Brockhole, The Lake District Visitor Centre Family Day Out in Windermere, Lake District
10am - 5pm everyday except Christmas Day
We discovered Brockhole Visitor Centre by chance one day and now cannot visit anywhere in the Lakes without passing by here first. It is brilliant for planning what to do and see in the Lakes with a large visitor centre packed full of promotional literature on the nearby visitor attractions and wonderful walks in the area. It is really convenient and easy to find situated on the A591, midway between Windermere and Ambleside and has a large pay and display car park.
We love walking round the landscaped grounds and there are paths perfect for pushing buggies that take you right down to the lakeside edge. There's 30 acres to enjoy, including Birkett Wood near the jetty and meadows, so plenty of space for kids of all ages to run off steam and build up an appetite for a quick bite in the cafe. You can even play a civilised game of croquet!
A big hit with my kids is the large adventure playground with its miniature play steamer, zip wires, swings and large climbing wooden fort. There's a special separate area for under sevens, including swings and a wacky noise tunnel.
There is a recent addition of an indoor soft play area and creativity space which lets children and parents have fun whatever the weather.
Outside the rear of the shop there is a great little traversing wall where youngsters can aspire to be mountaineers as they stretch and climb their way across the wall. The wall is free and at 2 metres high is suitable for all ages. My kids love mooching around the well stocked shop and have no problem in finding something to spend their holiday money on.
Throughout the school holidays there are extra activities arranged which need to be pre-booked due to their popularity. My eldest Emily (9) had great fun on the build a raft course which after a period of time the group takes it to the lake edge and launches it. Whether it floats or not is an exciting time for the kids to see if their hard work has paid off. Spare clothes and a towel is a must for any water activity booked.
- Toilets in the grounds, car park and in the main house
- Baby changing facilities
- Cafe offering homemade soup, cakes, fresh sandwiches, three hot daily specials and children's lunch bags
- Bring your own picnic - there are undercover tables and acres of open space
- Well-stocked gift shop is full of things to help tots remember their adventures and day out in the Lakes
Free if you arrive by bus, on foot, by bike or by boat, but otherwise car parking charges apply. £1.80 for 1.5hrs.
Adventure Playground, Indoor Play, History of the Lakes Exhibition, interactive touchscreen games, shop, cafe, woodland walks, open spaces to play, access to jetty for all Windermere boating services. Watersports in the school holidays.
Getting the map...