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Places to visit in the Lake District?

50 replies

marthamoo · 13/07/2004 23:45

We have booked a week's holiday in a cottage in the Lake District, first week of the school holidays (yes, I know, - we're mad: I will be packing wellies and raincoats and fleeces!). Just outside Kendal, so I guess a good launching point to explore. Any days out recommendations? It's about 17 years since I last went to the Lakes and that was Youth Hostelling! My boys are 2 and 7.

Many thanks!

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mummysurfer · 13/07/2004 23:54

Brockhole- on main road between Ambleside and Windermere

Beatrix potter place in Bowness

all the local parks are good

fellfoot park

can also recommend a children's walking book -Rocky's Rambles available from the tourist information board shops. walks are split into 100m squares and are just right for a 7 year old

will most more if i think of any

misdee · 13/07/2004 23:56

i went the other side of the lakes, was up by ullswater but was without kids. there is the Rhegad discovery centre that side, which is interested altho a bit commerical. but your ds might like the fact it has a grass topped roof.

roisin · 14/07/2004 00:02

South Lakes Wildlife Park nr Dalton on the A590 towards Barrow.

Holker Hall - I think this is somewhere near Grange. Ds1 went on his school trip this year, and had a great time: there's a motor museum there with Donald Campbell's cars, plus you can look round the house and gardens, and there's an adventure playground.

There's a steam train runs from Haverthwaite (on A590 at bottom of Windermere) to Lakeside (On Windermere Lake), then you can get a boat across to Brockhole, or other places, then a bus back down to Haverthwaite.

Do you do craft activities at home? There's a paper mill just north of Kendal at Burnside, where you can get pick and mix card in all sorts of different weights, colours, and patterns. My boys love going there. (And so do I!)

Anyway - I just saw a pretty positive forecast for the first week of the holidays, so I reckon you'll probably be just walking and enjoying the lakes and hills, and not need "days out" at all.

marthamoo · 14/07/2004 00:11

Quick responses! Thanks muchly - any more suggestions gratefully received.

Roisin, I do hope they are right about the weather. I have bullied and cajoled (and pouted a bit too) in order to persuade dh we should have a week away (we had decided we couldn't afford a holiday this year - we can't really) and I really hope it doesn't rain the whole time!

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Tetley · 14/07/2004 00:14

Aquarium of the Lakes at Newby Bridge (south end of Windermere) is good for a wet few hours. It's at one end of the steam train that Roisin said about, and the boat stops there too - you can get round tickets from Bowness to include the boat & aquarium entry.

I'm trying to think of more, but my mind has gone blank! My parents live just outside of Kendal so we're up there a lot with the kids, but I can't think where we go at the moment!

Oh - Arnside is nice for a wander around, & you can get the train across to Grange-over-Sands from there - which goes on a bridge across the estuary (end of Morecambe Bay).

WedgiesMum · 14/07/2004 00:38

Some other ideas:

Muncaster Castle on the A595 near Ravenglass (Castle, grounds, owls, other birds), then whilst you are there you could do the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway (otherwise known as L'il Ratty) which is good fun if you like trains.

Holker is actually nearer to Cark on the B5278 off the A590 (tut tut tut roisin leading people astray).

Stott Park Bobbin Mill which is near Lakeside is ok too.

yamamoto · 14/07/2004 01:06

...for boys 2 and 7 would recommend
Steam Train from Haverthwate, its pure Railway children, followed by the aquarium(loads$$) or cruise (from windemere station), then return on train.
Brockhole visiter centre adventure playground (free) Grounds are lovely and you can get a boat from the bottom of the garden.
The south lakes wildlife park is a must(close to you)
...some low fell walking
Rowing on Derwent water is GREAT with kids, took mine round the Island on Sunday and its is So beautiful. In Keswick eat at Masons or the cafe at the top of George Fishers. Take Bread to feed Ducks.
The mini railwat at Ravenglass is good on a fine day.
Mirehouse is V good with Kids
Loved Mucaster castle (owls, religous birds etc)
Forget Rheged, Bowness, Beatrix Potter as will be heaving...

chatee · 14/07/2004 11:53

Eden Ostrich World(we went on a nursery trip on monday with dd)and it's fab....also has an indoor play area if it does rain!!
Talkin Tarn is a huge lake and is lovely to walk/amble your way around....
Tullie House Museum in Carlisle does special childrens days will checkout the dates and get back to you later...
Carlisle Castle...and the walls

Marina · 14/07/2004 12:01

chatee, is the playground in Bitts Park open again now? They were just finishing refurbishing it when we were last up.
Marthamoo, I only really know northern/western lakes well, but can recommend Muncaster Castle and La'al Ratty, as previously mentioned by happy customers, Gondola steam yacht on Coniston, and Grizedale Forest Sculpture Trail. Also, Tarn Hows is pretty if rather popular low-level walking - we actually saw a red squirrel on our last visit.
You may need to know that Kendal has a Costa...
Any Lakeland visitor or resident will bravely say that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad waterproofs
Have a lovely time, I bet your boys will love it. We're up in Carlisle the same week and also praying for decent weather!

