The Best Things to Do in the Lake District for Families

The Lake District is a beloved destination for families seeking adventure, relaxation, and unforgettable experiences. Nestled amidst stunning landscapes of rolling hills, shimmering waters, and picturesque villages, the Lake District offers a wealth of activities for both adults and kids. 

From hiking scenic trails to rock climbing and taking a paddleboard out on the water, there’s no shortage of things to do in the Lake District for families. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, family-friendly attractions, or simply a chance to immerse yourselves in nature’s beauty, the Lake District has something for everyone to enjoy. 

This guide will take you through all of the best activities in the Lake District for families, all year round. We’ve covered all bases, so you’re guaranteed to find at least a couple of activities that will suit your family’s getaway. Read on to discover all the amazing experiences that this popular region has to offer!

Fun Activities in the Lake District for the Whole Family

Looking for things to do in the Lake District for families? Well, you’re in luck because this picturesque part of the country is filled with attractions that cater to all ages. From museums to adventure parks to animal encounters, there’s no shortage of family-friendly fun to be had. Below, we’ve listed our favourite activities in the Lake District that the whole family is guaranteed to enjoy. 

The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction

Step into the enchanting realm of Beatrix Potter at The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, where the timeless tales of Peter Rabbit and his friends come to life in vivid detail through interactive exhibits and activities. Recently named as one of the top 10 best family museums in Europe, it’s guaranteed to be one of your best days out in the Lake District with kids.

As you wander through the museum, you’ll find yourself transported to the charming landscapes of Beatrix Potter’s stories, from the cosy interior of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’s kitchen to the gardens of Mr McGregor’s vegetable patch. Youngsters will love the interactive displays that allow them to explore Peter Rabbit’s burrow and even dress up as their favourite characters for a photo.

With engaging activities, interactive storytelling sessions, and hands-on crafts, The World of Beatrix Potter is a magical experience and will capture the imaginations of the whole family. 

Adventure Parks

Go Ape

If you’re looking for things to do in the Lake District for families craving adrenaline-pumping excitement, look no further than Go Ape in Whinlatter. Whinlatter Forest is England’s only true mountain forest. Surrounded by dramatic views and unique landscapes, this treetop adventure course is one of the most exhilarating activities in the Lake District. 

Prepare to soar through the canopy on zip lines, cross wobbly bridges, and tackle challenging obstacles suspended high above the forest floor. Or, if you prefer staying closer to the ground, why not try your hand at a forest segway experience, where you can zoom through the mountains? 

Multiple courses cater to different skill levels here, so whether you’re a seasoned adrenaline junkie or a first-time adventurer, there’s something for everyone at Go Ape.

Brockhole on Windermere

For a day of family-friendly fun and outdoor excitement, make your way to Brockhole on Windermere, a beloved destination that offers a wide range of activities in the Lake District for all ages. Set on the shores of Lake Windermere, this estate boasts stunning views and endless opportunities for adventure. 

Test your agility and balance on the treetop treks, where you can navigate rope bridges, zip lines, and Tarzan swings high above the forest canopy. Splash in the water with boat hire options, including kayaks, paddleboards, and rowboats. Younger visitors will love the adventure playgrounds, where they can climb, slide, and swing to their heart’s content. 

With picnic areas, cafes, and scenic walking trails, Brockhole on Windermere is one of the best things to do in the Lake District for families seeking a full day of outdoor fun that everyone will enjoy.

Alpacaly Ever After 

Dive into one of the most unique and unforgettable activities in the Lake District with a visit to Alpacaly Ever After, a charming alpaca farm nestled in the heart of the Lakes. This family-run farm offers the perfect opportunity to meet and interact with adorable alpacas in their natural habitat. 

Take a stroll through the picturesque countryside as you lead your new furry friends on a little adventure. Whether you’re petting, feeding, or simply enjoying the company of these gentle giants, a visit to Alpacaly Ever After promises to be one of the best things to do in the Lake District for families. Don’t forget your camera – you’ll want to capture every heartwarming moment of your experience with these charming and photogenic animals.


Wray Castle

If you’re looking for family days out in the Lake District that are as educational as they are fun, then a trip to Wray Castle is a great idea. Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich history of this 

Victorian Gothic castle nestled on the shores of Lake Windermere. 

