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Holidays

Lake District - anyone?

23 replies

Riv · 20/08/2001 12:32

Anyone been to the Lake District with infant and pre-schooler? Need tips on places to go during autumn visit avoiding summer holidays while we can!

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Ems · 21/08/2001 10:43

Riv, wait til Lizzer gets back from holidays, she lives in Lake District with toddler.

I remember going when I was little and there being an amzing waterfall near Lake Ullswater called Aira Force or something, with a great walk in the woods. Lake Ullswater also has a steamer ship that you can have a ride on. Other than that my memories are very vague.

Where are you staying?

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Riv · 21/08/2001 11:35

Ems we will be staying near Langdale Peaks. Thanks for your reply. If Lizzer doesn't respond in a few weeks time I'll try starting a Lizzer info please topic (fame at last!). I'll check the map for Aira Force.

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Helenmh · 21/08/2001 12:43

We went to the lakes for a few days this summer. my children are 7 and 9. We stayed near Coniston. They enjoyed it by the lake. We had some nice bar meals in the Sun inn in Coniston. Good views and garden if weather is good. WE had a night in the north lakes hotel which was excellent for kids. Not sure if you can go there just to eat. I expect so. Staff were very child friendlv. It is just outside Penrith near the M6.

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Chairmum · 21/08/2001 18:20

We spent two weeks in the Lakes last year. There are lots of attractions. It is Beatrix Potter country (excellent year to do the B.P. thing, as the Japanese are absent, due to F&M!! They usually go round in vast coach parties.) with Hill Top farm, just like in the stories and the B.P. Exhibition in Bowness/Windermere. Hawkshead is pretty to walk round, little shops and cottages. The Hawkshead Clothing shop had a nice cafe.

There's a zoo park, The South Lakes Animal Park, an all-day outing and Kendal is good to visit with a leisure pool and lots of shops. Also Ambleside, Coniston etc. The coast is worth a visit, lovely beaches and a litle train ride up into the hills from Ravenglass. I'm sure you'll have no trouble filling up your days!

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Lizzer · 21/08/2001 19:39

Hello I'm Back! Really going to give you sooooo much info on this one you'd wish you hadn't mentioned it! I would do tonight but glass of chardonnay is calling me from the kitchen and I really want to give you a thorough answer to your message. Another person to ask is my friend 'Bexi' (lives down the road and recently got a computer so told her about this site immediately!)I think she's still recovering from a bout of flu so don't know if she'll be about today (get well soon chick!) Promise, promise, promise I'll do it by Friday

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Sooz · 21/08/2001 21:53

Hey Riv
I live in the Lake District with an infant and pre schooler. It's a great place to be, depends what you are into.

There is an aquarium on Lake Winderemere, which can be reached by a train and boat ride, from Bowness. Bowness great for a touristy wander and in ice cream. Ambleside has a lovely park, and stroll around the back lanes and up to Rydal Caves, possible to make stroll shorter by driving part way. Great pub in Langdales called Old Dungeon Ghyll. Grizedale forest has a superb trail following fantastic sculptures. Keswick 'spa' is a pool with a beach entrance and is great on a wet day. Have a great time.

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Marina · 22/08/2001 18:52

Can also recommend Grizedale, a magical place at any time of the year, Hawkshead for shopping & general prettiness (also Grasmere Village). Northwards, at Keswick, there are Derwentwater launches most of the year round, easy, pretty strolls around the lake on paths which are even buggy-feasible in places, and a good indoor swimming pool which has parent and toddler sessions two mornings per week. The town also has indoor attractions such as a small cinema and Cars of the Stars. My parents live not far away so we visit often and you will have a great time, I am sure. Langdale's scenery is spectacular.

