The very best family holidays are well balanced, which means they offer the kids plenty of fun, but also gives the parents the chance to relax and feel like we've actually been on holiday by the time we return to our normal routine. That’s why we love to have a family break to the stunningly beautiful Lake District as there's loads to entertain all ages.
We were lucky enough to book a cottage large to accommodate 3 families so that we could spend a richly deserved week away in May half term to the Lake District. Splitting the costs between us all meant that the family break in peak season was quite reasonable. We stayed in a few miles from the centre of Bowness in Windermere were it was the perfect base for discovering the delights of the Lakes District.
Our pick of the top family friendly things to do whilst in the Lakes
Get on your walking boots. Even with little ones the joy getting to the top of the hill and feeling like king of the castle is just the best feeling ever. If you are not familiar with the area don’t be afraid to ask. A lot of the public footpaths are marked on maps but are not so easy to find as sometimes you feel like you are trespassing on private property. Ask someone who looks like they have just been on a walk as to where they would recommend their knowledge . Thank you to the lovely couple who recommended an absolute gem of a walk that peaked with fabulous views from one end of Lake Windermere to the other.
It’s often the simplest things that make children happy. We enjoyed many a laughter induced hour spending time together chilling at the holiday cottage and playing traditional kids games such as duck duck goose and hide and seek.
The World of Beatrix Potter
We had five little ones under the age of 5 in our party so it was a given that they wanted to visit the World of Beatrix Potter and since it was within a few miles of our holiday accommodation it was perfect to fill a couple of hours on a wet day.
Take advantage of free car parks if you are a National Trust member
Luckily we discovered a fantastic buggy friendly walk that started from Elterwater National Trust car park, and ended up at Chesters by the River. A wide stone path goes through woodland and runs alongside Great Langdale Beck which leads to an open meadow and perfect picnic spots. We enjoyed chilling in the sunshine while the kids splashed and paddled in the river and it was ice creams all round. There is a National Trust car park at the Elterwater end and near the bridge is a fantastic place to don those wellies and enjoy a spot of dam building. As always someone falls in, so pack spare clothes to avoid soggy bums on seats for the journey home. Be warned - Chesters by the River has a fantastic cafe and shop and you will find gorgeous things to purchase that you didn't know you needed but absolutely cant live without.
Fell Foot National Trust is another gorgeous picnic spot. Situated at the very southern tip of Lake Windermere, Fell Foot is a great, family friendly location to play, explore and relax. Sweeping lawns offer plenty of space for games, picnics and gentle walks, while easy lake access makes the park perfect for paddling, swimming and boating. Rowing boats are available to hire (from April to October) and the adventure playground offers fun for all ages.
Whinlatter forest Wild Play
Whinlatter is one of our favourite places for a family outing In the Lake District. Tucked in the forest, away from the crowds of nearby Keswick , the Wild Play outdoor recreational area kept our kids busy, even in the rain (which there is a lot of in the Lake District!) suitable for 6 - 13 year olds. The outdoor area is free but the carpark charges are pretty steep. The trail is around 1/2 mile in length and consists of 9 adventure play zones. It takes you on a journey through the trees and include a climbing wall, water features, giant swings and a secret path wher you can expand energy on slides, climbing frames, water play, cargo nets and swings. Go Ape is also based at Whinlatter and the Whinlatter Forest Go Ape course is the highest in the country and has five very challenging sections with long zip wires and tricky crossings for your to master. It is quite expensive and you have to be over ten to take part.
Hire a rowing boat on Esthwaite Water
This was great fun and at £15 for the boat hire for the hour we thought good value for money. Don't park in the council car park as you can save your money and park right next to where you hire the boats.
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