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HomeUK Travel26 issues to do within the Lake District with youngsters

26 issues to do within the Lake District with youngsters

It’s famend for uplifting poets and artists, however there’s way more to find within the Lake District with youngsters than the attractive surroundings.

A view of Tarn Hows, a small lake in the Lake District surrounded by woodland - discovering the best things to do in the Lake District with kids, beyond the gorgeous scenery

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In fact, in the event you’re trying to get open air on this beautiful slice of Cumbria, there are numerous child-friendly walks in addition to boat journeys galore on the lakes themselves – but in addition loads of Lake District household sights to find.

From Peter Rabbit to historic castles, animal sights and the prospect to journey on a heritage railway, listed below are my prime 26 issues to do within the Lake District with youngsters.

Take a ship cruise

You possibly can’t go to the Lake District with out going out on no less than one lake, and there are an entire string of Lake District boat cruises to select from.

In addition to letting households discover the lakes from a distinct perspective, most cruises make a number of stops at piers and cities, so you possibly can simply mix a ship experience with different walks and family-friendly sights within the Lake District.

You’ll be spoiled for alternative relying the place you keep, however for among the greatest boat cruises within the Lake District, strive the next.

Steam Yacht Gondola, Coniston Water

This rebuilt Victorian steam-powered yacht is without doubt one of the most uncommon methods to discover the lakes.

Initially inbuilt 1859, the Nationwide Belief’s Steam Yacht Gondola is the oldest steam yacht within the north of England, working three to 4 scenic lake cruises on Coniston Water per day.

In addition to getting a style of what life was like for rich Victorians on their pleasure cruises, there’s a commentary on the realm’s historical past as you absorb the surroundings.

Sea Serpent figurehead of the Steam Yacht Gondola on Coniston Water - one of the most unusual boat trips in the Lake District with kids

Nationwide Belief members get a ten% low cost with youngsters beneath 5 travelling free.

Prebooking is strongly advisable and you may select a technique cruises topic to availability, or the total lake cruise, which prices solely barely greater than the north or south lake stretch alone.

Windermere Lake Cruises

Windermere Lake Cruises run a number of each day cruises throughout England’s largest lake on each historic steamboats and extra fashionable launches.

You possibly can select to embark at Ambleside, Brockhole, Bowness & Lakeside, with 10.5 miles of lake to discover and completely different routes taking you to among the lakeside sights. Not all routes run exterior the primary April to October season.

There’s commentary on board and you can even purchase ‘freedom of the lake’ tickets, which allow you to hop on and off, together with 48 hour choices, plus tickets together with sights or bus journey.

You possibly can select shorter routes, together with a 45-minute sail from Bowness and a 50-minute route from Ambleside, in the event you’re visiting the Lake District with toddlers – the Inexperienced Cruise route is especially good for households.

Ullswater Steamers

Ullswater Steamers operates one of many largest heritage boat fleets on the earth, and their cruises are even dog-friendly in the event you’re visiting the Lake District with pets.

The boat journeys allow you to cruise across the lake in about two hours, or you possibly can leap off to discover the completely different stops, together with the spectacular Aira Pressure waterfall.

There’s an open deck for sunny days, sheltered higher deck seating areas and indoor downstairs saloons when the climate isn’t so good, and bathrooms.

the Ullswater Boat House at Lake District National Park reflected in the water - if you're visiting the Lake District with kids, a cruise here is one of the best family boat trips to try

Watersports at Coniston Boating Centre

In order for you a extra energetic expertise than merely sitting on a ship, one other solution to discover the Lakes with youngsters is by participating in among the water sports activities on supply.

And Coniston Boating Centre is without doubt one of the greatest spots within the Lake District for household enjoyable on the water.

There are a number of choices for boat rent too, from a contemporary motorboat to a standard picket rowing boat, or open-Canadian canoe for some stress-free outside adventures with little ones whereas admiring the surroundings.

Teenagers may head out onto the lake on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Properly-behaved pets are allowed on the boats too in the event you’re travelling along with your four-legged good friend. There’s additionally bike rent that will help you discover on land too.

Brockhole on Windermere

Brockhole on Windermere is without doubt one of the greatest days out within the Lake District with youngsters who like to get energetic, with lots to maintain the entire household entertained.

Sitting on the shores of Windermere inside the grounds of a fantastic Victorian summer season dwelling, youngsters can benefit from the massive journey playground, go-karting, mini-golf, archery, tree-top trekking, indoor caving, nature trails and orienteering programs, and lots extra. 

