We will be in Keswick on August 5-7 traveling by car. What weather and traffic can we expect?
Weather - unpredictable - could be hot (25 degrees) and sunny or it could be cool (17 degrees) and wet. 20 is the average. The Lakes are green for a reason - it rains! Take layers.
If you are staying in London, it will be a few degrees warmer and more likely to be dry.
Traffic - sorry, but in August, the traffic will be hideous, so reckon on it taking half as long again as any of the route planners such as google map suggest. Keswick may not be as bad as the roads around Windermere, which are sometimes gridlocked. There are lots of winding roads and hills, so it takes longer to get anywhere than you think. Parking in the various villages may also be a problem as this is limited - a post on another website a few days ago said they had spent £23 on parking in 3 days (c 30 dollars), so have plenty of change to hand.
If you have not booked Keswick yet, consider staying in the Yorkshire Dales nearby - still pretty and busy but not as bad as the Lakes or stay somewhere such as Cartmel or Arnside and go to the Lakes for a day trip.
As Jennifer, yes you will experience weather of all sorts if you are visiting for multiple days.
I can't comment about August in that our two Lake District trips both took place at the end of May. During our first visit we experienced Grasmere and Patterdale during a walking festival or sorts. The surtonding hills and Helvellyn were over run with walkers and pubs busy.
Our second trip also took place in late May. Windermere and Grasmere were over run by tourist but the crowds thinned once we got away from the towns.
Both trips were walking holidays saving us the grief of dealing with traffic and parking. The transit system is very good.
Thank you Jennifer; Thank you Edgar. We will be staying at the Highfield Hotel in Keswick which provides parking. Our entire trip is a bit unusual as we're in England primarily to wish bon voyage to children and grandchildren off on a sea cruise. Even though we're tight for time we thought this excursion to York and then the lakes was feasible at least for a taste of scenery. We are from Los Angeles thus undaunted by long car distances, but of course we don't want to gaze through the windshield/screen all day. We will enjoy whatever weather we encounter but want to be prepared. Heading back to Heathrow on Friday eve to depart Saturday morning. Any other tips or warnings will be appreciated.
Thank you again
I have been there numerous time in August - sometimes it has been sweltering, sometimes it has been cool and raining. Often both in the same week! Don't let rain put you off...just head out and do what you planned to do.
Traffic on the A591, which connects the main towns of Ambleside, Grasmere, Keswick, etc, can be quite busy. The more popular places such as Hawkshead, Buttermere, Beatrix Potter sites, Dove Cottage, etc. are very crowded and parking is difficult. Get out to the more remote areas though and the crowds disappear. There are plenty of places where you can experience the Lakes without the crowds. If you do go to the busier spots just get there early or late.
Be sure you buy raingear which is waterPROOF, not water resistant. While rain in August may not be common, we caught some in Ambleside once. We were so wet inside our water resistant jackets that the rain was running down our skin inside the rain jackets.
I'll repeat what others have said, it could be anythiing from cold with downpours to sunny and hot.
I have to ask, you are in the UK and you are asking in a forum that is mostly frequented by Americans about the weather in the UK...?
Sorry Archimedes. We won't be there until July. Thanks all for the advice.
The: Be sure you buy raingear which is waterPROOF, not water resistant.
On our last full day walking from Hawkshead back to Windermere via the ferry, we got hit by an afternoon thunderstorm approaching the bunny lady's Hilltop Farm west of the lake. Forecast had called for possible afternoon showers.
The afternoon thunderstorm was a deluge and we walking on a downhill section of paved road covered by flowing water just short of knee deep. WaterPROOF didn't help. Having our heads down we never did see Hilltop Farm. Fast drying clothing and a cup of hot coffee when we got to Windermere did help avoid hypothermia.
But that said, we had three wonderful blue sky days that preceded that couple of hours of rain with some of those days a bit warmer than optimal. Wouldn't mind visiting against but too many places to see and not enough time. Enjoy the Lake District.