We have just go back from a much-needed break in the Lake District. We normally get away somewhere in each of the school holidays, and during lockdown, there was Easter and a May half-term, and we obviously did nothing but staying at home. So it was very welcomed to just have a change of scenery and do something a little different. Switching off from homeschool and working was lovely too. But what did we get up to?
We had a fairly busy itinerary, but still found time to relax and just enjoy the place that we were staying in. If you are planning a trip, or just looking for a few ideas of things to do with children, then here are a few of the things that we did.
One of the hidden gems of the Lake District is Aira Force, in the north part of the national park, on the way to Keswick. It is a large river with several waterfalls, including a walk alongside. It really is stunning, and not too challenging so suitable for all ages really (though you may need to take your time up and down some of the steps). The views are great, and you can even go for a swim, if you’re anything like my crazy brothers-in-law!
Grasmere is a lovely little village fairly central in the Lake District. it was home to William Wordsworth, back in the day, and you can even see where he and his family are buried in the churchyard. There are walks in and around the village, but one of the main attractions is the Grasmere gingerbread shop, selling the famous gingerbread with the original recipe. It is the only place in the world where you can get it, and the recipe is a secret! it is so good though, so would recommend stopping for a couple of slices.
Old Man of Coniston
Coniston is a lovely place to visit, but one of the best walks in the area is the Old Man of Coniston. We have done this before with children, though we have taken our own route sometimes, to get off the beaten track a little. There is an old slate mine in the centre, then you can head back up. There are streams and old blacksmith outhouses with the traditional machinery too. It is an interesting walk, but not too intense at all. You’ll need a few hours for this.
Kayaking on Coniston Water
Another thing that we did in Coniston was to go kayaking out on the lake. Although, be warned, it isn’t like a kayak that I have used before, and you should get prepared to get a little wet! The lake is beautiful though, and not too busy compared to somewhere like Windermere.
Boating on Lake Windermere
Speaking of which, it has become a little bit of a tradition for us to hire a boat out on Windermere. We took it out for three hours this time, and it was lovely to actually have the time to use the jetty, tie up the boat in a couple of spots, and then find have a wander. Wray Castle has a public jetty, so that is a must to stop at. The boats are electric, and really easy to use.
Now, this isn’t for the faint hearted, from what I have heard, but the husband, his brothers, and Max took up the challenge to climb the highest peak in England. It is quite uneven and more ‘rough’ than somewhere like Snowden, and when they hit the peak, it was thick with cloud, raining, and very windy, even though it had been sunny for the rest of the journey.
From our accommodation, we were able to walk to Ambleside, which was around 4 miles round trip. Ambleside can be pretty busy, but visiting their little cafes and shops is a must. The Apple Pie is the best bakery that there is!
Again, only walking distance from our accommodation was Rydal Water. We went down one evening and the boys went for a swim, and Chloe and I had a paddle. Higher up on the walk, there are also some pretty cool caves. It isn’t an intense walk at all, so very family-friendly.
Honsiter Slate Mine
This was one of the coolest things that we did, although some elements aren’t that family-friendly. There are tours of the mine that are suitable for children, and you can go across the Infinity Bridge which is 2000ft up in the air. The setting is incredible there, and as it is still a working slate mine, it was really interesting to see.
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*this is a collaborative post – all words and opinions are my own.