Things to do and places to go in the
Central Lakes - in and around Bowness, Windermere and Ambleside
Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House
This elegant Arts and Crafts Movement
house and garden commands spectacular views across Lake Windermere. The
restored furnished interiors include original features such as stained
glass windows and carved oak panelling. Changing historical and
contemporary exhibitions of the applied arts are held in the upper
galleries. It's an amazing place, in the sense that such a perfect example
of the Arts and Crafts movement should have survived so completely. A
fascinating example of British art - and a tribute to the power of the
industrialist who had it built.
For more information on Blackwell, the Arts and
Crafts House, and the Lakeland Arts Trust, see this page.
Blackwell the Arts and Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 3JT
Directions: 1.5 miles south of Bowness just off the A5074 on the B5360.
Phone: 015394 46139
email@example.com Web: www.blackwell.org.uk
World of Beatrix Potter™
Beatrix Potter is a timeless family favourite, and this exhibition,
updated and expanded, is great fun for the children, who can see and meet
the characters they know and love from the stories.
Open: Every day (except Christmas Day & 23-31 Jan) Summer 10.00-17.30 Winter
The Old Laundry, Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 3BX
Directions: In the centre of Bowness-on-Windermere on Crag Brow.
Phone: 015394 88444
firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.hop-skip-jump.com
Kendal - Quaker Tapestry
Now this exhibition is absolutely fascinating.... a tale of 350 years
of history, the award winning exhibition has been compared with the Bayeux
Tapestry! The famous Quaker Tapestry was created by 4,000 people in 15
countries and is one of the world's largest community textile projects.
The Tapestry celebrates social history from the 17th century, including
such events, subjects and characters as George Stephenson, the Irish
Potato Famine, the Slave Trade, the Crimean War, William Penn and
Pennsylvania, Pope Pius VII, Tsar Nicholas I, Joseph Rowntree, science,
marriage, criminal justice, botany, railways and unemployment.
Family facilities include: multi-lingual personal audio guides and large
screen video, interactive displays, costume, gift shop, garden, and
award winning Tearooms.
Open: Mon-Fri 10.00-17.00, April - Nov. Tearooms: all year. Open some
Saturdays 11am - 3pm throughout the year. Closed Bank Holidays.
Friends' Meeting House, Stramongate, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4BH, England,
Directions: Friends Meeting House in Kendal town centre. Entrances on Stramongate and New Road, facing
Phone: 01539 722975
Email: email@example.com Web:
This year the tapestry has won the Cumbria Tourism Award - "Small Visitor
Attraction of the Year 2008."
Windermere Lake Cruises (All along the
The old steamers (now, of course, driven
by diesel engines) have had a long history. Brought in pieces from the
shipbuilders at Barrow, they were assembled at various times over the past
150 years on the shore of Windermere. After passing through the hands of
British Railways, and being somewhat neglected in the
process, they have moved into the good care of the Windermere Steamboat
Company. Any adult who visited the Lakes as a child will have fond memories
of the excitement of setting out for a day trip down the Lake, and even
with the passage of time, a trip on these beautifully restored steamers
has lost none of its appeal for children and adults alike!
The boats operate every day between
Ambleside, Bowness and Lake Side, near Newby Bridge. Seasonal connections
operate for Brockhole, Lakeside and Haverthwaite Steam Railway, Fell Foot
and Ferry House.
Evening Cruises and Jazz/Buffet Cruises operate during the summer. Island
cruises sail daily from Bowness. You can also enjoy Santa Specials and Christmas Lunch Cruises.
Open: Daily during daylight hours throughout the year except Christmas
Day. First cruise departs Bowness 10.00 (earlier in summer).
Directions: From M6 junction 36, follow the brown signs along the A590 to
Lakeside or take A591 to Bowness and Ambleside.
Phone: 015395 31188
Lakes Supertours (From Windermere
all over the Lakes)
If you want something a bit more personal
and individual, try these "spectacular and informative" Lake District
guided tours. You can try the full and half day tours, in luxury
high-topped mini-coaches visiting lakes and mountain scenery and many of
the Lakes' cultural attractions including Hill Top and Wordsworth's
houses; and you can even incorporate lake cruises and steam train
Open: Operating every day throughout the year except Christmas Day and New
Directions: Lakes Supertours office: Lakes Hotel, 1 High Street,
Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 1AF, just below Windermere Tourist Information Centre, 100 metres from the
railway and the bus stations. Pick up service available.
Phone: 015394 42751 & 88133 for detailed tours programme.
