There’s no denying the national park is beautiful at any time of year, however, autumn is a particularly special time to visit. On autumn walks in the Lake District you’ll see the landscapes ablaze with vibrant shades of yellow and fiery oranges and reds. So, get wrapped up, don your wellies and immerse yourself in fall colours that will set you heart alight.
Along the meandering bends of Ullswater, undulating fells plunge into the water and tall pines tower over the shore. Kissed by the autumn light, reflections ripple on the lake, creating a mirror image of the spectacular landscape. With several places to stop along the lakeside, every perspective is unique. The Ullswater Way lets you take in different views along its fabulous 20 mile route, which can be walked in shorter sections if you don’t want to complete the entire route in one go. In October burnt orange hues start to drift across the fells making the perfect backdrop for autumn walks.
2. Hope Park and Derwentwater
Just moments from the Keswick Lakeside Car Park, Hope Park is a pretty oasis filled with shrubs and trees that look onto the surrounding fells. In autumn, the maple trees paint the scenery in vibrant yellows and reds. Walk through Hope Park down to the shore of Derwentwater to witness the tree-fringed islands that sit below Catbells. The 10 mile Derwentwater Walk guides you through ancient woodland, along the lakeshore and the Cumbria Way.
Possibly the most magical of all the autumn walks in the Lake District, Buttermere Valley is simply enchanting, as yellows, oranges and reds mingle across the landscape like paints on an artist’s palette. From every angle around the lake, there’s an explosion of colour from the trees and fells, which are made twice as eye-catching from the reflections on the water. The 4.7 mile walk around Buttermere is one to savour as you take in the endless autumnal beauty.
4. Sizergh Castle and Garden
Owned by the National Trust, Sizergh Castle and gardens is a must for autumn walks in the Lake District. The gardens are meticulously maintained, with Japanese maples, rock garden and herbaceous borders filling the space with rich bursts of colour. Branching off from the castle garden you’ll find various walking trails where fallen leaves from oak, birch and chestnut trees colour the path. In mid-October, you might even be lucky enough to spot salmon leaping from the River Kent.
Wherever you visit, autumn in the Lake District will command your attention, but there’s something about Wastwater that just doesn’t let up on your heartstrings. Shadows of the moody screes and imposing fells – some of the most iconic in the country – ripple across the water to create immensely photo-worthy reflections. If you can tear yourself away, stroll through the colourful, leafy carpet on an autumnal woodland walk.
6. Whinlatter Forest
1000ft above sea level, this sprawling mountain forest is a favourite for autumn walks in the Lake District. Its huge pines cast a yellow and green glow and rise high above nearby fells and Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite lakes. There are nine exciting forest trails to choose from at Whinlatter Forest, each offering something different. Abundant with rare wildlife, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for osprey, red squirrels and deer during your walk. This is a great place for family walks with young children.
7. Rydal Mount and Gardens
Once home to poet William Wordsworth, Rydal Mount and Garden is a wonderful place to visit all year round. It’s even more vibrant and beautiful in the autumn months when the fiery red maple leaves cover the ground and the steps up onto the terrace walk. You’ll also find stunning views from the lower-tier garden that look out between the trees and across to Rydal Water. If you want to walk a little further, cross the road to Rydal Hall to explore the 30 acres of gardens and woodland.
Looming over the village, The Old Man of Coniston is an imposing fell that flaunts deep orange hues during the autumn months, which adds some serious drama to the backdrop. There are various walks around Coniston Water, including a loop from Lake Road which takes you along accessible paths and across the water by ferry. Alternatively, you can park on the eastern side of the lake and venture into Grizedale Forest.