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With glistening waters, towering fells and a whole host of family-friendly sights and attractions, a trip to the Lake District in Summer promises a staycation like no other.

1. Visit Lowther Castle & Gardens 

Ruins of Lowther Castle in Cumbria

Be sure not to miss out on one of the best attractions in the county: Lowther Castle and Gardens. With its fascinating history and picture-perfect scenery, Lowther Castle & Gardens is one that the whole family is sure to enjoy.

Explore the castle ruins or stroll through the 130-acre landscaped gardens. The grounds are home to one of the largest adventure playgrounds in the UK, so the kids can run off some steam while you enjoy a takeaway snack from the café.

If you time it right, you can even catch a live-action performance at the outdoor theatre!

2. Spend a day on the beach

Little girl on the beach with a bucket and spade

How better to make the most of the warmer weather than with sand between your toes? Pack your bucket and spade and head to the coast to spend a fun-filled day at the beach.

Check out our guide to the top 3 beaches in the Lake District for some inspiration!

3. Soak up some culture at Theatre by the Lake – Keswick

An empty theatre stage lit up by spotlights

Positioned on the banks of Derwentwater, a visit to the Theatre By The Lake is a must.

Comprising of two indoor venues, one more intimate than the other, avid theatregoers will be in their element. The nearby Lakeside Restaurant serves delicious meals, and the Spotlight Bar serves drinks late into the evening.

Upcoming shows include Bloody Elle, Brief Encounters and The Borrowers.

4. Take a trip on a narrow gauge steam railway

Jump aboard the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway and take a trip through the beautiful landscape of the Lake District National Park. This narrow gauge steam train runs the 7 miles between Ravenglass and Dalegarth, framing breathtaking scenery en-route

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway has a range of events planned for summer, including Fish & Chip trains and Cream Tea and Steam experiences.

5. Visit The World of Beatrix Potter – Bowness-on-Windermere

An enduring family favourite, this attraction captures the heart and the imagination of all those who visit. People of all ages are sure to love this interactive exhibition.

Head to The World of Beatrix Potter and delve into the literary mind of the world-renowned writer! If you’re visiting the Lake District in Summer, you can even catch a special birthday theatre production for Peter Rabbit!

6. Check out the 30,000 exhibits at the Lakeland Motor Museum – Backbarrow, Ulverston

Classic cars parked in a row

For motor enthusiasts, the Lakeland Motor Museum is a must-see. Crammed with classic cars, motorbikes and memorabilia it is one of the more unique places to visit in the Lake District.

7. Experience Kendal Calling the family friendly music & art festival – 28th – 31st July

Kendal hosts this spectacular music and art festival in the beautiful grounds of Lowther Deer Park.

This year’s events include an award-winning real ale festival, an outdoor cinema, and a Great Gatsby themed party. The star-stunned line-in includes the Stereophonics, Bastille and The Wombats.

8. Cool off with a swim in a river or outdoor pool

A child making a splash in the river

Cool off in the warmer weather with a dip in the beautiful waters of the Lake District. Browse the most popular river swimming spots and outdoor pools in the Lakes in this handy and informative blog post. Pick your perfect spot and create some memories that you’ll remember for a lifetime!

9. Try your hand at water sports on Windermere

Watersports opportunities are rife in the Lake District in Summer, and Windermere is in the centre of it all. Choose from activities such as water skiing, stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing.

For a quieter lake experience, Coniston is the place to head to. Jump aboard the lake cruise and soak in the sights of the Old Man of Coniston towering over the blue water.

10. Take part in the The Aquasphere Epic Lakes Swim Windermere – 17th September 2022

An organised event with a range of distances to choose from and fantastic views to take in as you swim. Skin Swimming is available for avid swimmers with previous experience. This event is suitable for children aged 11 or above, so put your cap on with your little ones in tow and take to the water!

For those who would prefer to stay on land, this is a great spectator sport! Pack a picnic and cheer on the competitors!

11. Indulge in some fine dining

Duck leg confit on a plate

Many of the region’s best restaurants have bespoke summer menus not to be missed. Take a look at our guide on Seven Lake District Michelin star Restaurants and get inspired! With something to suit all tastes and budgets, you’re sure to be impressed.

12. Lose yourself in 9 areas of Whinlatter Forest Wild Play

Sunlight shining through treetops

Hidden deep amongst the towering woodland of the Lake District is the award-winning Whinlatter Forest Wild Play.

Here you’ll find a 900-m long trail of adventure zones, including water play, gravel play, slides, climbing and more! This one is sure to tire the little ones out!

13. Relax while taking a scenic lake cruise with Ullswater Steamers

Ullswater Steamer on Ullswater

What better way to soak in the sights of the iconic lake than aboard a cruise? Jump aboard an Ullswater Steamer and take in the natural beauty of the Lake District in Summer for yourself.

For couples, we’d highly recommend their Gin Cruise, running over the summer months. For families, jump aboard the spectator cruise for a front row seat to the Ullswater Yacht Clubs annual race.