Lake District Visitors' Centre
Idyllically situated on the shores of Windermere, and admission is free,
though you have to pay for the car park. There are interactive
exhibitions, the Mawson gardens, an adventure playground, a shop, cafe and
information centre. You can enjoy lake shore access, and catch a cruise to
or from Waterhead (the northern end of the lake, a short distance from Ambleside).
I haven't been for some years, so no doubt it's even better now; even then
it was certainly a superb introduction to Lakeland life and culture.
Open: Daily 1 April - 29 Oct. Grounds open all year. Please phone for
extended winter opening.
Directions: Conveniently located on A591 between Windermere and Ambleside,
or cruise from Waterhead, Ambleside. (Waterhead is the real end of
Windermere, and it's just a short walk to Ambleside from there).
Phone: 015394 46601
firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.lake-district.gov.uk
Fell Foot Country Park (near Newby
Bridge, south end of Lake Windermere)
I remember rowing across from Lakeside to Fell Foot many times when I was
a kid, and you know what? It's just as wonderful now as it was then. A bit
more formal, maybe, since the National Trust became the business it now
is, but there are still great views of the fells, and it really is a
superb place for families to enjoy access to Windermere, with boat hire, a
picnic area and an adventure play area. And if you happen to be there eat
the right time, you'll see wonderful spring and early summer colour from
the daffodils and rhododendrons.
Open: All year 09.00 - 17.00 Shop and tearoom, 25 Mar - 29 Oct 11.00-17.00
Directions: Off A592 Windermere/Newby Bridge road. Southern end of Lake
Windermere. Seasonal ferry link from Lakeside (so you won't have to row
across as I did!).
Phone: 015395 31273
Fine Ceramics by Gordon Fox
(Kentmere, near Staveley).
Situated in a peaceful riverside location
in the beautiful Kentmere valley, the Studio produces fine hand-made
multi-fired English enamels. Gordon specialises in lamps, individual
pieces, unique tableware and special commissions. Gordon's exclusive ceramics are
available from his studio showroom only.
Open: All year, usual shop hours (it might be advisable, however, to
telephone if calling on Sunday). Kentmere Studio Pottery, Kentmere,
Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 9JH
Directions: Turn off Kendal/Windermere
Road to Staveley and take the Kentmere Valley Road, following the signs
for Kentmere. The pottery is signposted three miles from Staveley on the left.
Phone: 01539 821621
Hayes Garden World (Ambleside)
Anyone who's watched this vast garden
centre grow over the years will know how good it has become. It's
certainly one of the largest and best cared for in England - probably due
to the personal service offered by the Hayes family. As they say, Hayes
Garden World really is sheer inspiration.
Open: Monday - Saturday 09.00-18.00, Sunday 11.00-17.00 Closed 25 December,
New Year's Day and Easter Sunday.
Hayes Garden World, Lake Road, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0DW
Directions: Head towards Ambleside on the A5911. Bear right at the lights
and the centre is 500 yards on the left.
Phone: 015394 33434
email@example.com Web: www.hayesgardenworld.co.uk
The Lakes Discovery Museum @ the Armitt (Ambleside)
Experience 2000 years of local history! There are artefacts from the Roman
occupation of Ambleside, Kurt Schwitters Ambleside's artist exhibition, Beatrix
Potter watercolours, information on John Ruskin, a historic Lake District
library, interactive displays, workshops, talks and changing exhibitions.
The museum shop sells "Made-in-Cumbria" gifts (which we on this website
totally support) and antique books, CD's and so on.
Open: 10.00-17.00 daily except Christmas.
The Lakes Discovery Museum @ the Armitt, Rydal Road, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9BL
Directions: In the grounds of St Martins College, Ambleside, opposite
Rydal Road main car park.
Phone: 015394 31212
firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.thelakesdiscoverymuseum.org.uk
Rydal Mount and Gardens (near
Well, what can one say about this place?
I should think everyone who has been to the Lakes has at some time been to
visit the two most famous Wordsworth memorials - his houses at Dove
Cottage, Grasmere, and Rydal Mount. They both have many interesting
features, but the grounds and the breathtaking views of the lakes and
hills make this place rather special. Dove Cottage is better on the poetry
and context of his writing.
Open: Daily March - October 09.30-17.00, November - February 10.00-16.00
Closed Tuesday in Winter months and from 10 - 31 January.
Rydal Mount and Gardens, Rydal, Near
Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9LU
Directions: Off A591 1.5 miles from Ambleside, 2.5 miles from Grasmere.
