'Tis January. Christmas is over, and has been packed back into it's boxes and stored in the loft until next year. The new year revelry has died down, and the slow trudge back to work has begun. The schools are full of children wishing it was three weeks ago. Life has returned to normal.
Up here in the Lakes January tends to drift by almost un-noticed. At the moment we have snow, even at lower levels, so the photographers will be out in force. But tourists are a bit thin on the ground. After all, it is January. There's nowhere open and nothing on - right?
Actually, Gone are the days when you might as well have put a "closed" sign up at the entrance to the National Park. Nowadays there is a surprising amount going on. Art exhibitions, plays, the odd panto or two. And then there are the attractions. About a third of the Lake District's attractions are open in January, some of them all month, others at weekends.
So if you have a bit of time on your hands then January offers an almost unique opportunity to visit some of the biggest attractions in the region at, how can I put this politely, a quieter time than normal. Or put another way, you won't have to queue up for very long to pay to get in. Actually, at one attraction you won't have to pay at all. At the South Lakes Wild animal park they have dispensed with the tiresome habit of taking money off you - they are letting people in for free so that the animals can get a good look at what humans are like in winter.
To find out what is on and when, check out the What's on guide.
For attractions that are open I've spent a few days compiling this comperhensive list.