14. Take to the canopies at Go Ape, Grizedale Forest – Hawkshead

Child balancing on a log at a treetop adventure course

Lose yourself amongst the treetops with an action-packed afternoon at GoApe Grizedale Forest. With Segway experiences, treetop adventure courses and a sculpture trail, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy here.

If you’re up for the challenge, join the GoApe Tribe and experience the exhilarating zip wire! This exhilarating course saw a Guinness World Record recently bagged by 106-year-old Jack!

15. Hayes Garden Centre – Ambleside

Located in Ambleside, Hayes Garden Centre is more than just your average Garden Centre.

Voted in the top 10% of attractions worldwide by Tripadvisor, there’s plenty to see and do, including regular fun-filled events.

Follow the enchanting woodland trail through the magical forest in search of Fairies and Leprechauns between the 2nd of April and the 1st of September 2022. If cooking is your thing, indulge in the Taste of America with a barbeque masterclass, held on the 13th and 14th of August.

16. Afternoon Tea at The Gaddum – Windermere

While away the hours over an indulgent Afternoon Tea at this popular Lake District restaurant, The Gaddum.

The Gaddum brings a touch of luxury to your day with its stunning views of Lake Windermere and the Lakeland fells beyond. The Michelin-starred chefs here prepare delectable dishes as memorable as the scenery.

17. Climb Cat Bells – Keswick

A child climbing a rock

For newcomers to the North Lakes, Cat Bells is the most popular family fell climb. A relatively short climb gives some of the best views across the Lake District, giving little ones a birds-eye view of their holiday.

18. Experience Rock Shop – Ambleside

For a truly unique experience, spend a fun-filled day visiting the Rock Shop in Ambleside.

More than just a shop, this popular attraction hosts family-friendly experiences. Choose from the famous life-size gem pit, hunt for ancient fossils, or create your own beaded bracelet to take home.

19. Derwent Pencil Museum – Keswick

Mind your head as you travel back in time through a 15th century replica graphite mine at the Derwent Pencil Museum.

Home to the world’s first pencil, this fascinating museum is a must-see if you’re in the area. There’s plenty more artifacts on show here, including the Queens diamond Jubilee pencil and pencils dating back to the Second World War.

20. South Lakes Bike Fest 2022 – Staveley

Mountain bike driving through mud

Running over the last weekend of the summer, from the 26th until the 29th of August, this year’s South Lakes Bike fest promises to be wheely good fun.

Suitable for all the family, there’s fairground rides, demonstrations, and free skills sessions for all ages. With wood-fired pizza, beer from Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery and Ice Cream from Duffins available, it’s hard to say no!

21. Geocache Hunt in the Lakes

20th August is International Geocaching Day, so why not download the Geocaching App, discover some of the Lake District’s geocache locations and get hunting.

Not only will you have the fun of the hunt, but you’ll also discover fascinating places in the Lake District along the way.

22. Go on a Tale Trail Walk

Tale Trails are free to download Story Walks designed for families. Ranging between 1-10km, choose a walk from popular locations such as Ullswater, the Eden Valley, Coniston and Keswick, and enjoy the story that guides little legs along.

23. Visit an Ice Cream Parlour

Two hands holding ice cream in a waffle cone

How better to cool off during your visit to the Lake District in Summer than with a scoop or two?

The Lake District is home to several locally-made ice cream brands, so be sure to look one up during your visit.

For families, we’d recommend a trip to Old Hall Farm in the Rusland Valley for a delicious Ice Cream Sundae. You can even meet and feed the farm animals, try your hand at butter making or drive a tractor!

24. Seek Out Fairies at Faeryland – Grasmere

This is a magical water experience that older kids with lots of imagination will love.

Positioned on the shores of lake Grasmere, Faeryland is a world-renowned tearoom offering enchanting waterfront views along with rowing boat hire.

Indulge in a spot of cream tea before setting sail aboard a pretty rowboat. Will you spot a fairy hidden amongst the tranquillity?

25. Brave a Cave

Cathedral cavern in Langdale

Turn out the lights and feel a chill in the air as you head to Cathedral Caverns in Langdale or Rydal Cave in Grasmere. These natural caves are great adventures for kids of all ages.

If your little ones are up to the challenge, take on the indoor caving tunnel experience, Brave the Cave, at Brockhole on Windermere.

For something a little different, take a journey beneath the waters of Lake Windermere at the Lakes Aquarium, where you’ll see mirror carp and tufted duck.

Has our hand-picked list of sights and attractions tempted you into a trip to the Lake District in Summer? Browse our collection of cottages in the Lake District and secure your break today!

For more inspiration on how best to spend your time away, give our guide on summertime in the Lake District a read.

Book your holiday today with Lakelovers and learn to love the lakes for yourself.

Images courtesy of: Oliver Dixon – (cc-by-sa/2.0)

This blog has been adapted from original Lakelovers content