Autumn is a magical time of year in the Lake District. The autumn colours are awesome and can be enjoyed throughout the area with deciduous woodland and seasonal vegetation covering large parts. It’s always better to see it on a sunny day but autumn can still have plenty of those and even some warmth on a good day. The nights are certainly drawing in and when the hour turns at the end of October the chance of any evening exploring has gone but there’s still a good amount of daylight to make the most of. Autumn is also significantly less busy than summer so easier to get around and park, although there are still plenty of visitors around at the moment, probably partly due to many UK people still concerned about going abroad due to Covid, so choosing to stay more local.
The central Lake District drives are particularly good for autumn colours but one I would recommend to experience the best of it is the Hawkshead-Coniston-Grizedale drive which explores this beautiful area of south Lakeland. This is a drive of 2 loops starting from the pretty village of Hawkshead. The first loop takes you firstly to the famous beauty spot of Tarn Hows which is superb in autumn with its surrounding woodlands and maybe a bit of snow lying on the distant mountains. Then you do a circuit of picturesque Coniston Water with plenty of lakeshore access points all around and no end of fabulous autumnal views. Brown Howe is one of my favourite lakeshore access areas. Returning to Hawkshead, perhaps for a spot of lunch, the second loop then takes you through Grizedale Forest, which has something for everyone with its peaceful walking trails or heart pounding activities. Its beauty can also be appreciated as you drive through it. Beyond the forest is Esthwaite Water, one of the lesser known lakes but still very attractive. As you drive around its shores, heading back to Hawkshead, you can also visit Hill Top where the famous author Beatrix Potter lived, now a very popular and interesting attraction.
Covid is still having a significant impact in the area with many attractions and hospitality venues operating changed or uncertain hours. A large problem has been staff shortages and Covid means they can close at very short notice. It is certainly worth checking websites and social media if you plan to visit any such places.
One thing that we can rely on is the wonderful Lake District scenery and an autumnal drive around the area is a perfect tonic for our wellbeing, so get out there and enjoy!