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When thinking of a winter escape, places such as Switzerland and Austria might spring to mind. But what about the English Lake District?

The Lake District is one of the nation’s favourite National Parks and is a treasure trove of outdoor activity – even in the winter.

Winter Beauty

The picturesque patchwork of mountains, lakes, valleys and woodlands might be a bracing place to be in the winter months. But it is a dramatic backdrop for winter walking, cycling, family activities and much more.

And, when the snow falls, there are plenty of slopes for sledging and idyllic spaces for building snowmen, which the kids will love.

Children sledging at Shap

And, with early dark nights and clear winter skies, it is a perfect time to get looking up at the stars.

After a day out hiking the snowy fells (be prepared as the weather can be very unpredictable) ; or having enjoyed a cruise across lake Windermere or Ullswater, it is easy to get warm again in a cosy Lake District cottage.

Curl up in a romantic sleeps 2 cottage by a roaring open fire. Or sip champers with friends in a hot tub over-looking the grandest of views. Or warm the cockles in a sauna before a stroll to the village pub for a hearty Cumbrian meal – and local ale.

Most of all, don’t over-look the Lake District for a break-away this winter.


Places to visit in the Lake District:

What to do in the Lake District in winter

Windermere and Ambleside are popular choices and give easy access to the central Lake District, including Coniston, Rydal and the Langdale Valley.

A good place to explore the northern lakes is from Keswick. From here you can get to the Lake District’s most famous fells and to the beautiful Borrowdale Valley. Buttermere is within easy reach too.

Cartmel, Grasmere, Lakeside, Ullswater – you can’t go wrong in the Lake District for finding a wintery, pretty spot.

But, if you want a break away from the great outdoor adventures, there are plenty of other activities in the Lake District.

Here are 12 things to do in the Lake District ( some are indoors) just to give you an idea!

Things to do in the Lake District and Cumbria

Rheged, Penrith

The award-winning indoor centre is a great family day out. It’s named after Cumbria´s Celtic Kingdom and there’s plenty to do, including a cinema, exhibitions shops and eateries.


Honister Slate Mines, Borrowdale

things to do in the Lake D

The Honister Slate Mines are the only operation slate mines in the Lake District today. You can take a guided underground tour into the mine and learn all about its history too.

And, on top of that– (if you want to venture outdoors!) there is the Via Ferratas – a whole new experience in itself! Here you can embark on a climbing/walking journey higher than you ever imagined to 2,126feet!


Armitt Museum, Ambleside

The Armitt Museum is a unique and independent museum, which houses a comprehensive library. There are collections and exhibitions of books, manuscripts, drawings and paintings and some of the country’s most important collections of artwork by Kurt Schwitters, who lived in Ambleside.


The Puzzling Place, Keswick

The exhibition is filled with illusion exhibits, a gallery of holograms and 3D images. No matter what your age, this is a fun and interactive attraction where seeing is believing!


World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness

kids activities in the lake district winter

Of course no  Lake District attraction list could be complete without including this attraction.

The interactive exhibit is filled with all your favourite little characters from Beatrix’s famous books.

It tells the story of her writing and her importance to Lakeland conservation. Fun, no matter what your age.




Lakeland Motor Museum, Backbarrow

The museum has the largest collection of motoring memorabilia in the country. It has more than 300,000 exhibits which trace the development of road transport throughout the 20th Century.

There’s also a tribute section to legendary racing father and son Malcom and Donald Campbell, a 1920s garage and a 1950s café – so there’s lots to do on a visit here.


Dalemain Mansion, Penrith

The Grade II listed historic country house is one of the most beautiful stately homes in the north west of England.

Visitors can discover four Centuries of architecture, five acres of celebrated gardens and historic parkland.

And, home-made food served in the Medieval Tearoom – a real treat.


Ruskin Museum, Coniston

things to do in the lake district in winter

The small museum was opened in 1901 by W G Collingwood. He was an artist and antiquarian who had worked as a secretary to the well-know art critic John Ruskin.

The museum tells the story of Coniston from the first Stone Age fell walkers to speed racer Donald Campbell and his Bluebird.

There’s also a collection of 500-million-year-old rocks – so you can see how much you will discover on a visit here!


Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre, Lowther

In the walled garden,  surrounded by unspoilt parkland, the Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre is the perfect backdrop to see more than 150 falcons, hawks, eagles, buzzards and owls, which are flown daily.

There’s a lovely little vintage tea room too for a warming cup of tea too!


Aquarium of the Lakes, Newby Bridge

A lovely little aquarium on the southern shore of Windermere with freshwater and marine life. It features an underwater otter tunnel and stingrays.


Keswick Brewery, Keswick

A great place to get inside and keep warm is to get sampling beers on the brewery tour at Keswick Brewery.

The craft brewery is a short stroll from Keswick town centre, where you can discover how beer is made and much more about beer!


Rydal Mount, Ambleside

What to do in the Lake District this winter

Best known as the home of renowned poet William Wordsworth, who lived here from 1813 to his death in 1850.

It was at Rydal Mount that Wordsworth wrote many poems, including his famous ‘Daffodils’.

It is a lovely Lakeland home and along with the gardens command fabulous views of lake Windermere.


Lake District cottages perfect for winter

You’ll keep cosy and warm in our cottages in the Lake District, many which have beautiful open fires, have hot tubs and saunas – so they’re definitely perfect for a winter stay.

You’ll find them all here:

Lake District cottages with hot tubs