Phone: 015394 33002
email@example.com Web: www.rydalmount.co.uk
Dove Cottage & The Wordsworth Museum
Dove Cottage is maybe less interesting for the "how" than the "why" of
Wordsworth's work. Sure, you can take the tour of the house, and that's
interesting enough, but the real gem here is the internationally important
collection of manuscripts and the exhibitions which give you a real feel
for his muse. Needless to say, you can also visit the tearooms and gift
Open: Daily 09.30-17.30 (last admission 17.00). Closed 24 - 26 December
Directions: Just south of Grasmere village on the main A591 Kendal-Keswick
Phone: 015394 35544
firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.wordsworth.org.uk
The The Heaton Cooper Studio (Grasmere)
This gallery is a real favourite of mine.
I've called in many times over the years because my father was (among many
other things) a stained glass and watercolour artist, and I'm still
impressed by the essence of the Lakes captured in the Heaton Coopers'
work. It's certainly a family affair, for the studio features a hanging
exhibition of paintings, prints and sculpture from four generations of the
Heaton Cooper family, from Alfred Heaton Cooper (1863-1929) and William
Heaton Cooper (1903-1995), to present day members. There are some superb
prints to buy. And it's one of the most comprehensive sources of artists'
materials I've seen. Look out for the beautiful hand-made paper.
Open: Summer: Monday-Saturday 09.00-17.30, Sunday 12.00-17.30 Winter:
Monday-Saturday 09.00-17.00, Sunday 12.00-17.00
Heaton Cooper Studio, Grasmere, Cumbria, LA22 9SX
Directions: Centre of Grasmere, opposite the village green.
Phone: 015394 35280
Beatrix Potter Gallery (Hawkshead)
Beatrix Potter's original artwork for her
children's "tales" - and more. Each year a different aspect of Beatrix's
work is featured - this year it's "The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher" for his
100th birthday. You can learn more about Beatrix's work and children can
join in the fun with quiz sheets and goody bags, and there's a shop
nearby. You can also browse around the beautiful village of Hawkshead
(Wordsworth was at school here), which I thoroughly recommend. Have a look
at the amazing crystals and artefacts on sale in Tiger's Eye, and meet the
Open: 1 April-29 Oct Sat-Weds 10.30-16.30 (3 - 31 August open
Sat-Thurs). Last admission 16.00 Shop: daily.
Directions: Hawkshead centre, 2 miles from Hill Top. Large pay & display
car park nearby.
Phone: 015394 36355
Hill Top (Near Sawrey)
Beatrix Potter wrote many of her children's stories in this small 17th
century farmhouse. It's been kept exactly as she left it, complete with
her furniture, china and a traditional cottage garden.
Open: 1 April - 29 Oct House: Sat - Weds 10.30-16.00 (3 - 31 Aug Sat -
Thurs). Garden and shop daily. Directions: 2 miles south of Hawkshead, in
Near Sawrey, or 2 miles from the Bowness car ferry (that's the ferry that
takes you across the breadth of Windermere, just south of Bowness).
Phone: 015394 36269
email@example.com Web: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Esthwaite Water Trout Fishery
The largest stocked lake in the North
West. Catering for the National Competition team, casual anglers,
beginners and children alike. You can get tuition as well if you're a
novice. There's a shop where you can buy tackle and hire equipment, and,
as you might expect, you can also buy the produce.
Open: 7 days a week 09.00-18.00 Call the booking line 015394 36541
Esthwaite Water Trout Fishery, The
Boat House, Ridding Wood, Hawkshead, Ambleside, LA22 0QF
Directions: On south west shore of Esthwaite Water 1.5 miles south of
Hawkshead or 6 miles north of Newby Bridge.
Phone: 015394 36541
firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.hawksheadtrout.com
Solar Electric Launches, Coniston Water
Can they really be powered by the sun? Yes, but I guess they have some
back-up - the sun doesn't shine all the time in the Lakes! But the
electric launches are a delight - quite, smooth and peaceful. Sit back,
relax, and imagine you're in the days of the Swallows and Amazons (Arthur
Ransome's delightful children's books were actually set on Coniston Water,
though they resemble Windermere more closely). No surprise that special
cruises include "Swallows and Amazons" and "Campbells on Coniston" - see
website for details. Private Charter available.
Open: Sailing daily from 10.30 to dusk - see website, or phone, for details
and winter sailings.
Coniston Ferry Services,
Cumbria, LA21 8AJ
Directions: Parking at Coniston Boat Landings. Or you can get the
Stagecoach bus from Windermere or Ambleside.
