Why does it always rain in the Lake District?

Lake Windermere, Lake District, UK

A cottage with a view – Lake Windermere

Always intrigued to look at the work of local artists and photographers, the art gallery in Bowness-on-Windermere naturally grabbed our attention as we walked past.

“Shall we take a quick look in?”

Knowing that we have no wall space left in our house to cope with yet another piece of art work we wander in to have a quick perusal with no real conviction.    Within minutes the pounding on our heads stops us in our tracks; the weather outside has yet again changed.  The cold is biting but now we have to contend with hail stones as large as real stones bashing down on top of us.  The “quick perusal” turns into a 20 minute stakeout whilst we wait for the storm to subside.

I find myself asking the question: “Why does it always rain when we are in the Lake District?”

On several occasions throughout 2013 we have attempted to visit this beautiful area of the country and every time our plans have been thwarted.  Even in the summer months, when we had planned to go camping, we were told by friends that we would be sleeping in a bog rather than a field it was so wet.  No wonder the Lake District always looks so green, it has on average 200 days of rain each year – that could get depressing!

So it would seem that once again the weather this Christmas has definitely strived against us and won.  We headed to the lake district to hike and walk off all of the calories we knew we would consume over the holiday season and yes, the hiking boots have been aired but for no more than a couple of hours at a time.

Knotts Cottage, Near Lake Windermere, Lake District, UK

The stunning view from our back garden at Knotts Cottage

From our vantage point, high above Lake Windermere, the rolling hills welcome you, they dare you to explore the open space but when the mist descends those mountain hillsides become treacherous and unforgiving.  Even in the summer months when the fog arrives it comes from nowhere and fast.  This year, the frequent, freak downpours, the hail storms and the mist meant that two feet were replaced with four wheels whilst we explored both the Southern and the Northern lakes.

Red Screes, Lake District, UK

Red Screes View

Ullswater, Lakes District, UK


Glad that we had hired a cottage for this break – after all our normal abode for a Lake District trip is a tent (I don’t think so in December!!!) – we were able to relax and enjoy the warm, inviting grade II listed delight probably more than we expected to.  The log burning stove in the living room provided my husband with a challenge each day; to light it without a struggle or me laughing at yet another failed attempt to ignite a fire in under an hour.  This added to the charm of our stay and was a must on the list of requirements we had when looking (the log burner that is not the challenge!!)

Knotts cottage, near Lake Windermere, Lake District, UK

Inside our cottage

Having never booked a cottage break before we didn’t quite know what to expect, but fears were quickly diminished when the keys arrived through our letter box 10 days before our departure date.  The pictures on the website were good, after all that’s what our decision was based on, but in truth they did not do the cottage justice.   It was enchanting, quaint and everything you would want from a cottage retreat.  A Pub down the road finished it off nicely, although I have to say it also nearly finished us off on Christmas Eve after the hike back up after a few social drinks with the locals.

So why choose a cottage over a hotel?  Firstly, we could cook what we fancied rather than what was on the menu which is a big plus.  I couldn’t imagine Christmas Dinner anywhere other than at home, food piled higher on your plate than at any other time of the year and then sitting in a big armchair all afternoon unable to move because you feel completely stuffed.  Secondly, we had space.  We could relax and not feel obliged to go out every day just so our room could be cleaned. We put Christmas decorations up and it felt like a home away from home – would that happen with a hotel?  Stockings were hanging by the fire, presents sat under the Christmas tree and we were warm and toasty inside whilst the weather battered us outside.

Knotts Cottage, near Lake Windermere, Lake District, UK

Ready for Xmas lunch

Knotts Cottage, Lake Windermere Lake District UK

Xmas Lunch

What a perfect way to spend Christmas.

We booked our cottage through www.heartofthelakes.co.uk and would definitely recommend them to others.  Their website is easy to navigate, questions are answered quickly and they represent the lodgings offered well.  We stayed at Knott’s Cottage near Troutbeck and can honestly say that we will be returning in the future.  Yes, others have complained that the road is an issue, you are situated on the roadside leading to the Kirkstone Pass but it is neither busy nor quiet, and after the first day we did not notice it; it would not be a reason to discount it next time. So, if you are after a charming little cottage with beautiful rolling hill views this is definitely one to check out.

Knotts Cottage, Lake Windermere, Lake District, UK

Knotts Cottage

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  • Paul says:

    The Lake district is one of the places in England that I should really visit, as I live in the East Midlands it’s not exactly doable in a day trip so I invariably end up in Yorkshire or the Peak District. Beautiful photos, the cottage looks so idylic and the landscapes stunning.

