrigg sits 365m above Keswick and is somewhat in the shadow of its older big brother Skiddaw. However, with a little effort up this moderate fell, you will be rewarded with a wonderful summit with great views of Derwentwater, Keswick and Bassenthwaite. To find the walk, begin at the Moot Hall in Keswick. A great walk whatever the weather.
4. Keswick to Seatoller
The 11km stretch of road leading south from Keswick to Seatoller has to be one of the most stunning walks in the autumn. It takes you along the eastern shore of Derwentwater, stretching right into the heart of Borrowdale where you will find ancient woods that cling to the steep fellsides and spill over the banks of the River Derwent. http://where2walk.co.uk
5. Whinlatter Forest
There are some magnificent walks around the Whinlatter Forest where you can marvel at the autumnal colours across Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwentwater. There are miles of gravel roads, surfaced paths and tracks to explore and enjoy the scenery.
September to November are busy months at The Tranquil Otter, so it pays to plan ahead and book early.
Meanwhile, if you’re feeling poetic, enjoy the closing lines of the poem by John Keats – does it remind you of autumn in the Lake District?
Ode to Autumn – John Keats (1819)
When “full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.