Things to See and Do in the Lake District
|Animals||Arts and Culture||Brewery Tours|
|Museums and Heritage||Outdoor Activities||Other Attractions|
|Parks and Nature||Stone Circles||Walking Activities|
|Llama Karma Kafe
Take tea with a llama!....the home of Lakeland Llama Treks. This quirky and unusual bistro style café offers scrumptious local food and a range of gifts and crafts.
|Cumbrian Heavy Horses - Take to the farm fields, the fells, high in to the mountains and even on the beach astride an imposing Clydesdale or Shire horse. For an unforgettable draught horse experience:
|Lakeland Llama Treks
Llama trekking is a great way to experience the countryside, meet new people and de-stress,all at the same time.
Lead one of these calm and delightful creatures through the spectacular Lake District in Cumbria, stopping off to enjoy our freshly prepared picnics en route.
For more information:
Phone: 01768 889389
|Aquarium of the Lakes - Newby-Bridge
A fresh-water aquarium at the southern end of Lake Windermere. It features otters, pike, char, British sharks and rays. See the water voles and harvest mice on their nocturnal activities and the under water tunnel featuring giant carp and diving ducks.There are daily talks programmes, childrens quiz trails and year round special events. A pleasant coffee shop overlooks the lake. Open all year.
|Lake District Osprey project - Bassenthwaite
The Lake District Osprey Project provides both an open air viewpoint and indoor exhibition with live video pictures for visitors from April to September annually.
|Trotters World of Animals - Keswick
Zebra, American bison, monkeys, gibbons, lemurs. Canadian lynx, Asian fishing cats, birds of prey flying displays and a reptile house. Rain Forest and African plains exhibits. Under 12’s indoor play centre. Open all year. Tea room, gift shop and picnic area.
|Eden Ostrich World - Near Penrith
Situated in the beautiful Eden Valley in the village of Langwathby, this centre is home to many rare breeds of cattle, sheep, and pigs, the most unusual being the Pozee, a zebra hybrid. There is a heated indoor soft-play area, adventure and pre-school playgrounds, tea-room and gift shop and a most pleasant riverside walk. Open all year.
|Duckys Park Farm - Flookburgh near Grange-over-Sands.
This is a childrens open farm and visitor centre with outdoor play area, animal interaction area, education centre, go-karts and bouncy castle. Picnic area and toilet facilities. Open daily Easter-September, October- December weekends only, closed January-February.
|R.S.P.B. Leighton Moss Nature Reserve - Silverdale
Leighton Moss is the largest remaining reedbed in the North West of the country. It is the home to breeding bitterns, bearded tits, marsh harriers and avocets. There are nature trails, a visitor centre, shop and tea-room. A lovely day out close to the pretty seaside village of Silverdale. Open all year.
Arts and Culture
|Gallery 26 at 27 - Keswick.
Paintings, sculpture, art and photography.
|The Heaton Cooper Studio - Grasmere
Original paintings and prints by the Heaton Cooper family.
|Lowest Court Gallery - Egremont
Exhibitions by local artists.
|Thornthwaite Galleries - Keswick
An exhibition of landscapes, sculptures and crafts in the village of Thornthwaite, 2 miles from Keswick.
|High Head Sculpture Valley - Ivegill near Carlisle
|The Brewery Arts Centre - Kendal
Frequent exhibitions of paintings and photography.
|Theatre by the Lake - Keswick
What better place to enjoy a wide range of drama, music, talks, dance and film than this award winning theatre standing by the lake. It’s open all year round and features amongst many other presentations a summer season of plays, the Xmas Show and Easter productions.
|Blackwell. The Arts and Crafts House - Bowness-on-Windermere
Blackwell stands overlooking Lake Windermere and has displays of decorative arts, furniture and objects, stained glass carved oak and iron work. Comfortable pretty garden terraces, craft shop and tea room.Open daily, mid February to Xmas.
|Hesket Newmarket Brewery Tour - Hesket Newmarket
Take a tour of the Brewery and then get invited to the Old Crown for a curry or english meal. Book in advance.
|Jennings Brewery Tour - Cockermouth
Pure water of Lakeland taken from the brewery’s own well form the basis of Jennings real ales. See how they do it, and whilst you’re there, visit the well stocked gift shop.
