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Daffodils at Rydal Water

Of all the years that the arrival of spring has heralded hope of new beginnings, 2021 must be amongst one of the most important to us.

After the past year, we need some hope, optimism, looking for change, new life, moving forward and a better future. Whilst we are still uncertain of how the world is going to be this year, cautiously we hope that at least here in the UK we can begin to have hope, moving out of the long winter, and perhaps even plan a little trip for the future.

We hope that our Spring Magazine brings you a breath of fresh spring air, a reminder that nature amazingly, even in a pandemic, continues quietly to move through the seasons. The Lake District will always be here, solid and life-affirming, and to inspire you that one day, you will be back in the hills. 

Spring in the lakes is such a beautiful time – the nodding daffodils carpet the earth for miles around our county, on lakeshores, valley floors, woodlands and gardens. You can’t help but smile when you see a daffodil, its bright face and ruffle of a ‘hat’ dancing in the breeze. The days are getting longer, the cheery birdsong is all around as they head into their nesting and mating season proclaiming delight in the season, having been in hibernated semi-silence for so long. You’ll hear woodpeckers busy at work, an owl hooting, geese calling as they fly overhead. Red squirrels are doing their courtship thing, there are cheeky lambs running through the fields, literally jumping for joy and shaking off the winter cold and basking in the spring sunshine. Herdwick lambs come a little bit later in the year. 

After the crocus and daffodils come bluebells and then wild garlic or ramsons – all with their own different scents filling the air. Our ancient woodlands bud and blossom with vibrant shades of greens and blooms that range from pastel creams and pinks of the damson, cherry and apple blossom to bright orange and purple of the azaleas and rhododendrons. The gardens of our castles and historic houses begin to come alive again in the Spring, beckoning us all in for a wander and a cuppa.

When you do manage to return, what a time it will be to shake off the shackles of the winter, stretch your legs and head for those hills. Maybe you’re fancying bagging a few Wainwrights, or a bit of wild swimming to really feel that freedom that nature and the outdoors give us. Or just being outside for hours with no deadlines, no screens, no zoom meetings – that’s got to sound good, right? 

Wildlife gets a bit cute in the spring too, something the child in all of us will enjoy and brings a sense of wonder. Who doesn’t love to watch ducklings chasing up and down the river after their mum, lambs skipping and running in the fields, frogspawn turning miraculously from tadpoles to frogs, grey ungainly cygnets learning from the parent swans, and of course, hearing all the birds squabbling as they finally fledge from their nests and take that first flight.

Find your last-minute staycation and step into spring in the Lake District.