Visitors can explore the castle’s grand interiors on a guided tour, where you’ll discover fascinating tales of its former residents. Outside, you can wander through the castle’s beautiful gardens, which offer sweeping views of the surrounding landscape and provide the perfect backdrop for a family picnic. 

Kids will love the special events and activities designed just for them, from interactive storytelling sessions to hands-on craft workshops that bring the history of Wray Castle to life in a fun and engaging way.

Muncaster Castle

Venture into the past at Muncaster Castle, an imposing mediaeval fortress set within gardens and woodlands in the scenic Eskdale Valley. Join a guided tour of the castle’s historic rooms and hear tales of its illustrious past, from royal visits to ghostly encounters. 

Explore the castle’s enchanting gardens, which boast an array of rare plants, vibrant flowers, and tranquil water features. It’s undoubtedly one of the best things to do in the Lake District for families, who will love the variety of special events and activities on offer, including falconry displays, treasure hunts, and themed days.

Lowther Castle 

Discover the hidden treasures of Lowther Castle and Gardens, a sprawling estate nestled in the heart of the Lake District. Explore the castle’s magnificent ruins and uncover its fascinating history through guided tours and interactive exhibits that bring the past to life. 

Outside, the castle’s extensive grounds offer endless opportunities for exploration and adventure, from meandering pathways and secret gardens to scenic vistas and wildlife spotting opportunities. There are many sign-posted walking routes and cycling trails to embark on around the estate too, so you can make the most of the beautiful outdoors. 

Pack a picnic and spend the day exploring the parkland, enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, and soaking in the serene beauty of nature. With something for everyone to enjoy, Lowther Castle and Gardens is the perfect destination for family days out in the Lake District.

Outdoor Activities in the Lake District for Families 

When it comes to things to do in the Lake District for families, nothing beats the great outdoors. This stunning region is a paradise for outdoor lovers of all ages, offering a range of activities that cater to both adventurers and those seeking a more relaxed experience. Let’s dive into some of the best things to do in the Lake District with kids.


One of the quintessential activities in the Lake District is hiking, and with good reason. The landscape here is simply breathtaking, and what better way to soak it all in than by strolling through the walking trails with your family? 

For those looking for family-friendly trails, you’re in luck. Places like Tarn Hows, Catbells, and Grizedale Forest offer countless scenic routes that showcase the beauty of the lakes and are perfect for people of all ages. The Tarn Hows circular walk is particularly great for the family as there are Tramper all-terrain scooters available to borrow, so any less-mobile family members can keep up with the little ones running ahead. 

Hiking through the countryside is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in the Lake District for families if you’re looking to make the most of the stunning scenery. Picture-perfect views, tranquil lakes, and lush greenery await you at every turn. Pack a picnic and make a day of it!


Unsurprisingly, one of the best days out in the Lake District is when you take to the water. Not only is it fun for the whole family, but it’s also a fantastic way to experience the beauty of the region. Lakes like Windermere, Derwentwater, and Coniston Water offer families the choice of both leisurely boat trips and watersports for the more adventurous family members. 

At the Coniston Boating Centre, you can rent rowboats, kayaks, or paddleboards and explore the serene waters at your own pace. Meanwhile, the Lake Windermere Boat Cruise offers guided tours of England’s largest lake, providing fascinating insights into the region’s history and landmarks.

If you’re looking for the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, head to Ullswater Lake and hop aboard the Ullswater Steamers. These historic boats have been offering scenic cruises across the lake for over 160 years, showcasing some of the most stunning vistas the Lake District has to offer. 


Perfect for the ‘outdoorsy’ type of family, climbing is one of the most fun and thrilling activities in the Lake District. Several exhilarating climbing spots offer challenges for climbers of all skill levels. However, it’s probably not suitable for your tiny tots, so bear that in mind when planning your days out in the Lake District with kids. 

Many of the best rock climbing spots are in the Wasdale region. Here, you’ll find Napes Needle, which is perhaps the most iconic rock climb in the UK and is located on the southern flank of the Great Gable mountain. Although it’s a challenging ascent, the views from the top are more than worth it! 

