The Best Times to Visit Cumbria

Looking for the best time to visit Cumbria? From food and music festivals to hiking in the Lake District, and exploring historic properties to carefree days at the beach, it’s all down to what piques your interests.

Whether you’re planning a family cottage holiday or a mini break for two, let our month-by-month guide help you plan the perfect stay.

For any events and venues mentioned, please check dates and opening times before travelling.Ready to book? Browse our handpicked holiday cottages in Cumbria.

Visiting Cumbria in January

With so many places to walk, Cumbria is the perfect destination to blow out the cobwebs in January. Whether you’re looking for leisurely strolls or mountain hikes to work off that Christmas pud, there’s a trail for you – with the added advantage of it being less crowded at this time of year.

Base yourself in the market town of Kendal to have the Lake District’s many walking trails at your disposal while Kendal itself is a beautiful place to explore. Or venture further north to the historic Roman city of Carlisle to walk along Hadrian’s Wall.

Come nightfall, shut the world out and warm your feet by a crackling log fire with a hot cuppa and a good book in hand.

Candlelit dinner

Visiting Cumbria in February

Whether you’re whisking a loved one away for Valentine’s Day or planning a half term getaway for the family, Cumbria has lots on offer in February.

Treat that special someone to a weekend of romantic walks in the Lake District followed by a fancy dinner at one of the region’s many quality restaurants. Top it off by raising a glass of fizz in your very own cottage hot tub while you gaze up at the stars. Why not show your furry friend some love too and book one of our dog-friendly cottages?

Over half term, look out for special events and offers for families at heritage sites such as Muncaster Castle in Ravenglass and Wray Castle in Windermere. There are lots of walks and cycle routes to enjoy too as well as historic market towns and museums to explore.

Ravenglass And Eskdale Steam Railway in Cumbria

Visiting Cumbria in March

Cumbria in Spring is glorious. In fact, it’s so beautiful it inspired William Wordsworth’s most famous poems. ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud,’ also known as the “Daffodil Poem”. Experience the countryside in all of its spring glory with the sound of newborn lambs bleating and the sight of daffodils and crocuses fringing the country lanes. During your rambles, warm up with a cream tea or take respite in a cosy pub to sample craft beer and hearty home-cooked food.

If the heavens open, pay a visit to one of Cumbria’s many historic properties such as the grade I listed Sizergh Castle or Beatrix Potter’s Hill House. A ride aboard the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is another perfect rainy day activity. This seven-mile narrow gauge railway was built in 1873 and is incredibly scenic. Catch a glimpse of Scafell Pike as you trundle between the hills.

Two Children On An Easter Egg Hunt In The Sun

Visiting Cumbria in April

There’s lots happening in Cumbria during April, particularly over the Easter school holidays. Keep an eye out on Visit Cumbria’s website for details of Easter egg hunts and nature trails around the county.

If those April showers descend, lose yourself in the exhibitions and displays at the 900-year-old Muncaster Castle, amble around Grasmere for a spot of lunch or shop for nick-nacks in Penrith. Literature buffs might like to visit Dove Cottage in Grasmere, home to William Wordsworth. There’s also Beatrix Potter’s Lake District hideaway, Hill Top House, where she penned many of her beloved children’s books.

If you like marmalade, head to Penrith for the annual World Marmalade Festival and Awards at Dalemain Mansion. Enjoy tasting the region’s finest citrus preserves as well as entries from across the globe, watch the awards, and say hello to the festival’s patron, Paddington Bear.

Muncaster Castle in the Lake district

Visiting Cumbria in May

Make the most of the bank holidays with a mini break in one of our luxury cottages. Plus, this month marks the start of festival season in Cumbria. Whether it’s food, music or art you’re interested in, there’s bound to be something.

You can’t visit Cumbria and not taste a Cumberland sausage. Book your stay around the May bank holiday weekend and fill your boots at the Cumbria Sausage Festival at Muncaster Castle. In Kendal, the Community Theatre puts on its annual parade and performance in the streets while the Forgotten Lands festival in Carlisle showcases a range of local musicians, from country bands to Morris dancers.

If you’re planning a family holiday for the May half term, keep an eye out for a range of free activities and workshops around the county.

Wast Water, Lake District

Visiting Cumbria in June

If food is your thing, there are a couple of dates on the calendar in Cumbria in June you might want to take note of. Sample the region’s quality craft brews while soaking up the sunshine at the Keswick Beer Festival and enjoy a day of nosh and agricultural displays at the Cumberland Show.

With the warmer weather comes the chance to spend more time outdoors, so head to the Lake District for walks through its fell mountainscapes and plenty of opportunities to stop for a cuppa and a slice of cake.

