TRAVELLING out of season is the best way to enjoy the Lake District, according to TV presenter Paul Rose.

The clocks have turned back, spelling the onset of colder weather, but that doesn't mean we should all be wrapped up and staying indoors.

Paul Rose, presenter of BBC's The Lakes With Paul Rose, claims his beloved Lake District is actually more fun in the rain.

"If I go out and it's a gorgeous day, I don't have the zip I want," claims the seasoned explorer, who's lived between Windermere and Bowness for the last 20 years. "But if I open the front door and it's blowing a gale and raining, I have a great workout. I love that feeling of nature's power. You're in the Lake District, so you've got to enjoy the rain."

In fact, the 67-year-old claims autumn is his favourite time of year in Britain's treasured national park. "The colours, the freshness in the air, the smells are outstanding," he enthuses. "I love the feeling of promise, possibility and adventure."

He also praises the winter season for the opportunities to cross country ski or even ice climb on north-facing waterfalls, which freeze if it's cold enough.

Rose, whose series about life in the Lakes is currently screening on BBC Two, says he's enjoyed a lifetime's connection with the area, making him one of the best-placed commentators on changes happening in the park.

Since the Lake District gained UNESCO World Heritage status in July 2017, fears have abounded about overtourism and potential damage wreaked by crowds.

Rose, though, remains positive.

"It hasn't changed much," he says, reflecting on the inevitable growth of tourism in the area. "It's remarkable. It's a celebration of how we look after natural spaces in our country; we're a small island nation - with a hell of a lot of people - yet in our culture, we celebrate nature and protect our walks and national trails."

But there's no denying the Lakes are more popular than ever, so how can you escape the hordes?

"I like the honeypot theory," says Rose, emphasising there's room for everyone in an outdoor playground of this size. "You come up with a family and maybe the big hill walks aren't for you and you just want to sense nature; there's nothing wrong with jumping on one of the Windermere cruisers and having an ice cream."

For anyone seeking solitude, though, he recommends getting out on the water. "The perspective from the water is a bit like a big switch going off. Life is quiet and peaceful," coos the man who's spent years in the polar regions, but will always call the Lakes his home. "Swim or kayak across the lake to a beach and have a picnic; that's when life really begins."

3 more novel ways to find the hidden Lake District

1. Best for adventure

"Do what I did on the series - make a bivouac and sleep just below the summit of Scafell Pike, then go up to the top in moonlight. It's absolute heaven."

2. Best for sunrise

"There's a place called the Walna Scar Road, which is a classic car park for Coniston. At the north end, there are some grassy terraces where you can wild camp and wake up to a gorgeous sunrise. It's a short walk in, and when camped up there, you're hidden - so no-one can see you."

3. Best for a short hike

"I do love going up Scafell Pike and Great Gable. But if time is really short, then Wansfell Pike is a really easy walk between Ambleside and Windermere. You can get on top and have amazing views; it's wonderful up there"

The Lakes With Paul Rose is currently on BBC Two. Catch up on BBC iPlayer.