Phone: 015394 36216
email@example.com Web: www.conistonlaunch.co.uk
A truly lovely place to explore, John
Ruskin's house, estate and gardens probably are, as the trustees claim,
the most beautifully situated house in the Lakes. There's a gallery, a
jolly fine restaurant, and a bookshop - if you tire of finding out about
this great social reformer and his life (which was, it has to be said,
quite odd, at least in the later stages). Maybe not so good for the
younger children, but certainly a wonderful place for the older ones and
Open: Daily mid-March to mid-November 11.00 to 17.30. Winter: Wednesday to
Sunday 11.00 to 16.30 Directions: Off B5285 signposted from Hawkshead and
Coniston. Via bus connecting with boats at Coniston jetty.
Phone: 015394 41396
firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.brantwood.org.uk
The Ruskin Museum (Coniston)
You can trace the socially aware and
philosophy of John Ruskin here, and also see his brilliant art works and
explore his social critiques. And since this is Coniston, this award
winning small museum would not be complete without a display featuring the
massive courage and untimely death of Donald Campbell, water speed record
breaker, who is now buried in the village churchyard. And as if that was
not enough, you can also learn about slate, copper, dry-stone walling,
Herdwick sheep, Langdale linen & Ruskin lace!
Open daily March to November, 10.00 - 17.30; Winter: Wednesday -
Sunday inclusive, 10.30 - 15.30. Please phone to check times.
Ruskin Museum, Coniston, Cumbria, LA21 8DU
Directions: A593 from A591 at Ambleside; A595 & A593 from A590 at
Greenodd; B5285 from Hawkshead.
Phone: 015394 41164
Steam Yacht Gondola (Coniston Water)
A unique and elegant steamboat providing
an unrivalled cruising experience. Just like the Victorian passengers of
the original Gondola launched in 1859, today's passengers can enjoy a
steam-powered cruise in opulently upholstered saloons. It's certainly fun
to sail down the lake in style on Gondola, and it gives you a very
different perspective of Coniston.
Open: Daily sailings from Coniston Pier. 1st April until 31 Oct.
Passengers may disembark at Brantwood. Directions: Follow B5285 from
Hawkshead A5084/A593 from Broughton. A593 from Ambleside. Signposted from
Phone: 015394 41288
Go Ape! High Ropes Forest Adventure
Go Ape! is a challenging course of rope
bridges, Tarzan swings and zip slides of up to almost 60 feet above the
forest floor. Ideal for families, friends and corporate groups, Go Ape!
provides approximately 3 hours of fun, laughter and adventure. Pre-booking
essential. If your kids are under 18, you have to go with them, so if
you're not the intrepid sort, get someone into high-wire daredevilry to
accompany them. We've taken our young nephews along and they say it's ace!
Open: 11 Feb - 26 Feb. Daily: 24 Mar - 29 Oct. Nov: Weekends only.
Directions: At Grizedale Forest Visitor Centre, 2 miles south of Hawkshead
on road to Satterthwaite.
Phone: 0870 428 0885
email@example.com web: www.goape.co.uk
Peter Hall and Son Furniture
Workshop (Staveley, near Kendal)
This fascinating workshop is well worth a visit from anyone who
appreciates true quality craftsmanship. You can see skilled designers and craftspeople
creating exceptional furniture and home interiors. You can watch the
craftsmen at work from the viewing gallery, and see more of the products in the showroom.
Open: Throughout the year Monday - Friday 09.00-17.00 Saturday 10.00-13.00
(showroom only). Closed Sunday and Bank Holidays.
Peter Hall & Son Ltd, Danes Road,
Staveley, Nr Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 9PL
Windermere and Kendal just off A591 at Windermere end of Staveley. Follow
Phone: 01539 821633
The Lakeland Climbing Centre (Kendal)
This climbing centre claims to be the
largest in the North of England. They offer a full range of instructed sessions from
beginners' courses through to children's parties. Since they offer outdoor rock climbing, mountaincraft and navigation courses,
and private guiding on the Lakeland
crags and fells, you can learn all you need to know to be safe on the
fells. But it's not all serious - there's also a lot of fun to be had! We
recommend the climbing wall for a completely different diversion. Our
youngsters loved it. Phone for details, times and prices.
Open: Tuesday-Friday 10.00-22.00, Weekends & Bank Holidays 10.00-17.00,
(September-April: Monday 16.00-22.00, Weekends 10.00-19.00 in addition).
