For families staying in cottages in Windermere or cottages in Keswiick, the area around Lake Windermere offers the perfect combination of outdoor adventures and fascinating cultural experiences. The stunning scenery and welcoming atmosphere is particularly ideal for visiting with children, and many Lake District attractions are dog-friendly too. If you’re looking for things to do in Lake District, our Lake District cottages are the perfect base from which to give one of these day trip ideas a try.
Take a Lake Tour
Lake Windermere is one of the most stunning of the lakes, and if you want to spend the day exploring it, there are plenty of options. Larger tourist boats travel up and down the lake, with staff explaining the history of the area as you go. These boats make a few different stops if you want to get on and off, but you can also just sit back and enjoy the full loop of the lake.
Explore the Lake Independently
If you prefer taking charge of going on an organised boat ride, try hiring a self-drive motor boat or a rowboat on the pier at Bowness – or if you have more than one adult in your party, hire a couple and chase each other around the lake. It’s also a great way to get a closer look at some of the small islands dotted around.
Take a Train Trip
Only half an hour away by car for those staying in cottages in Keswick, the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway is also easily reachable by boat from Windermere. Operating old-fashioned steam trains, it’s a perfect day out for children. At the Haverthwaite end of the line, there are often owls at the train station who will happily pose for photos.
Visit Beatrix Potter’s House
The famous children’s author’s former home is now a museum, where adults can enjoy the historical house and beautiful gardens, while children will love learning about the connection with the beloved Peter Rabbit story.
Explore Hawkshead Grammar School
For a glimpse into the history of the area, Hawkshead Grammar School, where the famous poet Wordsworth once studied, is a good bet. Although small, the museum offers a fascinating chance to learn more about education from the 17th century onward.
Visit Wray Castle
This Gothic revival castle looks dramatic from the outside, but once inside it’s a casual and fun spot, with plenty of places to play, including the delightful Peter Rabbit Adventure Rooms, which can keep kids entertained for hours.
Try Ghyll Scrambling
The scope for outdoor activities in Lake District is impressive. If you want to do something you won’t find anywhere else, give ghyll scrambling a try – climbing, jumping, abseiling and sliding up, down and around waterfalls.
Walk in Grizedale
The Grizedale Forest and Visitor Centre is home to a range of activities, from walking trails through a forest of intriguing sculptures to mountain biking, an art gallery and a playground. There are a variety of paths to follow, depending on how comfortable you are with long walks, and the cafe is perfect for a cup of tea after your exertions.
Go Pony Trekking
There are plenty of family-friendly pony trekking options within easy reach of Windermere. It’s a terrific way to explore the countryside and try a new skill, although if you’re already an experienced rider there are plenty of trickier rides to choose from.
Do a Chocolate Workshop
If you’re tired out from all your outdoor activities in Lake District, the Cocobean Company’s chocolate workshops in Hawkshead are the perfect way to entertain kids on a rainier day, while parents get the chance to relax a little. Children can learn more about what goes into the chocolate they eat and try their hands at making their own tasty treats to take home.
These are just a few of the fantastic things to do in the Lake District. If you’re investigating Lake District cottages, whether you’re looking at cottages in Widermere or elsewhere, keep these great attractions in mind for your stay.