The Lake District is known to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth, so it’s easy to see why so many people choose it as a UK holiday destination. From hiking and water sports to museums and historic sites, there’s so much to see and do in this amazing region.
With so much variety, you might not know where to start when it comes to deciding where to go and what to see whilst you’re there. Here at Parkdean Resorts, we want to make sure you see the best of what the region has to offer, so we’ve unearthed the top 5 days out that are under an hour away from all of our holiday parks in the Lake District.
If you’re looking for an action-packed day out, then head to the fantastic Grizedale Forest for an unforgettable experience. With Go Ape, you’ll get the chance to swing, climb and fly through the woods on a thrilling tree-top adventure like no other, in one of the most beautiful areas of woodland that Britain has to offer.
From high rope courses to zip wires, there’s a range of different adventures waiting to be had. Grab your trainers and take on the Tree Top Adventure, where you’ll find a variety of thrilling obstacles and crossings to tackle. Or glide through the leaves on Tarzan swings and climb to the tops of the trees on the rope ladders. There’s even Tree Top Junior, a smaller course which is perfect for the little ones to enjoy - so the whole family can get involved.
When you’re not high up in the trees, there are plenty more adventures to be had in Grizedale Forest. Head out on an off-road Segway experience, where you can take to two wheels and whiz through the forest, soaking up the spectacular scenery along the way. From the numerous walking and cycling trails to the unique sculptures that are scattered around the forest, you won’t be short of things to do in this stunning area of natural beauty.
Video sourced from Go Ape Tribe
Steam Yacht Gondola
A holiday in the Lake District wouldn’t be complete without a boat trip, and the fantastic Steam Yacht Gondola offers an amazing experience. Sailing along Coniston Water, you can travel in style - the same way wealthy Victorians would have done many years ago - on this rebuilt steam-powered yacht.
Listen to the crew’s commentary and learn all about the area’s history and famous connections, while taking in the stunning views that surround the lake. If you fancy getting off the boat and taking a stroll, then the Walker’s Cruise is perfect for you. Hop off at Lake Bank jetty for a 12.2km walk across the Beacon Fell, before returning back to the jetty along the spectacular shoreline. There are lots of other shorter but just as beautiful walks in the area, too.
The Gondola also stops at Brantwood, a historic house once home to John Ruskin, the leading English art critic of the Victorian era. Filled with beautiful paintings, fine furniture and Ruskin’s own personal treasures, there’s plenty for the whole family to discover. If you’re going with the kids, there’s even a range of quizzes and activities to keep them entertained!
Video sourced from Peter Devrell
More than 10 miles in length, Lake Windermere is England’s largest lake, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular attractions in the Lake District. Offering up a range of exciting activities and a variety of spectacular views, there’s lots to see and do around the lake.
Harbour at Lake Windermere
Put your steering skills to the test and hire a boat, kayak or canoe, enjoying the stunning views along the shoreline as you glide across the water. If water sports aren’t for you, there are boat trips available where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the surrounding mountain views.
While you’re in Bowness-on-Windermere, you’ll find plenty of other fantastic views and activities nearby. Walk around the lakeside and uncover some of the best scenery in the Lake District, before heading back inland to browse the quirky shops and quaint streets in this charming town.
Video sourced from IXISuperTramp
The World of Beatrix Potter
One of the Lake District’s best family attractions is the World of Beatrix Potter, bringing to life some of the writer’s magical stories and illustrations. Here, you can follow interactive exhibitions and discover some of the fairytale worlds that Beatrix Potter created in her books.
From Jemima’s woodland glade and Mr Tod’s underground home to the beautiful Peter Rabbit garden and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’s kitchen, there’s so much to see on a visit. Discover Hunca Munca and Tom Thumb in their nursery under the floorboards, before watching a short film learning all about the author and her stories.
You’ll also be able to experience a virtual walk of the author’s beloved countryside. These clever 360-degree views of each scene will show you an interactive timeline, telling the story of Potter’s life. Before you leave, don’t forget to visit the Beatrix Potter Shop, so you can take a little bit of the magic home with you.
Video sourced from World of Beatrix Potter Attraction
To learn more about Beatrix Potter’s love of the Lake District, read our blog exploring all of our favourite spots.
If you’re interested in history, head to the shores of Lake Windermere where you’ll find Wray Castle, a beautiful mock-Gothic castle cared for by the National Trust. With towers, turrets, dressing up and more, there’s loads of family fun to be had at this fantastic attraction.
Built in 1840 for James Dawson, a retired surgeon from Liverpool, the castle has a long and varied history. As well as being home to a youth hostel, offices and a training college for Merchant Navy radio officers, the famous Beatrix Potter also spent a summer holiday here when she was 16 in 1882. Take a tour of the extravagant rooms and learn all about the castle’s fascinating past, before exploring the beautiful gardens and grounds. Kids will love the rope swing, den-building areas and many wonderful trails through the gardens.
One of the best ways to reach the castle is by boat. Ditch the car and take the Green Windermere Lake Cruise from Ambleside, where you can enjoy stunning views on your way along the lake, before stretching your legs on the short walk up to the castle.
Video sourced from Keith Watson