Things to Do in the Lake District

Aside from admiring the sheer beauty of its rolling hills, towns, and lakes, there are plenty of things to do in the Lake District to keep you entertained during your visit. Consider coinciding your trip with one of the many annual events that take place throughout the year. This includes beer festivals, music festivals, agricultural shows, Christmas markets, and more.

For those wanting to fully appreciate the great outdoors, check out our list of fell walks, ranging in difficulty from easy to hard with tips on fell walking safety and suggestions on what items to take with you. And, for those unavoidable rainy days, be sure to check out some of the many attractions throughout the Lake District, such as museums, galleries, and activity centres.

4x4 150

Outdoor Activities

Known for its beautiful scenery, fells, and lakes, the best way to truly enjoy the Lake District and take it all in is to partake in some of the many outdoor activities available. This includes 4x4 off roading, kayaking, fishing, ghyll scrambling, horse riding, cycling, and climbing just to name some.

 
Windermere Lake Cruises

Attractions

It should come as no surprise that the Lake District is brimming with great, informative attractions. Museums, galleries, wildlife centres, castles, priories, abbeys, breweries, a distillery, historic stately homes, gardens, theatres, forests, boat rides, train rides, and activity centres are sure to you keep you and your family entertained.

 
Cat Bells

Walks

One of the more popular things to do in the Lake District is to amble through the beautiful fells to admire the views of the seemingly endless rolling hills and serene lakes. With walks suitable for beginners and children to more challenging walks for the experienced walker like the famous Scafell Pike & Striding Edge.

 
Couple at Music Festival

Annual Events

There are some great events happening throughout the year at the Lake District, which includes a variety of festivals for beer, music, literature, food, and art, as well as a ton of agricultural shows & county fairs, with seasonal events, like Easter egg hunts, bonfires, & Christmas markets. 

 

Top 10 Things to Do in the Lake District

If you're coming to the area but aren't quite sure what to do, we've made it easy by picking our top 10 favourite places and attractions in the Lake District. With so many great things to do, it's hard to narrow down your options, but here are some of our highlights.

Derwent Water

1. Derwent Water

If you’re after those dramatic Lake District views, Derwent Water is a great choice with the option to take a boat ride across the water or have a picnic along the beautiful shores. It is also conveniently located to Keswick, which has plenty of annual events to keep you entertained and a great town centre with interesting museums and cosy tearooms. Derwent Water also overlooks Cat Bells, which is a popular fell for walking.

 
Fell Walking

2. Fell Walking

Fell walking is a great way to fully take in the natural beauty and breathe in the fresh air of the Lake District. There are a range of walks beginning with easy ones for families with babies and small children to walks for the average healthy visitor, and challenging walks for the more experienced climber. Some of the more popular choices include Cat Bells and the Old Man of Coniston.

 
Windermere Lake Cruises

3. Lake Windermere

Windermere is the biggest water in the Lake District and has great recreation on and around its shores. Windermere Lake Cruises offers cruises lasting 45 minutes up to 3 hours or you can take a stroll along the path around the lake, the Windermere Way. Towns around the lake include Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere, and Ambleside, all of which have an array of attractions, restaurants, pubs, and great places to stay.

 
Theatre by the Lake

4. Theatre by the Lake

The Theatre by the Lake not only offers stunning views of Derwent Water, but it also hosts a variety of great events throughout the year. The theatre also has regular performances, including drama, comedy, and opera. You can even make a night of it, as the theatre has a café bar, which serves up snacks and beverages every day with evening meals available on days with performances.

 
Lakes Distillery

5. The Lakes Distillery

The Lakes Distillery is a relatively new addition to the Lake District but one worth noting. Here you can take a 45-60 minute tour of the distillery and learn how whisky, gin, and vodka are made and even sample some of their creations. You can also combine the tour with a gourmet lunch or dinner at the Distillery’s Bistro, a classic afternoon tea, or even a traditional Sunday roast. The distillery is located just a short stroll from the waters of the beautiful Bassenthwaite Lake.

 
Dove Cottage

6. Dove Cottage

No trip to the Lake District is complete without paying your respects to William Wordsworth, the famous English Romantic poet. Dove Cottage, located on the edge of the picturesque village, Grasmere, was Wordworth’s home from 1799 to 1808 and it was here that he wrote some of his most famous works, such as ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’. It is a Grade I listed building and remains much unchanged from how it used to be with many of Wordsworth’s own personal belongings displayed inside. And, be sure to pop into Grasmere to buy some of Sarah Nelson’s famous Grasmere Gingerbread afterwards – you will not be disappointed.

 
Muncaster Castle

7. Muncaster Castle

Located just outside of the sandy beaches of Ravenglass, Muncaster Castle is a fun day out for the whole family. Built in 13th century, you can take a tour of the impressive castle and the 70-acres of its beautiful grounds and gardens. There is also a Hawk & Owl Centre, featuring birds of prey, such as the Peregrine Falcon. There is also a café that serves up delicious snacks and hot beverages, as well as a B&B on site for those wanting to stay on the grounds.

 
The World of Beatrix Potter

8. The World of Beatrix Potter

The World of Beatrix Potter is a fabulous attraction for children, featuring the beloved children’s author and illustrator, Beatrix Potter, and the characters from her books. Highlights of the attraction include afternoon tea with Peter Rabbit, a live-performance theatre show called ‘Where is Peter Rabbit?’, and other fun interactive areas, such as Peter Rabbit’s garden, Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s kitchen, Mr. Jeremy Fisher’s lily-pad boat, and more. The attraction also features a tea room, a gift shop, and, overall, is extremely accommodating for young families.

 
 Holehird Gardens

9. Holehird Gardens

Holehird Gardens is a great place for an afternoon stroll in the sunshine and is located near to Windermere with views of the lake and the fells. There are 17-acres of flowery gardens with guided walks available during peak seasons on a Wednesday. Featuring a Hydrangea Walk and a tapestry of Astilbes, Holehird Gardens is a flowery retreat and a is must-see for anyone who loves gardening.

 
Brockhole Visitor Centre

10. Brockhole Visitor Centre

Brockhole Visitor Centre is another great option for families, as there is plenty to keep your little ones entertained, is dog friendly, and generally has tons of activities available for all age ranges. The centre features an adventure playground for kids, bike hire, boat hire, pony rides, mini-golf, gardens, trails & orienteering, as well as a treetop adventure area for the monkeys in your family. There are also various exhibitions and crafts planned throughout the year, as well as a café with stunning views and a shop that sells local goods, like chocolate, jams, pickles, ales, jewelry, and other unique gifts.