Hi there -
The Lake District is great all year round, but you are right, in October it could be cool and grey. And wet. But that wouldn’t stop me! Just dress appropriately! Waterproof boots, full waterproof body coverage, layers, hat and gloves. Map and compass. Free U.K. phone app ‘OS Locate’ gives you a compass, your altitude and six figure grid ref so you can identify your exact position on a paper map.
Walks without a car from Keswick? From centre of town walk to the lake and assuming ferries are running take launch to Hawse End and climb Catbells (Rick Steves video piece on this). Descend from summit by way you came up and return to Keswick via Lingholm (where Beatrix Potter wrote ‘Squirrel Nutkin’ I believe), Nicholl End and Portinscale (refreshments available at all three, certainly pre Covid), crossing the river by the suspension bridge and turning right back to Keswick.
From centre of town climb Latrigg. If feeling strong and weather is set fair, there is a straightforward path to the summit of Skiddaw, one of the Lakeland 3000 footers, so while easy to follow, not without effort. Return is same route as ascent.
From bus station behind supermarket take bus to Lodore Hotel. Tea and coffee etc., available here. Behind hotel are the Lodore Falls made famous by Southey’s poem (“How do the waters come down at Lodore…..?”) and seen to best advantage after rain. Path through the wood to the left of the falls reaches a path (Caffel Side) running alongside a large stream which leads to the tiny hamlet of Wathendlath (inspiration for ‘Rogue Herries’ novel’). Occasional refreshments in Watendlath, but not always. At far end of village path climbs up right and over ridge (easy, obvious path) which descends to Rosthwaite (hotel/pub, cafe) and buses back to Keswick. Check bus times nearer time of your visit in all cases. Or you could walk back, another six miles, via Cumbria Way.
A more ambitious walk would be to see if there’s a bus to nearby Braithwaite and climb Grisedale Pike, but this would need a clear day and would be probably overly tough if you don’t regularly climb large steep hills (as would Skiddaw of course). If climbing hills is your thing try and acquire the relevant ‘Pictorial Guide to the Lake District’ by Alfred Wainwright - seven guides as he divided the entire Lake District up into seven blocks. These hand written and illustrated guides have never been bettered in my opinion and are little works of art, as well as being very detailed guides.
Walk circuit of Derwentwater. Walk to Castlerigg stone circle (a bit of planning and map reading can make this into a circular walk). Walk to Dog and Gun pub (easy one!).
If you need any more please feel free to ask or PM me. I’m sure you’ll love the Lakes. It’s wonderful all year if the weather cooperates!