Just down the road, the Lakes Aquarium lets kids get up close and personal with fish, amphibians and reptiles, including a journey below the lake, where diving ducks, carp and perch swim above your head. Finish the day with a cruise on Lake Windermere.
Grizedale Forest’s a playground all by itself, with miles of hiking and biking trails, orienteering and Go Ape, home of tree-trekking, zip wires and the Gruffalo’s Child Activity Trail for younger visitors. Keep up the physical activity at Brockhole Visitor Centre, with its adventure playground, lakeside paths, boat hire and mini golf.
Bring your head for heights to Ambleside Climbing Wall’s 35-foot limestone replica wall and other climbs for all ages, from Mini Monkeys to Elite Kids. Hire canoes and rowing boats or try water-skiing or wakeboarding at Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre. Slow the pace at Zeffirelli’s award-winning cinema screens.
Go overground, underground and get really grubby at Honister Slate Mine, then test your nerve on the Via Ferrata. Get kids started on their climbing careers on low-lying Loughrigg Fell, dotted with tarns, knolls, craggy bluffs and meandering paths on the way to an achievable summit.
Call up for on-site action that includes everything from 4×4 driving to paddle boarding and even Archery and Axe-throwing! Shoot some golf at Windermere and Kendal. Ride the trails on four legs with Bigland Equestrian. Or just walk the banks of Windermere from the door.
Go Ape in the trees in Grizedale Forest. Tackle Orrest Head for a short walk to fine views. Try ghyll-scrambling and gorge-walking with Crags Adventures, and follow the stepping stones across Rydal Water to the caves. Or potter the shops at Ambleside and admire Bridge House, built over water to avoid taxes for houses built on land.
Get great mountain views from Wray Castle, or try a botanical treat at Holehird Gardens, offering a colourful display on a sheltered hillside. Take a motorboat out on the lake with Ambleside Waterhead. Or see classic cars and vintage motorbikes at the Lakeland Motor Museum, among 30,000 exhibits.
Settle back for a little indulgence, with pampering at the Lakeside Hotel’s spa and pool, or more of the same at the Swan Hotel at Newby Bridge. Shop for foodie goodies at The Honeypot in Hawkshead, and fine vintages and single malts at Windermere Wine Stores.