The Lakeland Climbing Centre, Lake
District Business Park, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 6NH
Directions: 1 mile north of Kendal town centre on A6 (Shap road), follow
signs onto the Lake District Business Park.
Phone: 01539 721766
firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.kendalwall.co.uk
Museum of Natural History and
The Kendal Museums (see also below) form
a pretty comprehensive tableau of Lakeland life and history with a few
bizarre additions like a collection of mounted animals hunted by British
military officers in the 19th and 20th centuries.
This museum holds the district's
archaeological finds and the natural history collection, together with a
collection of hunted animals from Africa and Asia (among other
places) which was presented to the museum in, I think, the 1930s. Of
course we live in more enlightened times now, but it seems ironic that the
museum adds the rider to its own local natural history exhibition
that none of its exhibits were killed for the purpose of showing them in
the displays. The moral issue of whether it's right to display a
collection of animals killed in less enlightened times isn't one for this
website; I suppose the rationale for displaying them is that they give an
insight into world wildlife for people who may never see the animals in
their natural habitat. It just sits uncomfortably with me; no matter how
impressive the collection (and, with an objective eye, I suppose it is
impressive), one is never far away from the issues of conservation, and,
more importantly, man's effect on the world environment. I personally find
it offensive, but that's just me: go and judge for yourselves. The
collections are impressive, and children will probably find them highly
entertaining. It seems to me that the museum's on safer ground when it
focuses on the natural history, archaeology and geology of the Lake
District. The natural history section includes a nature
trail from mountaintop to lakeside, during which you can learn more about
many of the natural inhabitants of the area. There are impressive
archaeological finds, too, and for anyone interested in the history and
development of the area, right through from Roman times to the present
day, the displays are interesting and entertaining. There are interactive
displays which will keep the children amused. On reflection, I'd say this
was a good provincial museum, trying hard with some more than averagely
However, the reverence
accorded to Alfred Wainwright is a little overdone. Even though many
admire his books, he was undoubtedly a curmudgeon. He was, in his time, a
curator or clerk at the museum.
Events, lectures and
exhibitions run throughout the year.
Open: Mon-Sat 10.30-17.00. (Closed Sundays). Open 18 Feb - 23 Dec 2006.
(Closing 16.00 in Winter). Directions: M6, Junction 36. A591, follow signs
to north Kendal and railway station, which is opposite Kendal Museum.
Phone: 01539 721374
email@example.com Web: www.kendalmuseum.org.uk
Quaker Tapestry Exhibition Centre (Kendal)
Now this is absolutely fascinating for anyone interested in either Quakers
or Tapestry. As the promotional material says, you can see colourful embroidery from 15 countries,
showing 350 years of social history within 77
modern tapestry panels. Family facilities include: multi-lingual
personal audio guides and large screen video, costume, shop, garden, and
Open: Mon-Fri 10.00-17.00, April - Dec. Tearooms: all year. Saturdays to
pre-booked groups only. Closed Bank Holidays.
Friends' Meeting House, Stramongate, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4BH, England, UK
Directions: Friends Meeting House in Kendal town centre. Entrances on
Stramongate and New Road, facing river.
Phone: 01539 722975
firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.quaker-tapestry.co.uk
1657 Chocolate House (Kendal)
1657 Chocolate House is a unique
destination with a restaurant serving 20 chocolate drinks, 14 handmade gateaux
savouries served by traditionally dressed ladies. The shop has hundreds of
handpicked chocolates and gifts. And you can learn about chocolate making,
its history, and see an informative video. There are also special events
including chocolate dipping and chocolate fondue feasts!
Open: 7 days a week 10.30 to 17.00
54 Branthwaite Brow, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4TX
Directions: Branthwaite Brow is next to the
market square on old cobbled street near the Westmorland Shopping Centre.
Phone: 01539 740702
Brewery Arts Centre (Kendal)
The Brewery has something for everyone -
theatre, dance and music events, free art exhibitions and all the latest
films. The Green Room Restaurant, overlooking the garden, Vats Bar and
Intro Cafe Bar, offers everything from snacks and pizzas to evening meals.
Open: 10.00-23.00 every day. Box Office: 10.00 - 20.30 Mon-Sat, 11.00 - 20.30
Sun & Bank Holidays.
