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The South Lakes Animal Park

The South Lakes Animal Park is a small animal park that has tigers, rhino, giraffe, monkeys. The park has enclosures where animals such as monkeys, lemurs, kangaroos, wallabies and various birds are free to wander and mix with visitors. Popular features are feeding times when keepers often give talks. The big cats have their food placed at the top of telegraph poles and it is amazing how they can reach 30ft in seconds.

Suggestion for a day trip in the Lake district

Start the day with a short walk up to the top of Gummers How . As you can see from the photo you will be rewarded with fantastic views of Lake Windermere from Lakeside to Bowness and beyond. Access is easy as you drive up two-thirds of the way before parking. The path is across the road from the car park. On the other side of the mountain have lunch at the pub at Bowland Bridge.

Next drive to Haverthwaite Station for a scenic railway trip on Lakeside & Haverth'te Heritage Steam Railway line . The railway runs for 3 1/2 miles from Haverthwaite Station, along the banks of the River Leven, to Lakeside Station where you can see the Lakes Aquarium .

When you reach Lakeside station you can take the 'Lakeside Steamer' to Bowness and/or Ambleside. When you are on the boat you will be able to see Gummers How and will probably be surprised at how high and rugged it looks. The Steamer is the best way to see Lake Windermere.

Once you reach Bowness or Ambleside you can have a wander around the town, before returning by boat and then steam train back to your car.

Honister Slate Mine

Honister Slate Mine produces the world famous Westmorland Green Slate and is located at the top of the Honister pass.

The visitor centre offers a regular guided tour of the mine system that will explain the history of the mine.

 They also offer another tour called via Ferrata (iron way) - an adventure climbing system that uses a permanently fixed cable up the rock face following the old miners route. They provide necessary equipment but advise dressing for wet weather.

 You need a good head for heights !!!

Centre Parcs - Whinfell Forest

Center Parcs is a Holiday Village set in a forest environment, providing high quality accommodation and a full range of sports and leisure activities all centred around a huge tropical lagoon style fun pool. The village has a number of bars and restaurants serving foods from around the world. Cycles can be hired to enjoy cycling along forest tracks. Other facilities include ice rinks and lakes for water based activities such as canoeing and sailing.

Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter's farmhouse ‘Hilltop’ is open to the public. The house is furnished with all her favourite things and the house appears as if Beatrix had just stepped out for a walk. Every room contains a reference to a picture in a 'tale'. Hill Top is a small house and a timed-ticket system is sometimes in operation to avoid overcrowding and to protect the interior. After Beatrix Potter married she moved home and her new home can be seen across the road. (but this is not open to the public).

The World of Beatrix Potter - Hop, skip and Jump - is a place where you can visit Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck and many other delightful characters. The attraction includes all 23 Tales by Beatrix Potter, brought to life in a magical indoor recreation of the Lakeland countryside, complete with sights, sounds and even smells. So you can meet Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregors garden, discover Jemima Puddle-duck in the woodland glade and visit Mrs. Tiggy-winkle in her kitchen.


Rydal Mount and Gardens  family home of William Wordsworth. Visit the house for a tour of the house & garden and possibly enjoy a Cream tea and scones afterwards.

Dove Cottage - The Wordsworth Museum. Dove Cottage in Grasmere was William Wordsworth's home from 1799 to 1808. Here Wordsworth wrote much of his poetry, and his sister Dorothy kept her famous journals.

Laurel and Hardy museum - Ulverston

The Laurel & Hardy Museum in Ulverston originally started as a small personal collection and has grown gradually into a small museum. The museum has limited opening times, particularly over winter so please check before setting off.

Jennings Brewery Tour

Find out how Jennings real ales are brewed by taking the friendly, guided 1.5hr tour of the brewery. A Jennings Brewery Tour takes you round the Jennings Brewery, explaining such intriguing brewery expressions as Hop Back and Mash Tun. The tour is completed in the best way possible with the chance to sample some ale, the famous Jennings Bitter noted for its malty taste, Cocker Hoop, Cumberland Ale or the strong Sneck Lifter.

