Lake District recommendations

Hi, am heading to the Lake District next week with my husband and son (3). We’ve got a child-free dinner booked at L’Enclume (bucket list item :heavy_check_mark:!) but not many other plans. Any must-dos or recommendations of places to go/food & drink?


Windermere is beautiful so I highly recommend spending a day there! The Beatrix Potter Exhibition is lovely- my daughter is 2 and she was mesmerised. There’s loads of beautiful, local businesses to potter around as well as some high street favourites- Joules etc.
You can also hire a little boat from the jetty and spend an hour or two sailing on the lake- I did this with friends and we shared a bottle of prosecco but as a family you could take a picnic perhaps and enjoy it on the boat! (With or without prosecco!)

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I did a very similar trip in December – when it was snowing! – and had a great time, so can only imagine what it would be like at this time of year!

First, enjoy L’Enclume – it’s sensational!

Make sure to leave time to explore Cartmel. It’s only small, but there are so many lovely shops and a couple of nice child friendly pubs too. Plus great walks from the village.

I also really enjoyed Ambleside – we had a great lunch at Rothay Manor. We couldn’t do a boat tour when we were there as it was too misty, but I think you’d be fine at this time of year. We also really loved the Hole in t’ Wall pub, which had a great lunch menu and really lovely atmosphere.

Try and make a stop-off at Another Place on Ullswater. It’s very child friendly and there are lots of fun outdoor activities you can book, as well as a couple of nice restaurants (in the spring/summer, they have a pizza restaurant in a greenhouse which sounded fun).

Another great place for food was The Gilpin near Windermere – especially its more relaxed modern Indian restaurant.


Thanks so much for these recommendations - super helpful!
@heathersteele I remember reading your review of L’Enclume which coincidentally came out just when I was booking it (it’s for my husband’s birthday) and was so happy to hear it lives up to the hype! Great to hear about some other fantastic places too, thank you :blush:

Brill! Enjoy it – it was the first time I’d been to the Lake District and I loved it!

L’Enclume is such a great experience enjoy!

I agree with Heather re exploring Cartmel – it’s such a lovely village. There’s a cute vintage and antiques shop just round the corner from L’Enclume and Rogan & Co. It’s quite a while since I’ve been but I found a great vintage Burberry shirt and they had some quirky homeware pieces too.

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Agreed Heather, Ambleside is gorgeous. I have been twice as a friend lives there. Highly recommend dinner at Kysty: Sheila’s Cottage is also great and really relaxed, can imagine very child friendly:

Super close to Ambleside is Grasmere which is gorgeous - make sure you pick up some shortbread!

There are Beatrix Potter shops everywhere which I am sure your son will love!


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A luxurious self-catered home situated in the idyllic village of Elterwater designed by Katharine Pooley Ltd.

The Derwent pencil museum is an absolute gem! It’s small but perfectly formed!! A must visit.

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I really recommend going to the Standing Stone Circle in Keswick The view is unreal and it’s ancient - mind blowing.

Definitely Grasmere! It’s a beautiful lake and village. Definitely need to try the gingerbread and Forest side is a beautiful hotel with excellent food. The grounds are gorgeous. Lots of great walks nearby. We love it there. It’s also one of the safest lakes to swim if you’re then when it’s warmer

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The Drunken Duck in Ambleside is also one of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten at. Well worth the rather hairy drive up the fell!