Brewery Arts Centre, Highgate, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4HE
Directions: Near the centre of Kendal, signed off
Highgate near the YHA, on the left of the one-way system. Parking for 60
Phone: 01539 725133
Abbott Hall Art Gallery (Kendal)
This is a superb gallery, which I really enjoy visiting. As they say, this elegant Georgian building
does indeed provide a superb setting for its
collection of fine art, which includes paintings by Kendal's famous son
(and society painter) George Romney,
which fill the walls of rooms furnished by Gillows of Lancaster. Changing
exhibitions complement the permanent collection of 18th, 19th and 20th
century paintings and watercolours. There are pictures by Constable,
Ruskin, Turner, Edward Lear and other lesser local artists. Since
one of my relatives worked for Gillow's of Lancaster, the matchless
furniture was of especial interest to me. There's also a small modern art
collection with a Hepworth.
Open Mon-Sat 10.30-17.00 (Closed Sundays). Open 16 Jan - 21 Dec 2007.
(Closing 16.00 Nov - Mar). Directions: M6, Junction 36 follow Museum signs
into South Kendal. Situated behind Museum of Lakeland Life next to Parish
Hall Art Gallery, Kendal,
Phone: 01539 722464
Museum of Lakeland Life at Abbot
The museum shows how our Cumbrian ancestors worked, lived and
entertained themselves for the last 200 years. Or so says the brochure. In
fact, this museum is like many others around the country which try to give
a flavour of local life by constructing mocked-up scenes of life in the
area. These scenes do work well: you certainly gain a sense of how our
ancestors lived and worked. Again, children - especially those of a more
curious nature - will find it all very entertaining. The exhibits include
reconstructions of a Victorian street scene, with pharmacy, toy shop and market
To continue the theme of reverence for
local authors started in the Museum Of Natural History and Archaeology
(#41 above), there's a re-creation of Arthur Ransome's study. This works
less well. The commentary is innocently amusing; and the main appeal of
the man for most people was his books for children, not his personal
history, which only historians and dedicated fans will find of much
interest (he supported the Bolsheviks during the Russian revolution and
married Trotsky's secretary). Anyway, those of us who enjoyed the
"Swallows and Amazons" series as children may find it
All in all, Abbot Hall is a fascinating place for all the family, and
there's much to intrigue and amuse the children.
Open: Mon-Sat 10.30-17.00. (Closed Sundays). Open 16 Jan - 21 Dec 2007
(Closing 16.00 Nov - Mar).
Directions: M6, Junction 36 follow Museum signs
into South Kendal. Museum is in stable block of Abbot Hall Art Gallery.
Phone: 01539 722464
K Village Outlet Centre (Kendal)
The usual factory shopping complex, with the 2nd largest Clarks Factory Shop in Europe, alongside other
famous brands offering discounts of up to 60% off RRP. There's a
Riverside Cafe, the K Shoe Heritage Centre and free parking.
Open: Monday - Saturday 09.30-18.00, Sunday 11.00-17.00 Directions: J36 M6
motorway, follow signs for Kendal and then K Village. Situated on the
south side of Kendal on A65, the Kendal to Kirkby Lonsdale road. Local
buses 41 and 41A.
K Village Outlet, 20 Stricklandgate, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4ND
Phone: 01539 732363
Email: email@example.com Web:
Kendal Leisure Centre
Facilities include swimming, squash, a sports hall, the fitzone gym, a
children's holiday activities, swimming lessons, and an event venue for classical
and light entertainment concerts.
(There's also a leisure centre at Ulverston. See
website for full details or phone 01229 584110.)
Open: 07.45-23.00 hours daily.
Directions: Situated on Burton Road on the
south side of Kendal on the A65 Kendal to Kirkby Lonsdale road.
729777 or 729702 ext 211 or 212
Low Sizergh Barn, Farm Shop, Tea Room and Craft Gallery (near Kendal)
This little enterprise is one of my
favourite places to go for superb quality organic food and drinks. I
discovered them a few years ago, and I've been a fan ever since. They just
have such good stuff, all year round, both fresh and cooked foods of the
highest quality. You can enjoy a vast range of local (and some not so
local) mouth-watering cheeses, fresh farm produce, cakes, sweets and
biscuits, and find some truly delicious organic ready meals, ready
prepared for you to take home. They also have a trail around the organic
dairy farm, and two galleries of gifts and crafts, and a tea room with a
viewing gallery where you can
watch the cows being milked around 3.45pm. If you're travelling to or from
the Lakes, from Kendal to the M6, why not call in and see what they have
Highly recommended for good organic food, and delicious ice-cream!
Open: Easter to end Dec, 09.00-17.30 (tea room 09.30-17.00). Jan 2 - Easter
09.00-17.00 (tea room 0930-1645)
Low Sizergh Barn, Low Sizergh Farm, Sizergh, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 8AE
Directions: 4 miles south of Kendal on the
Phone: 015395 60426
Sizergh Castle & Garden (near Kendal)
Now, another wonderful attraction.
