After a few days of beautiful weather The Hiking Household started to think about what walks, and excursions, we hope to do during the school summer holidays. I had a great conversation with my eldest child and we have managed to group together a few ideas that we hope you will find helpful for the summer months, you will notice a common theme – water!!! Please do follow all water safety rules when wild swimming with your children, the water can be very cold and the current fast.
Swimming pools that are outside are not something that we regularly use here in Cumbria! With the recent warm weather my children and I have ventured to a few of the pools close to us and we had the most amazing time. Below I have listed a few Cumbrian outdoor pools that you, and your family, might enjoy this summer.
– Askham & Helton Community: This outdoor pool can be found in the village of Askham, Penrith. The 2022 season started on the 7th of May and all pool sessions should be booked online to avoid disappointment. There are various pool opening times over the summer months, to find out more you can view their website here.
– Haltwhistle: The Haltwhistle Swimming and Leisure Centre can be found in Haltwhistle, Northumberland NE49 9DW. The leisure centre is home to a 25m outdoor (seasonal) heated pool. Your entry to the pool allows you unlimited all day use of the pool, adventure play area and picnic area. There is free parking at the site. To find out exact pool times please follow the link to their website here.
– Greystoke: Located in the beautiful village of Greystoke in Penrith this heated outdoor pool and play area is a perfect afternoon out with the children. This outdoor pool reopened for the 2022 season on Saturday the 21st of May and is open for public swimming from 1pm-6pm. Whilst there is no need to book for the use of this pool we do recommend you check their website here before you make a visit.
Family friendly hikes to enjoy in the sunshine:
No summer would be complete without a family hike in this household! Below are a few of my eldest child’s more recent favourite walks for you to enjoy during the warm summer days.
– Buckstones Jump: If you are after a hike with a view, and an outdoor swim, then this is the one for you. Based in Rydal this 2.6 mile out and back walk is always a huge success with adults, and children, of all ages! There is nothing nicer than reaching the top of a hike and being able to have a little dip in the water. For a full review of our trip to Buckstones Jump click here.
– Fleswick Bay: Found 2 miles from St Bees this really is a hidden gem of West Cumbria, and one of the many reasons as to why the Cumbria Coastal Way is stealing our hearts at the moment. The hike to Fleswick Bay is breathtaking and your children will not be disappointed when you arrive at the bay, the full review of our walk can be found here.
– Catbells: A family favourite for many, this Wainwright walk never disappoints. Whilst it might be a little busier over the summer months we never pass up an opportunity to enjoy this hike in the beautiful weather. With breathtaking views, and facilities in the nearby Keswick and Portinscale, this is a lovely action packed family day out. The review of our trip to Catbells can be found here.
– High Dam: This picturesque tarn is a real hidden gem here in the Lake District. The walk can be found near Finsthwaite and Lakeside at the southern end of Lake Windermere and will be sure to entertain children of all ages. Offering shelter on those warmer days, and plenty of opportunities to dip your toes in the water, this walk is a family favourite of ours and further details can be found here.
Summer bike rides:
As the children are getting older we are finding they are wanting to get out on their bikes more and more. Below are three bike rides that our children adore, and all three routes offer the opportunity to dip your toes in the water after you ride.
– Ennerdale Water: If you are after a quieter section of the Lake District then Ennerdale Water offers a relief from the busier crowds. There are many different routes that you can take when visiting Ennerdale but please note the terrain here can be slightly bumpy, and steep, in parts. This is one of the many reasons my eldest child loves this off road biking challenge! Click here to read our full review.
– Elterwater to Skelwith: A classic family friendly bike ride. This traffic free, flat path is perfect for those little ones who are just starting on their bikes. With breathtaking views and plenty of places to stop by the water this is a lovely day out for the whole family. Click here to find out more.
– Askham Bridge: This bike ride is a more recent find of ours and my seven year old asks ALL the time if we can go back. With the option to bike further if you have older children this is a lovely, safe and easy path to follow. With the option to link with a trip to Askham Gardens or Lowther Castle this is a fantastic day out for the full family, grandparents included. Our review can be found here.
Summer water play:
As mentioned at the beginning of the article please do be mindful when wild swimming this summer. While the weather may feel hot the water can be misleadingly cold, and the current can be incredibly fast. We tend to offer a ‘toe dipping’ or ‘dam making’ option opposed to a full wild swim at this age.
– Crummock Water: Parking at The National Trust Car Park at Lanthwaite Wood there is a short walk down to the shoreline. My children often ask to come here as the water is calm and the area can be quieter than other areas of the Lake District. During the warmer months we can often be found here skimming stones and enjoying a picnic. We often complete the short two mile loop whilst we are visiting, full walk details can be found here.
– Rydal Water: Whether we visit White Moss Wood, Rydal Water or Rydal Caves my children love this part of the Lake District. With so much to see, and do, you are never short of a family day trip in Rydal. It can get busy in the summer months so we recommend arriving early to secure a car parking space. To read our review of White Moss Wood please click here, this short walk takes you to the waters edge and is perfect for those summer days.
– Peggy’s Wood: This is a slightly unusual walk picked by my seven year old as his favourite summer water walk! This walk can be found on the outskirts of Carlisle, Gelt Wood, nearest postcode: CA8 9JJ. The two mile walk is a huge hit with my little ones as the walk is flat, short and relatively easy and the waters edge offers hours of fun. Last summer we spent a full day making a dam across the river. You can read about our escapades, and learn more details about Peggy’s Wood, by clicking here.
There you have it! A full round up of all our favourite adventures this summer. We hope that this has been helpful and that you will enjoy many family fun days out during the summer months. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @thehikinghousehold and tag us in all of your family adventures.
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