For a less traditional approach, why not try your hand at Via Ferrata at the Honister Slate Mine? There is a classic and extreme climbing route, both of which provide an adrenaline-pumping experience that’s not for the faint-hearted. With various difficulty levels, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.


If you’re looking for things to do in the Lake District for families, wildlife spotting is a super easy, fun, and relaxing activity to delve into. Nature lovers will be delighted by the abundance of wildlife that calls all areas of the Lake District home. Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of red squirrels, deer, and birds of prey as you explore the region’s natural habitats.  

A visit to the Lake District Wildlife Park offers the perfect opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures up close and learn about their conservation efforts. There are also incredible animal experiences available such as stepping into the enclosures of tapirs, meerkats, and lemurs. It’s undoubtedly one of the best places to visit for days out in the Lake District with kids. 


For a dose of nostalgia and a leisurely way to take in the scenery, hop aboard one of the region’s historic railways. It’s certainly one of the best things to do in the Lake District with kids who are interested in steam trains and history. 

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway affectionately known as ‘La’al Ratty’, is a narrow-gauge heritage railway that runs from Ravenglass to Dalegarth Station in Boot, boasting a history dating back to 1875. Passengers will be treated to a journey through stunning coastal views, estuaries, and rolling hills.

The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway offers a charming steam train ride to transport you back in time. As you chug along the tracks, enjoy the picturesque landscapes of woodland, meadows, and glimpses of Lake Windermere rolling by. Stops along the route include stations at Haverthwaite and Lakeside, providing opportunities for passengers to disembark and explore nearby attractions or catch a boat across the lake.

Indoor Activities in the Lake District for Families

When the weather isn’t cooperating, fear not! There are still plenty of indoor things to do in the Lake District for families. Below are some of our top options to keep the whole family entertained on those rainy days.

Lakes Aquarium

Dive into the fascinating world of aquatic life at the Lakes Aquarium. Here, you can get up close and personal with a diverse array of fish, amphibians, and reptiles as you wander through immersive exhibits that recreate the natural environments of these fascinating creatures. 

Kids will love the daily feeding sessions and interactive talks, where they can learn more about the inhabitants of the aquarium and their conservation needs. It’s without a doubt one of the best days out in the Lake District with kids, and children under 3 are free!

The Puzzling Place

Get ready to challenge your mind and test your perception at The Puzzling Place, an interactive museum of optical illusions and mind-bending puzzles. Explore a variety of exhibits that will leave the whole family scratching their head in confusion. From gravity-defying rooms to mind-boggling illusions, this is one of the most weird and wonderful activities in the Lake District.

Theatre by the Lake

A visit to the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick is one of the best things to do in the Lake District for families. There is a variety of performances, ranging from classic plays to contemporary productions, that you can catch at this charming lakeside venue. Plus, with a cosy cafe and stunning views of Derwentwater, it’s the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon.

Rheged Centre

A fantastic indoor option when you’re looking for things to do in the Lake District for families is the Rheged Centre – a unique venue that combines culture, shopping, and fun under one roof. Families can enjoy a range of activities, from exploring the large 3D cinema and engaging in hands-on art workshops to browsing through the craft and artisan shops. The Rheged Centre also hosts special events and exhibitions, such as a Christmas pantomime or a cartoon circus show, ensuring there’s always something new and exciting to discover.


There’s an abundance of things to do in the Lake District for families. Whether it’s scenic hiking trails, exploring historic castles, or simply soaking in the natural beauty of the lakes and mountains, the Lake District offers endless opportunities for family fun and exploration.

With its breathtaking landscapes and countless family-friendly attractions, it’s no wonder the Lake District is a top destination for families. So why wait? Start planning your family trip to the Lake District today and create memories that will last a lifetime in this captivating corner of England.

Looking for a place to stay during your family trip to the Lake District? Leisure Resorts has a fantastic selection of luxury holiday homes, pods, and glamping tents in the Lake District at our award-winning Ullswater Heights Park.

There is something for the whole family – even the four-legged ones – at our holiday park. With a bar and restaurant, an adventure golf course, and even a brand-new spa (coming soon), you won’t want to leave!

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