October Half Term in the Lakes

As we emerge into some kind of normality, we’re all yearning for a mini-break away, a change of scenery, somewhere different to our own 4 walls. With October half term on the horizon, why not book a break with the reassurance of staying right here in the UK and in the beautiful Lake District.

There’s so much to choose from, whether your family prefers a high energy all-day walk, perhaps a potter around a lake,  gardens or houses, or more organised outdoor adventure, such as a boat trip or kayaking, or maybe the weather means you have to look for indoor fun.  Whichever type of family you are, the Lake District can cater for you all.

And of course, our famous hospitality is well and truly open, from cosy pubs and cafes to high-end restaurants and bistros. Then back to the lodge just to chill out and enjoy your own space and perhaps a hot tub, or just lounge on the deck. Perfect!

Check out our Autumn lodges here

Here’s a selection of ideas to do during your break and an outline of how they are operating at the moment.  We’ll keep updating this blog as things change so keep popping back for more info about ‘the new normal’.

Brockhole Visitor Centre

We think that Brockhole offers one of the best days out in the Windermere area for families, with boat hire, mini-golf, bike hire, trails, the outdoor adventure play area and Treetop Trek, you’ll be spoilt for choice.  Parking is easy, on-site. (P&D)

There are currently 3 cafe options with outdoor seating, but for now, the Gaddum Restaurant remains closed.  Rest assured that social distancing measures are in place for a safe and fun family day out.

Treetop Trek & Treetop Nets

Brockhole Tree Top Nets
Brockhole Tree Top Nets

In every family, there’s a daredevil who will love flying high above the trees and whooping down a zip-wire, and there’s the more laid-back family member who just wants to have a mini-adventure which may even be simply having a cuppa and waving at the other family members from the safety of terra firma.

At Treetop Nets enjoy 1,500 metres of giant trampolines, slides and tunnel nets all suspended in the canopy 9 metres high. Minimum age is 3-years.

Treetop Trek takes you high above the canopy, and you then zoom down the zip wire in the general direction of Lake Windermere for the ultimate adrenaline buzz.  There’s a lower version for children and adults who are a bit more cautious!

Rheged Visitor Centre

Rheged (near Penrith) is now in its 20th year and welcomes locals and visitors to enjoy galleries, cinema, shops and eating places.  A fabulous wet-weather option at Junction 40 of the M6.  Due to re-open in the autumn with an exciting new programme for 2020.

Pony Trekking adventures

If you’re a horsy family you’ll love a hack across the ancient fell routes once used by pack ponies. Cumbria has more bridleways than any other county in the UK and has a varied terrain offering riders a mix of trekking experiences.

Experienced riders? Why not book onto the unforgettable experience of a beach canter on a majestic shire horse with Millom’s Heavy Horses or a Black Horses experience in Cartmel. Find them on Facebook: Cumbrian Heavy Horses

Beginners? Have a look at Lakeland Pony Treks in Troutbeck, just close by to Limefitt Park; Grizedale Riding Centre;  or Park Foot Trekking in Howtown, off Ullswater all offering experiences for varying levels. Brockhole-on-Windermere, just next to White Cross Bay offers pony trekking for beginners too. Read more here about horsy options in Cumbria.

Windermere Lake Cruises
Cruising on Windermere

Get out on the Water

Where better than being in the middle of one of our beautiful lakes, either on a pre-booked cruise or perhaps under your own steam: Kayak, paddleboard, canoe or self-drive motorboats? Things are a little different this year in that you need to pre-book but it’s all online and couldn’t be simpler.

Just go to their websites: Windermere Lake Cruises    |    Ullswater Steamers

Bike Hire

Total Adventure have 3 locations in Windermere and hire outdoor equipment as well as bikes.

Country Lanes Bike hire at Windermere Station are open again, and asking for bookings online before you visit.

Honister Slate Mine

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, check out Honister (and also England’s last working slate mine). Climb the original miners’ route (the Via Ferrata Classic), an exposed adventure climbing course created from cargo nets and wire bridges strung 366 metres above the valley floor. If that’s not enough for you, take the bigger challenge by climbing the Via Ferrata Extreme!  Limited numbers and booking restrictions so check & book first.

Grizedale & Winlatter Forest Visitor Centres

Get out and about on bike trails, bike hire, sculpture trails, fell pony and alpaca adventures, then head indoors to the gallery to enjoy art and sculpture. A great day out for all the family whatever your interests are. Open daily 10am – 4pm.

Geocaching adventure

Keep things interesting for kids that want something extra on an outdoors walk. Geocaching is a great way of re-discovering parts of the Lake District that you might have walked across before. Download the Geocaching app on your smartphones or rent hand-held devices from an outdoor shop. Just make sure you check for being weatherproof (rain) and long battery life and always take OS maps with you too.

There’s a super geo-cache at Wray Castle     |     View more geocache adventures here 

Rainy day family games, swim or spa?

Normally our guests at White Cross Bay, Fallbarrow, Limefitt or High Borrans have use of the health Club Choices in Troutbeck, between Windermere & Ambleside. White Cross Bay guests also have their own pool on site, and Fallbarrow has a games room. However, at the moment these pools and gyms are closed, but we are hoping they will be open in time for October Half Term.

There are many pools & spas around the Lakes, and we hope these will be back open and operating to Government guidelines by October. More details here about Cumbria’s swimming pools 

Have a look at our Things-to-do Pages for even more ideas for your Half Term Autumn family break. A week in one of our family lodges gives you lots of ‘us-time’.  Space to breathe, laugh and plan your own adventure.  The Lake District is ready and waiting to welcome you all to a well-deserved family break.

Book your October Half Term break here