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You’ve arrived in the Lake District with the family, settled into your home for the holiday and now want to plan a few things to do. You are spoilt for choice here in the Lakes so relax and get planning!

Don’t forget to check out our Summer Guide that includes Summer Festivals, shows and events happening in the Lakes during July and August 2019. 


Windermere Lake Cruise

Windermere Lake Cruise

Here’s a selection of our year-round attractions and things to do: 

Windermere Lake Cruises

Every day (unless very windy) Dogs go free. The most popular tourist attraction in Cumbria, choose from a 45-minute jaunt to a 3-hour cruise or spend all day bobbing on and off to please yourself.  You can start at Bowness, Ambleside or Lakeside, and just soak up the magnificent views all around you. Sit inside or out, and you’ll find a café, bar and loos on board. They also have events on such as Jazz Cruises and Summer Evening Buffet Cruises.

Ullswater Steamers

Open 363 days a year, unless very windy. Cruise times vary from 20 minutes to 2 hours. Dogs go free. One of the largest heritage vessel fleets in the world and connecting to iconic walking routes with vistas of Helvellyn and sailing past Wordsworth’s daffodils. Open deck, and covered seating saloons, café, bar and loos. Lots of events through the year too.

Steam Yacht Gondola

If you’re a steam buff, you’ll be in heaven on board the National Trust’s historic vessel, Steam Yacht Gondola. You’ll see the furnace working, puffs of white smoke over the lake, but most of all, enjoy the elegant silence as she sails away from the jetty. You can even book onto the Engineer For the Day experience where you feed the furnace, drive the boat and learn all sorts of fascinating things about what it takes to be an Engineer.  You can visit Brantwood, home of John Ruskin on a cruise too and the Bluebird Cafe.

Coniston Launch

Another way of getting around the Swallows & Amazons lake, and finding out more about Donald Campbell. Links to the lovely Brantwood, home of John Ruskin and the Bluebird café at the boat landings.

Coniston Launch

Coniston Launch

Rainy Day Activites:

A great place to head to for a diverse program of films, exhibitions, art, join in a workshop, listen to lectures, eat, shop, play and generally head indoors if the weather turns.

Tree Top Trek is based here, and this along with a fantastic outdoor playground, boat hire of all kinds, archery, walks, a museum, historic house and garden, shop and café, and the elegant Gaddum restaurant mean you can spend a day here, inside and out.

The National Trust looks after over one-quarter of the Lake District, keeping it beautiful and sustainable for future generations. Walks on its land are free, but you’ll be asked to pay for parking as a donation.  A great way to support the NT whilst you’re here is to join – you then get free parking at all 28 NT carparks, and free entry to over 20 attractions in the Lake District.  You’ll recoup your membership in a week’s stay! You can join online, or at any property.

Here’s our top three National Trust family favourites:

View of Grasmere

View of Grasmere

Allan Bank in Grasmere, once home to Wordsworth, and Canon Rawnsley- co-founder of the National Trust. It is now a lovely, informal space where you can explore, chill out in front of the fire, enjoy a brew from the kitchen, and just wander around, enjoying the lovely views over Grasmere.

Wray Castle This gothic castle complete with turrets and tall tales, sits on the shores of Windermere, with lovely grounds to walk in, and a great bike trail. Beatrix Potter came here for her holidays too! A great place for letting off steam and usually lots of different activities from archery to sailing, to running. There’s a small tea-room, and you can jump on a Windermere Lake Cruise in the summer.

Hill Top, the iconic house of Beatrix Potter, is Hill Top, at Far Sawrey, near Ambleside. Carefully looked after by the National Trust. This beautiful 17th Century farmhouse which Beatrix purchased with the profits from writing Peter Rabbit, remains intact today and is a magical way to step back to a slower, more peaceful time. Look out for Mr.McGregor in the garden!

These are just a selection of ideas to add to your summer itinerary, but don’t forget too, to simply soak up the scenery, enjoy the space, and breathe…

And if you still haven’t booked your summer getaway, make sure you browse our stunning self-catering cottages that are still available here.