Sizergh is a beautiful and fascinating "castle" (actually a pele tower, I
think), with a distinct sense of history and full of ancient
treasures. It has a sense of place that many old houses, open to the
public, simply don't have. In addition, it's set in wonderful grounds with walks
around the estate. No doubt one of the reasons it feels different to so
many mere museum pieces is that it's been lived in by the Strickland family
for over 760 years. As they say: "You can learn about the Elizabethan carvings and contents of the castle, then
explore the stunning gardens including the renowned limestone rock garden."
But you can enjoy it much more than that rather formal description
Open: 2 Apr - 29 Oct, Sun - Thurs inc. (Closed Fri/Sat). Garden,
1200-1700. House, 1300-1700. Directions: 372 miles south of Kendal, signed
off A590, Barrow-in-Furness direction.
Phone: 015395 60951
Levens Hall & Topiary Gardens (near Kendal)
As Levens is so near Sizergh castle, you could spoil yourself and see both
houses in one day. This is an
Elizabethan house, home of the Bagot family, containing Jacobean
furniture, superb plasterwork and wonderful panelling. It has very
impressive and enjoyable (and, as they rightfully claim, world-famous) Topiary Gardens, first
laid out in 1694, with wonderful herbaceous borders and a fountain garden.
You can enjoy home-made light
lunches and teas. There's a tearoom, gift shop and plant centre. You only
pay to go in the house and gardens.
Open: 2 Apr - 12 Oct, Sunday-Thursday. Garden, Shop and Tearoom 10.00-1700
House 12.00-17.00 Last admissions 16.30
Levens Hall, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 0PD
Directions: 5 miles south of Kendal
on the A6 (M6 Junction 36).
Phone: 015395 60321
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web:
Lakeland Wildlife Oasis (Milnthorpe, near Kendal)
You can enjoy a fascinating journey through the animal kingdom from magic
molecules to mischievous monkeys in this unique and award-winning wildlife
centre. Exhibits, indoor and out, include sea life, butterfly and tropical
halls, a host of hands-on displays and many rare and unusual species.
Open: Every day (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day) from 10.00
Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, Hale,
Milnthorpe, Cumbria, LA7 7BW
Directions: Located on the A6, 2 miles south of Milnthorpe. Near M6
junctions 35 and 36.
Phone: 015395 63027
Aquarium of the Lakes (Lakeside)
Like the Sea Life centres that have
sprung up around Britain in the last few years, this aims to provide an
educational focus rather than just pure entertainment - and there's no
better way to get kids interested in conservation than to get them
involved early in life with the animals that share our planet. So, here
you can see pike, otters, British sharks and mammals including harvest mice, bank
voles and brown rats. And there's a rather clever underwater tunnel featuring diving
ducks. Special activities include a children's quiz trail and daily talks.
Open: All year: daily 09.00-18.00 (17.00 in Winter)
Last admission 1 hour earlier. Closed Christmas Day.
Directions: From M6 junction 36, follow A590 to Newby Bridge and Lakeside
and from Bowness/Windermere follow A592 to
Newby Bridge and Lakeside.
Aquarium of the Lakes, Lakeside, Newby Bridge, Cumbria, LA12 8AS
Phone: 015395 30153
Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway (Lakeside)
This steam railway's been here, providing entertainment to children and
adults alike, for quite a while now. I remember the first beginnings of
the restoration effort, a few enthusiasts with a diesel-powered trolley
restoring the track, and going to the local garage for spark plugs and oil
when the engine broke down! They've come a long way in the 30-odd years
since then, and you can now ride behind beautifully restored steam
locomotives hauling comfortable coaches through the beautiful Leven Valley
to Lakeside, where you can hop off and enjoy a cruise down Windermere. The
locomotives, licensed restaurant and souvenir shop are based at
Haverthwaite station. There's ample car and coach parking at Haverthwaite
and Lakeside, where you can also visit the Lake District Aquarium (see
And no doubt the Lakeside railway has a special place in my affections
because I remember travelling on the last steam train (indeed, the last
train of any kind) to run on this line from Lakeside to Ulverston, before
the closures of the 1960's rendered the line supposedly redundant.
Open: 31 Mar - 28 Oct 2007.
Haverthwaite Station, Nr Ulverston,
Cumbria, LA12 8AL
Directions: A590 by bus or car to Haverthwaite
near Newby Bridge. Lakeside is at the southern tip of Windermere.
