With two bank holidays, half term, and increasingly warmer weather, May is the perfect time to book a break to the Lake District with your children. The fells, lakes, and woodlands are a delight this time of year, with lambs and spring flowers in abundance, all providing the perfect backdrop for a family stroll. Pack up a picnic, slather on the sun cream, and check out our top guided walks to do with the family this month.

1. Tilberthwaite, Hodge Close, Cathedral Cavern, & Slater Bridge

Inside Cathedral Cavern

Inside Cathedral Cavern

This walk has it all. Caves, woodland, a river for paddling, and abandoned quarries. This walk is especially delightful in May when the farmland around Tilberthwaite is filled with frolicking lambs, whilst the picnic area near the cave makes the most of the May sun.

2. Easedale Tarn

The Tarn as Seen from the Path

The Tarn as Seen from the Path

A popular walking route, this fairly lengthy stroll from Grasmere follows a stream all the way up to a mountain tarn. This route is best tackled in the warmer months, as there are a number of pools along the way, fed by waterfalls, that warm up under the summer sun and provide a refreshing place to paddle, or swim if you are more hardy! In May, the surrounding pastures are filled with wildflowers and grazing lambs.

3. Keswick Lakeside Round

View from Friars Crag

View from Friars Crag

The great thing about this walk is that it can be fitted in with a visit to Keswick town centre, and it’s suitable for pushchairs. There is a natural play area, and lakeside beach area that is perfect for paddling. In May, the weather is warm enough to enjoy a picnic by the lake, but not so warm that the midges are in abundance!

4. Wastwater & Low Wood

Bench Looking over Wastwater

Bench Looking over Wastwater

The first of our “bluebell walks” on this list, Wastwater is one of the more remote areas of the Lake District, but don’t let that put you off trying this walk. Mostly pushchair friendly (albeit with a short stepped section), this walk takes you through woodland that is carpeted with bluebells during May. Plus, there are places to paddle in along the way, and there is family friendly pub in the nearby village. 

5. Little Town to Little Dale

Looking Back Across the Reservoir Towards Little Town

Looking Back Across the Reservoir Towards Little Town

This walk is another great one for spotting young lambs during May, taking you through a good stretch of farmland before arriving at a secluded reservoir. Ideal for those who like to get away from the crowds, the first half of the walk is also pushchair friendly. Furthermore, there is a Geocache trail along the route (you need to download the app), adding to the adventure for children.

6. Brandelhow Bay

The Jetty

The Jetty

This is another “bluebell walk”, making it a popular choice in the month of May. You can also expect to see brightly coloured rhododendrons at this time of year. Pushchair friendly, the walk will take you through woodland that has plenty of opportunities for den building. At the shore of the lake, keep an eye out for curious ducks, and you could even combine this walk with a ride on a steamer.

7. Castlerigg Stone Circle, Tewet Tarn, & Low Rigg

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle

This walk, that begins at the site of an ancient and mysterious stone circle, is another great one for spotting Herdwick lambs, taking you through long swathes of farmland. The secluded Tewet Tarn, surrounded by fells, is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic in the sunshine. Plus, there is usually an ice cream van parked at the start of the route.

8. La’al Ratty & Stanley Force, Eskdale

Stepping Stones over the River Esk

Stepping Stones over the River Esk

The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway is best visited in the warmer months, thanks to the exposed nature of many of the train’s carriages. During the forthcoming May half term, the stations will be transformed into fairy gardens and children in costume can ride for free. Combine a visit to the railway with this walk up to Stanley Force, which will take you through ancient woodland up to a spectacular waterfall, with plenty of paddling opportunities along the way. The full details of this walk can be found here

9. Aira Force to Glenridding with Steamer Return

A view of Ullswater from the path

A view of Ullswater from the path

The Ullswater Steamers are a popular tourist attraction all year round, but it’s definitely preferable to visit them when the weather is warmer as the wind can feel surprisingly strong whilst onboard. This walk is perfect for a May family stroll, as it combines a steamer journey with a lakeside stroll that offers some fabulous picnic spots and paddling opportunities. Plus, you can treat yourself and your family to cake either at Aira Force or Glenridding.

10. Rannerdale to Buttermere

Looking Towards Buttermere

Looking Towards Buttermere

Protect the Rannerdale Bluebells - Stick to Paths

Whilst the bluebells in Rannerdale provide a picturesque haven of the ever sought-after bluebell, there is an urgent need to protect the bluebells in this area with a quarter of them already lost to trampling. Please stick to paths and encourage others to do the same so that future years may enjoy the same magical display.

Our third, and perhaps our favourite “bluebell walk”, will take you to Rannerdale near Buttermere. During May, the fields below Rannerdale Knotts are carpeted with bluebells as far as the eye can see, creating a truly beautiful spectacle. The walk can be started either at the small car park for Rannerdale, or in the village of Buttermere where you will find some of the best ice cream in the Lake District.