    • I agree Paul, the Lake District is stunning and a Landscape Photographer’s playground but we also love visiting the Peak District. Living in the South East we have very few opportunities to explore hilly, mountainous areas so travelling further North means that we can spend days hiking in the hills.

      The cottage we stayed in whilst visited the Lake District was perfect – cosy with great views down towards Lake Windermere.

  • Els Mahieu says:

    Wow, that cottage is so lovely! I only passed through the Lake District when moving. As an outdoor person I should really go and spend some time there! But exchanging Northern Irish rain for English rain…. mmmm 🙂

    • If you enjoy the outdoors I highly recommend a trip to the Lake District even with all the rain. The mountain hikes are fantastic and range in difficulty so one day you can really test yourself knowing that the next day you can take it easy but still enjoy wonderful views! Even in the summer months there is no escaping the raining in the UK it would seem – no matter where you go! 🙂

  • Anna Parker says:

    It often only rains for part the day and then the dire turns in to beautiful as it clears!! We had a day like that on scafell! But you are right – it wouldn’t be so green and lovely of it wasn’t for the rain! Love a self catering at Christmas, we did similar in Pembroke a few years back at a place called Yr Hafan

    • The same happened to us when we climbed Helvellyn one August – beautiful sunshine when we started, but by the time we stopped for lunch the clouds had descended along with the mist and rain but given a couple of hours and the weather brightened up again ready for an enjoyable evening outside our tent! You just can’t tell what the English weather will bring! 🙂

  • We love visiting the Lake District. Living near Manchester, I grew up not too far from the South Lakes so was a frequent visitor to Lake Windermere and Bowness so have some pretty good knowledge of that part. We would venture to Keswick sometimes but apart from that I don’t have much experience in the rest of the Lakes which I would love to explore further. I think it would be really cool to camp in the Lakes for a few days and really experience what the fells and lakes have to offer.

  • aeparker81 says:

    it wouldn’t be so green and verdant if it didn’t rain 😉 such changeable weather though – we went for a low level walk last time we were there as it was vile and then in cleared into a stunning day so off we went up scafell! always go prepared for all weather, then you’ll always see it at its best! we stayed at the drunken duck and the only quibble I have with the place is that there is no drying room… based on the fact that it does always rain – they need one!

    • What a great name – the drunken duck – where is that? We always feel like we over pack for a trip to the lakes. Even in the summer we pack both shorts and wet weather gear – just in case! Get to hear that you could climb a peak whilst you were there – which route did you take? 🙂

  • globalmouse says:

    Aww Knotts Cottage looks gorgeous and I love your photos. We just returned from a trip to the Lake District (and it did rain, but only a little!) and really loved it…such a gorgeous part of the UK, it really felt like a breath of fresh air. We stayed in Newby Bridge but really want to return to explore some more. Lovely post!

    • I love the Lake District! Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to rain every time we go and we were lucky enough to go one year with our tent and spend five days in sunshine! Patterdale is another lovely area to explore near Ullswater 🙂

  • Lovely post!

    Me and my partner stayed in the lake district last new year in a cottage it was wonderful. Lake District has such a big place place in my heart and I love how picturesque it is.

    • I love the fact that you wake up in the morning and look out over rolling hills. You could spend years walking the paths and never visit the same place twice. We have only been back s couple of days and I miss it already. Where did you stay when you visited? 🙂

      • I think I am a little spoilt as I live in Derbyshire and wake up to sheep and rolling hills every morning 🙂 but maybe that’s partly why I feel so at home in the Lakes. I only live a couple of hours from The Lake District so I have been numerous place like Ravenglass, Windermere, Keswick and Ambleside but the cottage we stayed in was in Ulpha..Very secluded, yet beautiful.

        I always miss it as soon as I have left, its strange how somewhere with hardly any sun and plenty of rain can be enjoyed so much. I have to agree with the walks and I also love the hidden gems that you find like castles, lakes, manor houses and roman ruins.


  • restlessjo says:

    The cottage looks lovely and cosy. I was in Pooley Bridge, just for the day, a couple of weeks ago and it managed to stay dry- just! 🙂

    • We love the Lake District. We live down south so to get any decent hill walking in we need to travel. The cottage was definitely cosy and we are glad we booked it over a hotel. We have yet to visit Pooley Bridge, maybe that should be in the list for a visit next time.

  • Morgan says:

    Thank You for Touching My Life with your Inspiration and Individuality. Your Posts Always bring a Smile to my Day.
    Blessings and Joy~

  • Thanks, I have just passed the information on to hubby – he is definitely not impressed with my amusement! It is definitely something we need to work on before our next escape with an open fire though. 🙂

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