Museums and Heritage
|Leighton Hall, Carnforth
Its romantic Gothic towers and acres of beautiful gardens annually lure thousands of visitors, who are as enthralled with Leighton's fascinating heritage as they are captivated by the breathtaking beauty of their surroundings. The historic home of the world-renowned Gillow furniture making family, Leighton Hall is a stunning location for a day out with all the family, or as a wedding or event venue with a difference. Open 1st May - 30th September inclusive, 2pm to 5pm, Tuesday - Friday (also Bank Holiday Sunday & Monday). Open on Sundays in August. Pre-booked Groups are welcome all year round, please call 01524 734474.
|Coniston Coppermines Museum
Set high above the old village of Coniston and its lake stands the Little Heritage Museum and the Coppermines Valley where several hundred people worked over 150 years ago. It’s not hard to visualize life as it was in such a dramatic setting. Well worth a visit.
Open all year with admission by donation.
|Conishead Priory Guided Tours at the Priory
March 5-10th December. 2 miles south of Ulverston on the A 5087 scenic coast road. Telephone 01229-584029 for dates on which the tours are available.Adults £3. Children free.
|Discover eight privately owned Historic Houses and Gardens set amongst Cumbria’s magnificent landscape. All unique, all with stunning gardens and all with an interesting family tale or two! Whether you are a history buff seeking to walk in the footsteps of a famous owner or a family looking for a great day out, there really is something for everyone, all year round, whatever the weather! www.lakedistricthistorichouses.co.uk|
|The Beacon Museum - Whitehaven
This is the newly improved Beacon showing the regions history as far back as prehistoric times and a full programme of exhibitions in the Art Gallery. All this plus fine views across the town and harbour from the 4th.floor gallery. A good vantage point for the photographers.Open all year Tuesday-Sunday 10am-4.30pm also school and Bank Holiday Monday.
|The Rum Story - Whitehaven
The worlds first exhibition to trace the story of the countrys rum trade depicting the slave trade prohibition. Display of life as it was on a slave ship and life in an African village. Café selling tasty home-made food and an interesting gift shop for that unusual present.
|Ruskin Museum - Coniston
Close to one of the well visited popular lakes, the museum is dedicated to the memory of the artist and thinker John Ruskin. Here, you can view” The Story of Coniston, Pure Lakeland.” And a section in tribute to the late Donald Campbell of water speed record fame. Open daily, but winter opening of Wednesday to Sunday inclusive.
|The Settle-Carlisle Railway
This is not a narrow gauge railway journey but a trip through some of the most impressive scenery to be found in the country. The Settle-Carlisle begins its Cumbrian section at the station of Kirkby Stephen located about 1 ½ miles from the town centre. The full 72 miles of track from Settle in Yorkshire to Cumbria’s capital of Carlisle was completed in 1876 after 6 years of toil by a workforce of around 6000 and is the last great railway to be built in this country. It was a marvel of engineering for it’s time with 17 viaducts including the 24 arch Ribblehead Viaduct, and 14 tunnels. The late Bishop Eric Treacey, well known for his railway photography, held the opinion that this railway, together with Hadrians Wall and York Minster, were the main man-made wonders of the world. A daily service operates with modern diesel units calling at the stations of Appleby, Langwathby, Lazonby and Armathwaite. Steam charters operate during the summer months but normally do not stop at the local stations.
|Museum of Lakeland Life - Kendal
Provides a comprehensive view of Cumbrian life over the past two centuries. Interestingly, there is a section devoted to Arthur Ransome, author of the children’s book “Swallows and Amazons”.
|Guildhall Museum - Carlisle
One of Carlisle’s oldest buildings and designated as an ancient monument. Each Guild room displays its own exhibits of special interest. Open April-October including Bank Holidays.
Phone: +44 (0)1228 534781
|The Florence Mine Heritage Centre - Egremont
Situated on the site of the last working deep iron-ore mine. Daily underground tours, geology exhibits, café and gift shop. Open all year except 2 weeks at Xmas.
|Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre - Alston
The only authentic mine workings open to the public in the North Pennines. Take control of the huge waterwheels for yourself, stroll the trails and footpaths. Café and shop on site.
|Townend - Troutbeck near Windermere
A 17th century traditional farm house once belonging to a wealthy farming family from 1626-1943. Situated in a pretty village location with views over Lake Windermere the house is filled with furniture and domestic implements of the age. Open April-October. Wednesday to Sunday, 1pm-5pm.
|Hutton-in-the-Forest - Penrith
Lord Inglewoods family home since 1605. Fine furniture, paintings, tapestries and ceramics. A beautiful walled garden, topiary and woodland walks add pleasure to your visit. Tea room and electric wheel chair available. Please check web-site for opening times.
|Levens Hall - Near Kendal
A fine Elizabethan home containing Jacobean furniture, superb paneling and plasterwork. The award winning topiary gardens were laid out from 1694. Plant Centre, Tea-rooms, gift shop and play area. Open mid –April to October, Sunday to Thursday.
|Dalemain Historic House and Gardens - Penrith
Owned by the same family since 1679, this fine manor house contains interesting family pictures and furniture. The gardens are magnificent. Restaurant, tea-room, shop, plant sales and delightful country walks. Open April-October, Sunday to Thursday. Gardens and tea-room open in winter Sunday to Thursday.
