Home to some of the most impressive views in the British countryside, the Lake District offers many fun outdoor activities for the whole family. Whether it’s exploring famous houses, marvelling at wildlife, or going on an adventure along the walking and cycling trails, there are plenty of ways to keep the kids entertained.
Why not make a holiday out of your visit and embrace nature completely by pitching up a tent. Wake up refreshed and look out over the spectacular lakes and hills, and create a campfire under the stars at night. There’s no better place to toast your marshmallows and sing songs.
Make the most of all the area has to offer with these family-friendly ideas.
Walk, cycle or sail
You don’t have to head to one of the major attractions to enjoy the Lake District. The National Park boasts so many beauty spots, with a number of walking trails, cycle routes and boat tours. Get active by climbing the hills or hiring bikes and cycling along the tracks; there are different routes for all abilities so the whole family can get involved.
Or book yourself onto a boat tour and glide along any of the area’s sixteen lakes. There are several watersport centres too, letting you choose between traditional boating tours, row boats, kayaking, sailing, and even windsurfing for the more adventurous.
Delve into the story of Peter Rabbit
Explore the world of Beatrix Potter at the National Trust attraction. Her famous, lovable character, Peter Rabbit, comes to life within her very own Lakeland Farm Hill Top cottage and gardens, which has been accurately left as an untouched time capsule from when the author was living there herself. 2016 marks the 150th anniversary of the author’s birth, making it an extra special time to visit her home.
The whole family can sit down for an afternoon tea party of scones, finger sandwiches and cakes with Peter Rabbit and look out over the shores of Lake Windermere. Tours of the cottage feature life-size statues of all of the adorable characters, including Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Jemima Puddle-Duck.
Prepare to be spooked at Levens Hall
Famed for its lavish history, legendary ghost stories and magnificent gardens, Levens Hall offers a great day out for the whole family. Take a tour to hear about the dark history and spirits that are said to haunt the manor. Kids get the chance to step right into the Elizabethan period by wandering around the house dressed up in period costumes, such as a maid or lady of the house.
Outside, the extraordinary array of topiary characters look as though they have stepped out from the pages of Alice in Wonderland, making the acres of land truly magical. The gardens really come to life in the summertime, with colourful blooms, vegetable patches, and the Willow Maze labyrinth to get lost in.
Marvel at the animals at the Wildlife Park
A visit to the Lake District isn’t complete without venturing across the 24-acre Wildlife Park. With over 100 species, the kids are sure to spot some of their favourite animals, from monkeys and meerkats, to exotic safari animals, and all kinds of insects in the creepy crawly corner.
Regular displays take place throughout the day with birds of prey swooping over the area. There are adventure playgrounds across the site too for the kids to exert their energy, and picnic spots for a much needed stop for a bite to eat.
Get writing at Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage
Let the kids embrace their inner poet by taking a trip to the home of one of Britain’s famous Romantic writers, William Wordsworth. With the Lake District inspiring some of the greatest nature poetry, where better to step back in time than the author’s remote retreat, Dove Cottage.
Little has changed at the cottage since. Right next door is the Wordsworth Museum, which features the biggest collection of the author’s works and memorabilia, including interactive displays for the kids to enjoy and an activity room with toys, art and antique objects.
Outdoors, the garden has an abundant vegetable patch and is home to a whole host of wildlife which children are invited to spot with regular Wild Walks during the holiday periods.
Visit the owls at Muncaster Castle
Let the kids run wild across the 70 acres of ground at Muncaster Castle. There is a full programme of yearly events including the ever-popular flying displays at the Hawk and Owl Centre, which is home to more than 49 species of owl alone. Get up close to the birds with regular educational talks and feeding sessions.
The historic haunted castle itself has many a story to tell; visit near Halloween for a special spooky makeover and firework display.
Are there any places in the Lake District that you love visiting with the family? Let us know!
Many thanks to our guest author, Tilly Martin. Tilly is a content writer for Pure Leisure Group, owners of picturesque family holiday parks on the cusp of the Lake District, offering a choice between camping, lodges and caravans.