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Bexi · 23/08/2001 09:56

Hi Riv,
I would also recommend Keswick if you are staying in the north Lakes (where I am from originally) it's a lovely town and there are some really nice walks and boat trips on the Lake. Carlisle is also worth a visit, I used to go a lot when I was young and always enjoyed a trip to the castle. I remember Lowther Park being good fun aswell (not been for about 15 years though but Lizzer went last year so she'd tell you about that).
I now live in the South Lakeland which is also lovely.The Aquarium of the Lakes was really good when I went the other week (with daughter aged 20mths and brother aged 7 - they both loved it) although I did feel it was quite expensive but it's free for under 3's - I think. There is a wildlife park in Dalton-in-Furness which is worth a visit. There are lots of lovely places which are great for walking, picnics, paddling etc. (Windermere, Ambleside, Coniston, Bowness) and the towns are all full of nice cafes and little shops.
Depending on where you're staying it might be worth visiting north Lancashire. Lancaster's Ashton Memorial is a lovely building (and last time I went there was a butterfly house which was good fun) and the grounds are nice and have a playground. (They stage outdoor plays all around the gardens but I'm not sure when these are). In between Carnforth and Milnthorpe there is some sort of reptile and bird house - I've never been but it comes highly recommended by my brother.
Where will you be staying? Where ever it is I'm certain you'll have a great time.

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Lizzer · 23/08/2001 10:35

Well I think you may have got it covered there without any help from me! I have been trying to rack my brains for somewhere different but a lot of the things are covered. It's usually okay weather in September so hopefully you can get out and about, it would be so much easier if it didn't rain though! I did go to lowther park last year and it was great but had my 7 yr old sister and 7 month old baby with me and I found a lot of things were only suitable for the over 5's so it may not be ideal for your family. Definitely the aquarium, there is a cafe next to it and ferry down the lake if you are into boats (after my Irish sea crossing last weekend I wouldn't care if I never saw another ferry again - bleugh!)Follow signs to it from Newby Bridge or Hawkshead (you can kill a couple of hours in Hawkshead village, but v small so not worth planning a day trip to) South Lakes animal park is also great fun - but it would have to be a non-rainy day. You can follow signs to it if you get on the A590 heading toward Barrow in Furness. I have to sing the praises of my home town of Ulverston again on the A590. Historic market town (V. good outdoor market stalls on Thursdays)It is also a 'festival' town which means there are lots of 'events' happening year round. They have a lantern procession in Sept, I'll find out the date for you. That is really nice to see. Lots of cafes, pubs etc. The best ones for children (and nice food!) are the Hot Mango and the Lighthouse cafe. I found this site which has some good attractions listed:
www.lakedistrictletsgo.co.uk/attractions/varoius%20other%20attractions.htm

Hope you have a great time!

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Riv · 23/08/2001 13:50

Big thank you to all of you - now we can hopefully get out and about quickly and make the most of our week. Thanks again.

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Lizzer · 23/08/2001 20:21

Just in case you were interested the lantern procession is on Sat 15th Sept, people carry specially made lanterns through the town centre, some are fantastic creations, and there is a real carnival atmosphere with lively music playing as they go - worth a visit if you're there then, only thing is it starts at 8.30pm so bedtimes may be a problem...

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Ems · 24/08/2001 13:11

Lizzer, where are the best child friendly hotels in Lake District then? I'd love to bring the boys back up to see the Lakes, hopefully when toddler knows how to shutup and behave on long car journeys!

I've always fancied one of the log cabin style places to stay too. Always look so idyllic by the lake.

Have you always lived in the Lakes? I was the biggest Swallows and Amazons fan when I was little!

(To save me swapping boards, well done on the weight loss, you are doing SO WELL, and glad you had a good holiday, apart from the wavy water!)

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Riv · 25/08/2001 12:43

I'm glad I tried asking this question! It's been really useful. I'm off to check out the www Lizzer. We will just miss 15 Sept but with an infant probably just as well then we wont feel we have missed out!

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Lizzer · 28/08/2001 15:54

Hi Ems, sorry didn't see your msg sooner. I haven't always lived here, came here when I was 9 - so feel I've lived here for ever. Originally from the North East, but we came here via Saudi Arabia which was an experience and a half! It's strnage becasue I couldn't wait to get away from here as a teenager (it's so booooring...etc!) but now I think of it entirley differently and think I'm really lucky. However I don't plan on staying here forever - but is nice for dd while it lasts, and besides there are a million equally nice places to live on this planet!
As far as accomodation round here I can recommend one place that's family friendly for sure. I know this cos my friend's parents own and run it! It's called Summer Hill Holidays and it's not a hotel but log cabins that sleep 4 (hope self catering's your thing) it's very much in south lakeland (therefore close to lake's coniston and windermere). The website address is www.summerhill.co.uk and the prices range from £300-350 per week in the peak summer months, but cheaper off-season. The cabins are set in the grounds of an old Georgian house (where the family live) and it's about 5 mins away from the main road into the area (A590). Well, I think I've done my sales pitch ok! I know the family very well and they are always very busy there, but as there are only a few log cabins it's a very friendly atmosphere and safe too... Hope that helps you Ems, if you do come up you must let me know..!

