Family activities in the lake district

Things to do for families and children

Have fun in your National Park!

The Lake District is jam-packed with amazing adventures for tots to teenagers.

  • Brockhole on Windermere

    Enjoy the famous adventure playground, paddle in the lake, and explore the fabulous Mawson designed gardens with easy pushchair and wheelchair access. Hire a boat on the lake, with motor boats, rowing boats, kayaks and paddleboards for hire.

    Challenge yourself with archery, laser clay or mini golf.

    Gift shop, cafe, and The Gaddum restaurant on site. Free admission. Pay and display car park.

  • Child on a motor boat on Coniston Water

    Coniston Boating Centre

    Take the whole family out onto Coniston Water! Let our electric motor boats take the strain or take the helm of a traditional wooden rowing boat. Both take up to 6 passengers, and well-behaved dogs are welcome on board too.

    Try out sit on top kayaks, open Canadian canoes or have fun splashing about on paddleboards. Our friendly team will give you all the help you need.

  • Cruise boat on Windermere

    Take a boat cruise

    Boat cruises on Windermere, Coniston, Derwentwater and Ullswater all have covered boats, many with refreshments and toilets on board. And any electric hire boats have covered cabins, to watch the rain splashing on the lake beside you!

  • Map showing an easy access walk in the Lake District

    Child and buggy-friendly walks

    We have more than 40 laidback Miles Without Stiles easy access walking routes, perfect for little legs and buggies. Here are just a few of our family favourites:

    • 4. Scout Scar near Kendal- see for miles and miles from the sea to the mountains!
    • 6. Windermere's Western Shore - Get the ferry from bustling Bowness to this quiet off-road track along the water, perfect for bikes, buggies and woodland exploring!
    • 11. Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge in the Langdales - waterfalls, woods and refreshments at either end of the walk.
    • 13. Tarn Hows near Coniston - a circular walk around a beautiful tarn with views of mountains beyond and lots of woods to play in.
    • 36. Friar's Crag, Keswick - a circular route alongside Derwentwater with amazing views of the central mountains, lake shoreline and woods.
  • The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

    The railway is one of the longest narrow gauge railways in England. The journey is 7 miles long and takes about 40 minutes each way with stunning views of the Lake District.

    Location: Ravenglass, Cumbria, CA18 1SW

  • A bus driving along a lake side road

    Take a bus ride

    Take in the views and explore the Lake District without the hassle of driving or parking. Stagecoach's guide to the Lake District has timetables and maps to help you plot your journey. In the summer an open-top bus ride is a wonderful way to take in views of lakeshores and fells all around the Lakes.

  • View along a forest track in Grizedale forest

    Grizedale Forest

    Discover art sculptures throughout the forest, with 10 walking trails and 9 cycle trails to explore, including some challenging off-road mountain bike trails. You can hire bikes on site, and with an adventure play area, picnic areas, covered seating and a cafe, its a great day out for all ages.

    Location: Between Windermere and Coniston lakes, southern Lake District.
    Grizedale Forest, Hawkshead
    Sat Nav Postcode: LA22 0QJ

  • Cafe over looking forest at Whinlatter

    Whinlatter Forest

    Whinlatter has amazing views across Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater and Keswick. There are 9 walking trails and 3 cycling trails to explore, and the longest purpose-built mountain bike trails in the Lake District. The site offers bike hire, picnic areas a play area and a cafe and has an all-terrain accessible tramper to hire as part of Lake District Mobility.

    Location: Near Keswick, North Lake District
    Whinlatter Pass, Keswick, Sat Nav Postcode: CA12 5TW

  • A red panda in a tree

    The Lake District Wildlife Park

    Over 100 species of exotic animals live at this 25-acre park, which participates in six endangered species programmes. There are park keeper talks throughout the day, and an on-site cafe and an indoor soft-play and outdoor adventure playground.

