The skies are big, the fells grand and imposing, the water enticing. The Lakes is just the place to wake and shake kids from their iPads. Launch their activity programme at Derwentwater Marina with sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, ghyll scrambling, rock climbing and even raft building.
It’s a similar story at Keswick Adventure Centre, with an all-action menu of canyoning, white-water tubing and water rollers. Or how about the indoor climbing wall, archery and high ropes at Keswick Climbing and Activity Centre? Nearby, Aira Force falls, with its 70-foot drop, is a fine walk and top picnic spot.
Elsewhere, Go Ape at Whinlatter Forest Park, tour England’s last working slate mine at Honister, complete with knee-knocking climbing on the Via Ferrata. Back on terra firma, the Lake District Wildlife Park brings together over 100 species of animals free to roam the 25 acres of parkland.
Uncover the secrets of the Dark Lake on the Ullswater steamers, take an excursion into the wonderful world of optical illusions at The Puzzling Place, or crack the code on the self-guided Keswick Spy Mission Treasure Trail.
The Lakes are dramatic and nowhere more so than at the Theatre by the Lake. Pop into Morrels for a bite to eat (open early for theatre-goers), then feast on the live action on the shores of Derwentwater, described by The Independent as “the most beautifully located and friendly theatre in Britain.”
At Jennings Brewery, see traditional ales crafted with English pale-ale malt and pure Lakeland water from the brewery’s own well. There’s golf with a view on offer at Keswick Golf Club, world-class spa and therapy treatments at Armathwaite Spa, or some wonderful walks straight from the house.
Make the most of the countryside with clay pigeon shooting, archery, off-road driving, go-karting, quad biking and paintballing. See a mini Stonehenge at Castlerigg Stone Circle, or bike or walk through Whinlatter Forest. At Hope Park, try everything from obstacle golf and boules to woodland walks and wildlife observation.
Find an idyllic spot to fish at Watendlath Tarn, or watch the ospreys at Bassenthwaite Lake. Refuel at Treeby and Bolton art gallery and café, at The Dandelion Café with a side order of stunning views, or on Café Bar 26’s wine and continental lunches.