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Lake District in March

Trying to fill up a three week tour of Great Britain and need four other days. Is it worth going to the lake district in early to mid March. Traveling by public transportation. Thanks. Jim

Posted by
223 posts

It depends where you’re starting from and where you intend to go afterwards. If you want to go London-Lakes-London then I’d say no, but if you’re in the area and heading to nearby places afterwards then I’d say yes.

Public transport is very limited in the Lakes though

Posted by
6113 posts

The Lakes maybe snowy in March, so it wouldn't be my choice, especially without a car. What are your other options?

Posted by
5837 posts

We enjoyed the Lake District without a car, but we were on walking holidays and our walks were during late May. The lakes and the fells are spectacular and "weather" can increase the drama of the landscape. But transportation will be more limited and you will need to dress for the weather.

The Lake district does have public transportation but as others suggest, it's not London and you will not be able to get everywhere by bus alone. Link for Lake District transportation:
One significant constrant is mid-March is still the low season. Bus service is enhanced from Easter through November meaning you will juat have basic services in comparison to tourist season.

Keeping in mind that March is late winter weatherwise, you would also need to be better prepared clothingwise for walking about outdoors (temperature and precipitation) and for waiting for the bus.

Posted by
1314 posts

Hi Jim -

In my book it's always worth going to the Lake District. However in March, nobody can tell you what the weather is going to be doing, at least not accurately until a couple of days beforehand. It could be snowy, it could be wet, it could be windy. It could be all three at once. It could also be perfectly pleasant. It will, like as not, be cold.

I was there in March this year and had a brilliant day out on the Old Man of Coniston, but we needed crampons from about halfway up - snow and a lot of ice! - and they were on until we completed a circuit and were halfway back down!

Rick always recommends Keswick and it's perfectly pleasant and I enjoy it very much. But you could also try out less visited places like Coniston and Elterwater in the Langdale valley (the head of this valley is spectacular). For accommodation check out the Britannia Inn at Elterwater, or, if money is no object, the splendid Eltermere Inn. In Coniston there is a wealth of accommodation - I have no specific recommendations! If the weather is bad you'd probably be better off in the 'honeypots' of the aforementioned Keswick or the 'big three' of Windermere, Bowness and Ambleside. All the spots mentioned are accessible by train to Oxenholme, then Windermere, then bus.

The Lake District lends itself to hiking and there are numerous walks from all points and you'd be hard pressed not to find somebody out and about on the fells on any given day. If walking isn't your thing, then without your own transport the place is pretty to look at, but possibly not the ideal place to spend three or four days in March. That said, whatever you decide, have a great trip!


Posted by
7906 posts

We visited Keswick in the Lake District in late October last year. It was so cold (we are from the southern USA) that we limited our exposure to the out of doors. We did the Rick Steves guide circle drive that was excellent. I got out of the vehicle several times to take great photos.
I suppose it depends on how much you like the cold, but I expect March would be no better than late October.

We still enjoyed our three nights there, but our activity was not quite what we expected.

Posted by
3821 posts

We visited Keswick in the Lake District in late April of 2018 (this past spring). It was cool, overcast with heavy cloud cover and one day sprinkled rain. This may be the kind of weather you can expect in mid March, only one month earlier than when we were there. Or it could snow. Or it could be cold with sunshine. One never knows.
We were on the Rick Steves Best of England tour, spent two nights in Keswick, which was not nearly enough, once we discovered how lovely it is. There's plenty to do in Keswick if the weather is too bitterly cold for hiking. Downtown Keswick is the excellent pub, The Dog And Gun. Great pints and food. All the townspeople bring their well-behaved and beautiful dogs.
On the town square is an excellent fish and chips shop.
Walk down past Crow Park to the lake. Overlooking the lake is the theatre, which has wonderful London-quality theatre productions.
Even if the weather does not permit a hike to one of the mountain tops, a walk around Keswick is enjoyable.

You wrote:"Trying to fill up a three week tour of Great Britain and need four other days."
What is your itinerary for the rest of your trip?