WedgiesMum · 14/07/2004 19:12

My friend who lives in Carlisle told me that the new Water Play Park is open in Bitts Park (although they have had some problems with the water flow) but she says that there are lots of fountains and squirters and things to play in.

Gingerbear · 14/07/2004 19:23

What a timely topic! Thanks all, we are off with DD (2) for a long weekend next week, so these have been v useful recommendations.

marthamoo · 14/07/2004 20:11

You are all stars! Thankyou so much for all the suggestions - I shall be printing this thread off and tucking it in the map book. I am really looking forward to it now...thankyou!!!

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littlemissbossy · 14/07/2004 20:57

also, I don't think anyone's mentioned Ambleside, little lakes town nice for a wander round and can definately recommend a place called 'Lucy's on a plate', small cafe/restaurant, yummy homemade food, delicious cakes and they were good with the kids

chatee · 14/07/2004 21:48

yes bitts park water play area is open and it's really good fun but you must take spare dry clothes-it's really good that disabled and able bodied children can play in it together, my dd loved it so we will be having a few picnics and plays in Bitts Park this summer, Bitts Park also has the most wonderful gardens to walk around and plenty of grass to run/play on for younger children.There are also tennis courts/crazy golf/and a small snack shop.It is situated right behind the castle in the city centre so it's really easy for parking and or spending the day doing different things without having to move the car
If anyone is coming up to Bitts Park give me a shout and we could meet up for a coffee??

nutcracker · 14/07/2004 21:51

Wish i'd known all this when i went with my aunt, uncle and cousin aged when i was 16.

I've never been so bored in my whole life.
Well until i deicded to make my own entertainment on the last night

Hope you have a nice time MM

roisin · 14/07/2004 21:52

Definitely want to second Grizedale Forest it's great - loads to do there. They have a leaflet of family walks, which is brilliant.

Forgot to mention the Lakeland shop in Windermere - best coffee in Cumbria, and you can spend a fortune on Lakeland products too! It's been massively extended, but I haven't been to the new one yet.

OK - Where is Bitts Park? It's a new one on me. Is it in Carlisle itself. Anywhere near the station? Dss are keen to go on the Settle/Carlisle line this summer (! I know!) and a stop off in Carlisle might be a nice interuption to a day on the trains.

chatee · 14/07/2004 21:58

Bitts park is right behind the castle, it takes about 10-15mins to walk from the station through the shops and out to the park.

yamamoto · 14/07/2004 22:13

Would have thought Carlisle a little far from Kendal, for a park..
10 mins away is some of the greatest scenery in the World!
(Paul McCartney Lurking around Ullswater this week)

roisin · 14/07/2004 23:47

Thanks Chatee!

marthamoo · 15/07/2004 00:14

Yikes! Don't want to see Macca - will he be gone by the time we get there?

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roisin · 15/07/2004 01:11

Chatee - do you live in Carlisle? Is the castle worth a visit, with 5 and 6 yr old boys? ... they do like Romans and castles and museums and stuff. (Not sure I do though!) Is it near the station?

Aero · 15/07/2004 01:47

Lived in Lake District for a year 1989-90! Wow you're all bringing back happy memories!! Have never lived anywhere more beautiful (except 'home' in N Ireland of course)! Actually have just stayed overnight with a friend in W'mere recently on a journey up to Stranraer. Does anyone know if the 'Apple Pie Eating House' is still in Ambleside?
Think I know where we'll be going on hols next year!

dubaimum · 15/07/2004 08:54

This topic could not have come at a better time, we are coming over to visit family & friends in the uk and then spending a week in the Lake District at the beginning of August we have a 3 yr old boy so thanks to everyone for all their tips on places to visit, can't wait to get there. Do we need to bring wellies and brollies?

homebird11 · 15/07/2004 20:08

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

yamamoto · 15/07/2004 20:25

Its called Trotters, just behind Armathwaite Hall.
An excellent animal destination in the North of the lakes is Eden Ostrich World, at Lanwathby near Penrith.

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