LAKE DISTRICT with dog and DC aged 10 and 13- help my plan my half term week, please!(21 Posts)
We're visiting the lakes for the first time with dds aged 10 and 13 and our dog. We are staying in a cottage in Windermere.
Please help me plan a week's worth of activities
We like being active and walking (up to a point- but dds won't want a big walk everyday) and also eating in lovely tea rooms and visiting pretty towns/ villages.
Any tips for unmissable sights/ walks/ activities that are ideally dog friendly (although dds could do some shorter activities e.g. riding/ climbing without the adults or the dog, i guess).
We love the lakes and visit regularly. Out little ones are just babies so lengthy walls are out for us too! We also have a dog and have found most places dog friendly. You should visit Grasmere, elterwater and ambleside. There is a lovely walk from the national trust carpark in elterwater along the river to Chesters tea room and shop. They do the most amazing cakes ever- the lemon treacle tart is to die for!
Grizedale forest is worth a visit- lots of routes to walk or cycle and again the cafe does great food. There is also a tree top zip wire thing that your children may like. Great places to eat are the Britannia inn or Wainrights in elterwater and Tweedies in Grasmere - all dog and child friendly. There are lovely walks down the langdale valley with some great pub stops too- dungeon gill (old and new) and stickle barn tavern.
Very envious, you will have a fab time! We had a fortnight just after Easter and it was beautiful.
Oops apologies for typos- should be long walks not walls etc
Brockhole is a good day out we were there at Easter with 14 and 13 year old DSs they did the ropes course and zip line and we had ice-cream but lots to do - we also did the Ullswater Steamer (not an actual steamer unfortunately ) lovely boat trip and dog friendly - got off for a bit at Grasmere and had some ice-cream. We wanted to get off at the bit where you can go see the waterfall but the pier wasn't built yet - that would be a nice walk with a purpose.
and of course you need to have your lunch/tea in Booths (we go to the Keswick one - didn't like the Penrith one as much)
Wray Castle NT between Ambleside and Grasmere good for children and fab dog walks alongside Windermere.
The Ullswater Steamers do not go anywhere near Grasmere! They travel from Glenridding or Pooley Bridge stopping at Howtown. The new Glenridding to Aira Force boat should be running for half term.
oops - i obv meant Glenridding - my head is like a bag of mince! we started at Pooley Bridge - struggled for parking though so leave plenty of time. Really disappointed that the aira force stop wasn't up and running yet when we were there.
Whinlatter forest is great, go ape, ace mountain biking( better than grizdale) cafe, exciting playground dd11 still loves it and ... Sheep free dog walking trails
Yes ditto Whinlatter for dog walks!
OneMagnum I guessed you meant Glenridding made me smile about Grasmere!
Having mentioned Grasmere though Allen Bank is worth a visit, dogs actually allowed in the whole house and cafe. Interesting for children and will have activities for children during half term.
In Keswick you could take the boat to the end of Derwentwater and then walk back along the lake side; which is a lovely walk but if anyone gets tired or fed up you can always go to one of the landing stages and get the boat back again!
Wow! Thanks so much everyone! What great tips. I will be printing this out to take with us.
Are most of the suggestions in the southern Lakes area? I was unsure where was best to book accommodation, tbh so hope i chose well. we are pretty much in the centre of Windermere, which i appreciate may be touristy but a more remote spot with the dds might not have been ideal in terms of access to a range of activities/ main roads.
The only thing with the Go Ape and biking activities suggested is that the dog would be an issue. how far from Windermere (town) are these activities? It's just that we are not supposed to leave the dog in the cottage!
At brockhole you'd be fine as long as you all didn't do the ropes at the same time. You can watch and walk about with the dog.
10 & 13 is the perfect age for Dc in the Lakes. It can be hard to find enough things to keep little ones occupied all day but the adventures you can have when they get a bit bigger!
TBH though walking is the single best thing. It's not like going for a everyday walk, you can do the big peaks and they'll be caught for life.
If you're not confident mountain walkers, investigate some guided walks.
