Not only is the Lake District home to some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, it is also a real adventure playground that will leave you spoilt for choice when it comes to great family days out.
Whatever the weather there is something to keep the whole family entertained. From award-winning attractions and exciting Lake District events to family friendly walks and bike rides.
Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
Brockhole Visitor Centre
Just a hop, skip and a jump away from our hotels, you’ll find the Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole on the shores of Windermere. Explore the gardens, browse round the shop or discover the indoor and outdoor adventure playgrounds. Visit the Brockhole website
For outdoor fun in Cumbria try Grizedale Forest’s challenging Go-Ape course of rope bridges and zip wires up to 60 feet above the forest floor. Or why not have a go at mountain biking or explore the creative sculpture trail. Visit the Grizedale Forest website.
The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction
A magical indoor attraction that brings to life all 23 Beatrix Potter tales. Meet all your favourite characters including Peter Rabbit! Visit the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction website.
Windermere Lake Cruises
Enjoy a cruise around England’s longest lake and take in the sights from a different angle. You can combine a cruise with a visit to the Lakes Aquarium or the Lakeland Motor Museum. VIsit the Windermere Lake Cruises website.
Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway
Step back in time and take a steam train ride through the Lake District landscape. Look out for Thomas the Tank Engine Weekends, Ghost Train rides or Santa Specials. Visit the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway website.
Lakes AquariumExplore worlds of watery fun at Lakes Aquarium. Discover otters, pike, perch and char as well as marmoset monkeys, caiman and British sharks and rays. Visit the Lakes Aquarium website.
For more family fun ideas visit the Cumbria Tourism website.
With England's five tallest mountains and the deepest and largest lakes, the Lake District is the country's biggest adventure playground.
From romantic lakeside strolls to rock climbing, forest cycle trails to adrenaline-fuelled mountain bike rides, sailing to wind surfing, canoeing to kayaking…or just plain old bird-spotting (we’re home to England’s only pair of breeding Ospreys). Whatever floats your boat or gets your pulse racing you can enjoy it in the Lake District.
From lakeside strolls and woodland walks to fell walking and rock climbing, there are hundreds of routes to choose from that will take you through pretty villages and peaceful valleys, over mountains, around lakes, beside rivers and along the coast. Here are a few nearby routes to try:
Or why not explore the pretty villages and towns of Windermere, Bowness, Ambleside or Grasmere. On the eastern side of Lake Windermere you will also find Hawkshead and Coniston.
The Lake District was made for cycling, with challenging off road mountain biking routes to gentle country lanes there is something for everybody. Dramatic mountain biking over Lake District peaks and rolling valley trails will appeal to families and committed bikers alike. Winding country lane cycling with stunning views and little traffic are ideal for a gentle spin or a 100 mile epic; safe and enjoyable family rides for all ages and abilities are mapped out or waymarked right across the county. Look out for:
You’ll find a huge variety of watersports in the Lake District, from canoeing and sailing to diving and ghyll scrambling. It’s of the finest places in the UK to launch a boat and it has it all; lakes, rivers, and coast so there is something for everyone whether you're looking for some challenging white water paddling or just want to enjoy the peace and tranquility of a lake cruise.
There are lots of places to hire boats, canoes and kayaks and there are also plenty of experienced guides available to show you the ropes. Windermere, England’s longest lake, is particularly popular with water sports enthusiasts so if you fancy dipping your toes in the water…look no further. Try these local providers:
For more information on Lake District outdoor activities, routes and activity providers visit the Cumbria Tourism website.
From the traditional to the contemporary, the Lake District has it all when it comes to Culture – you’ll find links to William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter as well as an exciting programme of performances from some of the biggest names in theatre, music and comedy.
Here is a little bit of cultural inspiration to fuel the imagination:
You’ll find a lively, vibrant and varied music scene across Cumbria. Head for Zeffirelli’s in Ambleside or the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal. There are also a number of music festivals to look out for.
Theatre & Film
The Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness-on-Windermere is the only professional in-the-round theatre where you can see performing arts (the season always includes one of Alan Ayckbourn’s latest stage plays) and film. The Brewery Arts Centre in nearby Kendal is an eclectic venue where you can enjoy touring theatre, music, dance, film and comedy acts.
Arts & Galleries
Discover outstanding exhibitions, art festivals and inspiring independent galleries where you can find unique handcrafted pieces.
Literature & Poetry
Literary fans should pay a visit to the homes of William Wordsworth (Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount), Beatrix Potter (Hill Top) or John Ruskin (Brantwood).
History & Heritage
From Hadrian’s Wall in the north to Furness Abbey in the south, delve into the history of Cumbria. Or visit the Lake District Historic Houses and Gardens Group - a collection of uniquely different homes surrounded by stunning gardens, including Blackwell, Rydal Mount, Levens Hall and Holker Hall.
For more ideas for cultural days out in the Lake DIstrict visit the Cumbria Tourism website.
Food & Drink
Food & Drink
It’s no coincidence that the Lake District has stunning scenery and great food. There’s something about the fresh air and clean water that makes our food special. It’s all about quality, flavour and local produce.
After all, this is the home of Herdwick lamb and Cumberland sausage, Morecambe Bay potted shrimps and Windermere char, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding and Grasmere Gingerbread, real ale and damson gin. All guaranteed to get the taste-buds watering.
At our hotels, we like to source as much of our food as possible locally so you can be guaranteed the very best local and seasonal produce when you dine with us. We are proud to say that everything is made fresh on site at our hotels...even the rustic bread and after dinner chocolates.
You’ll also find lots of well-stocked farm shops and delis on your visit to the Lake District so why not stock up and take a taste of the Lakes home with you?
For more information about food and drink the the Lake District visit the Cumbria Tourism website.
Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, there's always a feast of fun whatever the season. There are walks and talks, festivals and fairs, competitions and classes.
Here are just a few of the exciting local events that take place every year (please check their websites for full information about dates and programmes):
Cartmel Races (May, August)
Annual horse racing meetings at Cartmel Racecourse near Grange-over-Sands are always great days out and with three action packed days of racing, a funfair and lots of food and drink stands
MintFest, Kendal (September)
An exhilarating kaleidoscope of the very best contemporary international street arts. Kendal's International Festival of Street presents a mind-boggling array of artists from across the globe.
Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal (year-round programme)
The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal is a lively venue where you can enjoy touring theatre, music, dance, film and comedy acts, plus regularly changing exhibitions of art and creative workshops.
Grasmere Sports (August)
A traditional Lake District show with Lakeland sports and crafts.
Westmorland County Show (September)
One of the oldest county shows in Britain
Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness-on-Windermere (year-round programme)
The Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness-on-Windermere is the only professional in-the-round theatre offering performing arts, film and the season always includes one of Alan Ayckbourn’s latest stage plays.
For a full events listing visit the Cumbria Tourism website.