Walking is probably the ideal pastime with levels for all abilities and fitness.
Lake Windermere or Lake Coniston are ideal centres for any water activity from cruising, sailing, windsurfing, rowing, kayaking or swimming. From Fell Foot, Bowness Bay Marina, Coniston Boating Centre.
Go Ape in Grizedale Forest. A wonderful day out for the family exploring the forest canopy via a treetop rope course.
Cliffhanger Escape Room in Backbarrow – complete puzzles working together as a team with codes, hidden hints and a game master guide if you get stuck.
Lakes Yoga at Rayrigg Farm Studio D in Windermere, whether it is for a calming spiritual retreat, wellness or active recovery from all the hiking around the beautiful lake district, you’ll find it here.
High Dam Tarn
There is no need to drive for lovely walks in Finsthwaite. High Dam Tarn is a favourite – a small and large tarn which supplied water for the local bobbin mill at Stott Park also within easy walking distance. The church in the village – St Peter’s Church – was built to a Scandinavian design as the origin of the name of the village is named after a Viking settler and means Fin’s clearing.
The industry in the past was based very much around the wood industry – charcoal, and wood for the bobbins which supplied the vast cotton industry in Lancashire in the boom period of Victorian times.
Finsthwaite Tower is a short walk and climb behind Finsthwaite House which starts from the cottage. This was built in 1799 to celebrate naval battles fought against the Spanish and the French specifically Cape St Vincent, Camperdown and the Nile and has a stone plaque. It was originally three storeys, now two.
Another rather lovely and exciting walk-excursion especially with children is from the cottage, following the path behind Finsthwaite House to Newby Bridge. You come out onto the road at the bridge. Hop on the steam train at the Newby Bridge stop. The train starts at Haverthwaite Station so you could walk to Haverthwaite itself as an alternative. The train ends at the lake at Lakeside.
Fell Foot Park
Fell Foot Park is across the lake from Lakeside. You can either drive there and park – free of charge for National Trust members – or take a little water taxi across the lake from Lakeside. The lake steamers also run from Lakeside to Bowness and back or even further to the northern tip of the lake at Ambleside, a much longer trip.
A favourite very rewarding local walk, just a short drive away is Gummer’s How. Of course further afield a car journey takes you to the famous mountains of Coniston Old Man, Langdale Pikes and even Helvellyn and Scafell. Can be done in a day with an early start.
Loughrigg Fell is a satisfying smaller climb, Rydal has some caves and stepping stones, Sweden Bridge which is a section of the Fairfield Horseshoe has some lovely waterfalls.
An interesting architectural house for lovers of the Arts and Crafts period is Blackwell House perched above Lake Windermere. It has very good food in the café and often a separate art or sculpture exhibition.
Cartmel has a race track, quaint little shops, a river, beautiful priory church which survived the dissolution of the monasteries as it was a parish church – and famous restaurant L’Enclume.
Bowness and Windermere are popular destinations and get very busy, as do Ambleside, Grasmere and Keswick. They’re definitely worth visiting. You can also get to Bowness by following the road towards Hawkshead, turning off for the ferry signs just after Graythwaite and making the ferry crossing.
Grange-over-Sands is the destination point of the cross bay guided tour across the sands and has a pretty Edwardian promenade with an annual arts festival.
Holker Hall is also famous for its wonderful gardens and an annual chilli fest.
Levens Hall is a beautiful Elizabethan manor famous for its gorgeous ancient box and yew topiary.
Hill Top Farm in Sawrey was where Beatrix Potter lived and farmed, buying up land which she later gave to the National Trust.
The Lyth Valley is known for its damson trees, blossom and Damson Day in April, harvesting of damsons in August.
Buddhist Monastery, Ulverston – Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre allows the public to visit the Buddhist Temple, historic house and walk in 70 acres of grounds with woodlands and beach.
Kendal – The Brewery Arts Centre has events and good food, cinema.
Theatre By The Lake has summer performances in Keswick.
Chesters at Skelwith Bridge has a nice gift shop and food
Lakeland Motor Museum Backbarrow – over 30,000 exhibits Vintage motorcars, cycles, motorbikes and Donald Campbell’s Bluebird.
Lakes Aquarium at Lakeside.
Cartmel Priory founded by William Marshal, who served 4 kings and was a Champion jouster. It was damaged during Robert The Bruce’s raids from Scotland, beautiful features, particularly the misericords-choir stalls.
Pubs, Food & Drink
Within Walking Distance
The Swan at Newby Bridge has a children’s playground and trail.
Newby Bridge Hotel
The Lakeside Hotel overlooks the southern tip of Lake Windermere. A pleasant walk to the Lake over the hill and through the trees at the back of Finsthwaite Church.
Short Drive Away
The White Hart at Bouth, a pub with lots of character and great food. There is a small playground just opposite the pub on the village green with climbing frames, swings and a slide, so a good place to go with children while you have a drink or a pub meal.
Cavendish Arms in Cartmel is a good pub.
Tower Bank Arms in Sawrey is featured in ‘Jemima Puddleduck’ with Beatrix Potter’s house Hill Top Farm is almost next door.
The Masons Arms, Strawberry Bank – good after the Gummers Howe walk just a short drive further on.
The Queen’s Head, Hawkshead.
The Drunken Duck near Ambleside and The Britannia Inn at Elterwater are very well known.
Old Dungeon Ghyll in the Langdale Valley and start of one of the routes up the Langdale Pikes.
The Three Shires Inn in Little Langdale Valley was named as nearest to where the 3 counties of Lancashire, Westmorland and Cumberland met at the top of Wrynose Pass.
Non-Pub Food and Drink
L’Enclume, Cartmel to push the boat out, for a special occasion
For Indian Food Shahib’s or Lake Raj in Bowness 9 miles away get good ratings.
Greenodd is only 10 minutes away and has Crakeside fish and chips.
The Porterage Co, a good independent wine shop with cheeses (open until 7pm every night).
Bakehouse Born and Bread, a great bakery with outside eating in Greenodd on the way to Ulverston. You can eat in also. Tel: 01229 861265