The Lake District is known as a walkers’ haven, with its beautiful sweeping mountains, ancient forests and, of course, crystal clear lakes. Whatever the weather, the Lake District is visually stunning, but as anyone who knows the UK will understand, we can’t always guarantee that there’ll be the sunshine to enjoy it.
Cumbria is subject to rain and wind just like anywhere else, but there are plenty of things to do in the Lake District on a rainy day. If you don’t feel like braving the weather and going walking anyway, take a look at this list of some of the best things to enjoy during your trip to the Lakes that won’t involve getting cold and wet.
Lakeland Climbing Centre
Located in Kendal, the ‘Lakeland Climbing Centre’ has a range of different walls and obstacle courses that are perfect for those who want to stay active while being sheltered from the elements. Kids can enjoy the special Crazy Climb wall, and beginners get a little helping hand from the auto belay system. If you want a touch of adrenaline, experienced climbers can try the Skyline Cable Climb, or test your limits with the Sky Jump.
Rydal Mount and Gardens offer a quintessentially English experience, nestled in the heart of the Lake District. Perfect for those who love a bit of history and culture, the 16th Century house once belonged to William Wordsworth and served as the backdrop to his iconic lyrical poetry about the area. Take a look around the elegant rooms, complete with some of the Wordsworth family’s original belongings and paintings and enjoy stunning views of Lake Windermere.
Hill Top House
The Lake District has served as inspiration for many British creatives – one of which is the beloved children’s author Beatrix Potter. Her home, Hill Top House, from which she wrote and illustrated some of her most famous stories, is now open to the public. The perfect place for a rainy day that all the family can enjoy, Hill Top is now owned by the National Trust and contains hundreds of items originally owned by Beatrix Potter herself.
Enjoy a fun-filled day out with all the family by visiting the Coast Aquarium in Maryport, packed with beautiful and exciting fish and even with a small waterpark. The majority of the creatures on display are native to the British Isles and there are several species that can be found in the Lakes themselves, on display for your close-up enjoyment.
If you fancy an evening indoors, the Rheged centre just outside of Penrith offers a whole host of activities and shopping opportunities. Enjoy a film at the 3D cinema, take the kids to the giant toy shop, or indulge in a pampering evening at one of the spas or beauty salons. There is also an array of great shops for grabbing walking gear and other goods for enjoying the Lake District when the weather clears up.
Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
The Ravenglass and Eskdale railway is a great way to experience a bit of history while enjoying views of the Cumbrian countryside at the same time. The line is a total of 7 miles long and travels from Ravenglass along the Eskdale valley. After your train ride, there are lots of charming shops, cafes and other attractions in the surrounding area to keep cosy and warm on a rainy day.
The Quaker Tapestry
The iconic Quaker Tapestry dates back from the 1600s and is comprised of 77 panels with carefully embroidered images of Quakerism. This museum is in Kendal and has an exhibition built around the Quaker Tapestry which explores the history and significance of the tapestry and there are regular workshops and craft sessions for those who want to get a little creative on a rainy afternoon.
Located in Ambleside, Wray Castle is a gothic revival building with heaps of seasonal activities to enjoy. Take the kids for a tour of the grounds (just bring an umbrella) or enjoy a peek inside. This castle is famous for being one of the places Beatrix Potter stayed as a child and has beautiful views of Lake Windermere.
Whatever the weather, there’s always something to do when visiting the Lake District. If you’re an outdoors type who loves exercise, there are plenty of indoor activities to challenge you; if you’re looking for a little culture, there are museums and galleries; if you’re with your family, you’ll find a wealth of kid-friendly activities and attractions in this vibrant part of the country.
Come rain or shine, you’re sure to have a great time whenever you visit the Lake District.