I visited The Lake District with my husband in September last year. We’re fortunate enough to own a timeshare lodge on The Langdale Estate, situated between the Great Langdale Valley and the Little Langdale Valley, and not too far from Grasmere, Ambleside and Windermere. People have questioned “why go to the same place every year?”, but there’s so much to do, and we love a good walk and get competitive with our step count for the week!


In early autumn it was lovely to see the fells and bracken looking so different and seasonal flowers on display that you don’t usually see in spring.

Holehird gardens offers views of the Langdales. Photo: Lakeland Horticultural Society Holehird

Walking in the Lake District is a breathtaking experience – not just from the exertion of climbing the fells, but also from the views that reward you at the top, where you can see for miles the vast towering mountain peaks and tranquil lakes.

Holehird Gardens. Photo: Lakeland Horticultural Society Holehird

Gardens are another exciting way to explore the area and this year we visited two. The first was Holehird Gardens, an award-winning RHS partner garden near Windermere. It’s a 10-acre fellside garden, run largely by community volunteers, and as you meander through the walled garden toward the herbaceous borders, you’re greeted with a stunning view over Lake Windermere and the surrounding fells. It would be a delight anytime of year, with the ever-changing colours, but the standout for me was the hydrangea walk, a National Plant Collection, with more than 200 species specially selected for the damp, northern climate.

Askham Hall. Photo: Askham Hall

The second garden is at historic Askham Hall in Penrith. We visited the inspirational Kitchen Garden where raised beds, polytunnels and hot beds provide a 'field-to-fork' experience in the Michelin-star restaurant, Allium. The passionate gardening team, led by Diane Butcher, practice no-dig to preserve the soil, and it was truly jaw dropping what can be seasonally grown on the side of a north-east facing fell in Penrith! The immaculate gardens are perfectly planned to use all the space, and take the variable weather conditions into consideration: there are times in winter the raised beds stay in the shade due to the low winter sun. However, the team still manage to grow plenty of produce and harvest everything from classic veg to herbs, fruit and edible flowers.

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Kitchen Garden at Askham Hall. Photo: Askham Hall

It was an incredible experience to dine there, knowing just a few hours beforehand I’d seen the produce being picked. The exquisite dishes produced are sensational – a truly wonderful experience and, without doubt, a place to visit again in future.


  • Getting there: Take J36 and A590 for the southern end of the Lake District; take J40 and A66 or A592 for the northern end of the Lake District
  • Where to stay: Base yourself at Windermere, Grasmere or Penrith. Contact the Lake District tourist board for options
  • When to visit: The Lakes can enjoy a variety of weather so go prepared with proper waterproofs, wellies and brollies etc

Other highlights

Scafell Pike

If you like a challenge, as we do, then a hike up Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, will not disappoint, as the rewarding panoramic views of the Lakes at an elevation of 978 metres is well worth the challenge!

Blea tarn

Situated in the Little Langdale Valley, Blea Tarn has a short, relaxing 3-kilometre circular trail with picture-perfect views of the Langdale Valley. It’s also the perfect spot for some open water swimming which is easily accessible and will leave you feeling revitalised!


Dove Cottage, Grasmere

Grasmere is a picturesque village in the centre of the Lake District. It's home to Dove Cottage, famous as the former home of William Wordsworth and the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden, which is beautiful in spring but a lovely walk any time of year along the River Rothay.