    Location: Near Keswick, North Lake District.
    Bassenthwaite Lake
, Keswick
, Cumbria
, CA12 4RD


  • An alpaca walking in the Lake District

    Alpacaly Ever After

    Meet alpacas, walk with alpacas, go llama trekking! Award-winning Social Enterprise offering unique experiences at four locations on and around the shore of Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake, with alpaca and llamas which have been rehomed from all over the country. Accessible walks for all mobilities including wheelchair users available.

    Location: Near Keswick, North Lake District
    The Lingholm Estate, Portinscale, Keswick CA12 5TZ

  • Best things to do with kids when it rains in the Lake District

    Rainy days in the Lake District... they happen quite a lot, but there's still loads of fun things to keep the whole family entertained.

  • Family looking up at fish in a glass tunnel

    Lakes Aquarium

    Go on a journey of underwater discovery! Set on Windermere lakeshore, this award-winning attraction has the UK's largest collection of freshwater fish. You can arrive at the aquarium by boat, from Bowness or Ambleside with Windermere Lake Cruises. And you can catch a steam train with the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. There are a café and shop on site, and entry for children under three is free.

    Location: Lakeside, the southwestern shore of Windermere.
    Lakeside, Newby Bridge, Cumbria, LA12 8AS

  • Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

    Take a short trip on a steam train and travel three and half miles from Haverthwaite to Lakeside pier at the southern end of Windermere lake. When you reach the lake you can visit the Aquarium of the Lakes, or catch a boat to Bowness or Ambleside with Windermere Lake Cruises.

    Location: South Lake District, near Ulverston.
    Haverthwaite Station
, Ulverston
, Cumbria,  LA12 8AL

  • Rheged Centre

    An arts programme including everything from children’s theatre and craft to opera, ballet and theatre streamed live on our giant cinema screen, which also shows a range of movies for all the family. A gallery space for five exhibitions every year. Children's activities and an outdoor play area, and a shop and cafe stocked with local produce and crafts.

    Location: Near Penrith, North Lakes.
    Rheged Centre, Redhills, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 0DQ 

  • Two children sitting in front of a castle

    Wray Castle - National Trust

    Wray Castle sits on the west shore of Lake Windermere. With church-like interiors, turrets, towers, informal grounds and miles of lakeshore paths, Wray Castle provides the perfect backdrop for a day exploring outdoors in the Lakes.

    There are three way marked trails through the estate woodlands, where you can see some rare and champion trees, and lakeshore bays, which make perfect stone skimming and paddling spots.

    The ground floor of the castle is open, but as the castle came to the National Trust without its contents, you will not see a ‘typical’ historic house full of paintings, furniture and antiques with an accompanying owner-family history through the ages.

    You can start the day on the water and arrive at Wray Castle by Windermere Lake Cruise boat, which runs until the end of October. The west shore path with endless lake views is bike and walking friendly.

    The team in the cosy café make everything fresh on site, and it’s the perfect place for a warming drink and treat after a day’s exploring.

    Location: West shore of Windermere, near Ambleside.
    Low Wray, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0JA

  • Keswick Climbing Wall

    Your kids climbing the walls? Let them scale a proper climbing wall! Keswick Climbing Wall and Outdoor Activity Centre is just 5 minutes drive outside Keswick and offers indoor and outdoor activities. Free parking and café on site.

    Location: Keswick, North Lake District.
    Goosewell Farm, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4RN

  • The World of Beatrix Potter

    Meet Peter Rabbit and all his friends, as Beatrix Potter's stories, which were inspired by the Lake District landscape, come to life.

    Location: Bowness-on-Windermere
    Crag Brow, Bowness-on-Windermere, LA23 3BX 

Langdale mountains reflecting into blea tarn%

Become a Lake District expert

Are you a lover of the Lake District? Become an expert by being the first to hear about news and updates, learn about nature, wildlife and places to visit for families. Subscribe before 17 May 2024 for a chance to win a voucher worth up to £125 (T&Cs apply)

Subscribe to emails

Toilets and changing facilities

Toilet locations and baby change facilities are listed on our Public toilets page. Many are located near our car parks.


To find out the current conditions, check out our Webcams page or for a forecast please look at Weatherline