The Lake District does get the odd rainy day or two. Ok, quite a few actaully, but there's still loads to do, places to go to keep dry and ways to enjoy this unique landscape whatever the weather.
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!
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.