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My Easy Guide to Eloping in the Lake District

Before I became a professional wedding photographer, I spent most of my weekends out hiking, wild swimming, camping and of course, taking photos out in the picturesque landscapes of the Lake District. It always has been, and always will be, one of my favourite places and when it comes to my idea of a perfect wedding, I think a Lake District elopement has to be one of the most romantic ways to tie the knot. If you agree, then you need to read my guide to eloping in the Lake District right now…



First of all, what is an elopement anyway?


Well, historically, to elope was to run away suddenly and secretly to get married, today, it doesn’t necessarily have to be done in secret or without planning, but a wedding elopement does usually mean getting married in a more intimate and casual style, than the more traditional weddings held in formal venues. It often also involves an element of travel and escapism, so you could argue an elopement is just a different kind of destination wedding - but I’ll save that debate for another blog. So there it is in a nutshell, an elopement is a small, intimate wedding ceremony, usually with under twenty guests, which takes place in a meaningful place in a casual, relaxed style.


So now you know what an elopement is, why do I think you should elope in the Lake District?


Well first thing’s first, if you’re looking for a little bit of escapism without leaving the UK, then I think you're hard pressed to find a better destination than the Lake District. It’s big, bold and beautiful and boasts everything from mountains and valleys to meadows, woodlands, rivers, waterfalls and of course lakes. It’s blummin’ stunning in other words, and I’ll tell you one thing for sure, you’ll get some absolutely amazing wedding photos if you elope here that can compete with any five star wedding venue elsewhere. The Lake District is also incredibly well connected, so it’s easy to get there, but it feels really remote, quiet and intimate which is the perfect vibe for a wedding elopement.



When should I elope in the Lake District?


When to elope in the Lake District is entirely up to you, it's beautiful all year round, but if I had to advise, then Spring or Autumn would be my top two seasons. Now at the risk of sounding a little like Goldilocks… I like Spring and Autumn in the Lake District best because it’s not too hot, like it can be in the Summer and it’s not too cold like it often is in the Winter. It’s also when the landscape has the most colour! In Spring it’s all shades of green and yellow and blue while in the Autumn you get rich browns and golds and of course my favourite colours; burnt oranges and terracotta tones. It’s also typically less busy at these times of year, so that means you can benefit from getting some of the beautiful surroundings all to yourselves.



Where are the best places to elope in the Lake District?


Now this one really is a matter of opinion, and I always think the best elopements are the ones that happen in a place that’s meaningful to you and your partner but if The Lakes as a whole already ticks that box, then here are some of my favourite spots that I think would be perfect for a Lake District Elopement...

  1. Blea Tarn in the valley between Great Langdale and Little Langdale. This spot is great for photos, with the mirror surface of the lake, the towering Langdale Pikes and the beautiful rhododendron bushes lining the hillsides.

  2. Whorneyside Force in Langdale is a secluded waterfall sitting in the shadows of Crinkle Craggs. Not only is it a beautiful spot for photographs, it’s also the prefect spot for a little wild swimming.

  3. Derwent Water known as the Queen of the Lakes, is a perfect spot to elope in the Lakes. It's cradled by surrounding fells and the lake shore is secluded with woodland and nature.

  4. Buttermere is an amazing valley in The Lakes that’s managed by The National Trust. It’s surrounded by towering fells and Buttermere village itself is picturesque, tranquil and charming.

  5. Askham Hall, now this is a more traditional wedding venue admittedly, but it really is a stunner. It’s in the heart of The Lake District in Penrith, and eloping here will see you escape to absolutely timeless beauty. In their own words, Askham Hall offers “an ancient, fairytale tower set high above a gentle river; approached by majestic parklands that give way to northern fellscapes”. Oh, and it’s a Michelin starred restaurant too by the way.

  6. Loweswater Village Hall near Crummock Water and not too far from Buttermere either, is another lovely spot to elope to in The Lakes. It’s nestled in the wooded Vale of Lorton and it offers some truly wonderful views.



How do I elope in the Lake District?


So, now you know what elopement means, when is the best time to elope in the Lake District and where to elope in the Lake District, you need to know how to do it. Now while you may think that an elopement should be entirely spontaneous, there are a few things that you will need to do in advance if you’re going to do it successfully (and legally).


So here’s a little checklist for you:

  • Decide where you’re going to elope in The Lakes - there’s some inspiration above if you’re not sure where to go, but please do get in touch to chat for even more ideas. I’ve spent many happy hours exploring The Lake District so I can help you find the right spot for your elopement.

  • Choose a date for your elopement - even though an elopement doesn’t require as much planning as a traditional wedding, you do still need to pick a date for your elopement. This allows you to book your travel, accommodation and key suppliers to help make your elopement go smoothly.

  • Apply for your marriage visa if you live outside the UK - on a really practical level, you do need to be aware of the legal side of eloping in The Lakes. If you’re not from the UK you’ll need to apply for a marriage visa and even if you are from the UK, you’ll need to arrange to sign your marriage paperwork either before or after you elope to ensure it’s a legal marriage.

  • Pack and dress appropriately - that doesn’t mean you still can’t wear a beautiful wedding dress, but my advice is to choose a lightweight gown that’s easy to move in, after all, some of the best spots in The Lakes require a little bit of hiking and the odd kissing gate and stile to negotiate on the journey there. Think about footwear too and bring layers so you can wrap up and peel off when you need to - it never ceases to amaze me how different the weather can be at the foot of a fell compared to the summit!

  • Choose your suppliers - as mentioned above, an elopement doesn’t require that much planning, but you will need a few suppliers on board to help make it a day to remember - for example a photographer like me 👀. Getting these suppliers booked and arranged ahead of time will help make the day run smoothly and ensure you can focus on what matters most: having fun and being in love.



So there you have it, my quick and easy guide to eloping in the Lake District. If this has you inspired to elope, then I'd love to come along and capture your adventure, so why not get in touch, and we can talk about your elopement plans today...




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