Things to do with kids in England's Lake District

by whitemoss

England's beautiful Lake District is a natural playground. Kids love skimming pebbles, scrambling up hills and getting muddy. Here are the best things for kids in the Lakes.

When I was a child, my family took their vacations in England's Lake District. I moved to the area over 30 years ago and brought our children up here, so I've got all the inside knowledge to point you to the best things to do with kids in England's Lake District, home to Beatrix Potter (creator of Peter Rabbit) and William Wordsworth, possibly the world's most famous poet.
The simple things are the best, so introduce your kids to all the great outdoor activities the Lake District has to offer, what ever the weather.
If you're looking for indoor activities, I'll guide you to the best things for kids to do indoors in the Lake District too.

Kids love to play in the great outdoors.

There are lots of healthy outdoor activities for kids in England's Lake District

Here is a list of just some of the outdoor activities for kids in England's Lake District. Some of these activities are completely free, though you may need to get your kids some basic equipment.

  • Paddling in lake and rivers - kids love it!
  • Scrambling and climbing. Kids can do this up rocks, paths and hills.
  • Kids can learn the serious skill of rock climbing - there are climbing walls and instructors.
  • For more adventurous, older kids, ghyll scrambling ( climbing up streams) is great fun.
  • Messing about in boats - row boats, canoes, and  kayaks can all be hired. Sail boats can be taken out with an experienced adult. Lessons are available.
  • Go fishing! Take a net and see what the kids can find.
  • Swing from the trees in one of the parks. There are lots of excellent free kids playgrounds, or for older kids there is the wonderful "Go Ape".
  • Try mountain biking. Bring the kids' bikes with you, or hire a bike. There are loads of cycle routes, or you can go to one of the Forestry Commission trails for a fantastic experience.
  • Interact with wildlife. All through the summer there are local shows, many of which give kids the chance to handle wild birds. The owl display at Muncaster Castle is fabulous.
  • Go hiking - that's what everyone does in the Lake District, and you are never too young to start.

 The photos used on this page are mine or those of Cumbria Tourism. Not to be used without permission.

This book is spot on the topic that we're looking at here.

Try to get hold of this book for first hand experience of taking the Kids to the Lakes.
Lake District with Kids: Full-color lifestyle guide to traveling with children in the Lake Distri...

Visitors are nothing new to the Lakes. The romantic poets got there first and spent many a happy hour wandering lonely as a cloud. Alfred Wainwright conquered the peaks and docu...

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Readers in the UK can order this book now from by clicking here. Lake District with Kids (Footprint Travel Guides) (Footprint with Kids)

There's so much for kids to do in England's Lake District

Paddling in a lake - simple fun.
Simple pleasures- paddling in a lake
Simple pleasures- paddling in a lake
Dave Willis
Interact with wildlife
Interact with wildlife
Dave Willis

For outdoor activities, a pair of sturdy boots is ideal. We show you a great range here.

For safe hiking in the countryside, a pair of hiking boots is the best choice
Timberland 22913 Back Road Hiking Boot (Big Kid)

Timberland Junior's Back Road Hiking Boots

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Hi-Tec Altitude IV Waterproof Hiking Boot (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid)

This boot is made with Waterproof Nubuck Leather, a Durable Carbon Rubber Hiking Outsole, a Full Length EVA Sockliner.

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Northside Cheyenne JR Hiking Boot (Little Kid/Big Kid)

They love the lightweight fit and feel of the rugged Cheyenne Jr from Northside. The leather and textile upper keeps things breathable when they're working up a good head of ste...

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Helpful links for more information about outdoor activities for kids in the Lake District

Find out where to experience some of the best things to do with kids in the Lake District

Whinlatter Forest  and Grizedale Forest
The UK Forestry Commission has turned two of the Lake District Forests, Grizedale in the south, and Whinlatter in the North, into wonderful outdoor parks where kids and adults can do all sorts of great activities

Go Ape- Live Life adventurously- get in touch with your inner Tarzan
Go Ape operates in forests around the UK, including Grizedale and Whinlatter in the Lake District. Swing from trees, go on treetop walks, zip through the air on a wire. Kids ( and adults) love this! Age and height restrictions apply on some activites.

The Lake District Watersports Centre
Located on Lake Windermere, the Lake District Watersports Centre offers instruction and hire of equipment across the whole range of water based activities

Munacaster Castle- a historic house with something special- an owl centre
The world owl centre at Muncaster Castle fascinate kids. "Meet the owls" takes place at 2.30 pm every day during the main season ( March to the beginning of November)

See more of the things your kids can do in the England's Lake District.

There's a world of outdoor activity in England's Lake District
Learn to climb on a climbing wall
Learn to climb on a climbing wall
Dave Willis
Go canoeing on a lake
Go canoeing on a lake
Tony West
Swing from the trees
Swing from the trees
Dave Willis
Take a bike ride in the wild
Take a bike ride in the wild
Tony West

This is the book that inspired thousands of children to love the Lake District

Swallows and Amazons- the classic Lake District adventure book.
Swallows and Amazons

Set in England's Lake District in the 1930s, Swallows and Amazons is the rollicking story of four young children--John, Susan, Titty and Roger--who embark on an island adventure...