This is a particularly well preserved medieval castle with a long and bloody history closely associated with the Jacobite Rebellion, the imprisonment of Mary Queen of Scots, and the long years of cross border raids. Stand on its high ramparts for exceptional views across the city and beyond and explore the passages, staircases and chambers. Admission includes entry to The Kings Own Royal Border Regimental Museum. Open April-September 9.30am-5pm and October-March,10am-4pm.
|Furness Abbey - Barrow
The red sandstone remains of the abbey founded in 1123 by Stephen, later to be King of England, stands partly hidden in a tranquil valley close to the coastal town of Barrow-in-Furness. An exhibition provides a comprehensive history of the ruins.
Open daily from April to September 10am-5pm and November to March 10am-4pm Thursday to Sunday inclusive.
|Conishead Priory - Near Ulverston
A pleasant drive along the coast road will bring you to the priory which has been practicing spiritual and healing work since 1160. Conishead is home to an international Buddhist Centre and offers visitors guided tours, temple,group visits and meditation courses. Open Easter- October weekends and Bank Holidays 2pm-5pm. Telephone 01229-584029 for winter opening times.
|Lanercost Priory - Brampton
Close to Hadrians Wall and the lovely old market town of Brampton, the impressive remains of the 14th C Augustinian priory stand in a peaceful valley. This area was once the scene of the hard fought Anglo- Scottish wars of that period .
Open April to September 10am-5pm daily and October to December, Saturday and Sunday10am-4pm.
|Stott Park Bobbin Mill - Ulverston
A working Victorian Mill offering visitors the chance to see techniques and conditions of the once thriving spinning and weaving industry. Open April-October, Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-5pm.
|Honister Slate Mine - Near Keswick
The last working slate mine in England. As well as the free customer parking, the free factory trail, free tea and coffee, the wonderful views down the pass toward Buttermere and Crummock Water are also free. Open mid-January to mid-December.
|The Muncaster Experience - Ravenglass
Visit the historic haunted castle. And, in the castle grounds, the Wild Owl Centre, Himalayan Gardens, Meadowvole Maze, Plant Centre, plus an amazing winter experience. Muncaster is Lakelands award winning family attraction. Free all day parking.
|Go Ape Tree Top Adventure
In the Grizedale Forest Park near Hawkshead.
|Lake District 24 Peak Challenge
This is a 2 day challenge over a walking distance of 31 miles where you will climb 24 peaks in 24 hours. Try it with a team of colleagues and raise money for the British Heart Foundation.
|All Terrain Adventures
Enter the Lakeland Challenge Zip over a 300 foot quarry; climb a mountain; jump down a series of waterfalls or face one day or multi day challenges like those of Special Forces training where you will not know where you'll be sleeping, what exactly the challenges are, and navigate to locate food and equipment.
On offer is a 120 foot high bridge to jump from and reach speeds of up to 60mph. Harnesses and equipment provided. Two jumps per person.
Caving Parties, Ghyll Scrambling, Mountain Biking, Bridge Swinging, the Zip Wire.
|Lake District Activities
Adventures in and around the Lake District including Argocat off-road; bushcraft experiences; canoe and outdoor cooking; canoeing and kayaking; off road driving; canyoning; caving;
quad bikes; paintballing; claypigeon shooting; gorge scrambling; sailing; rock climbing and much more.
www.lakesactivities.co.uk Phone: 015395 35999 (office hours)
|Ascent of Adventures
Andy Bruce, based in Windermere provides personalised fell walking, scrambling, rock climbing and navigation courses in the fells of the Lake District & Cumbria.
www.ascentsofadventure.co.uk Phone: 015394 42593 or 07999 883712
|Something for Everyone
A well established adventure venue close to the Ullswater Valley.
|Traction Engine Driving Experience
Drive a real steam traction engine.
|Lorton Vale Fishing Ponds - Lorton
Fishing ponds in beautiful settings. Fish for Rainbow Trout. Accompanied children welcome. Open all year round.
