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An A-Z guide to England’s Lake District


The Lake District is a large place to explore, and there is so much to do. We’ve decided to help you plan your Lake District adventure by giving you a guide to what you can do. But, to make it more fun, we’re going to give you a guide from A to Z of things you can do on your adventure.

A – Ambleside

A lot of famous names are connected to Ambleside, such as William Wordsworth, Harkwicke Rawnsley, John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter. These and so many more names can be found at The Armitt Museum which we suggest you visit when you’re in the Victorian town of Ambleside. The first Saturday in July, locals celebrate the Rushbearing Festival.

Ambleside

Ambleside is now an extremely popular and major tourist resort, which has a variety of different shops, restaurants and hotels, providing you with so many places to explore and gorgeous places to stay.

B – Beatrix Potter

Walk in the footsteps of one of the most influential writers of all time. You have the chance to visit the Beatrix Potter world and attractions, from Jemima Puddle-Duck’s woodland world to Mr McGregor’s garden, where you might just spot Peter Rabbit’s clothes hanging up. As well as this, you get to visit Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’s kitchen, Mr Jeremy Fisher’s lily pad, have a virtual walk and buy some souvenirs from the Beatrix Potter shop.

Carlisle CastleC – Carlisle Castle

Visitors are allowed to explore the incredible and ancient chambers which feature a staircase, dungeon and find the iconic ‘licking stones’. Licking stones is where the prisoners were forced to lick the damped wall to stop dehydration and stay alive. There is an option for you to take a guided tour so you can learn about the history and about the drawings on the walls. After the guided tour, you can visit the gift shop and buy souvenirs with medieval themes.

D – Dalemain Gardens

Here you have the chance to discover four centuries of history with 5 acres of celebrated gardens, historic parkland and home-made food served in the medieval hall tearoom. It is an incredible place where people want to play and discover the winding passages, quaint stairways and some unexpected rooms. The garden has a variety of rare plants and over 100 old-fashioned roses. There is also a fountain behind the house which is the biggest of its kind in the UK.

E – Explore

The Lake District offers so much for everyone, from their castles to their shopping centres. The Lakes is home to some incredible and beautiful wildlife that you can feed and get up close and personal with. When you book a holiday to The Lakes, you need time to explore everything.

F – Farm Park & Lakeland Maze

This is a winner of the Maize Maze in 2011 and again in 2013. There are lots of attractions and animals for the little explorers to meet and greet. Here are some activities and animals:

• Swings
• Go Carts
• Sand Pit
• Tractor Ride
• Trampoline
• Cattle
• Sheep
• Pigs
• Llamas
• Alpacas
• Goats
• Horses
• Winston The Donkey

It is an amazing day out for everyone involved, especially families with small children as they get to do so much and learn about the animals.

G – Grizedale Forest

A range of activities to help you enjoy the great outdoors await you at Grizedale Forest. The waymarked walk trails take you to all the best parts of the forest, making this a perfect opportunity for photos. The track will take you up for a grand tour of Grizedale, and the bike trails are ideal for a safe off road adventure. If you’re looking for a little thrill, try the Go-Ape track or the North Face mountain bike trail. While the thrill seekers enjoy the ropes, you could always put your feet up in the Grizedale Café with a coffee, cake, lunch or an ice cream.

Grizedale Forest

H – Happy Hooves Riding Centre

Happy Hooves welcomes anyone who wants to jump on a horse and learn to start riding. There are a wide variety of horses so you can find a horse to suit you, and a horse that fits the skills you have so you can either have the pleasure of riding a horse to show off your skills or gain the confidence of riding. The riding hats are free of charge.

I – Islands

There are 18 islands on Windermere alone. Many of them are called Holme, which is a local word meaning island.

You can hire a boat and row around the islands, take an island tour in a cruise boat, or have a look at a lot of the central islands as you travel across the water on the car ferry. Many of the islands have a unique history or story to tell. Belle Isle is the only privately owned island on the lake, so don’t attempt to land here. Hen Holme is used as a starting point for yacht races, Crow Holme was once a kennel for local hounds, and Silver Holme was the inspiration for parts of Swallows and Amazon books by Arthur Ransome.

J – Jungle Jacks, Whiteheaven

This is one for you little explorers. The play areas are extremely popular and offer a range of fun and activities. They will have a full timetable and your little ones will never complain about being bored. If you’re a bit older, the sports centre offers 9 large badminton courts, squash courts, fitness gyms and a huge studio area.

K – Keswick Climbing Wall

Definitely one for the adventure seekers to take part in. Whether you’re a rock climbing expert or you’re just a beginner, this is a perfect place for you. There are lessons to teach your little ones and give them reassurance if they’re nervous, and once they hit the wall, they will be greeted with over 40 top rope climbs that reach approximately 8m. There are different activities too if climbing isn’t your thing. These include:

• Indoor & Outdoor climbing
• Ghyll Scrambling
• Archery
• High Rope Courses
• Kayaking
• Canoeing
• Mountain Walking
• Team Building Exercises

L – Lakeland Miniature Village

There are over 100 buildings made from local Coniston slate, these buildings have all been hand crafted. There are many different buildings such as Cumbria Houses including Beatrix Potter’s house, Hill Top, Slater’s Bridge with a Clapper Bridge extension, farms and so much more. The village has been growing for about 22 years, so there is always something new for you to see.

