Spring has sprung and Lake District Drives are open again! Sort of. We can drive around but many attractions are yet to open or haven’t fully opened due to Coronavirus restrictions. We are yet to see if all attractions, hospitality venues and facilities included in Lake District Drives will fully reopen following such a long-enforced break but fingers crossed they will, even if we are still subject to more short-term restrictions such as social distancing inside attractions, pubs and restaurants.
Spring is a wonderful time of year in the Lake District. The daffodils are dazzling and the lambs are lolloping. Everywhere you look there is new life and the improved weather and extra daylight makes us all feel better, especially after such a long winter of lockdown. It is a good time to explore the area before the main holiday season, roads are normally quieter and views are less obstructed by vegetation which has yet to take hold.
A personal spring highlight are the local bluebells which normally appear late April and early May. There are some superb places to go and see the show. Rannerdale by Crummock Water must be one of the best with a blue carpet covering the whole valley. It’s unusual to see them out in an open valley, made more spectacular by the lake and mountain backdrop. There are various woodlands around Windermere which are also great for bluebells. Fishgarths Wood near Ambleside is probably one of the best with the added benefit of leading onto the open fell of Loughrigg with wonderful views of Windermere lake and its surroundings.
In the current pandemic circumstances, it might be wise to head for some of the more natural attractions where it is easier to avoid close contact with others. There are plenty of such places described in Lake District Drives. For example, the Keswick-Borrowdale-Buttermere drive has some fantastic scenery and various natural attractions within easy reach of the car, including Rannerdale. Alternatively, there are various drives around Lake District fringes where the scenery is still beautiful and it tends to be quieter. If you just want to see as much of the Lake District as you can in a short space of time then the Ultimate Drive will certainly help you do that.
Given the considerable uncertainty with foreign travel this year, it is likely the Lake District will see a bumper year for UK visitors once all accommodation and hospitality opens up in May. That is great for local businesses and attractions but if you want to see the area before it gets busy then make the most of the spring while it lasts!