Farleton Fishery, Milnthorpe, near Kendal provides first class year round fishing in spring fed waters.
|Watendlath Trout Fishing and Borrowdale Trout Farm
Family fishing pond (rods and bait available). Enjoy the all day café serving freshly cooked trout and other varieties of delicious home-cooking. Picnic area. Open mid-March-October.
Phone: +44 (0)17687 77293
|Fishing in the South Lakes. Cast your line in well stocked Trout Waters, Wild Trout Waters, Stocked Coarse Waters and Wild Coarse Waters. Day permits from dawn to dusk.
Fly all year round at the Lakes Gliding Club, Walney Airfield, Barrow-in-Furness.
One of the longest established skydiving centres in Europe based at Cark Airfield, Flookburgh, near Grange-over-Sands and Newby Bridge.
|Holmescales Activity Centre - Kendal
4x4’s, quads, archery, paintballing, fishing, horse-riding, pistol shooting, tree-climbing. All year.
|Lakeland Climbing Centre - Kendal
The biggest indoor climbing wall in the north west of England. Carefully instructed and supervised sessions for adults and children. Plus, outdoor rock and mountain skills courses. All year.
|Low Wood Watersports Centre - Windermere
Water-skiing, wake surfing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking. Bungee and Climbing Wall available. All year.
|Grizedale Forest - Hawkshead
Walking, cycling trails, orienteering, highwire go ape course, exhibitions and guided walks. All year.
Please note that a professional assessment of the safety and quality aspects of the outdoor activity providers is available by ROAM.
|Lake District Outdoors
Walking, climbing, mountaineering, road cycling, mountain biking, sailing, canoeing, kayaking.
|Platty + - Keswick
Enjoy great water sports from the Lodore Boat Landings, Derwentwater. These are Royal Yachting Association and British Canoe Union approved activities. There is a choice of hire and tuition for canoeing, kayaking, sailing, dragon boating, power boating, and Viking longship handling. Open all year.
|Tim Mosedale - Keswick
Open all year for climbing, guiding, and quality rock climbs of the Lake District.
|Michael Norbury - Seathwaite Farm, Seathwaite
Situated in the beautiful Borrowdale Valley. Rock climbing, mountaineering, guided mountain walks and navigation training courses tailored to suit individuals, groups and families. Open all year.
Phone: +44 (0)7900 282982
|Mountain Climbing and Osprey Watching
Take part in the true mountain forest of Whinlatter rising to 790 metres above sea level near Keswick and overlooking Bassenthwaite Lake.
|OB Sailing - Windermere
Big boat sailing, corporate events, training and yachts for hire. All year.
|Birdoswald Group Accommodation - Brampton
Stay in comfortable warm accommodation within the walls of Birdoswald Roman Fort. Education room, visitor centre and conference room on site. Open all year.
|Summitreks Ltd - Coniston
Rock climbing, abseiling, mountaineering, kayaking, canoeing, gorge scrambling. Open all year.
|Free boat trips on the Lancaster Canal at Crooklands, near Kendal onboard Waterwitch. Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from May to September.
|Greystoke Castle Estate - Penrith
Enjoy a range of activities in a 3000 acre estate including 4x4 driving, quad-trekking, clay pigeon shooting and archery. Open all year.
|River Deep Mountain High -South Lakes
Choose from half and full day activity sessions including gorge walking; canoeing; climbing; sailing; mountain biking; kayaking; abseiling; scrambling; archery and much more. There is also a choice of Family Activity Holidays and Activity Weekends.
|Orienteering Courses for mountain bikers in the Grizedale Forest
The new Trailquest Courses are designed for groups or individuals to test their skills over a range of courses with varying difficulty levels.
and for more information of activities available in the forests of Cumbria:
www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland or call 0845 3673787.
|Lakeland Segway - This is a guided tour with a difference on a Segway Personal Transporter. www.lakelandsegway.co.uk|
Other Things to See and Do
Go ExperiMental - Sellafield
Come on, be a scientist for a day in the science workshops. Go interactive and walk with the dinosaurs or swim with the sharks in Europes premier immersion cinema. Open daily.
Cars of the Stars - Keswick
A display of cars made famous by film and television series. Here you can see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang , Batmobiles, Knightrider, and the Ford Torino of Starsky and Hutch plus many more. Souvenir shop and autographs available. Open daily February-October.
Lakeland Motor Museum - Holker Hall
Over 30,000 exhibits including the Donald Campbell Bluebird exhibition.
Cumbrian Discoveries - Penrith
Admire the region's scenery from the comfort of a vehicle providing all round views together with the courtesy and local knowledge of Blue Badge Guides. Open all year.
