The best ways to spend an autumn day in the Lakes

August 15, 2023

As the leaves slowly start to turn and the first ripened blackberries start to appear, autumn is starting to feel just around the corner. Nestled in the stunning Lake District, the picturesque town of Penrith is the perfect place to embrace the season’s magic. With its charming countryside, wonderful woods and breathtaking lakes, you’re in for an unforgettable autumn adventure. Let’s explore the best ways to spend a day in and around the Lakes, immersing yourself in the autumn colours and cosy vibes.

Explore the autumn scenery on foot

What better way to take in the change in season than popping on a pair of wellies and kicking up some leaves. Explore the local woodlands on our doorstep or head into the Lakes and forage for the season’s best picks including chestnuts, conkers and blackberries. For those that want to take full advantage of the panoramic views, our Estate is just a short drive from some of the UK’s most stunning fell top views. Check out our picks for the perfect local family walks, for all ages and abilities.

Ullswater steamers across the lake

Explore the beauty of Ullswater from the water:

When it comes to experiencing the true essence of autumn, a visit to Glenridding and Ullswater is an absolute must. Take a leisurely stroll along the water’s edge, breathe in the crisp autumn air, and let the beauty of nature unfold before your eyes. 


A winter cruise on Ullswater offers a captivating perspective of the landscape, where you can take in the first dusting of snow on the mountaintops or the misty shores that paint a scene straight out of a storybook. The traditional Ullswater Steamers, running all year round, provide the perfect vantage point to take in the majestic autumn scenery. For those chilly days, watch the water flow by from the warm shelter inside the boat and grab a warming cup of hot chocolate from the bar onboard.

Penrith Castle on a sunny day

Learn about the rich heritage of Penrith:

Start your day by visiting Penrith Castle, a fascinating fortress that will transport you back in time. Afterwards, take a leisurely stroll through the town centre, where you’ll discover charming shops and quaint cafes. Visit James & John Graham for fresh bakery products and pastries daily, as well as delightful locally-made produce, which has served Penrith since 1793. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit St. Andrew’s Church, a stunning piece of architecture that stands as a testament to Penrith’s cultural significance.

Just a short drive from Penrith, check out The George and Dragon, a renowned gastro pub in Clifton, for a cosy dining experience complete with roaring fires and the perfect Sunday roast. For more great places to eat, check out our recent guide to family-friendly dining in the Lakes. 

Sunset view from Beacon Hill:

As the day draws to a close, embark on a leisurely hike up Beacon Hill, just a stone’s throw from Penrith. Going up, you’ll get a full view that’s simply amazing. At the very top, where the Penrith Beacon proudly stands, you can fully embrace the stunning sight of the sun gently dipping behind the beautiful Lake District scenery. It’s a view that truly takes your breath away.

View of the beacon on top of Beacon hill, Penrith

Brave the cold waters before the ice:

For the adventurous souls seeking a thrill, brave the cold waters of Ullswater before winter’s icy grip takes hold. Take a refreshing dip or try your hand at paddle boarding. There’s nothing quite like feeling the crisp, refreshing breeze on your skin while you savour the final moments of warmth this season has to offer. Just be sure to dress warmly and follow proper safety precautions if you choose to take on this exhilarating challenge!

Visit the Lake District Wildlife Park:

As the leaves change colours, the Lake District Wildlife Park becomes a visual feast for the eyes. This park, located near Keswick, is home to over 100 species of exotic animals. Take a walk through the park, surrounded by trees adorned in brilliant autumn shades, and observe the animals in their natural habitats. From majestic big cats to adorable red pandas, you can witness these incredible creatures as they prepare for the winter months ahead. Make sure to check the park’s schedule for feeding times and special events to enhance your experience.

Discover the Eden Valley Art Trail from 2nd – 17th September:

If you’re planning a trip to the Lakes from September 2nd to 17th, discover an exciting art trail that winds its way through the region and takes you on an exploration of local art. Take a relaxed walk in different towns on the trail and come across different artworks showcased in quaint shops, historic buildings, and parks. Get lost in the wonderful world of local artists and see how their creations blend with the fall scenery. This art trail is a great way to get a taste of Cumbria’s artsy side and really get into the spirit of the season.

Studios featured on the trail are dotted all over – from the serene hills of the central Lake District to the cosy streets of Penrith, Cockermouth, and across the Eden Valley. Score a beautiful piece of unique and locally made artwork whilst enjoying a sneak peek into how these talented artists work. 

To start the trail, visit the EVAN Gallery at 4 Corney Place, Penrith, to pick up a guide! 

Cosy cottage at the Hutton John estate

Cosy up at Hutton John Estate:

After a day of exploration, head back to the warmth of Hutton John Estate. Whether you’re staying in one of our luxurious cabins or cottages, a cosy home away from home provides the perfect setting for relaxation and reflection on your day’s adventures. Wrap yourself in a blanket, unwind with a good book, and rest into a peaceful slumber.

Plan your autumn day in the Lakes now and immerse yourself in the wonders of this magical season.

Three beautiful and lovingly restored cottages. Where heritage meets modern-day living. 

Sleeps 4, 6, or 10.

Four contemporary cabins, immersed in nature. Where the outdoors meets luxury. 

Sleeps 2.

Passed down through generations, our family and history are at the heart of the approximately 300 acre Hutton John Estate.

any questions?

If you have any questions or queries about the Estate, or our Accommodation, get in touch.