Ullswater Outdoor Festival
Pull on your hiking boots and get ready for nine days of outdoor adventures and experiences, films and talks that celebrate the great outdoors. Go on guided walks with the Lake District’s National Park Rangers, who’ve walked the hills for years and know the area, the people and the history like the back of their hand. They’re free and a great way to discover new places.
Glenridding CA11 0US
01768 482229 www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk
Wordsworth House and Garden
Wander round the iconic birthplace and childhood home of romantic poet William Wordsworth. It’s the closest you’ll get to stepping into a time machine – with real food of the period laid out on the dining room table, a fire burning in the kitchen, the children’s bedroom full of toys and clothes, and authentic books and games to enjoy in the Wordsworth Room. The garden is full of 18th century vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers too, just as it would have been when William first discovered his love of nature.
Borrowdale, Keswick CA12 5XL
017687 77248 www.hazelbankhotel.co.uk
This walk is exhilaratingly beautiful and breathtaking (quite literally – it’s steep) no matter what time of year you go. Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England, at an elevation of 978 meters above sea level, and is part of the Southern Fells – making for a stunning but challenging hike. Go on a clear day, and you can see Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Isle of Man from the peak.
Seascale CA20 1EX www.scafellpike.org.uk
Enjoy the many treats on offer at Beatrix Potter’s 17th-century farmhouse near Hawkshead. It’s a time capsule into her life, with a house filled with 1,433 of her personal items and 2,200 works on paper. After you’ve explored the writer’s mind, follow in her footsteps (as well as the paws and claws of her favourite characters) out in the garden. Through the door in the redbrick wall you’ll see flower beds stuffed with autumnal flowers and vegetables, planted in the English cottage-garden style.
Near Sawrey, Ambleside LA22 0LF
01539 436269 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hill-top
Surround yourself in shades of red, orange, brown and yellow as the leaves transform the landscape at Grizedale Forest. The vast woodland is to the east of Coniston Water and to the south of Hawkshead, and is the perfect place to walk in autumn. There are also cycling trails, quiet spots to admire the wildlife, amazing sculptures, and plenty of places to relax and enjoy a picnic on a blanket of fallen leaves.
Grizedale LA22 0QJ www.forestry.gov.uk/grizedale
Wray Castle is a Victorian, neo-gothic, mock-castle in Claife where you can explore an elaborate hall, rooms with towers, turrets and arrow slots. The house was one of many built around Lake Windermere by very wealthy industrialists who had made their fortunes in big cities during the industrial revolution. Explore its grandeur whatever the weather, and make sure you enjoy the newest addition to the castle – the Peter Rabbit Adventure.
Wray Castle Lodge, Low Wray, Ambleside LA22 0JA
South Lakes Safari Zoo
At this 51-acre zoo you can hand-feed exotic animals, including giraffes, kangaroos, lemurs, penguins and the big cats (if you’re brave enough). The zoo is home to over 1,000 of the rarest and most endangered animals, kept in unique and natural environments that allow you to get as close as possible to these amazing creatures.
Melton Terrace, Lindal in Furness, Ulverston LA12 0LU
01229 466086 www.southlakessafarizoo.com
Go on an award-winning treetop adventure with the family at Treetop Trek in Windermere – designed to make you swing, climb, balance and fly through the ancient oak woodland. You'll be connected securely to a safety cable, so all ages and abilities can get in on the action. And at this time of year, you can admire the many shades of the autumnal trees as you climb.
Brockhole, Lake District Visitor Centre,
Windermere LA23 1LJ
01539 447186 www.treetoptrek.co.uk
Mirehouse and Gardens
Set in the heart of the northern part of the Lake District, three miles from Keswick, the beautiful, natural gardens at Mirehouse offer stunning views of the dramatic Lakeland landscape. Enjoy the tranquility of the walled bee garden, stroll in quiet contemplation along the Poetry Walk, or sit by the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. Visitors can also enjoy live piano recitals, unusual photographs and manuscripts and children’s activities as they wander through this glorious family home.
Mirehouse Keswick, Keswick CA12 4QE
01768 772287 www.mirehouse.co.uk