The Lake District is home to the dampest area in the UK, and it is fair to say that the National Park experiences a lot of rain during the year. While the rain helps ensure that the area is home to lush greenery, it can also put a dampener on family trips and days out. Fear not, however, if it rains during your stay; there are many indoor activities as well as sites and attractions that are undercover, which means that you can still enjoy a great time out even in the worst weather conditions. Below are 10 activities and attractions that will help ensure you still have a great time, even if it is raining during your stay in The Lake District.
Although they now have a number of stores across the country, Lakeland, or Lakeland Plastics, has its flagship store at Windermere. The building itself is a sight to behold, and if you are looking to spend a few hours shopping for unique and innovative gadgets, as well as useful household goods, there are few better locations. If you want to eat, head to the café and get yourself a pager. The cafe can get extremely busy on wet days, but the pager will buzz as soon as a table is available, so you don’t have to stand and queue.
2. Rheged, Redhills
Alternatively, if you want something more than just shopping, Rheged, Redhills in Penrith offers a vast array of activities. While some of these activities are based outdoors, there is still plenty to do indoors too. The massive 3D cinema screen, a host of shops, and numerous places to eat are accompanied by woodwork classes, historical exhibitions, and shows and other activities that run seasonally and periodically throughout the year. The site itself is a former quarry, which means that there’s plenty of intrigue just in the location itself.
3. Lakeland Motor Museum
Lakeland Motor Museum is now situated in Backbarrow and it houses a massive collection of vehicles, including cars and vans, boats and even bicycles. The flagship of the collection is the Bluebird, which was driven by Sir Malcolm Campbell. Between them, the two broke more than 20 land speed world records. The display also includes the Bluebird Hydroplane, in which Donald Campbell was killed whilst attempting to break the world water speed record.
4. Ravenglass Railway Museum
The Railway Museum in Ravenglass contains a great selection of relics, photos, and displays relating to the area’s rail history. Rail was a vital form of transport and, in the case of the Ravenglass line, it was used to transport ore from quarries to furnaces. As well as seeing how the railways changed the way that goods and materials were transported in the region, you can also take the family on the 15 gauge railway and travel to Dalegarth Station, near Boot.
5. Wordsworth Museum
Wordsworth is arguably the Lake District’s best known former resident. The Daffodils’ penman was so enamored with his home region that he even wrote a Guide To The Lakes in 1810. Fans of the former poet laureate can visit his childhood home, as well as his marital home, both of which offer displays and details of Wordsworth’s life and works. The Wordsworth Museum is located in Dove Cottage, where Wordsworth first lived with his sister, and later shared with his wife Mary Hutchinson. The couple’s three eldest children were born at Dove Cottage, and for a more in-depth look into the poet’s life, you can visit Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere.
6. Beatrix Pottery Gallery
One former resident that at least comes close to the level of fame that Wordsworth holds is Beatrix Potter. Potter’s tales of Peter Rabbit and his friends hold a special place in many peoples’ hearts, and the authoress was another proponent of life in the Lakes. She was a firm believer in the National Trust; so much so that she left her former home and much of her farmland to the Trust when she passed. The Beatrix Potter Gallery is found in Hawkshead, in a building that was once the authoress’ husband’s office.
7. Lakeland Climbing Center
The Lakeland Climbing Centre, which is also known as the Kendal Wall, is a great place to enjoy some active adventure even if the weather outside prevents you from getting out and about. The centre is open to climbers of all skill levels and experience levels and is spread across a number of levels. You can take the children, enjoy a challenging climb that is designed for experienced climbers, and even take part in various different challenges and competitions that are on during the year.
8. Coast Aquarium
The Coast Aquarium at Maryport is an indoor aquarium. While a number of activities, like RC boating; mini golf; and aqua blasting, are based outdoors there are also a lot of things to do under the cover of the roof. More than 70 themed displays are located in the aquarium, with the most popular typically being the Ray Pool where visitors not only get up close but can actually stroke the rays.
9. Keswick Brewery
The Lake District has many, many breweries dotted around villages and towns, as well as microbreweries that produce a very limited number of barrels. It would be impossible to try all the local brews, but it would also be good fun trying. Keswick Brewery is one of the better known Lake District breweries. Tours take place during the weekend and some days during the week, but it is always best to check that they will be operating at the time you want to visit.
Taking approximately an hour, your tour will teach you how the beers are made and the surprisingly complex processes involved. You can also try a newly produced brew on official Tasting Days, try the beers where they were brewed at the bar, and the brewery also hires out electric Twizy cars which enable you to enjoy the surroundings without causing damage to the local or global environment.
10. The Rum Story
The Rum Story is located in Whitehaven is a unique experience. It is based indoors as a wet weather attraction and transports you from the regenerated dockland of Whitehaven to a world of pirates and rum in the Caribbean. Discover the origins of rum, and you can even try a tot of the drink when you finish your tour, and can buy some of the rum that you try in the shop at the end of the tour.
The Hideaway in Windermere offers the perfect base for exploring everything that the Lake District has to offer. The boutique hotel is comfortable and luxurious and is ideally situated in the heart of the National Park.