Phone: 015395 31594
Lakeland Miniature Village (Flookburgh)
A fascinating insight into the buildings of Lakeland's yesteryear, with over 120 buildings made from local Coniston slate.
You can see miniature versions of houses, farms and barns
all of which create the Lakeland landscape. Classics such as Hill Top, home of Beatrix
Potter, are all hand-made by Edward Robinson. There's also an Oriental tea house and
Open: 10.30 - Dusk, all year. Closed Christmas Day & New Year's Day.
Coach House, Winder Lane, Flookburgh,
Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, LA11 7LE
Directions: South West of Kendal, off the A590 then B5277 to Flookburgh.
Phone: 015395 58500
Ducky's Park Farm (Flookburgh)
All children love animals, and here they can get really close to them.
There's also more fun to be had in the
bouncy castle, the driving range and the large indoor soft
play area. Parents can relax on the sofas and enjoy refreshments from Daffys
Open: Apr - Oct 10.30-17.00 Nov - Mar weekends 10.30 - 16.30 Closed Jan.
Directions: Junction 36 M6, follow A590 Grange then B5277 to Flookburgh.
From Barrow follow A590 then B5278.
Phone: 015395 59293
It's a historic market town that bills
itself as having "contemporary chic on cobbled streets with a wealth of specialist shopping."
You can enjoy street markets on Thursday and Saturday, and food fairs on
the third Saturday of each month, where you can taste Morecambe Bay foods and local fruit and vegetables in season. Indoor
market hall five days a week. There's also a year round festival programme.
Open: Shops open six days, some closed Wednesday. Check with Tourist
Information Centre for current information.
Directions: Leave M6 at
junction 36 and follow the signs for Lake District Peninsulas. Take the A590 following signs for
Phone: 01229 587120
email@example.com Web: www.ulverston.net
Gleaston Water Mill (Ulverston)
In a truly rural location, the mill is the perfect place to relax, explore
and discover your heritage. You can learn some interesting facts about the
miller, his mill, his machinery, his pigs and his bees. This was obviously
a miller of many talents! With tearooms, Pigs Whisper Country Store, bees
observation hive and training apiary, you'll never see milling or bees in
the same way again!
Open: All year. Tues - Sun and Bank Holidays 10.30-17.00. Spring/Summer
apiary experience, Saturdays, 10.30.
Gleaston Water Mill, Nr Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 0QH
Directions: Follow brown signs from A5087
Ulverston - Barrow coast road.
Phone: 01229 869244
Barrow in Furness
With miles of coastline boasting three internationally renowned nature
reserves and attractions for all the family, Barrow is Cumbria's largest
town and major port. Well-known high street names mingle with local
specialist shops in the town centre and Barrow's modern indoor market has
over 80 stalls.
Open: Major stores open every day. Market open Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Directions: M6 junction 36 and take A590 signed Barrow.
Phone: 01229 894784
Holker Hall & The Lakeland Motor Museum (near Grange)
The Hall is interesting enough, but the
gem are its superb gardens, which have become deservedly popular over the
years. They've won many prestigious prizes, and seasonal plantings guarantee an ever-changing experience.
In addition, the
Lakeland Motor Museum features 30,000 exhibits of motoring memorabilia and
the Donald Campbell Bluebird Exhibition. There's a fabulous food market
from time to time (phone for details), and a Gift Shop & Food Hall. The
Courtyard cafe comes highly recommended.
Open: Hall & Gardens: 26 Mar - 29 Oct
11.00-1600 (Hall); 10.30-17.30 (Gardens) Sun - Fri (closed Sat)
Motor Museum: 1 Mar - 17 Dec 10.30-16.45 daily.
All other facilities 1 Mar - 24 Dec.
Holker Hall & Gardens, Cark-in-Cartmel, Nr Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria,
Directions: M6 junction 36, follow brown and white
signs to Holker Hall.
Phone: 015395 58328
The Dock Museum (Barrow-in-Furness)
There's something for all ages, both inside and out. Computer interactive
displays, ship models, a
film show, an adventure playground, a quality cafe. Admission is free,
with free car
parking. Wheelchair accessible.
Open: All year Weds to Sunday. Also Tues in summer & bank holidays.
Directions: Follow A590 or A595 to Barrow. Follow tourist signs on
approach to Barrow town centre.
Phone: 01229 894444
Things to do - attractions and activities - in
What you can see and do in Devon - What's on
in Devon - attractions for kids in Devon