The Rum Story - Whitehaven

The Rum Story has you Imagining that you are leaving the streets of the Georgian town centre and feeling like you have been transported to an exotic island in the Caribbean. During your visit you will travel through a tropical rainforest, an African village, a realistic slave ship, Cumbrian cottages, a Cooper's workshop and much, much more.

Kendal Snow Sports Club

Kendal Snow Sports Club can be found on the slopes of Kendal castle. The club is run by volunteers. The club offers snowboarding, tubing and skiing as well as coaching from experienced skiers.

West coast Karting - Maryport

Visitors can enjoy a custom built indoor kart track with modern Go Karts to suit anybody (ages 8 or over). Adults and children alike are fitted with Proban (flame-retardant) overalls, neck collars, professional helmets and gloves.

Lakeland Motor Museum - Ulveston

Vintage and veteran, classic, curious and comical, weird and wonderful cars, motorcycles, scooters, pedal cars, fashion, exhibitions and lots more.

The Cumberland Pencil Museum

The Cumberland Pencil Museum is in Keswick. The Pencil Museum is a great all weather attraction where you can find out how they get a lead into a pencil. The museum also shows the history of pencil making plus a few special exhibits such as the worlds longest colour pencil and a kids art studio.

Rheged - The village in the the hill - Penrith

Rheged has both an indoor and outdoor play area. It has the largest 3D cinema in the area. There are a number of shops, a small pottery workshop, spa and a food hall. Rheged could be the destination to aim for on a scenic drive through the Lake district.

Scenic Rail Trips

Ravenglass & Eskdale railway

South Tynedale railway

Furness Railway

Lakeside & Haverthwaite railway

Kent Viaduct near Grange over Sands

Walking and Cycling in the Lake District

The lake district is such a beautiful place that you can walk or cycle almost anywhere and have a great trip. There are too many possibilities to include here. However, there are a few shorter routes that could be suitable for families out for the day.

Beautiful Keswick - At Keswick the old railway line is now a scenic route about 3 miles long. The river Greta also follows this route, snaking below several bridges along the track. We really enjoyed this route and extended it by cycling from the end up to Castlerigg Stone Circle, although this part of the route was a bit of climb.

Walking around Derwentwater is another possibility. The walk is about 10 miles and there is very little climbing. About 50% of the route has shoreline access, in other areas the path just guides you past hotels etc along the route.

There is a 16 mile mountain bike trail suitable for beginners called the Iron Keld Loop. The route starts in Ambleside. The route is mainly on rocky surfaces and gravels, passes several cafes and pubs, has fantastic views and takes about 3-4 hours if you stop for breaks. Obviously, stopping at local pubs is to support the local community :) This route route and many others like it are designed for anyone who can ride.

Walks / Rides in Cumbria

Cycle routes in Cumbria

Things to do Cumbria - The Lake district

Grizedale Forest

Grizedale Forest is a great place to enjoy many different activities such as Mountain biking, walking trails, Go Ape, WildPlay, sculpture trails and wildlife watching. The forest has a number of different trails and there is something to suit everyone, from the all access Ridding Wood trail to the demanding Silurian Way. Grizedale offers a great day out.

You may also be interested in Talkin Tarn Country Park. The park has a permanent orienteering course arranged around 120 acres of farmland, woodlandand a large 65 acre lake.

Go Ape

Local Go Ape locations

Grizedale Forest - Nr Hawkshead

Whinlatter Forest - Keswick

Park Resorts Self Catering Accomodation

Park Resorts have 4 locations in the lake district. Two sites, Fallbarrow & White Cross Bay are on the banks of Lake Windermere. Limefitt is ideally placed for exploring Cumbria and Gatebeck is a great base for the Lakes, Yorkshire or the Lancaster area.



White Cross Bay


Find great things to do, the best Lake district attractions, cheap family days out, romantic weekend breaks & fun things to do visiting Cumbria this weekend.