Visiting the Lake District doesn’t always have to be about climbing to dizzy heights, there’s so much more for families that are wanting to explore the national park with their children. Whatever their age, there’s plenty of things to do in the Lake District with kids from aquariums and castles to exciting zip-lining adventures.
Explore Castles in the Lake District
Kids love nothing more than hiding in the nooks and crannies of ancient castles and with several dotted around the Lake District, they’ll be in their element. Because they’re open for most of the year, they’re great for families wanting to keep the children occupied during school holidays.
- Wray Castle
- Sizergh Castle
- Lowther Castle
- Muncaster Castle
If your kids are reluctant to walk too far but you want to show them the natural beauty of the Lakes, a boat cruise beneath the epic peaks is sure to impress them and you’re less likely to hear “are we there yet?”! If it’s a bit windy or wet up top, the following lake cruises offer indoor seating too. Or why not hire your own private boat and go on a real family adventure?
Ullswater Cruise with Bubbles for Two
Explore Ullswater by boat, taking in the fellside scenery that embraces the water.
Ride on a Steam Train
What child doesn’t love to ride on a steam train, especially when it runs off the beaten track through some of the Lake District’s most dramatic scenery? There are several railways that are great to travel on:
- Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
- Lakeside and Haverthwaite
- South Tynedale
- Threlkeld Quarry Railway
Cream Tea and Steam Experience at Ravenglass Railway
Explore the Eskdale Valley as you journey along the Ravenglass Railway, disembarking for cream tea and sandwiches at Dalesgarth.
Indoor Children’s Activities in the Lake District
Let’s face it, the chances are you’re going get caught in a rain shower (or downpour) when you visit the Lake District with your kids, so you’ll probably want to find some indoor family attractions that won’t let the weather spoil your fun. Here are a few ideas that will no doubt keep the kids entertained.
- The Puzzling Place Keswick
- Lakes Aquarium Ulverston
- World of Beatrix Potter Attraction
- The Puzzling Place Keswick
- Rheged Centre, Penrith
- Climbing Walls at Kendal, Ambleside, and Keswick
- Lakeland Motor Museum
- Laurel and Hardy Museum
- Derwent Pencil Museum
- Armitt Library and Museum
Family Walks in the Lake District
Not all little ones are keen on long hikes up fells but there are lots of Lake District walks for kids that might just hold their interest if you’re savvy when planning your route. You might want to take a route that incorporates a cave, waterfall or local animals to make it more exciting and less of a struggle. Derwentwater is a great place for family walks in the Lake district as it has plenty of interesting things along the way as well as the stony beach at Calfclose Bay.
Lake District Family Activities
If you’re an active family with kids who have a little too much adrenalin running through their veins, then you might want to try your hand at something a bit more high-octane. From swinging through forests and wild swimming to water sports on Windermere, these family activities are great fun for everyone.
- Go Ape
- River tubing
- Outdoor swimming
Go Ape Treetop Challenge
With several Go Ape adventures available for both adults and children, this is a great way to spend time with the family.
Head to the Coast
The Western Lake District has a long stretch of dramatic coastline all the way from Haverigg to the Solway Coast. With fabulous beaches, old fishing harbours, marine nature reserves and seaside towns to explore, the kids will have a fantastic time.
Lakeland Wildlife Oasis
Home to hundreds of species of birds, mammals, fish and reptiles, Lakeland Wildlife Oasis makes a great day out in the Lake District with kids. As well as exploring tropical halls and immersing themselves in the interactive displays, they can get up close and personal to the animals with a selection of exciting experiences.
Meet the Animals at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis
Meet and feed the meerkats, lemurs and emperor tamarins and lern all about these gorgeous creatures.