It’s no surprise that the Lake District draws in 15 million people per year. After all, its landscape has provided inspiration for some of Britain’s top writers and poets. Including William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.
This area of outstanding natural beauty is certainly a place that should be considered amongst the top of England’s staycation locations. In fact I’d say it’s right at the top along with The Cotswolds, the New Forest, Cornwall and Devon.
So whether you’re visiting England from overseas or you’re looking for somewhere that’ll provide that quintessential English holiday, you’ll definitely find it here.
The picture perfect postcard panoramas look like they’ve been painted. And that is what makes the Lake District unique and creates the foundation for a truly exciting break.
Here are my top 9 things to do with kids in the Lake District:
The steam train is synonymous with romantic old England, so this journey is a must do when you’re in the Lake District. And of course, all kids love a train journey (under 5’s are free). This one only goes three and a half miles between Lakeside and Haverthwaite so it’s the perfect amount of time for kids to enjoy the ride without getting restless. You can leave from either the Lakeside stop or from the Haverthwaite stop. And of course return tickets can be purchased.
Both train stations provide ample opportunity to entertain the children too if you want to step off the train and enjoy some time before the return journey back.
At Lakeside there’s an aquarium or you could board a steamer or launch to Bowness or Ambleside on Windermere Lake.
At Haverthwaite, there’s a great playground for children to enjoy along with a tea room and the engine sheds to explore.
The trains are wheelchair accessible which means big prams can also enjoy the ride. At Lakeside the carriage to aim for is the very front one and at Haverthwaite you’ll be aiming for the same carriage which will now be situated at the back.
It’s a shame to think my son only know’s of Peter Rabbit from the CBeebies cartoon. So we tried to rectify that by bringing the kids to The World of Beatrix Potter. It’s a great little interactive museum which was great fun for both kids.
The garden area was lovely as well. It was just a very cute experience. I personally think I would have preferred Hill Top Farm, Beatrix Potter’s home which you can also go and visit. But this is where I compromised for the children’s sake.
If your children are of the age where they can enjoy a little theatre, The World of Beatrix Potter also puts on a small theatre production called ‘Where is Peter Rabbit?’ during the summer months which has had great reviews.
The recipe of this gingerbread hasn’t change since 1854. And it’s as popular today as it was then. It’s literally a slice of history.
No trip to the Lake District would be complete without a little stop by this famous Grasmere shop.
This hidden little spot is the place to go if you want to row a boat without the crowds. It’s tranquil setting is only ever permeated by the sound of low flying military jets if you’re lucky to be witness to them. Faeryland is actually a tea shop with a beautiful selection of unique and traditional teas, it makes the perfect setting for an afternoon of splendour.
Their colourful row boats, each with their own names, are just far too beautiful to pass up on and they’re very reasonably priced, £20 for a family of four for an hour. Just make sure you bring cash (and an extra £20 for the boat hire deposit… which gets returned to you!).
They also have a Romany Varno in their gardens which makes a cute picture opportunity.
A little tip, after you order some tea and cake, walk towards the lake and cross over a small bridge on your left hand side and you’ll find a couple of seats that are afforded some privacy which makes it even more serene.
Kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, canoeing, fly boarding, wake boarding and water skiing… all of these can be done at the Low Wood Bay watersports centre.
6 Wild swimming
There are a few places that are good for wild swimming in the Lake District. One of my favoured areas was close by Newby Bridge near The Swan Hotel & Spa. Lake Windermere channels into a small river which makes this the ideal calm space to enjoy. The river base is rocky so there aren’t any reeds to get caught up in and you can dictate the depth of the water you want to splash around in. The water is also beautifully clear which makes it more enjoyable.
Obviously wild swimming comes with a risk, and common sense should be practiced.
The picture below is directly in front of the hotel, but take the hotel nature trail from the marina end of the hotel and you’ll walk through some little woods next to the Lakeside and Haverthwaite train line, and there are loads of quieter riverside spots to enjoy there.
Many people spend all their time trekking in the Lake District. I can see why because it’s a beautiful place to visit. But we’re not trekkers. So if you’re looking for a fantastic route that’ll take hours and you’ll get the utmost rewarding view… this probably isn’t the place where you’ll get it.
If you’re like us and you want a nice easy walk which gives you a great view without taking much time, read on.
The walk to Orrest Head starts just outside of Windermere train station. It’s a short, uphill climb of about 20 minutes where you’ll get amazing views on a clear day. Prams are pointless so strap the baby on if you have a tiny one 🙂
8 Ghyll Scrambling
Our children are far too young to get involved in this kind of activity, but many moons ago this was an experience myself and Mr London Mum did and loved. So if you have children aged 7 and above this may be of interest to you.
It’s an adrenaline rush for sure.
Ghyll scrambling is jumping and sliding your way from the top of a hill all the way to the bottom using the route the water naturally carves into the rock. It’s extreme and so much fun.
You’ll slide down waterfalls, jump off ledges into plunge pools, navigate rocky terrain and if you’re brave swim under water through small carved out arches.
You don’t have to do anything that you’re uncomfortable with but you’ll be surprised how much you end up doing when that fear was initially there.
9 Ice Cream
The Little Ice Cream Shop have stores in Windermere and Hawkshead and I don’t know a single child that would pass up the opportunity to eat one of these ice creams!
Where to stay:
Reviews coming soon.