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October hiking in Yorkshire Dales & Lake District? Also October crowds in York?

We're planning 3 weeks in England either mid-September to early October, or late September to mid-October. (A two week shift.) We'll spend the second week in the north, deciding between:

  • Staying between Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District for walks in
    both. or
  • Staying near York for the city and a couple days walking the Yorkshire Dales, weather permitting.

My questions are:

  1. Trade-off between crowds and weather: should we go earlier for better weather, or later for smaller crowds?
  2. How likely would it be to have decent walking weather -- little rain, highs above 10C -- in first half of October? Or for that matter in second half of September?
  3. Is York very crowded in mid/late September?

I've researched the weather averages and it's not very promising past mid September, but the averages are for decades. I'm wondering about the past few years.
I haven't found anything about York crowds that time of year so I'm interested in local opinion.

Posted by
2559 posts

impossible to predict the weather - you can get great weather in October or September. Or you can get awful weather.

So far this year August has been very rainy.

York is always busy

Posted by
76 posts

Would you say York is busy in the sense of there's always some people around, or in the sense of so crowded that there's long waits to get into the sights, pubs, restaurants, etc?

Posted by
6689 posts

Speaking for the Lake District mid September to late October is a fairly quiet period before the crowds again in the School half term in the second half of October. I would confidently expect it to still be above 10C, in the valleys (clearly the Mountain tops will be much cooler, especially in any wind). That can very often be a golden period of weather, certainly in the past few years.
End October/early November it often turns very stormy although not usually unduly cold.
I wouldn't be expecting snow and ice quite as early- that is more likely to be late November into December or later. Last year mid November to mid December was a month of sparkling days, with a lot of snow and ice and pretty frigid temperatures (for us) around 0 to -5C. The most beautiful weather at that time of year that I have known in 50 years.
So I would err towards end September/early October.

Posted by
358 posts

Jim, not exactly on point, but we were in York in March 2022 and I can say that at least at that time the crowds were significant but that it was easy to get away from the crush and find some lovely parts of York that are less crowded but still very central. For example, if you visit the Shambles or the Minster, you can expect a crowd. If you walk the City Walls, you will find some sections more crowded, and some that are quieter. Pubs downtown were busy (and still excellent), while we found one just off a quieter corner of the City Walls (The Swan) which felt more like a neighborhood place.

Others can say for sure, but my guess is that mid-September / mid- October would be similar in that respect to March.