There are so many incredible attractions in the Lake District, that it would be impossible to list them all. We have chosen our top 10 Lake District attractions to suit all ages, tastes and budgets, including.
No visit to the Lake District is complete without a trip on the Windermere Steamers. Travelling across England´ s most famous lake by boat is one of the most popular ways to see Windermere. Whether you are planning a full day on the lake or you prefer a shorter trip, Windermere Lake Cruises offers cruises from 45 minutes to 3 hours long. You can also hop on and off the boat at places of interest with a ´Freedom of the Lake´ ticket.
Photo : Abbot Hall Exterior 1 © Tony West
The Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal attracts thousands of visitors every year, and is housed in a Georgian villa on the banks of the River Kent in Kendal. With galleries over two floors, the intimate rooms and beautiful setting offer the perfect place to view art. In addition to a permanent collection, Abbot Hall also offers visitors a wide range of modern British art exhibits.
See also – Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry
Photo : Blackwell Exterior With Parasols © Lakeland Arts
Situated at Bowness, Blackwell the arts and crafts house illustrates incredible architecture and the special atmosphere of an intimate family home. The house is simply furnished, and examples of Art Nouveau can be seen throughout the property, including: stained glass plants and flowers and intricate wooden panelling in the hall. Visitors are free to wander around the house with no roped-off areas, and can enjoy stunning views over the Lakeland scenery. Rare wall hangings can be found in the dining room, and ornate decoration is evident throughout. A 20-minute drive from junction 36 of the M6 motorway, Blackwell is situated just 1.5 miles south of Bowness.
Award-winning Muncaster Castle offers a great day out for all the family. Four of the best attractions in the Lake District are situated in over 70 acres of land, including the incredible Himalayan Gardens and the World Owl Centre. The Meadow Vole Maze is also worth exploring at this popular attraction, which is located in a wild and rugged part of Ravenglass in the Lake District. The castle has been home to the Pennington family since 1208, and it is an Aladdin´s cave of fine art and antiques. Researchers also claim that the castle is haunted, particularly the Tapestry Room, so watch out for any spooky goings on when you visit.
Ullswater Steamers are heritage boats which have been sailing on the lake for 150 years. Now powered by modern engines, the steamers still maintain much of their original charm. Either relax and cruise along Ullswater, taking in the scenery along the way, or combine a boat trip with a walking tour along the lakeside trails. For many centuries this dramatic and rugged landscape has inspired artists and writers, including William Wordsworth, and by viewing the land from the lake, you can enjoy stunning views of surrounding landscapes.
Visitors can climb to the top of the Honister Slate Mine along the Via Ferrata. This cable system allows you to climb up the side of the mine while being firmly attached by a harness. For the more adventurous visitors to the Lake District, visitors can climb along ladders, cross a narrow iron bridge and explore the old mineshaft tunnels. Taking you to the top of Fleetwith Pike, and opened in 2007, the Via Ferrata tours are safely guided, and the wearing of a miner´s helmet and torch is obligatory. This is a great trip for thrill-seekers, and lovers of the Lake District countryside, and also gives a great insight into the workings of the mine.
Kendal Mountaineering Services offer a range of activities to suit all ages, and a vast range of activities, including: rock climbing, caving and water sports. The level of difficulty is up to you, and the skilled instructors will guide you safely through the various challenges. If you fancy going further afield, the company can take you to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the Peak District or even Scotland, although you can find plenty to fill your time in the Lake District. Push yourself to the limits or enjoy a less demanding challenge – it´s up to you.
Border Collies have been bred in the Lake District since the 1700s, specifically to work with sheep. Requiring plenty of skill from the dog handler and the dog, sheep herding can be experienced at first hand here. Learn all about the Border Collies and try handling one of these trained sheepdogs yourself, with the help of an expert handler. This is something completely different to the usual Lake District attractions, and you can feel at one with nature, while communicating closely with the sheepdog. You will even get a certificate to prove you successfully worked your dog around the course. The sheepdog experience has to be booked in advance, and the farm is situated in the Duddon Valley, between Eskdale, Langdale, Coniston and Broughton.
Explore the Lakes of the world at the highly-acclaimed Lakes Aquarium at Newby Bridge. Trek through the rain forests of South America and see the diving ducks, seahorses and rays of the Lake District. Enjoy a spectacular interactive adventure with virtual crocodiles, and a charging hippo. Also featuring the world´s first Virtual Dive Bell, this is one of the most popular attractions in the Lake District.
This railway started life as a narrow gauge railway, which was used for transporting slate down from the hills. A dedicated band of volunteers and locals kept the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway going after its days transporting slate, and it now provides a great family day out. The miniature steam trains chug along the valley from Ravenglass to Eskdale, and Boot Station is a great base for walkers. This is a top attraction for all the family.
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