I started writing this post on our way back from our post Christmas getaway to the Lakes.
We’ve visited the Lake District loads of times over the years. Even more so since we’ve had children, having our family holidays there.
We usually stay in the south of the Lakes, keeping the journey short, also meaning we can enjoy our favourite places even if we’re not staying there as the drive isn’t too far from home!
I wanted to share some of the places we’ve been to, the little gems that we have found and the things we have done that are brilliant especially for the little people in your party!
Wray Castle, Ambleside.
We’ve visited Wray Castle several times over the years, and it’s definitely one of our favourite places to visit with the kids when we are in the Lakes.
It’s a National Trust castle, which as NT members makes it a cheap day out for us! It’s not a usual NT castle, it’s for kids! The rooms have been emptied of breakables and antiques, and filled with toys and games! There’s everything from rooms filled with princess dresses and suits of armour, to a ping pong table and even giant foam building blocks but our favourite part is the Peter Rabbit rooms.
Your children can visit Peter Rabbits home, explore Mr McGreggers Garden and climb into the tree house!
We have visited Wray Castle throughout the seasons, but my favourite is Springtime. Last year we did the Cadburys Easter Egg hunt there and found hidden treasures outside in the grounds of the castle. There’s a fantastic adventure playground outside that the kids love, lots to climb on! There’s some lovely walks around the castle, but also a fab little beach area. We can’t wait for the spring weather so we can have a picnic on the beach!
The car park isn’t very big, the NT advise you to come early or park in Ambleside and get the boat across to the castle itself, although we’ve never had an issue with parking.
Lakeside Aquarium, Ulverston.
This is another place we have visited a couple times over the years. We visited this weekend and it was by far my favourite time ever. Most people weren’t on half term so we had the place to ourselves- always a bonus! But I enjoyed it so much as my twins could enjoy it too. They were late walkers and seen to always be stuck in a pram, but not this time.
The aquarium was perfect for them to walk around themselves and explore safely. They had a ball! The fish tanks were perfect heights for them and they could watch the otters with ease. They loved walking ‘under’ water and over the bridge.
Grisdale Forest, Hawkshead
This weekend was our first visit to Grizedale Forest and we loved it! We first headed to the visitor centre to collect the activity pack for The Highway Rat Trail. My son was over the moon with his pack with included activity sheets, pencil & crayon, stickers and a rat mask- well worth the £3. We found the start of the trail and we were off, taking in the lovely views and amazing sculptures as we walked through the forest.
A truly magical part of the experience was the musical trees, my eldest was mesmerised. Magic keys were sticking out of the trees and were playing beautiful tunes when turned!
We completed the activities throughout the trail, from seeing who can hop the further ride collecting and making our journey stick (we collected a pine cone and a selection of leaves). At the end, my son was awarded with a certificate and sticker which made his day.
We had lunch in the cafe which was lovely and new, nice and clean. It was very spacious and family friendly. The food and drink seemed very reasonably priced.
Before we headed home, we let our 3 loose in the giant adventure playground, they had an absolute ball! We will definitely be back again soon!
Grange Over Sands, Cumbria
This is such a lovely day out! We love visiting Grange as a family, especially when we’re at the caravan near Morecambe. We leave the car at Carnforth train station, and take the train to Grange Over Sands. It’s usually only about £4 for an adults return and the journey is just under 20 minutes, perfect for when traveling with little ones.
It’s a fantastic little journey, with some gorgeous views. My kids always love when we cross the Leven viaduct, for part of the journey it’s as if we’re floating on water!
Once we get to Grange, there’s a promenade to walk along. At weekends we have seen market stalls and craft stalls set up along the front. There’s also a cafe and ice cream shop as well as a small children’s playground.
We like to come off the promenade and venture into the centre of Grange too. There’s a gorgeous little park with a duck pond (always a bonus with kids) and a couple of cafes and tea rooms, one which seems very popular!
After a short walk back to the train station, we head home after such a lovely day. I definitely recommend visiting Grange Over Sands the next time you’re in the Lake District.
I can’t wait to explore new places in the future and make more memories as a family.