High Adventure Balloon Flights - Bowness-on-Windermere
Why not enjoy a glass of champagne whilst drifting gently over some of the finest views in South Lakeland. This could be a great way to celebrate a special occasion with someone special. Open March to October. Flights depend on weather conditions.
Now this is something really different.A cruise on a 1920’s launch, solar-electric powered. A unique method to enjoy this lovely Water and calling at 7 jetties including Brantwood, former home of John Ruskin. Open mid-March to 2nd November daily 10.30-4.30.
Eight miles, two hours duration cruises aboard one of Ullswaters famous “steamers”. Why not charter one for your party either daytime or evening? Open all year weather permitting.
Lakeland Miniature Village - Flookburgh near Grange-over-Sands
Miniature examples of Lakeland's buildings over the years constructed from Coniston slate. Included is an Oriental Garden and Oriental tea-house. Open all year except Xmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
Parks and Nature
Hope Park - Keswick
A beautifully landscaped park standing between the town and the lake with views to the surrounding fells make for a perfect location to sit, stroll or take some gentle exercise on the miniature golf course. The stream garden is particularly colourful.
Fitz Park - Keswick
Another of Keswick's pleasant well laid out parks with large open spaces close to the river. Here, you can enjoy a game of bowls, putting or tennis. This is a good choice for a relaxing afternoon for the whole family.
Holker Hall and Gardens - Near Grange-over-Sands
Visitors to the spectacular gardens of this superb Victorian house are made to feel like welcome guests. The Holker Food Hall and the Courtyard Café provide local specialities and will more than satisfy the keenest appetites. Hall, Open April-June, Sunday to Wednesday. July-August, Sunday to Friday. September- October, Sunday to Wednesday.
Gardens, Open April-October, closed Saturday.
Mirehouse - Near Lake Bassenthwaite
A stunning setting with a nearby car-park. The grounds stretch from the fell to the lakeshore which include four woodland playgrounds, lakeside paths and a poetry walk. This is a historic house with many cultural associations and one not to be missed.
Linskeld Tarn Nature Reserve - Cockermouth
A 12 person birdwatching hide provides the opportunity to observe in relative comfort. There are 6 acres of peat and wetland home to a large range of the regions wildlife situated on a peaceful stretch of farmland close to the birthplace of Wordsworth. Open all year.
Castlerigg Stone Circle
Situated near Keswick and with spectacular views over the surrounding hills, Castlerigg consists of 38 stones in a round shape about 30 metres in diameter. There are a further 10 inner small stones forming a rectangle.
Over 5000 years old, Castlerigg stone circle is said to be one of the best in Britain.
Long Meg and her Daughters
Consisting of 59 stones in a large oval shape, and looked-over by Long Meg, a 12 foot high stone near Little Salkeld, near Penrith.
Swinside Stone Circle
Located on private ground near Broughton in Furness, Swinside consists of 55 stones in a ninety foot circle and is considered one of the three most important in the area.
The Bowder Stone
Close to the village of Grange in the Borrowdale Valley is the massive Bowder Stone estimated to weigh well in excess of 1000 tons. It stands balanced on one corner with a strong wooden set of steps leading to the top. It is a favourite with “boulderers” who attempt to climb the overhang. It has been suggested that this type of rock, found only in Scotland, was washed down to this area during huge floods of early ages.
Tale Trails - Family walks around the Ullswater area, have fun, search for clues and combine the trail with a steamer journey.
Hetti the Carvetii of Pooley Bridge; The Grumbletrog of Cliburn Moss; The Nozomi Bird of Aira Force; Pip the Impossible of Lowther, the Glenridding Griffin and Eric the Curious of Hallin Fell.
Call Anja for details 07939 074197 or go to www.taletrails.co.uk to find the nearest trail.
Contours Walking Holidays
Self guided short breaks/weekend walking holidays. Choose from many options including the Lake District, Eden Valley, Hadrians Wall, Coast to Coast and the Cumbrian Way. Open all year.
Treks and Trails - Kendal
Guided walking holidays of the Lakeland fells. Open all year.
Open Book Visitor Guiding - Brampton
Guided tours of Carlisle, organized group walking tours along Hadrians Wall Path.
Open all year.
Gentle Fell Walking - Keswick
Many of you will want to walk some of Wainwrights favourites in comfortable and manageable sections. If so, then this is the one to try. It’s open all year.
Pace The Peaks With Cathy - Keswick
Cathy will plan an entire walking holiday on your behalf, or, join her for guided tours and practical navigation of some of the most scenic areas to be found. Individuals, groups and families welcome to come and benefit from her wealth of local knowledge. Open all year.