12 Activities For Lake District Family Holidays
The Lake District is a National Park based primarily in Cumbria in the North of England. It is well known for beautiful countryside, stunning lakes and waters, and for its range of activities for people of all ages.
Whether you are into adventure holidays, looking for a romantic break, or you want to sample some of the culinary delights and local drinks that are available, you can plan a great holiday with something for people of every age and interest. Lake District family holidays do require some planning though. The weather in the UK is unpredictable. The Lake District National Park suffers some of the highest rain levels in the UK. Even if you are visiting in summer, you should pack lightweight rainproof clothing. There are indoor and outdoor activities to fill your time, so plan ahead.
The Lake District is best known for its beautiful countryside, rugged hills and mountains, and, of course, its stunning lakes and water. Whether you want a relaxed walk, an even more relaxed lake cruise, or you want to try climbing, there is a host of outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy.
1 – Go Cycling
Whether you take your own bikes, or rent them from Brockhole Visitor Centre, there are numerous trails and tracks where you can enjoy a family bike ride.
The ride from Wray Castle to Far Sawrey is an easy route, covering approximately 8 miles there and back. Expect to spend around 2 to 3 hours on this route, which is ideal for families with young children because there is no traffic involved. You also get to enjoy the experience of crossing Lake Windermere by ferry.
2 – Visit A Local Fair
The Lake District is rich in rural events and local fairs. Sample local cuisine, see some of the art and crafts that have helped the region thrive, and even try your hand at a new skill. There are numerous events taking place across the Lakes every year, and you are bound to find something local to where you are staying.
The Cumberland Show, in June, is a great example. It offers local food stalls, see the animals that are farmed, and you can view events like sheepdog trials.
3 – Go Walking
The Lakes is one of the most popular walking locales in the UK. Although it can prove a challenge to find flat routes, they do exist. There are also easy trails as well as challenging walks. The short walk from Bowness to Cockshott Point is a 2km walk. While it isn’t accessible by wheelchair, it is a relatively flat walk over a grassy field.
The Lake District government website also lists several other walks and trails including Miles Without Stiles walks, which are wheelchair accessible.
4 – Cruise The Lakes
Windermere Lake Cruises are a convenient and enjoyable way to see Windermere, Bowness, and the surrounding area. You can take a cruise from Bowness, Ambleside, or Lakeside at Windermere. Cruises can last anywhere from 45 minutes to 48 hours, and many of them incorporate stops at local hotspots like Wray Castle.
Cruises are a relaxed and stress-free way to see the local sights, and to enjoy a unique view of Lake Windermere.
5 – Go Climbing
If you’re looking for something more adventurous than sitting on a boat, then there are numerous opportunities to try your hand at climbing. Climbing days are usually organised with a professional and experienced guide or outdoor adventure company. This ensures that you climb in safe areas, and that you don’t climb prohibited or restricted areas. Tuition is available for people of all ages, too.
6 – Try Sailing
Rather than relying on other people to transport you around the Lake, you can hire canoes, kayaks, sailing boats and motorboats. With such an abundance of lakes and waters, the National Park is the ideal location for you to try something new. Wakeboarding and windsurfing activities can also be enjoyed on Windermere, with rental options for these and other vehicles.
When it’s raining and cold you’ll want something different to do, or perhaps you simply want to experience more that the Lakes has to offer, there are many indoor activities and experiences that you can also enjoy during your family holiday to the Lake District.
7 – The Brockhole Visitor Centre
The Brockhole Visitor Centre is in Windermere. Although billed as a visitor centre, it has much more to offer than tourist information. It includes 30 acres of shoreline as well as woodland and countryside. Numerous trails exist around the location, many of which are suitable for children as well as adults so you can entertain the whole family.
There are also rope walks, slides, swings, and zip wires that offer a perfect way to entertain the kids for hours at a time. For those with young children, there is a dedicated area for under 7 year olds
8 – Learn About The Life Of Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter is one of the most celebrated of The Lake District’s former residents. The children’s author loved the National Park so much that she left all her land, and even her former home, to the National Trust. Her links with the region mean that there are numerous exhibitions, museums, and other attractions related to Potter.
The Brockhole Visitor’s Centre includes various exhibitions, including the Beatrix Potter Trail. The World of Beatrix Potter attraction is also located in Windermere and is home to a host of Potter related information. The Beatrix Potter gallery, Hill Top Farm, and Yew Tree farm are just some of the other attractions. You will also find themed cafes, restaurants, and shops dedicated to the Lake District’s First Lady.
9 – Follow In The Footsteps Of Wordsworth
Along with Potter, the Lake District was also home to author and poet William Wordsworth. In fact, he authored a guide to the region entitled a Guide through the District of the Lakes. Born in Cockermouth, the former poet laureate returned to the region after studying at Cambridge University.
As well as his former homes, Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount, you can visit the site that most likely provided inspiration for the poem Daffodils; a beautiful spot by Ullswater. Next door to Dove Cottage is the Wordsworth Museum, which is another great spot for the Wordsworth lover.
10 – Try Caving At Ambleside Cave
Ambleside Cave offers an authentic caving experience, and is part of the Ambleside Adventure group. As well as narrow tunnels and drops, there are stalactites and even water sumps. If you want to introduce the kids to caving, then this is a safe and enjoyable experience that they are bound to enjoy.
11 – Experience Medieval Wray Castle
As well as incredible turrets and towers to look at and explore, Wray Castle offers period dressing up, a room where kids can build their own castle, and a host of other activities. Wray Castle was completely empty when it was taken over by the National Trust, so they have filled it with activities and exhibitions. You won’t see any genuine artwork, but you will be able to provide a combination of fun and education with a trip to Wray
12 – Try Climbing Indoors
If you aren’t ready to explore outdoor climbing, you can train, practice, or learn at one of the numerous indoor climbing centres. Most have a selection of walls, ranging from easy and kids’ walls to adult and advanced, and some centres combine climbing with zip lines and other adventure activities.
The Treetop Trek in Windermere has opportunities for kids aged between 4 and 18 to have a go climbing. It also trampolines, tree climbing, and much, much more.
The Hideaway at Windermere is a luxury, boutique hotel that is situated out of the way, but still offers easy access to Windermere, Bowness, Ambleside, and the rest of the Lake District.
Image Source: Pixabay, Wikimedia Commons, Geograph.org.uk