M – Monkey Madhouse

This is a place where kids can be let loose and they can release their inner explorer and climber. This bright and colourful environment is the perfect place to play and is extremely safe for anyone wanting to run themselves ragged on all the incredible equipment that is on offer.

N – Nenthead Mines

A truly incredible and unforgettable experience where you will explore all the landscapes and discover the rare specimens of plant and lichen, can you identify what they are? There is an outbuilding with a museum which holds artefacts relevant to local geology. You can also explore the land with the trails and paths that surround the grounds. You can also join a 90 minute guided tour through the mine, so you can learn the ins and outs of the mine itself.

O – Outdoor Swimming Pools

The ideal location to cool off from all your Lake District activities. You can even socialise around the pool. There are two heated swimming pools, one is for small swimmers and another is a large 20 meter long pool. Alongside this is half an acre of green space surrounded by trees, for picnics and playing some games before taking a nice dip.

P – Predator Experience

Get closer to nature with an incredible experience by joining a wolf pack and wander through the countryside, or you could step inside a fox enclosure. If you don’t fancy a wander, you could always take control of an eagle or take a hawk for a walk. For the brave explorers, you can even meet snakes and tarantulas.

Lake District landscape

Q – Quarry & Mining Museum

Explore the underground terrain where you will see a reconstructed lead and coper mine as well as trying some mineral panning too. There is a narrow gauge railway which provides above ground rides in a mine train, which goes into the inner quarry giving unusual views of the quarry face. As well as this, you’ll witness vintage machinery like functional excavators.

R – Rheged

This is the place to go for activities and events for any age. There is an incredible outdoor area with tunnels to explore. If the weather turns colder, the indoor offers a soft play area that is just as incredible. There is a chance to show off your creative skills with pottery painting; create your own pottery, paint it and take it home with you.

S – Slate Mine & Via Ferrata

Take part in a full guided tour of the mine run by an expert who will tell you about the history and all the hidden features of the mine. You will learn about the current workings of the mine and traditional methods that are still being used to extract the slate. Show off how brave you are by climbing up the mine walls. If heights aren’t your thing, there are always activities underground.

T – Treetop Trek

Take on the highest heights and jump straight into 35 daring challenges that the treetops offer. Climb up to 40ft and experience life above the clouds, clamber up walkways, crawl through tunnels, tumble down slides and find the giant trampolines while taking in incredible views of The Lakes. Finish off your adventure with a 250m trip on a zip wire.

UllswaterU – Ullswater Steamers

Set sail and take in all the incredible and breath-taking views you’ll see along the way. You’ll be cruising across Ullswater, which is known as the ‘Dark Lake’. England’s third highest mountain, Helvellyn, will set the scene, and there is also a home for rare species of wildlife such as red deer, red squirrels and goosanders.

V – Valleys

The proliferation of mountains and fells in the Lake District mean that there are many valleys. A lot of the Roman Sites and topological sites are based in and around these valleys. Dunnerdale, Eskdale, Wasdale, Ennerdale, and the Derwent Valley are among some of the most prominent and important valleys in the region.

W – Wray Castle

Hop on a boat and visit the king of castles, you’ll see towers, vintage dressing up, castle building room, hidden treasures and the new Peter Rabbit Adventure. The youngest of explorers can play in Mr McGregor’s garden, explore the secret tree house, rest up in Old Brown’s nest, dress up in old clothes and get creative in the many different rooms.

X – Oxenholme

Oxenholme is situated just to the South of Kendal, and is gradually merging with the town. It is technically a hamlet, because of the lack of a church, and it is best known for Oxenholme Lake District railway station. Strickland Junction in Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome, was based on this station. Trains run to and from London, and connect to Windermere, Kendal, and other major conurbations in The Lake District.

Y – Yachting

The number of lakes and waters in The Lake District means that there are plenty of water based activities to enjoy. You don’t have to swim or windsurf, or even wakeboard, to get out on the water. Yachts can be chartered on Windermere, or you can take smaller dinghies, sail boats, and other vessels out on the other bodies of water in The Lakes.

Z – Zoo

The Lake District Wildlife Park is located in Keswick and it is home to more than 100 species of animal. The 25 acre site also has a play area and a café. As well as simply viewing the animals, you can also experience talks and lectures, or enjoy an Animal Experience that lets you get hands on with hawks, meerkats, and Lemurs.

Lake Windermere

This is only a selection of the things you can expect on your Lake District holiday, but there is so much more on offer. From indoor to outdoor activities, from wildlife to boat trips and everything in between, there will definitely be something for everyone on this incredible holiday.

In between all these activities you’ll be participating in, you’ll need a gorgeous place to rest up. http://www.thehideawayatwindermere.co.uk/ is the perfect place to stay on your holiday with cooked breakfasts, tea and cake for every room, as well as king size beds where you can put your feet up.

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