We recently shared a list of some of the very best things to do in the Lake District this summer for families with children, but there are so many different ways to enjoy the Lakes at this time of year that we thought we would share 10 more which are suitable for everyone! From traditional country events to the area's newest attractions, here are a few more ideas to add to your Lake District wish list this summer!
1. Follow in Beatrix Potter's footsteps at the Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden
The Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden in Portinscale, near to the foot of Cat Bells, has become the latest must-see for Beatrix Potter fans visiting the Lake District. The Potter family spent several of their annual summer holidays at Lingholm, and the kitchen garden was the inspiration behind Mr McGregor's Garden! Beatrix Potter also based the setting for The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin on the estate's woodlands! Lingholm's newly built café has a stunning outside terrace with views towards Skiddaw, or you can choose to sit inside and enjoy the view through enormous sliding glass doors. The café overlooks the octagonal walled kitchen garden, which is being restored to grow fresh produce for its menu. 017687 74238, thelingholmestate.co.uk
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2. Take a scenic cruise on one of the Lake District's magnificent lakes
There's something so special about the sight of glistening water on a hot summer's day! You can catch a lake cruise on Windermere, Coniston, Ullswater or Derwentwater, and we recommend you use it to break up a scenic lakeside walk. Some of the boats have a lot of history too - the 'steamer' MV Tern, which belongs to Windermere Lakes Cruises, celebrated its 125th birthday this year! You can also experience Victorian travel on Coniston Water, on board the National Trust's steam-powered yacht Gondola!
3. Enjoy an activity-packed day out at the Lowther Show
The Lowther Show, which is held in the splendid grounds of Lowther Castle, attracts thousands of equestrian fans each year to see its amazing Horse Carriage Driving Trials - and they're fast! Lowther brings together the best in competitive field sports, with world-class championship events in clay shooting, gundogs, airguns, angling and terriers and lurchers. It's not all about the competition though - the show makes a fantastic family day out, with a programme of arena events, have-a-go countryside sports activities, live music, a Taste Cumbria Food and Beer Festival and Village, rural crafts, an antiques fair, trade exhibitors, country sports tuition, and children's features such as land zorbs, crafts and entertainment! In 2016, the show takes place on 13th and 14th August. One day simply won't be enough! lowthershow.co.uk
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4. Look out for other traditional country shows on the Lake District's 2016 calendar
The Lake District calendar is absolutely full of traditional county shows, gatherings and sports days. Coming up on 23rd July is the Penrith Show, which first began in 1834! There's lots to see including traditional livestock and animal competitions, show jumping, drystone walling, rural crafts, local food and lots of trade exhibitors. Other shows to look out for include the Cartmel Show (3rd August), the Lakeland Country Fair near Coniston (21st August) and the Hawkshead Show (23rd August). We also list lots of other Lake District events on our What's On page.
5. Take advantage of the recently opened Ullswater Way
Earlier this year the new Ullswater Way was unveiled, with additional pathways created to provide 20 miles of uninterrupted walking around the whole of Ullswater! There's no need to walk the full distance however - why not break up the day with a trip on a steamer or open top bus?! ullswater.com/the-ullswater-way/
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6. Go potty about pots at Potfest in the Park and Potfest in the Pens!
Potfest in the Park will take place from 29th - 31st July 2016 in the beautiful gardens and grounds of Hutton-in-the-Forest near Penrith, featuring the work of over 100 ceramic artists from across the UK and Europe. Hutton-in-the-Forest is already a wonderful place to explore, with its walled garden, topiary terraces, and woodland walks, so makes the perfect setting for an event such as this! Potfest in the Pens, which is being held at Skirsgill Auction Mart in Penrith from 5th August - 7th August, brings together around 130 new and established potters with exhibitor stands, classes, demonstrations and children's activities. potfest.co.uk
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7. Explore one of the Lake District's beautiful gardens
2016 is VisitEngland's Year of the English Garden, so it's a great year to get out and about exploring some of the Lake District's finest horticulture. One garden that looks just fantastic in the summer is Levens Hall near Kendal. It also happens to have the oldest topiary in the world, and its enormous geometric topiary shapes sit alongside long borders filled to the brim with colour, a rose garden, an orchard, and a living willow labyrinth! Other great gardens include those at Muncaster Castle in Ravenglass, and Holehird near Windermere - for more, visit our guide to gardens of the Lake District!
8. Have a great day out at the Cumbria Steam Gathering
The Cumbria Steam Gathering is a favourite annual event, which is organised by the Cumbria Steam and Vintage Vehicle Society at Cark Airfield, Flookburgh (near Grange-over-Sands) and in 2016 will be held on 30th and 31st July. The gathering attracts amazing displays of steam engines, vintage vehicles, farm equipment, and classic cars, motorcycles and bicycles, and there's something for all the family with lots of stalls and food. You can also try out a Segway, watch the 'Purple Helmets' motor cycle display team, and have fun the old-fashioned way on the fairground! steamgathering.org.uk
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9. Choose from six plays at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick
With six different shows on this summer, the Theatre by the Lake has entertainment for everyone, with comedies, thrillers, and thought-provoking and psychological dramas! You can also enjoy something to eat at the newly opened Café by the Lake, which has tall glass windows looking across Derwentwater, allowing you to appreciate those amazing views whatever the weather! 017687 74411, theatrebythelake.com
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10. Leave the car at home and catch a train on a narrow gauge steam railway!
If you're in the south-western corner of the Lakes this summer, you simply can't miss out on one of our all-time favourite attractions, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway! La'al Ratty, as it's known locally, is a narrow gauge railway which runs seven miles from the heart of the Eskdale valley to the Roman port of Ravenglass. As well as being great fun in itself, we love using the railway so that we can leave the car at home. It connects a number of small villages and fantastic walking routes, and for a small extra charge you can take your pooch on board too! 01229 717171, ravenglass-railway.co.uk
We hope this post has given you lots of new ideas for things to do in the Lakes this summer! If you haven't yet booked your Lake District break, you can search our full range of cottages using our online search facility. Don't forget also to visit our recent post listing 10 great activities for families with children this summer - whilst it was written with little ones in mind, there's plenty that will appeal to adults too - especially the Go Herdwick Public Art Trail which finishes this September!
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