Winter 2022/23 news

Derwent Water winter

Welcome to winter 2022/23! So far not very wintry but there’s still time for a big freeze. There’s plenty who would say winter is the best time of year in the Lakes. Snow covered mountains look magnificent in the sunshine and providing the roads are still clear it is well worth doing a Lake District drive. However, it is worth noting that many minor roads in the area are not treated and can suffer from snow and ice, or even floods at this time of year. Although some attractions are closed over the winter and many others have reduced opening times, there are still plenty of good attractions to visit and the fabulous scenery is always open! It is also the quietest time of year for visitors, so a lot more room on the roads and in the car parks. Plus there’s a lot to be said for having no leaves on the trees as you get better views through them as you travel.

Keswick winter

I’ve been working on a new audio drive the last few months which is based on my Keswick – Borrowdale – Buttermere drive. Arguably the most scenic of all my drives with beautiful lake and mountain scenery throughout the whole tour. I’m always surprised when I do these audio drives just how many interesting stories there are about local history, characters and culture across the Lake District and it has been a fascinating learning experience for me. I try and share all these stories in the audio drives, so there’s more of interest than the website versions. This one is my third audio driving tour, along with the Ambleside – Keswick – Ullswater tour and Windermere – Coniston – Hawkshead tour. The VoiceMap app has been an absolute revelation to me, especially the way it uses GPS to pinpoint the audio, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Not only for my tours but many hundreds of others all around the world! The newly published Keswick – Borrowdale – Buttermere audio driving tour is available through my ‘Audio Drives’ webpage, link in top menu bar.

Kirkstone Pass towards Brothers Water

The forthcoming bad news is that the main A592 road over Kirkstone Pass is going to be closed on several occasions over the next few months as the roadworks continue. It will shut for most of March and June, two weeks in September and three weeks in March next year. That’s obviously a blow to anyone wanting to do the Ambleside – Keswick – Ullswater drive or audio drive as it won’t be possible. Also that section of the Ultimate drive won’t be possible, although you could instead return to Windermere from Keswick via the A591, past Thirlmere and Grasmere.  It’s unusual to close such an important stretch of road for such long periods but no doubt that road is a challenge to maintain in this climate and the safety barriers and resurfacing will help make it safer for drivers to come. The following two links tell you more about the works;

Safer roads – A592 | Cumbria County Council Alpha

Drivers warned as Kirkstone Pass to close for weeks – BBC News

Anyway, there’s plenty of Lake District drives that are still open and it’s always good to get out exploring this beautiful area at any time of the year. Enjoy!