The Lake District is an adventure playground with some of the best scenery, cycling routes and walking trails in the UK. But what should you pack for your trip? Comfort is key as you'll likely be spending lots of time outdoors. You'll also need a rain jacket and warm layers as English weather is unpredictable.

Check out this list of essential items for the Lake District. 

1. Walking shoes 

If you plan on doing lots of walking, sturdy walking shoes are essential. Unlike standard trainers, they'll protect your ankles and prevent you from skidding on rocky paths. Don’t make the mistake of not breaking in your boots before the trip, as blisters are never fun. 

2. Walking socks

Walking socks are designed to keep your feet warm and comfortable while helping them breathe – you'll thank yourself later!

3. Waterproofs

The Lake District is one of the dampest places in England. The weather can change suddenly (especially when you're out on the fells), even when the forecast predicts clear skies. A reliable waterproof jacket is an absolute must no matter when you visit.

4. Warm, breathable layers 

If you’re visiting in winter, thermal layers are a must. It’s cold on the ground and even colder on the fells. You might need thermals in spring depending on how cold it is; the weather can be hit or miss. You shouldn’t need thermal layers in the summer; breathable sports vest and t-shirts should do the job. 

Next on the list are mid-layers. Pack some long-sleeved tops or shirts, a jumper/hoodie and a fleece. These items will serve you well for all seasons. 

5. Walking trousers 

If you’ve come to the Lake District for a walking trip, you’ll need a pair of walking trousers and/or shorts. Ideally, they should be waterproof, especially during the wetter months. Walking trousers maximise comfort and will keep your legs warm at higher elevations. 

6. Hat, scarf and gloves

A warm woolly hat, gloves and scarf are essential in the cooler months, but you should always pack them just in case. British weather can be iffy, so these items will be useful if a wind blows in or the temperature drops. 

7. Day bag

A 20-30 litre day bag is usually big enough to carry your essentials (snacks, water bottle, waterproof jacket, drybag, torch, etc.) Extra points if it's also waterproof. You don’t want a bag that’s too big as it needs to be light enough to wear all day when you're walking or cycling. 

8. Sunscreen

Don't forget sunscreen with decent SPF. Apply it before you set off for the day and keep topped up. Remember, you can still get sunburnt even if it's cloudy (yes, even in the UK!).

9. A dry bag

When it rains in the Lake District, it pours. And the last thing you want is your mobile phone or spare t-shirt getting soaked. Even if your day bag is waterproof, it might still let in some water, so a dry bag is super handy.

10. Torch 

A head torch is one of those items that you’ll thank yourself a million times over if you get caught in the dark. They’re lightweight and take up hardly any room. Even if you follow a walking trail, it’s handy to have a torch just in case you get lost, especially in the winter months when it gets dark early.

11. Snacks

High energy snacks like cereal bars, nuts, crisps, chocolate and fruit are good options for when you're out walking.

12. Reusable water bottle 

Reusable water bottles are an eco-friendly way to stay hydrated. There are loads of water refill stations throughout the park. You could even bring a thermal flask to enjoy a scenic cuppa. 

13. First aid kit 

It never hurts to bring a first aid kit (in fact, it may hurt a bit less). A mini first aid kit can be useful if you or your travel buddies encounter any trips, slips, bumps and grazes when you’re out on the fells.

Click to return to Lake District FAQs

Our Lake District tours

Tailor-Made trips

Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary