Lake District Family Friendly Activities and Places

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Child and family friendly activities, attractions and events, playgrounds and family fun


Windermere Lake Cruises, nr Kendal
The great joy of Cumbria is exploring by boat and these year-round lake cruises are the best way to get about. Catch regular sailing from Windermere to Ambleside and Lakeside (for the Aquarium of the Lakes) every day of the year and see the Lakes from the water


The World of Beatrix Potter, Windermere

World of Beatrix Potter

This indoor attraction, marking its 20th anniversary in 2011, opens year round and is devoted to the animal characters that brought Beatrix Potter’s 23 popular tales to life. Check out the new Peter Rabbit Garden for nature trails and puzzles, plus take a character-filled afternoon tea


The Rheged Centre, Penrith
If the weather is damp, don’t fret. This multi-purpose facility on the road to Penrith is a wet-weather winner with its combination of cafes, shops, cinema and play centre. So, while the kids let off steam, you can check out the delicious deli


Walby Farm Park, nr Carlisle

Walby Farm Park

There are both indoor attractions and outdoor animal-petting areas at this award-winning family farm park near Carlisle. It’s perfect for even small kids and boasts a play area inside, plus healthy snacks at the adjoining Curly Tails Café


Trotters World of Animals, Bassenthwaite
This popular animal park is not just about exotic species, but also has great all-weather facilities for families with a play area, cafe and gift shop. So, if the weather holds, you can hunt for the Celtic roundhouse in the woods


The South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Dalton-in-Furness
Special offer ahoy: there’s no entry fee for anyone to pay until the end of February and kids go free all the way until Easter at this sprawling animal park. Yet all the favourite attractions, such as animal feeding times and the little train, open year round for children of all ages, although toddlers may find the big animals a bit daunting


Holker Hall & Gardens, Cark-in-Cartmel
The stately pile with manicured gardens in the South Lakes is another early opener, offering a sneak preview of the gardens and kid-friendly activities over half-term week, before the official opening for the season on Mothering Sunday, April 3, 2011

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Rothay Manor Hotel, Ambleside
A country house hotel set in grounds on the edge of Lake Windermere, Rothay Manor offers a range of residential, five-night and weekend activity breaks for all ages, including bridge, chess and Scrabble holidays, with meals and accommodation included


Lakeland Motor Museum, Newby Bridge

Lakeland Motor Museum

Newly relocated to Newby Bridge, this revamped and expanded motor collection offers an educational whizz through the history of transport from highway robbery to electric hybrid cars. Open year round, there are plenty of life-sized Dinky cars to keep little boys impressed

The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
On a wintery day, Brewery Arts ticks all the boxes: family screenings of child-friendly films, an array of cosy places to eat and drink and, for older children, an introduction to the local art and culture scene of the Lakes. It’s a superb bolthole and Kendal makes a good base to explore the region

Sockbridge Pony Trekking Centre – This is one of the most popular places with children in Ullswater. This long established family trekking centre with over 50 years experience can cater for the novice or experienced ride  The Cottage,  Sockbridge,  Penrith. Phone: 01768 863468


The Brockhole Visitor Centre
Brockhole – The Lake District Visitor Centre, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1LJ
Tel: 015394 46601


Rookin House Equestrian & Activity Centre
The centre is located in Troutbeck only 4 miles from Ullswater, and offers a wide range of activities for both adults and children, which make it a great place for a fun day out for the whole family. Rookin House is an established adventure venue and has been offering a wide variety of outdoor activities for over 20 years. Family owned and operated, Rookin House has a strong focus on both fun and safety

Rookin House Farm, Troutbeck, Ullswater, Penrith, CA11 0SS.  •  Tel: 017684 83561



The Howtown Outdoor Centre is located on the shores of Ullswater and was opened in 1964.

Howtown Outdoor Centre
Howtown, the latest addition to The Outward Bound Trust’s residential centres is iconic Lakeland. Nestling within a secluded and sheltered bay on the shores of Ullswater, this truly magnificent setting is ideally situated for ‘doorstep’ adventures on the lake and surrounding mountains. T: 01931 740000 E:
The Outward Bound Trust, Howtown, Penrith, CA10 2ND

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