Perhaps even challenge yourself to hike Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain? Enjoy unrivalled views of the rolling Cumbrian countryside and gaze down upon the glassy blue Wast Water lake as you ascend to the 3,000 ft summit. Back at the bottom, reflect on your achievement over a hearty pub dinner.

Classical Music Outdoors

Visiting Cumbria in July

As the summer sunshine beams down on Cumbria, everything bursts into life. The lakes in Grasmere, Windermere and Ullswater have a range of water activities on offer, from kayaking to boat cruises. If you prefer to stay on dry land, it’s equally as pleasurable to find a perch in a tearoom and watch the boats.

If you’re looking to entertain the kids during the summer holidays, there are lots of activities and workshops around Cumbria to get involved with – many of which are free. From mountain biking to swinging through the trees at GoApe, the sky’s the limit for adventurous outdoorsy types.

This month also sees the start of the Lake District Summer Music Festival across the county which showcases classical music. Wherever you choose to book your cottage holiday in Cumbria, there’s bound to be an event taking place near you.

Dogs Playing Together on a sandy Beach

Visiting Cumbria in August

With summer in full swing, there’s no better place to be than the great British seaside. The Solway Coast is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty near the Scottish borders which boasts pretty, historic villages, walks and cycle routes along the Cumbria Coastal Way, as well as a mixture of sand and pebble beaches. There are five dog-friendly beaches, including Ravenglass and Roanhead, so your furry friend needn’t miss out on the fun.

Inland, there are yet more festivals to attend. In Kendal, music fans arrive in their thousands for Kendal Calling which brings a stellar lineup of British and international artists to the stage. In Appleby, there’s the annual Agricultural Show with horse jumping, horticultural exhibitions and artisanal produce to try. And on the coast in Maryport, Taste Cumbria showcases some of the town’s finest seafood.

Teapot and a cup of tea

Visiting Cumbria in September

Book your cottage holiday in September and soak up the late summer sunshine without the crowds as everybody returns to school and work. Enjoy leisurely walks around the lakes or along the coast, a wander around a stately home or historic castle, and days spent dipping in and out of tearooms and shops in the market towns of Kendal, Penrith, Appleby and Windermere.

If you fancy yourself a bit of a daredevil, head to Holker Hall & Gardens for its annual Chilli Festival where you can take part in its chilli eating competition. There are also lots of chilli inspired dishes to try at the food stalls if you’re not feeling so brave. And in Cockermouth, Taste Cumbria returns with more fine food and beverages from the region.

Whatever you get up to, complete your stay with the perfect cottage surrounded by that classic Cumbrian landscape.


Visiting Cumbria in October

Cumbria is arguably just as beautiful in autumn as it is in spring and summer. Enjoy country rambles through reddening forests and heartwarming seasonal eats in the region’s award-winning restaurants.

For families, there are numerous Halloween activities to get involved in, from pumpkin picking at Walby Farm to spooky fun at Holker Hall & Gardens. And the fun continues after dark with the Cumbria Dark Skies Festival. The Lake District and Cumbria boast some of the darkest and therefore sparkliest skies in the country, a great opportunity for some stargazing and night photography.

If you’re after something a little quirky, there’s the Lakeland Comic Arts Festival in Bowness-on-Windermere which celebrates the best comic book artists, writers and creators. And in Penrith, the streets burst into life with food, music and theatrical performances during the Winter Droving festival.


Visiting Cumbria in November

For lovers of the great outdoors, the event of the year in Cumbria is Kendal Mountain Festival which brings talks, films, art, books, and everything in between to do with exploring the outside world. It’s a jam-packed weekend which welcomes families too.

Come 5th November, get the sparklers out and head to one of the organised bonfire night displays while tucking into Cumberland sausage hot dogs and cider.

Or why not use your cottage stay to get into the Christmas spirit? Throughout November, you can look forward to Christmas markets and light switch ons popping up. Holker Hall & Gardens hosts a winter market and Carlisle’s Christmas lights festival is not to be missed.

Christmas Market

Visiting Cumbria in December

Whether you’re looking for a pre-Christmas getaway or a cottage to bring family and friends together on the big day, Cumbria is steeped in festive tradition and nostalgia throughout December.

Wrap up warm and enjoy a winter walk in the fresh air before retreating to your cosy hideaway to warm by the fire with a mince pie in hand. Or perhaps a soak in the hot tub with your favourite festive tipple?

At William Wordsworth’s cottage, step back in time and experience a Georgian Christmas, or watch a classic pantomime in Penrith. Perhaps you have a few last minute Christmas presents to get? In which case, there’s no shortage of festive markets and boutiques to browse for beautiful and unique handmade products.

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