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Family friendly activities in the Lake District & Cumbria

Whether you’re on holiday in the Lake District or have run out of ideas of places to take the kids on the weekends, then we have the perfect suggestions for you! There are numerous places around Cumbria to go for a family outing, but it can be hard to decide which ones to visit. To make your life easier, we picked out the top attractions and spots to visit that everyone is sure to enjoy!

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Lake District Wildlife Park, Keswick

This one’s for animal lovers! Open from 10am to 5pm, the Lake District Wildlife Park is home to lots of exciting creatures.

Want to see the birds of prey in action? Buy a Bird of Prey Experience and learn from the resident falconer how to hold and recall hawks, owls and many more!

If you’re more of a reptile person, there are some slithery friends for you to visit. The Lake District Wildlife Park hosts some exciting snakes, such as the boa constrictor and royal python. Don’t forget about the geckos, bearded dragons and tortoises!

And of course, let’s not leave out the mammals. Lemurs, meerkats, zebras, otters, whatever takes your fancy, you can go and see them today!

Walk and steamer ride, Ullswater Lake

Want to go for a more active outing on a rare sunny day in the Lakes? There are lots of lovely walking routes around Ullswater Lake for all sorts of different ability levels. See the Lake District National Park’s website for a range of suggestions.

However, for a nice gentle walk with the family, we recommend starting at either High Cascades car park, or at Park Brow car park. From there, you can follow the public footpath down to Aira Force car park. After that, it is only a short trip across the road to the jetty, where you can catch an Ullswater Steamer to Glenridding.

The village of Glenridding has lots to offer in terms of cafés and attractions, but our favourite place to stop for a bite to eat is the Ramblers Bar and Candleroom at the Inn on the Lake. Children, dogs and boots are very welcome!

With a range of foods from classic hot meals to oven-baked pizzas, from topped flatbreads to tasty sandwiches, there is plenty on offer. Finish off with a hot sticky pudding, or maybe a chocolate and orange tart! After all, walking is hungry work!

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Rheged Centre, Penrith

Another rainy day must-do, is a trip to Rheged, a venue off the roundabout for Penrith. Almost like an English version of a mall, the Rheged Centre contains a variety of shops, as well as a gallery and an IMAX cinema, where you can watch some of the newest releases, as well as locally-produced movies and documentaries.

There is something for everyone! The newly developed play area is the perfect place for the kids to run around and tire themselves out. For the grown-ups, there is a 100 seat café on the ground floor where you can fill up on hot meals or deli food. The fun-filled children’s toy shop offers lots of lego, puzzles and board games.

To top it all off, there is always something going on at Rheged! The centre hosts numerous events, such as craft classes, photography workshops and talks from some of the most inspiring people around. Even more, it is accessible by the Stagecoach bus!

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Lake District Coast Aquarium, Maryport

Perfect for rainy days (which, in Cumbria, occur about 98% of the time) this aquarium is one of the most frequently visited by families.

From native freshwater fish which reside in local streams and rivers, to tropical marine life, there are plenty of exhibits to keep your little ones entertained for hours! There is a shark and ray pool, as well as deep-sea enclosures that are home to creatures that lurk at murky depths.

Once you’ve exhausted the aquarium itself, there is a 14-hole mini golf course and a nautical themed playpark which can be enjoyed by the whole family. Feeling peckish? You can grab a bite at the café or even take-away some food for on-the-go.

The World of Beatrix Potter, Windermere

The famous children’s author, Beatrix Potter, found much of her inspiration for her tales in the wildlife of the Lakes. If you want to see her wonderful stories come to life, then The World of Beatrix Potter is the place for you!

Not only can you learn about her life and the inspiration for her 23 stories, but you can also see your favourite illustrations in real-life. Explore the little garden where Peter Rabbit and his pals hide among the cabbage patches and flower pots.

In the café, freshly baked cakes, classic sandwiches and paninis are available, alongside picnic baskets for the kids and a traditional afternoon tea. The new Rebel+Rose nursery shop offers sustainably sourced clothes and toys for those expecting, or even as gifts. If you want to take home a little bit of the magic, the gift shop displays plenty of cute toys, souvenirs and collectables.

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The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

One of the most enjoyed attractions in the Lake District, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway offers a classic train ride through the countryside. If you like the authenticity of steam and diesel engines, then we recommend booking a ticket now!

Nicknamed the ‘La’al Ratty’, this railway takes you on a picturesque trip through the Eskdale valley. You can take a look around the Ravenglass Railway Museum, go for a cycle along one of the many family friendly routes or visit the Ravenglass Roman Fort Bath House, an English heritage site.

Why not also combine it with a trip to Muncaster Castle, only a 25 minute walk from the railway?

Book a family holiday to the Lake District

If you are looking for the ideal place to stay to explore the Lake District, the Skiddaw Hotel which is situated in the centre of Keswick has a range of Family Rooms available, as well as a couple of self-catering cottages which sleep up to 4 people.

Each family-friendly room has two separate bedrooms with twin or double beds and a family bathroom. Most of the rooms are also dog-friendly.

This friendly hotel is only a short walk away from many major attractions and Derwentwater Lake is less than a 10 minute walk away.

If you would like to book a family getaway to the Skiddaw Hotel, click here and book a room online.

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