6 family-friendly adventures in the Lake District
Heading to the Lake District with the kids this half term? Here's a handful of suggestions on how to spend your time.
All these ideas originally appeared in our guide, 101 Things to do in the Lake District, where you'll find loads more recommendations – including all the best places to eat, the best walks and even some rainy-day rescues, just in case!
Go Walking with Wolves at Predator Experience in Ayside
This one’s safer than it sounds! You get to join the pack (temporarily) and go for a walk through woodland, learning all about these amazing animals. You'll learn the intricacy of social ranking and the subtle art of canine communication. It’s not all about the wolves though – Predator Experience also run a range of hawk walks and falconry tuition.
Let Your Kids off the Leash at Wray Castle
This National Trust property on the western shore of Windermere is full of surprises. For starters, it’s not actually a castle, but a mock-Gothic private home dating from 1840. You won’t find any of those floor-to-ceiling paintings or priceless antiques here. It’s a children’s playground, with a range dressing-up and den-building areas, plus an adventure playground with rope swings and family-friendly gardens.
Stand-up paddleboarding (or SUP) is the art of standing on an oversized, ultra-stable surf board and propelling yourself across the water with a single-bladed paddle. We recommend heading out with the folks from Lake District Paddleboarding, who offer a range of courses in different locations. Alternatively, you can hire a board and head out on your own.
Visit Beatrix Potter's 17th-Century Farmhouse
Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s former home (at the southeastern end of Esthwaite), is exactly the same now as it was the day she died – a frozen-in-time treasure trove of all things Potter. If you want to see where characters such as Tom Kitten, Samuel Whiskers and Jemima Puddleduck were created, and to find the locations that inspired so many of the books' illustrations, this is the place.
Cycle Windermere's West Shore
This family-friendly route stretches for four miles between the car-ferry terminal at Far Sawrey and Wray Castle. It's an easy ride, with traffic-free bridleways and incredible views across Windermere. It should take 2 hours or so, possibly a little more if you stop en route for a picnic. You could always combine this outing with a visit to Wray Castle.
Learn Bushcraft in a Day
Suitable for those aged 10 and up, this fun and practical introductory session with Keswick Canoe & Bushcraft will give your kids an opportunity to unleash their inner Bear Grylls. On the agenda: wood collection and preparation, knot tying, shelter building, tree and plant identification, and fire lighting. Meeting point: Noble Knott Car Park, Whinlatter.