In the course of the hotter summer season months, you possibly can rent rowing boats, kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards to go out onto the lake as effectively.

There’s additionally a customer centre and museum, scenic gardens, a woodland faerie path, a number of cafes, a restaurant, and a present store full of native artisan merchandise for a full household day trip within the Lakes.

World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness-on-Windermere

See among the most celebrated English youngsters’s storybooks of all time come to life at the World of Beatrix Potter

The family-friendly Lake District attraction permits you to stroll via the acquainted tales as a part of a singular sensory expertise, in addition to exploring Peter Rabbit’s Backyard.

You’ll see characters from the creator’s most well-known books, together with Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mr Todd, and Jeremy Fisher, whereas exploring a fascinating recreation of the Lake District countryside, which helped encourage the unique tales. 

Maintain an eye fixed out for particular household pleasant occasions, equivalent to Peter Rabbit tea events, and stay reveals within the connecting Previous Laundry Theatre too.

In case you’re searching for extra Beatrix Potter, her dwelling at Hill Prime – purchased with the proceeds from the Story of Peter Rabbit – is round half an hour away throughout the lake. Should be prebooked.

The grounds of Hill Top, a 17th Century House once home to Beatrix Potter - if you're visiting the Lake District with kids, a visit here helps bring her stories to life

Wray Citadel, Ambleside

Set on the banks of Lake Windermere, Wray Citadel is a Nationwide Belief property that has been changed into an thrilling child-friendly attraction.

Constructed throughout the Victorian period as a mock-Gothic fort, its imposing turrets and towers appear like one thing instantly off the pages of a youngsters’s fairytale e book. 

Inside, the fort doesn’t have the standard historic furnishings and paintings that you simply anticipate from Nationwide Belief properties – which makes it all of the extra enjoyable for households!

As an alternative, its rooms are crammed with little one pleasant actions, equivalent to desk tennis, big video games, interval dressing up, gentle play, and humanities and crafts. There are additionally Peter Rabbit Journey rooms, that includes Peter’s Burrow, Mr McGregor’s backyard, and extra.

With loads of indoor actions, Wray Citadel is without doubt one of the prime issues to do within the Lake District with youngsters on a wet day – or straightforward to mix with a Lake District boat journey within the sunshine too.

Muncaster Citadel, Ravenglass

In order for you a genuinely historic fort, head in direction of the western Lake District the place Muncaster Citadel overlooks the River Esk.

Courting again to the thirteenth century, the Grade I listed constructing is known for its stunning interiors and lengthy and engaging historical past. 

Youngsters will love exploring the fort’s 70+ acres of untamed woodland gardens, with an journey playground and indoor maze in addition to the colorful flowers and views over the encircling valleys.

The Hawk & Owl Centre, set inside the fort gardens, can be effectively value a go to with youngsters. Take a look at the Birds of Prey shows to see the majestic creatures hovering proper over your head.

Sizbergh Castle medieval stone keep in Cumbria against a blue sky - one of the best things to do in the Lake District with kids

Sizergh Citadel, Kendal

One other historic web site, Sizergh Citadel close to Kendal has been dwelling to the Strickland household for over eight centuries.

With a 1,600-acre property, it’s straightforward to fill a day trip: in addition to the wild play path, you possibly can look out for butterflies within the gardens and deer within the grounds, with wetland, woodland and orchards to discover.

When the home itself is open, don’t miss the astonishingly intricate inlaid sixteenth century panelling inside too.

Lowther Citadel, close to Penrith

It’s not Lowther Citadel itself which is the most important attraction for youths (though don’t be tempted to skip it both). As an alternative, it’s the unbelievable play space, one of many largest journey playgrounds within the nation.

The Misplaced Citadel play space is full of turrets, zipwires, walkways and slides, as effectively the ramps and steps to climb and a pole to slip down. You’ll discover areas for toddlers too, in addition to a sandpit and twine mesh play part (plus someplace for adults to sit down down and calm down too)

Do save a while to discover Lowther Citadel itself although, probably the most spectacular ruins round, and its stunning gardens.

The large fort as soon as had a room for on daily basis of the yr, and the identical household has lived right here because the twelfth century – however after the fifth earl ran out of cash, all the pieces which could possibly be bought was eliminated, and all that is still is a really spectacular shell.

It’s now additionally half backyard, in addition to being surrounded by its personal grounds, backyard and woodland for probably the most memorable household pleasant locations within the Lake District. Open year-round.

