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Northern Lakes - Things to do please

4 replies

pisces1965 · 25/05/2002 22:11

We are off to the Northern Lake District in mid July (Underscar, just outside Keswick), with dd who is 21/2.

I would be grateful for any recommendations for places to go with her - we have done the Rheged soft play, and the sea life place (can't remember where it was though).

We also go there in November, so any ideas for summer and/or winter activities would be welcomed.

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Marina · 26/05/2002 18:42

Trotters and Friends Animal Farm, near Armathwaite Hall (Bassenthwaite Village) is really sweet, and needs the custom to get back on its feet after Foot & Mouth. When we went this winter they had loads of monkeys and peacocks, but no "native species". Sure that has changed, and the people are so friendly.
Do you mean the aquarium in Maryport, or the freshwater one in Newby Bridge (Southern Lakes)? Both are good.
The Shepherd's Inn in Melmerby, near Penrith, does great food and welcomes small children warmly. Cosy in Winter too - and the same village has the Village Bakery, so you can stock up on delicious homebakes.
The swimming pool in Keswick does parent and toddler sessions some weekday mornings.
Might be worth getting day tickets for Oasis Holiday Village if she is a water-babe, as the pools there are fantastic (also near Penrith). Perhaps not mid-July...
Near Keswick, on the shore of Bassenthwaite, is Mirehouse. A really nice family home which welcomes small visitors and has adventure playground installations in the wooded grounds.
Friends speak well of the North Pennines Railway, a little further afield at Alston (beyond Penrith), but our favourite is La'al Ratty, or the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, an hour's trip down the coast road from Workington. You can do the wonderful Muncaster Castle on the same day out, family-run, with birds of prey, lovely gardens and house, aimed at families.
Our ds (nearly 3) likes the level walking round Derwentwater, especially the boardwalks across the head of the lake - accessed after a five minute walk from the Lodore landing stage. You are never far from a boat back to Keswick if anyone gets tired or the drizzle sets in.
And a morning admiring the launches and ducks at the town's main landing stages goes down well.
And...over in Carlisle, the Tullie House museum is interesting for all ages, has a nice, child-friendly cafe/restaurant and the sort of layout where toddlers can explore happily.
As you might have guessed, we have family up there and go a lot. I haven't made it to the Rheged soft play - is it good?
Have fun.

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Indie · 27/05/2002 14:27

We live in South Lakes but head up to Keswick area quite a bit. Second the swimming complex in Keswick - big pool with a gentle slopping bit for small ones. Mine also love it when the waves come on - good fun. The famous car museum is also worth a visit - especially if it is raining as it does a lot up here! It is easy to walk around and there are loads of things for kids to look at - my dd loved it at 21/2. There is the Peter Rabbit World Attraction in Boweness which is also worth a walk around - aimed at small kids. From there you can catch a boat across Lake Windermere to the Aquarium and go for a ride on a steam train! - Enjoy

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Tetley · 27/05/2002 14:40

There's a Beatrix Potter visitor place in Keswick now - supposed to be good although I've not been. Also the motor museum - has lots of cars that were in films, TV etc. (although perhaps not for a small girl...)

If you don't have walking stuff for her - boots, waterproofs, papoose etc you can hire them at George Fisher's walking shop.

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AliH · 08/06/2002 14:18

Marina - wow, lots of ideas, thanks very much.

Rheged soft play was great for a morning when it rained (we went twice in one week), it's pretty big, contained within a 'room' with child proof doors, and has tables where you can sit and watch/drink tea/read the paper (that is if you don't have a child like mine who loves me on there with her). The Rheged centre itself also has some interesting shops where you can watch pottery, and a great restaurant for lunch.

Indie, thanks for the info on the boat, we have friends coming this time who haven't been to the aquarium, so that will be great.

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