The Lake District: more than a beautiful place

Family activities in the Lake District
 

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Tanya Oliver

Tanya Oliver
HomeAway travel expert


The Lake District - More than a beautiful placeThe Lake District is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world. With its majestic mountains, rocky ridges, crystal blue lakes and emerald green fields, there is always something spectacular to look at come rain or shine. The Lake District is also famous for walking and hiking, but there's much more to discover than that: it's not just a beautiful place.


There are enough activities and adventures for the most energetic or most tranquil of families. You can turn your hands to everything from gentle train and boat journeys, cycle rides and getting close to sealife, to wallowing in the magical world of Peter Rabbit as created by famous children’s author Beatrix Potter. There are adventure centres by lakes and in forests, and an array of wonderful places to eat.

Family-friendly activities in the Lake District


   

“La’al Ratty”: The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway “La’al Ratty”: The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

A miniature steam railway, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway starts at the beautiful coastal village of Ravenglass and travels through one of the most tranquil valleys in the Lake District, Eskdale. Affectionately known as “La’al Ratty”, the railway was first built in 1875 and was saved from ruin in the 1960s. It travels on a single track for most of the route, from which you can almost touch the trees and stone walls as you rattle along. With glimpses of some of the highest mountains in England, you can view the stunning scenery from open or closed apartments. From each of the stations (one of which is the upturned hull of a rowing boat) you can take a short stroll to intriguingly named places such as Giggle Alley (with a Japanese garden), head to higher and longer walks and climbs if you are feeling energetic, or simply enjoy the lovely food in the cafés and family-friendly pubs at the end of the line.

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The World of Beatrix Potter The World of Beatrix Potter

Follow in the footsteps of mischievous Peter Rabbit and his charismatic friends at the World of Beatrix Potter, nestled in the bustling village of Bowness-on-Windermere. See the lovable characters of Mrs. Tiggywinkle, Jemima Puddleduck and Squirrel Nutkin come to life and even have tea with Peter himself! There is a garden, quirky shop and tearoom to enjoy, and with the new CBeebies series recently launched that follows the exploits of Peter, Benjamin Bunny and Lily, you can see the inspiration behind the timeless classics Beatrix Potter created. If you want to continue the journey, Beatrix Potter’s home, Hilltop, is only a short-distance away at Far Sawrey: you can even take the ferry across Lake Windermere to visit it.

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 Coniston Water Coniston Water

As well as being a beautiful place to picnic and paddle, and the inspiration behind Arthur Ransome’s book “Swallows and Amazons”, Coniston Water has a glorious array of things to do. From the boating centre, you can hire rowing boats, electric boats or even try out the “Water Rollers”. If you prefer someone else to do the hard work but still want to enjoy the beauty of the lake, you can head out on the Steam Yacht Gondola, a luxury Victorian boat that was restored in 1980. There are also bikes to hire (including electric ones so hills are no longer a problem!). If all that seems too energetic, then why not have an ice cream, coffee or lunch at the Bluebird Café on the lakeshore, where you can feed the ducks and swans, and watch the world go by? Where better to while away a few hours?

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Maryport: Coast Aquarium Maryport: Coast Aquarium

Continuing the watery theme but focusing on the indoors, the Coast Aquarium at Maryport is another excellent place for families. This is not just your average fishy experience. As well as enjoying the sights and contrasts between local marie life, brightly coloured tropical fish and weird and wonderful looking creatures, you can even race remote-controlled power boats or try your hand at the “Aqua-blaster”; a cabin where you aim your water-cannons at your targets. Parents seem to enjoy these as much as the children! There is also an adventure playground and crazy golf course, so make sure to leave time to enjoy them all.

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 Zeffirellis Cinema Zeffirellis Cinema

For those rainy days, a visit to the quirky Zeffirellis cinema in Ambleside will keep you dry. There's always a good range of films for all ages. If you have worked up an appetite, there's always popcorn to keep you going, but even better is the award-winning pizzeria and vegetarian restaurant attached to it. If the sun peaks through, Ambleside also has crazy golf, putting and shops, and it's only a short stroll to Windermere, England’s longest lake.

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Lake District Holiday Rentals

Stunning Contemporary Holiday Home With Close Proximity To The Beach, Village, Pubs, Cafes And Shops

The Coach House at Arnside has been totally refurbished in a contemporary style to create a stunning holiday home for 2013. Our home is perfect for a family holiday or a short break all year round as the beach, lakes and mountains are only a short...

Park Lodge Windermere Bowness Lake District National Park UK

Park Lodge Apartment (sleeps up to 8 adults): Entrance hall leading to stairs up to a double bedroom with 5ft. bed with separate adjoining cloakroom. Stairs leading up to: First Floor: Kitchen/breakfast room, reception room and separate dining-r...

DUKESBURY, family friendly in Grange-Over-Sands, Ref 903934

Situated within the wing of a stone built, end terrace Victorian House, Dukesbury is a first floor apartment in Grange-over-Sands which has its own private entrance. A wonderful apartment, Dukesbury has a delightful open plan living room with fabu...

MUNCASTER VIEW , pet friendly, with open fire in Ravenglass, Ref 9863

Muncaster View is a welcoming terraced cottage on a working farm a mile from Ravenglass. There are two ground floor double bedrooms, each with an en-suite shower room. Upstairs is an open plan living area with a kitchen, dining area and sitting ar...

Beachside Cottage Idyllic Situation, Stunning Views Over Morecambe Bay & Lakes

2 double beds (1 with en suite) and 1 single, lounge with TV, DVD and wood burner, fully equipped kitchen, 2nd shower room with shower cubicle, hand basin and WC, large conservatory with amazing views out over Morecambe Bay, lobby with wash machin...
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