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Ems · 01/09/2001 15:37

Thanks Lizzer, Ive sent off for the brochure. I also checked out the Lake District website which is brilliant! So much information, so Ive sent off for lots of brochures.

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Ems · 01/10/2001 13:05

Hi Riv, have you been on your Lakes trip yet? I am still looking for the 'ideal' place to stay, cant quite find it yet. Has anyone stayed somewhere really child friendly, playground, close to places of interest. I thought some time self catering and then finish with a few nights in a nice hotel. I keep going over and over maps of the lakes and hotel details and they all seem to be merging into one at the moment. Many thanks.

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Rivi · 01/10/2001 14:35

Hi Ems, trip to Lakes been delayed due to work. Now plan to go in November - should be good for the children if we see the first bits of snow(!) on the hills - planning to take wellies for muddy puddles etc etc. Hope you find somewhere good; we will be in the Langdale Pikes Country Club I think it's called it's supposed to have lots for children (or so they say!) but just hoping to get out and about rain or shine.

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Ems · 01/10/2001 15:46

Rivi, found it in my book, how did I miss it, it looks great, either hotel or s/c option and in a great location. Full report please when you return!! I would love to hear.

Lizzer have you heard of it?

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Lizzer · 02/10/2001 10:00

Hi Ems and Riv - Ooo, is that the one with posh leisure club attached??! If so it's very nice! It means your nearest town would be Ambleside which is great because it's a busy little village with lots of shops selling expensive walking jackets (just got one myself last weekend!)It also has Zepherelli's which combines a cinema (probably impossible for you though, Riv, with 2 little ones I guess...?) a gorgeous and v reasonable veggie pasta and pizza restaurant - not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but it really is lovely fresh food and I've seen plenty children eating in there (look out for special offers, especially in the daytime...) There's also a cafe and a few shops in the building. There's also the cheap but suprisingly entertaining option of feeding the ducks and other birds by the lake (watch their little faces light up!) In fact I think Ambleside is my favourite town in the lakes at the moment. Bowness has been turning into a mini Blackpool (no offence - but you get the idea!)Keswick's lovely too (I think that's been mentioned already on this thread). So hope you have fun and report back on it, please?!

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Ems · 02/10/2001 10:30

Thanks Lizzer, I thought Ambleside sounded nice, and it would be good to be near to a town and its offerings.

Rivi, any childcare/babysitting type things available there that you know of?

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Triplets · 02/10/2001 22:33

Hi,
The best holiday I have had with my triplets was in Jan this year at Oasis Village near Penrith. Its abit like centreparcs, but they are a one off. We were lucky to get our accomodation at half price through an offer with Barclay card. We had the basic woodland lodge, 3 bedroom and it was huge, and it was so well equipped and nicely furnished I dont think I would pay the extra to stay in the more expensive accomodation anyway. <br /> It is set in 400 acres of forest and there is just so much to do. Swimming, theatre, kids activities, etc, etc, etc. The other thing I was impressed with was the on site susupermarket, very reasonable, but if you want to eat out there is a good choice of restraunts. Thoroughly recommend it, and cant wait to go back ourselves, in fact at this time of the year they turn it into a Winter wonderland for the kids, complete with reindeer rides!

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Rivi · 06/10/2001 13:21

Hi Ems and Lizzer, they have a baby listening service and indoor pool for children and I believe a kiddies indoor play area which is new. Thanks for the extra info Lizzer I will certainly report when back. I do envy you living in such a lovely part of the UK Lizzer last time we were there we really enjoyed the walks but now with little ones its good to get as much info as possible before arriving as they do not like to wait!

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Ems · 05/12/2001 10:50

Rivi, have you been? Did you have a good time?

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