The ruined Lowther Castle, with the shell of the grand building visible against a blue sky - one of the most unusual places to visit in the Lake District for families

Walby Farm Park

There’s enjoyable galore to be discovered at Walby Farm Park, together with an opportunity to fulfill the animals, a lot of play areas and some sudden bonuses, equivalent to ferret races!

Nice in the event you’re visiting the Lake District with youthful youngsters, you possibly can spot a string of farmyard favourites, assembly the rabbits and guinea pigs, in addition to some hand feeding and goat racing, plus some extra uncommon furry inhabitants equivalent to alpacas.

Plus there’s a whopping 30 acres to discover, with indoor and outside play areas. The Indoor Journey Play Barn has a separate space for youthful youngsters, or some greater thrills for older youngsters together with the 24 foot Demon Drop Slide (and sure, grown-ups are allowed to affix in too).

Outdoors, together with swings and trampolines, you possibly can strive your hand at working JCB Diggers, Pedal Tractors and Go-Karts.

There’s additionally a three-level Roman fort, Milecastle62, which is roofed towards the weather so you possibly can climb ropes and slopes, steadiness on tree trunk beams, whoosh down slides and poles, crawl via tunnels and usually play to your coronary heart’s content material – plus the aptly named Barbarian Village space for beneath 3s!

The Lake District Wildlife Park, Keswick

For extra animal enjoyable within the Lake District with youngsters, the Lake District Wildlife Park is unmissable, with over 100 species of unique animals on the 24-acre park close to Keswick.

You’ll discover all the pieces from extra birds of prey and superb reptiles to cheeky primates and pleasant farmyard animals.

Conservation lies on the coronary heart of the wildlife park, and youngsters can find out about endangered species on the quite a few keeper talks every day, together with extra concerning the very cute crimson pandas, in addition to the lynx which might as soon as have roamed Cumbria’s forests.

Youngsters may even rise up shut and meet among the park’s residents on the shows and wildlife encounters.

There are a number of play areas too, together with an out of doors play space and indoor gentle play and ball pit, in case the climate is dangerous, plus a restaurant serving scrumptious home made meals.

In case you’re searching for extra animal sights, South Lakes Safari Zoo isn’t really within the Lake District Nationwide Park (regardless of its identify) nevertheless it’s nonetheless shut sufficient to go to and see its 1,000 uncommon and endangered inhabitants – round half-hour’ drive from Sizergh Citadel, for instance

Ring-tailed lemur - one of the animals you can spot in the Lake District Wildlife Park

Alpacaly Ever After, Keswick & numerous areas

Actually one of many extra distinctive Lake District household sights, Alpacaly Ever After is an award-winning social enterprise that rescues and rehomes alpacas and llamas from everywhere in the nation – recognized affectionately because the woolly military!

The centre affords households the chance to come back and meet their pleasant alpacas too – go to in spring or early summer season, and also you may even get to see the infants.

You too can take the alpacas on a stroll round among the lake’s most scenic areas, together with the personal grounds of the Lingholm Property on the ​​shores of Derwentwater. 

The alpaca experiences are open to youngsters of all ages, though guests beneath 18 should be accompanied by an grownup. Youngsters beneath 10 can go at no cost on a non-public alpaca stroll, however not group walks.

Honister Slate Mine, Keswick

In case you’re picturing a go to to a slate mine, the probabilities are you’re not anticipating to be excessive up within the air. However the Infinity Bridge at Honister Slate Mine does simply that – excellent for teenagers and older youngsters searching for an adrenaline thrill.

The longest excessive wire bridge in Britain, the Infinity Bridge is strung 2,000 toes above the valley ground, with some astonishing panoramic views out throughout the surroundings – in the event you dare look out to get pleasure from them,

Appropriate for youths aged 8+ who’re 1.3m tall, it’s probably the most memorable household days out within the Lake District. And if being suspended in mid-air doesn’t tempt, you can even take 90-minute excursions of the slate mine, strive the Climb the Mine journey scaling partitions and ladders, and crawling via tunnels inside the mine caverns, in addition to canyoning.

You’re additionally only a quick drive from the spectacular surroundings of the Honister Cross in the event you’d wish to get pleasure from it from floor stage

Mountains surrounding Buttermere valley and the Honister Pass - some of the spectacular scenery to discover in the Lake District with kids

Lakes Aquarium, Lakeside

Set on the shores of Lake Windermere, the Lakes Aquarium is dwelling to the UK’s largest assortment of freshwater fish and plenty of different aquatic creatures.

