Get the BEST rates by booking directly on our website.

Visiting the Lake District in December

Visiting the Lake District in December

Visiting the Lake District in December transforms this stunning region into a winter wonderland.

As the rugged fells receive a dusting of snow and the lakes mirror the crisp winter skies, the whole area takes on a magical quality that’s perfect for festive getaways.

December in the Lake District is not just about the breathtaking scenery; it’s also a time for warming up in cosy pubs, exploring charming Christmas markets, and enjoying the quieter side of this popular destination.

Whether you’re wrapping up for a frosty hike or simply relaxing by a roaring fire, a trip to the Lake District this December promises a truly enchanting experience.

What is the Weather Like in the Lake District in December?

In December, the weather in the Lake District is typically cold and wet, with a real possibility of snow, especially on the higher fells.

Average daytime temperatures hover around 3°C to 5°C, but can drop below freezing, particularly at night.

Rainfall is abundant in December, with the region often receiving upwards of 180 millimetres throughout the month.

It’s important to prepare for wet conditions with suitable waterproof clothing and footwear.

Daylight is limited at this time of year.

You can expect around 6 to 7 hours of daylight each day, with the sun rising late in the morning and setting early in the afternoon.

It’s wise to plan any outdoor activities to make the most of the available light.

The risks during this month include icy paths and roads, making walking and driving potentially hazardous.

However, the weather also brings highlights such as the stunning winter scenery, with frosty landscapes and possibly snow-covered hills offering spectacular views and a serene atmosphere.

For those prepared for the cold and wet, December can be a remarkable time to experience the dramatic beauty of the Lake District.

December view in the lake district national park in Cumbria

What is there to do in the Lake District in December?

December in the Lake District is full of activities that cater to the festive spirit and chilly weather, providing plenty of options whether you prefer to be indoors or out.

Walking in Snow

1. Hiking the Local Fells

For the adventurous, hiking the fells in December can be a rewarding experience.

The landscapes are often beautifully frosty or snow-dusted, offering stunning winter vistas.

Popular routes like Loughrigg Fell or around Buttermere offer accessible paths with breathtaking views.

However, it’s essential to wear appropriate winter clothing and check weather conditions as paths can be slippery and daylight is limited.

2. Climbing Walls

For those inevitable rainy days, indoor climbing walls offer a great way to stay active.

Facilities such as the Kendal Climbing Centre cater to all abilities, from beginners to seasoned climbers, providing a fun and challenging environment away from the cold.

Lakeside & Haverthwaite Steam Railway Near Backbarrow in Cumbria

3. Haverthwaite Railway

Enjoy a nostalgic journey on the Haverthwaite Railway, which operates special winter services.

This heritage train ride through the frosty countryside can be especially magical in December, often combined with festive themes or Santa specials for families.

Muncaster Castle

4. Muncaster Castle

Visit Muncaster Castle during its festive events, where the historic grounds are often decorated for Christmas, adding to the seasonal charm.

The castle also hosts various winter events, including Christmas markets and evening tours that capture the spirit of the season.

Windermere lake cruises

5. Windermere Cruises

Take a cruise on Lake Windermere. Even in winter, the boats operate, offering a serene view of the snow-capped hills and frosty shores from the water—a peaceful way to enjoy the scenery without the exertion of hiking.


6. Shopping in Ambleside

Ambleside shines in December with its small boutiques and local shops offering everything from handcrafted gifts to warm winter gear.

It’s a perfect place to enjoy some holiday shopping or simply stroll through the festive lights and decorations.

Backbarrow Village in Cumbria

7. The Dolly Blue Bar at the Whitewater Hotel

For a cosy time, head to The Dolly Blue Bar.

With its welcoming atmosphere and scenic river views, it’s a delightful spot to enjoy a hot drink or a meal.

The bar provides a warm refuge where you can relax and soak up the festive ambience.

Enjoy Afternoon Tea at the Dolly Blue Bar…

8. Cascades Spa and Leisure Club

On particularly cold or wet days, the Cascades Spa and Leisure Club is an excellent choice for relaxation.

Located within the Whitewater Hotel, the spa offers various treatments and access to a heated indoor pool, sauna, and gym, making it a luxurious escape from the winter weather.

These activities in the Lake District during December provide a blend of outdoor adventure, cosy indoor relaxation, and festive cheer, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy during the winter season.

Relax and Enjoy the Spa…

Dusk in the Lake District

Is December a Good Time to Visit the English Lake District?

December is a great time to visit the English Lake District.

The area transforms into a winter wonderland, offering a peaceful retreat with stunning snowy landscapes and cosy indoor spots.

The festive atmosphere is heightened by local Christmas markets, decorations, and seasonal events, making it a charming time for a holiday.

With fewer tourists, you can enjoy the natural beauty and local culture more intimately, making it an ideal time for a relaxing and festive getaway.

Final Notes On the Lake District in December

A December visit to the Lake District is a magical experience that encapsulates the essence of winter.

The landscape, adorned with snow and frost, offers a dramatic and picturesque setting that feels like stepping into a classic winter postcard.

With activities ranging from peaceful walks through snowy fields to festive gatherings in warmly lit pubs and markets, the region provides a perfect balance of adventure and relaxation.

The chill in the air is perfectly countered by the warmth of local hospitality, making the Lake District in December not just a visit but a winter retreat that refreshes and delights in equal measure.

Whether you’re exploring the natural beauty outdoors or enjoying the comfort of indoor attractions, the Lake District during this festive season promises an unforgettable escape.

Special Offers

Discover exclusive deals for hotel stays, spa retreats, and dining experiences at Whitewater Hotel and Cascades Spa.

Save 10% when you book online direct.

Offer applies to Bed & Breakfast Rates.  Expires 30th September 2024.


Sign Up to Receive Our Special Offers

By signing up to the newsletter, you agree for us to process and store your personal data in accordance with our privacy policy.