Mountain biking at Grizedale is great and the Water Sports centre at Low Water (close to Windermere) has loads of options (if you have plenty of cash!)
thanks again. risk, we walked up penyfan (sp?) in Wales last year without a problem, but i'm not sure how that compares... Glad to hear were the ideal age! dh is a regular boy scout and great with a map etc. it'd still be good to have some walk recommendations as in what to do / what NOT to do with dc of this age. i do have a memory of dh taking up a really nasty route up snowdon pre dc, so which walks to avoid might be a good question, lol!
dd1 has slightly less stamina but we are all reasonably fit but not anexceptionally sporty family (we did local hilly walks of 5-6 miles a day over easter weekend but that was unusual.)
onemagnum, is it (ropes) far from windemere? i generally prefer to do stuff with the dc rather than just watch, as it can get boring. i would prefer to leave the dog for a couple of hours, tbh (naughty, i know).
Head for Rydal Hall just beyond Ambleside on the road to Grasmere. There's a lovely walk from there to Grasmere. Or park in Grasmere and there is a fab (very easy) walk up to Easedale Tarn.
You must go to Chesters at Skelwith Bridge: their food is to die for.
How about the Old Man of Coniston?
You need a 1:25,000 OS map!
Avoid the Fairfield Horseshoe unless you are confident walkers. There is a demanding but rewarding walk up Dungeon Ghyll but it really tests our Gold DofE groups.
Use MWIS to check the weather each day.
Walks I plan to do with my 12 & 14yos next week are.
Helm Crag via Easeadle Tarn and possible High White Stones
Ambleside to Toutbeck via Wansfell and back along the coffin trail.
Langdale Pikes from Stickle Barn - amazing beer terrace, even (or especially) in the rain. Lovely end to a walk.
Fairfield Horseshoe (but that's a long hard day)
We won't do it this time but there's an easy walk up Helvellyn from Thirlmere which is perhaps not the most interesting walk but it's worth it to bag a big one.
It the cloud's too low or you fancy shorter, easier walks:
Todd crag on Lougrigg has the best views for a relatively short climb
Stone Arthur is a tough but short climb
Rydal water is my favourite lake and there are caves to visit
The thing with the Lakes is that apart from one or two very well trodden routes, you're well away from the crowds as soon as you start going upwards. Which is great, but it does mean you need to be properly equipped and reasonably confident in your map reading.
You can hire small motor boats on Windermere (from Bowness) - fun for the DDs to drive. Also on Ullswater from Glenridding, and you ca also hire rowing boats from Glenridding, and probably Bowness, and on Grasmere, too, I think.
Abseiling, climbing etc can be booked through RiverDeepMountainHig
The Honnister Slate Mine offers a fantastic Via Ferrata experience, climbing round the side of Fleetwith PIke hundreds of feet above the vally - the extreme I very thrilling - check t out on Google. One party could walk to Fleetwith Pike with the dog and meet those emerging form the Via Ferrata - or I think they actually offer temporary kennel care for dogs! I might be imagining that.
Brockhole is more or less at Windermere - maybe 5-10 mins? Cant really remember as we were staying in the North and drove right down but we took a wrong turn at winderemere so had to drive back through the town. it's on the road towards ambleside.
We drove about a fair bit as we were staying up at Thanet Well just on the North Edge of the Lakes. We've previously stayed down at Seatoller down by Borrowdale. Luckily DH is not fazed by all the small single lane roads (we live in Scotland so have done a fair bit of those up here too). DSs no longer get car sick so it gives us a bit more freedom
You pay for the car paark and then individual attractions at Brockhole (best to book) so you could do a half day there with dog and do some walks etc to suss out what you'd like to do that you pay for, and then nip back for a half day without pooch to do those things
Small Fells not far from Windermere are Loughrigg near Rydal (with a cave), and Wansfell near Ambleside, with waterfalls of Stock Ghyll Force.
Coniston Water does have a REAL Victorian steam yacht, "Gondola" operated by the National Trust.
The Ravenglass - Eskdale narrow gauge railway makes a lovely day out, and I think there is also a standard gauge steam train at the southern end of Windermere.
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