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UK reader can buy Swallows and Amazons here

Just click this link to buy Swallows and Amazons , the classic Arthur Ransome's children's book set on Coniston in the Lake District.A friend of min'es family owns the farm where this booked was based!

Have you ever visited England's Lake District? What do you know about the Lake District?

Have you heard of England's Lake District? If you're not from the UK, do you know anything about the Lakes?
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Thanks for sharing your views. The Lake District is my home- drop by if you're in the area!

Kids need sensible outdoor clothing to enjoy the Lake District

A good warm jacket is essential, even in cooler summer days, for kids who play outdoors all day
Sierra Designs Girl's Hurricane Jacket

he Hurricane Jacket is the essential, everyday lightweight shell you need on hand for those unexpected rain showers. Make this your grab and go jacket for crossing campus, outdo...

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Columbia Sportswear Boy's Mighty Lite Jacket, State Orange, Large

Heat is the name of the game with this classic puffy-coat style jacket. Omni-Heat helps to retain your body heat while the durable exterior sheds rain and stains. Classic baffle...

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History, Literature, Culture, Art, Nature- the Lake District offers unique learning experiences for children

See what the Lake District has to offer kids away from the outdoor sports activities.

Visit the Cumberland Pencil Museum in Keswick
People laugh at the idea of a pencil museum! Situated on the banks of the River Derwent, the famous Derwent pencils and colored pencils were invented here and have been made since 1832, The pencil museum fascinates kids. See the world's largest colored pencil, and enjoy the many activities.

Visit the Lakes Aquarium at Lakeside on Lake Windermere
This imaginative exhibition shows you creatures from lakes all around the world.The underwater tunnel allows kids to get close to these creatures, and there are shows and special events at this family friendly attraction.

Visit Castlerigg Stone Circle- a mystical ancient site in the heart of the Lake District
My kids loved to visit Castlerigg Stone Circle. This amazing ancient site is in the heart of the lakes, but it is overlooked by many visitors. Kids love to count the ancient stones- the number always seems to change. Who build it, why did they build it- fascinating!

Visit Dove Cottage, Grasmere, home to William Wordsworth
Kids may have learnt "Daffodils", one of the world's most famous poems. See the room in the tiny cottage where Wordsworth lived, then visit the excellent adjacent museum. Superb guides make this a really interesting ( and educational) activity for kids.

The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, Bowness on Windermere
Younger kids who love Peter Rabbit will love this attraction, where you can "meet Peter Rabbit in Mr McGregor's garden.

Find our more about Beatrix Potter, her life, her home, her art
This is a gateway page that will take visitors to all the places that are connected to the amazing woman,Beatrix Potter, who lived and worked in the Lake District and who gave so much back to the area.Kids love her drawings, not only the animals, but also the huge range of drawings of mushrooms that Beatrix Potter recorded!

Things to do in England's Lake District- from Cumbria Tourism
The Lake District is in the county of Cumbria, and here Cumbria Tourism has collected together links to all the activities and attractions in the Lake District. I've picked out a few for you above, now take a look here for more ideas.

Outdoor clothing for kids from ebay

See what bargains there on on ebay for children's outdoor clothing

My Kids' Favorite thing to do in the Lake District

The Eskdale to Ravenglass steam railway- huge fun for all the family.

Kids love this trips on the wonderful little steams train through amazing countryside to the coast.
This was my kids' favorite day out. We would drive from our home at Grasmere over the steep mountain passes to Boot in Eskdale, then get the steam train ( an open air carriage- we only went on dry days) to the coast. There were picnics, ice creams, walks, sea, great views and just a great day out. This train is known locally in Cumbrian dialect as "La'al Ratty"

World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, Bowness
World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, B...
Dave Willis
La'al Ratty, the Ravenglass to Eskdale steam Railway
La'al Ratty, the Ravenglass to Eskdal...
Brian Shwerwen
Updated: 03/11/2015, whitemoss
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frankbeswick on 05/19/2017

One activity that we did with our children in the Lake District is that when walking to Stickle Tarn above Langdale one late Winter years ago we found a patch of unsullied snow on a slope. The result was kid mayhem, as our children, followed by other families, pitched in, jumping, snowballing, sliding, rolling downhill through snow and generally having fun while the adults stood and laughed. Sheer mayhem and the snow patch was destroyed, but what does that matter? Kids have fun in the mountains.This sounds like something out of Enid Blyton.

Children sometimes need to be freed to have as much fun as possible, so while adults sometimes structure children's activities, at other times the children need to be let loose to do their own thing.

DerdriuMarriner on 05/19/2017

WhiteMoss, The Lake District appeals to me for many reasons, one of them being the way Beatrix Potter's stories and William Wordsworth's poetry transcend time all these generations after their lifetimes.

whitemoss on 12/02/2012

Thank you!

Mira on 11/14/2012

I would love to go hiking in the Lake District sometime. Great page, whitemoss!!

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