On a go to to the aquarium, you possibly can be taught concerning the vary of creatures dwelling within the lakes, together with perch, pike, white-clawed crayfish, koi carp, and plenty extra.

Better of all, you possibly can stroll via an underwater tunnel that takes you on a fascinating recreated journey beneath Lake Windermere.

The Lakes Aquarium can be dwelling to many different thrilling animals from internationally, so you possibly can spot all the pieces from clownfish and piranhas to rays, otters, and tortoises. Particular talks, occasions and youngsters’ trails additionally happen all year long.

Stripy silver and black fish - one of the many creatures you can spot in the Lakes aquarium, one of the best Lake District family attractions on a rainy day

Lakeland Maze Farm Park, Kendal

In case you’re visiting the Lake District in the summertime, youngsters will love taking up the problem of the maize maze at Lakeland Maze Farm Park.

Every year from July to September, the maze has a brand new design, with a mini maze and foremost maze that takes over 90 minutes to finish (there are exit factors alongside the way in which in case you want to escape!)

However even in the event you go to exterior these months, you possibly can get pleasure from getting misplaced with two everlasting mazes, together with an indoor bunny burrow tube maze.

That’s simply the beginning too. You possibly can see farmyard animals on the working farm, in addition to smaller fluffy inhabitants on the farm park, to not point out gentle play, a climbing wall, bouncy castles and trampolines.

Opening occasions fluctuate, restricted to highschool holidays and weekends (if in any respect) exterior April/Could to October.

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

The Ravenglass & Eskdale within the Lake District is without doubt one of the oldest and longest slender gauge railways in England.

Affectionately often called La’al Ratty, that means “little railway“ in previous Cumbrian dialect, the heritage railway runs alongside a seven-mile-long line into the beautiful Lake District countryside.

There are spectacular views over the estuaries and out to the fells, and also you may even spot some Cumbrian wildlife alongside the route.

Don’t miss the free Ravenglass station museum, which is filled with interactive displays for the kids to become involved in. There’s additionally a train-themed play space at Dalegarth station on the different finish.

In case you’re visiting within the run-up to Christmas, take a look at the Santa Specific practice, one of many beautiful Santa practice experiences within the UK – though be warned, it books up very quick

Blue steam train and vintage carriages on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway in Cumbria - one of the most fun things to do in the Lake District with kids, it's also a good way to get to some of the area's family attractions

Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

Stretching for simply over three miles, this little heritage railway is a superb Lake District household attraction in its personal proper, however the steam practice rides additionally make a enjoyable solution to discover among the remainder of the Lake District with youngsters.

With steam trains and diesel engines working from Haverthwaite to Lakeside, on the southern finish of Windermere, you possibly can mix it with a crusing on the lake over to Bowness or Ambleside, in addition to utilizing it to take you to Brockhole, the Lakes Aquarium or World of Beatrix Potter.

The route additionally connects to a different of the Lake District Nationwide Belief websites, Fell Foot Park with walks and watersports (and even the prospect of untamed swimming in the event you’re visiting with older youngsters)

Derwent Pencil Museum, Keswick

A pencil museum may not sound like it will likely be prime of your youngsters’ record of Lake District sights, however this quirky web site in Keswick – the house of the primary pencil – is unexpectedly entertaining.

For starters, you head into the Derwent pencil museum via a duplicate graphite mine to start your journey from the earliest days of pencils to the fashionable day.

On show, there are creations proving pencils are lots much less bizarre than you may suppose – Second World Battle pencils with hidden maps, plus one of many largest color pencils on the earth at nearly 8m lengthy.

There are additionally mini pencil sculptures to admire and in the event you’re impressed by the small museum to get inventive, a store to choose up artwork provides, in addition to artwork workshops.

The Rheged Centre, Penrith

In addition to the large cinema display screen right here, which reveals family-friendly motion pictures, the Rheged Centre has common exhibitions in its gallery and an arts programme which incorporates youngsters’s theatre and craft.

There are additionally a string of family-friendly actions to entertain, plus an an indoor gentle play space, with an space put aside for beneath fives – there are presently prebookable slots for indoor play.

For teenagers that love Lego, you’ll discover a toy store that begs you to spend your pocket cash, plus nice pizza within the cafe. Among the best issues to do within the Lake District with youngsters on a wet day too.

