Nowadays, the majority of us are all trying to be a little bit healthier whilst encouraging our children to do the same. One of the best ways to exercise is to head out into the great outdoors for a bike ride, a trek along a nature trail, or even just a day spent playing in the park.
The Lake District happens to be a perfect setting for a getaway that's filled with fresh air and fun outdoor activities. What better way to tear the kids away from their smartphones and gaming consoles than by planning an adventure to the gorgeous Cumbrian countryside?
There are more than enough activities and attractions to fill a short break or holiday so take a look at our selection of family-friendly Lake District holiday cottages and start planning your perfect half-term holiday.
Take a boat trip on Lake Windermere
Windermere is the largest body of water in the Lake District and, contrary to popular belief is not actually a lake but has a wide variety of boat trips to choose from. If you fancy taking control and doing the steering yourself, there is a selection of boats to hire, ranging from the traditional rowing variety to luxury motor boats. Alternatively, you could choose from an organised boat trip or pleasure cruise so you can relax and take in the views while someone else is at the helm.
Popular boat trips include the journey from Bowness to Ambleside or a circular cruise around the lake. You could also enjoy a sunset cruise as the views at this time of day are spectacular, or take a short ferry ride from Lakeside Pier to the National Trust site Fell Foot Park. This lakeside park makes a lovely spot for a picnic and includes an adventure playground for children.
Try some water sports on Lake Coniston
There’s also a variety of activities that take place on the water of Lake Coniston: as well as canoeing, kayaking and sailing, you can also try your hand at paddle boarding. Balancing on the board and paddling your way across the lake is a fun-filled way to spend an afternoon even if you may fall off from time-to-time.
If you prefer to take things easy, there are lots of boat trips taking place on Coniston Water too. Our favourites include the Steam Yacht Gondola - the oldest steam powered yacht in the North of England - and a hop-on-hop-off launch so that you can go exploring at your own pace.
Go for a hike in the Lake District National Park
The spectacular landscape of the Lake District National Park makes it an ideal choice for a hike - whether you go for a guided option or strike out alone. There are maps to help you along the way and gorgeous sights such as waterfalls, caves, valleys and lakes to discover on your scenic Lake District walk.
If you fancy the ultimate challenge you could always scale the heights of Scafell Pike - at over 3,000ft it’s the highest mountain in England! Discover more walks in our guide: Walking in the Lake District
Take a climb at Honister
One of the most unique climbs in Cumbria takes place inside the summit of Honister Pass. The 'Climb the Mine' experience allows visitors to climb the inside of the mountain and into the roof of the Honister Slate Mine (famous for producing Westmoreland Green Slate).
If climbing the outside of a mountain is more your thing, the Via Ferrata at Honister uses a continuous cable and an assortment of rungs and ladders to assist in the ascent to the top. Though this won't be suitable for everyone, the classic version of the climb follows the footpath of the original Victorian miners and can be tackled by most ages and abilities.
Go for a bike ride along the Eskdale Trail
Cyclists and bikes can travel in style to the top of the Eskdale Trail on a converted train carriage from the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. The cycle journey back down takes in some beautiful Lake District countryside views and wildlife to spot along the way includes red squirrels, roe deer and buzzards. The trail runs from the foot of Scafell Pike through to Ravenglass where the Esk, Mite and Irt rivers all meet.
There’s a selection of cafes on the route too where you can call in for refreshments during your bike ride through the Lake District.
Take a Segway through the forest
You can travel through the trees at Grizedale Forest on an all-terrain electric Segway from the local Go Ape. There are also treetop adventures, zip wires, walking trails and lots of scenic spots to stop for a picnic in this World Heritage Site.
An alternative Lake District Segway route is to take the trails through countryside and rolling hills around the pretty village of Cartmel, famous for its racecourse. It’s well worth calling into Cartmel itself and stopping for refreshments - and some famous sticky toffee pudding - in one of the villages traditional tea rooms.
Brave the cave at Brockhole
Children will love donning a helmet with head torch to burrow through a series of caves underneath Brockhole! Each cave includes a challenge which needs to be solved before moving onto the next and the difficulty level is increased each time.
The experience lasts around 45 minutes in total and children will get a certificate after successfully completing all the challenges.
Brockhole is the setting of the Lake District Visitor Centre so there is plenty for families to do during a visit. Activities to try include: orienteering, treasure trails, mini-golf, pony rides, archery and raft building.
Follow in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter is synonymous with the Lake District - the well-loved children’s author spent childhood holidays at the Lakes and in later life bought Hill Top farm.
The influence of the Lake District can be seen through Beatrix Potter’s books for example The Tale of Johnny Townhouse is set in Hawkshead. Beatrix Potter even helped save the traditional Herdwick sheep from extinction.
Today you can visit Hill Top to view many of Beatrix Potter’s treasured possessions, explore the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction at Bowness and seek out some of her famous characters at the Brockhole Beatrix Potter Trail.
The Lake District is home to lots of wildlife that inspired characters like Mrs Tiggywinkle, Jemima Puddleduck and Jeremy Fisher. Take a nature trail along the edge of Esthwaite Water near Hill Top and you’ll see some of the creatures first-hand which she immortalised in her books and illustrations.
Take a look at five Beatrix Potter attractions for kids in the Lake District.
Has this inspired you to visit the Lake District for an outdoor adventure this spring? Lakeland Hideaways have a collection of family-friendly holiday homes that make the perfect base for exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site. For even more inspiration read our full guide to the Lake District.