We’ve had some wet and stormy weather in the Lakes and Cumbria recently but come rain or shine, there are still lots of things to do in the Lake District! From indoor attractions to sheltered walks, here are our top 10 suggestions for what to do when the sun won’t come out to play…
1. Hop, skip and jump over to The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, Bowness-on-Windermere
The Lake District is Beatrix Potter country and you can see all the author’s famous characters come to life at this fantastic attraction. Learn all about her fascinating life and enjoy 3D displays showing how Beatrix Potter dreamt up Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jemima Puddle-Duck and friends. The Peter Rabbit Garden is one of my favourite parts of the tour – you can even see the cos lettuces that Benjamin Bunny nibbled on and the Gooseberry bush where Peter got caught in a net as he tried to run away from Mr McGregor. After all the excitement, you can relax in The Tailor of Gloucester Tearoom with a nice cup of tea.
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2. Step back into history at Blackwell Arts and Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere
Credit: Dave Willis
Blackwell was the former holiday home of wealthy Manchester brewery owner Sir Edward Holt. Designed by Arts and Crafts architect M H Baillie Scott between 1890 and 1900, and the house is an important surviving example of 20th-century housing design. The enchanting, historic house overlooks Windermere and is the perfect place to spend a day. Wander around the many rooms taking in the inglenook fireplaces, fine craftsmanship and unique artwork. There are no roped off areas so you can relax and take your time exploring. The gardens have stunning views over the lake and the Coniston fells.
3. Visit the Lake District Distillery, Bassenthwaite
Enjoy a tour at the Lakes Distillery, and learn how their world-class spirits are made. This is one for the whole family - youngsters can busy themselves completing a prize-winning quiz as they go around the distillery, while grown-ups relax and taste the spirits they see being made. There is also a bistro serving lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, or why not take a stroll to the River Derwent, passing the friendly, fluffy alpacas en route?
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4. Go ghost-hunting at Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass
Owned by the Pennington Family since 1208, Muncaster Castle is known as one of Britain’s most haunted castles and offers stunning gardens, an owl centre and magnificent rooms to explore full of cultural and historic collections. The home of Tomfoolery, various ‘strange happenings’ have been recorded at the castle over the years, from rattling door handles to mystical disappearances. When it’s raining, take a stroll through ‘Bluebell Wood’ and walk amongst the shelter of the trees whilst taking in the beautiful flowers.
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5. Spend all day at Rheged, Penrith
When the weather turns, head to the Rheged centre – Europe’s largest grass covered building! There is a 6-storey high 3D cinema screen, 3 cafes offering fresh Cumbrian food and drinks, shops selling locally made goods, a spa, cookery school and indoor/outdoor play areas for kids. The parking is free and there are lots of spaces available. The centre runs a programme of exhibitions and activities throughout the year.
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6. Aira Force gets better when it’s wetter, Ullswater
Drive to Aira Force car park and walk under the shelter of the ancient leaf canopy to the waterfalls which look even more dramatic and mighty when the heavens open. The tumbling waterfall drops an impressive 65ft and the sound of the water crashing into the pool below is immense.
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7. Monkey around at King Kong Climbing Centre, Keswick
My eldest child Bruno loves visiting this climbing centre whatever the weather! This attraction only opened in October 2014 and has been incredibly popular with tourists and locals alike. Have a go at climbing and indoor caving or take part in one of their outdoor adventures – rock climbing, ghyll scrambling, caving and Via Ferrata. If physical activity isn’t your thing, there’s a lovely café to enjoy a cuppa and a piece of cake.
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8. Take a tour at Honister Slate Mine, Borrowdale
Set at the top of Honister Pass, one the road from Borrowdale to Buttermere, you’ll find Honister Slate Mine. This working slate mine runs fully guided underground tours several times a day so that you can see how the Westmorland Green Slate is extracted and worked and learn about the mine’s rich history. You can also discover the famous ‘Via Ferrata’ routes…not for the faint hearted! Using a series of metal cables, rungs, ladders and bridges, you can follow the original miners track over the rock face.
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9. A trip to the Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum, Threlkeld nr Keswick
Just three miles to the East of Keswick, set amongst stunning Lakeland scenery, lies the Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum. Open 7 days a week from Easter to October, you can experience underground mine tours and see the unique collection of machinery on the quarry site – the largest collection of vintage excavators in Europe. The quarry also has its own narrow guage railway, which has breathtaking views of Blencathra and the surrounding fells. Take a ride on ‘Sir Tom’, ‘Hunslet’ or ‘Ruston’.
We have lots of beautiful cottages in Threlkeld for you to discover.
10. Discover art and nature at Brantwood, Coniston
This historic house was home to Coniston’s most famous resident, John Ruskin, from 1872 until his death in 1900. Offering a superb day out, Brantwood is known as a ‘paradise of art and nature'. Explore the Ruskin Museum and take a fascinating insight into the wonderful world of Ruskin and his life in the lakes. Discover fine paintings, stunning furnishings and Ruskin’s most treasured possessions within this characterful home. The estate is housed amongst 250 acres of gardens created by the poet and writer. Beautiful in all seasons, the gardens look out across the lake and over Coniston Old Man. Brantwood’s Café is perfect for a light lunch or afternoon tea and it’s pet friendly too. There is a cosy wood burner for those cooler, wet days.
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We have Lake District Cottages near all the attractions listed above and you can find your dream holiday cottage.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.