Here in Cumbria we are fortunate enough to have an abundance of family friendly walks on our doorstep. However, we also have a huge array of fantastic day trips that really should not be missed. As half term approaches I have listed a few of The Hiking Households favourite Cumbrian days out that, we think, are worth an explore!
– South Lakeside Railway & Lakes Aquarium:
For any families wondering how to spend a day together this is a really lovely little day trip!! There is a pay & display car park within walking distance, postcode LA12 8AS. You are able to visit the Aquarium and then hop on the steam train to Haverthwaite, the journey is approximately 20 minutes. There is a fantastic cafe and play park at Haverthwaite. For full details click here.
– Grizedale Forest:
Grizedale Forest offers a fantastic day out for everyone, there are multiple walking trails to choose from – ranging from easy to hard. There is also a visitors centre, play park, GoApe and cycle centre. Car parking is available, postcode is LA22 0QJ and there is a pay on exit car park. If you have children of all different ages then this is a fantastic day trip as it can cater for all! If you would like to view the walk that we completed on our visit, please click here.
– Piel Island:
Piel Island is on the tip of the Furness peninsula and was well worth the drive, postcode LA13 0QN. The island is only very small with a castle to explore and a pub for refreshments. You can also camp on the island which we will certainly be doing when the children are older! The highlight was certainly the boat trip.There are so many other things to see, and do, in South Lakes that you could easily link a trip to Piel Island with many other excursions such as South Lakes Safari Zoo or the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway that we mentioned previously.
– The Launch, Keswick followed by a trip to The Theatre by the Lake:
This is a classic day trip for my family and I, we have been visiting here since I was a little girl. In fact one of Daniel and I’s first dates was a trip on the Launch ? A day trip to Keswick is always a good idea, our children love nothing more than a round trip lake cruise on Derwentwater, followed by a walk to Friars Crag (for full details click here) and a trip to The Theatre by the Lake. They are showing Pinocchio this February half term, we cannot wait.
– Askham Hall Gardens followed by Lowther Castle:
Askham Hall is situated just outside of Penrith in the village of Askham, it is also very close to Lowther which is home to Lowther Castle – another fabulous family day out! Askham Hall Gardens is a stunning place to visit. There is a car park within the courtyard and you are able to stroll all 12 acres of the gardens, please note there is a small garden entry fee. The children particularly loved the map that they received on entry and enjoyed navigating through the different trails. If you wanted to make a full day of your family trip you could link this visit with a walk through Eamont Bridge (link here) or if you had time you could even head up to Lowther Castle – home to one of the UK’s largest adventure playgrounds! There really is so much to see within this area to keep you busy all day!
Mirehouse & Gardens is situated by Bassenthwaite Lake. The gardens here are wonderful, they provide a natural playground for the children to explore, climb and have fun in. There are multiple trails that you can choose from, we picked the 3 mile lakeside loop that is pram accessible – some sections are rocky so we used the all terrain pram.
There is a pay & display car park within Dodd Wood, across the road from the entrance to Mirehouse. There is also a lovely little cafe here and toilet facilities. If you were feeling particularly energetic there are plenty of walks that begin at this car park, we have even completed the Wainwright here (click here to read more about Dodd Wood).
Overall, a fantastic day out in the great outdoors allowing the children to really explore and play in their natural habitat.