Red squirrel on a branch - if you're visiting the Lake District with kids, there are several places you might spot these native animals

Allan Financial institution, Grasmere

One other of the Nationwide Belief websites within the Lake District, Allan Financial institution is barely completely different than the standard household days out expertise.

The house of the Nationwide Belief’s founder, close to Grasmere, places the give attention to the panorama – the property itself isn’t even absolutely adorned, so the naked partitions and empty rooms spotlight the valley and lake surroundings.

You possibly can spy crimson squirrels within the backyard and typically see buzzards flying overhead, in addition to selecting up nature spotter guides for youths.

There are some strolling routes to take a look at too, in addition to loads of locations to play cover and search.

There’s no automobile park or cafe on web site, so that you’ll must take public transport or stroll up from Grasmere. Picnics are welcome, and there are scorching drinks out there for a small donation.

Walks within the Lake District with youngsters

With a few of England’s most stunning surroundings, you’re additionally spoiled for alternative relating to family-friendly walks within the Lake District – and never all are as difficult as climbing Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak.

There are 50 ‘Miles with out Stiles‘ routes, appropriate for households with pushchairs – together with completely different grades, so you realize in the event you’ve bought a clean path or whether or not it’s one to take a more durable all-terrain buggy.

Or in the event you’re undecided the place to begin, take a look at the 7 routes for 70, celebrating the Lake District Nationwide Park’s seventieth birthday again in 2021, highlighting the range throughout the entire nationwide park in addition to some much less explored corners if you wish to escape among the crowds in additional in style areas.

Grizedale Forest, Hawkshead

There’s not solely hills and lakes to discover on this a part of Cumbria, but in addition some nice woodlands to wander in.

Grizedale Forest has a sequence of sculptures dotted among the many timber, in addition to 10 strolling trails and 9 cycle routes, together with off-road mountain bike trails and gentler choices (you possibly can rent bikes there).

Add in an journey play space and Go Ape excessive ropes programs, plus artwork exhibitions and cafe for a break between the exercise, so it’s straightforward to whereas away a couple of hours. You possibly can pay for parking on-line as effectively.

Beech Tree woodlands with sunshine shining through the canopy in the Lake District - as well as lakes and fells, there are some lovely woodland walks in the Lake District with kids

Whinlatter Forest, Keswick

One other nice Forestry England web site, Whinlatter Forest has some superb views to get pleasure from as you discover the paths, together with an opportunity to look out to Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater and Keswick.

There are 9 strolling trails right here, with a one-mile stretch to identify a sequence of figures from the Gruffalo dotted round. Cease in on the customer centre for suggestions first, and whereas it’s walkable with a buggy, be ready for hills.

With older youngsters, the forest can be dwelling to the longest purpose-built mountain bike trails within the Lake District, together with one other Go Ape course and journey playground.

Head into the timber, Windermere

In addition to having fun with the forests from floor stage, there are some enjoyable methods for households to rise up into the timber.

The treetop nets at ZipWorld Windermere embody greater than 1,500 metres of big trampolines, walkways, slides and netting tunnels suspended as much as 9 metres off the bottom. Appropriate for age 3+

Or take a look at the treetop trek, with 35 completely different treetop challenges via the oaks, ending with a 250m triple zip from the 14m excessive treetop tower, so you possibly can race one another again.

There are completely different choices for various ages: age 5+ can tackle Climb and Zip, which lasts round half-hour, or the hour-long Mini Trek, whereas the Full Trek is appropriate for age 7+ and takes round two hours.

The Puzzling Place, Keswick

One other enjoyable possibility in the event you’re searching for issues to do within the Lake District within the rain, The Puzzling Place in Keswick is full of illusions to difficult your eyes and a enjoyable hologram gallery.

With optical illusions to make it seem that you simply’ve shrunk/grown, that you simply’re standing sideways, even that you simply’re defying gravity, it’s a good way to spend an hour or so – and also you’ll emerge with some hilarious pictures too.

Do e book forward in the event you’re visiting at school holidays or searching for inspiration on wet days within the Lake District, because it’s not big and may be – unsurprisingly – very fashionable.

Whilst you’re visiting the Lake District, it’s straightforward to mix with a go to to the Yorkshire Dales Nationwide Park – take a look at a few of my prime issues to do in Yorkshire with youngsters

*First revealed 2021, final up to date 2024*

Disclosure: This publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee

Fish copyright MummyTravels, all different pictures courtesy of Depositphotos


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