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Ullswater steamer at the jetty, Photo: Cumbria Tourism Library
Hazy light over the fells in the Lake District
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Dappled sunlight through the trees in the Lake District
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THINGS TO SEE

As well as its beautiful natural sites, the Lake District has a rich mix of heritage, cultural and family-friendly places to visit. Listed below are just a few of them. Please visit the websites or call the numbers provided for up-to-date information and opening times.

Walking the logs at Go Ape - Whinlatter Forest

Swing through the canopy at Whinlatter Forest and see all the way to Scotland. A day out for the whole family, enjoy a Tree Top Adventure in the beautiful forest and ride zip slides through skies and over water in England’s only true mountain forest. If that’s not enough fun for one day, you can also get off road and enjoy an epic forest adventure with Go Ape Forest Segway – an awesome segway experience in the Lakes with a down to earth twist.

Aira Force waterfall in the Lake District

Take the Ullswater Steamer to the new pier at National Trust-run Aira Force. Tackle the towering peaks, watch the tumbling waterfall, paddle, picnic, or admire the views from the tearoom – there’s so much on offer for all ages at this must-visit Ullswater gem. For opening times and more information, head on over to the website.

Dalemain estate

Aerial view of Dalemain Estate

The Dalemain mansion and gardens, two or three miles from the Pooley Bridge end of Ullswater, have been in the Hasell family since 1679. The family still lives there today but visitors can stroll through the property to discover fascinating interiors and historic parkland. Homemade food is served in the Mediaeval Hall Tearoom. For opening times visit the website. (017684 86450)

Hutton-in-the-forest

View of the gardens and estate at Hutton Forest

About seven miles from Aira Force on Ullswater is the historic home of Lord and Lady Ingelwood. The house is chock-full of fine furniture, tapestries and portraits, while the grounds include a walled garden, topiary terraces and a woodland walk. Click on the link for opening times and visitor information. (017684 84449)

Rheged centre

Entrance to the Rheged Centre in the Lake District

The Rheged Centre in Redhills is a grass-roofed heritage centre focused on family, food, arts, culture and the outdoors. It houses a huge 3D cinema screen showing epic adventure movies daily. There is also an indoor soft play area, an art materials shop, a café, a changing calendar of exhibitions and more. Visit the website to discover the latest. (01768 868000)

The Alpaca Centre

Two alpacas at the Alpaca Centre in the Lake District

The Alpaca Centre is a working farm breeding and rearing alpacas, about three miles from Pooley Bridge on the road to Penrith. The only farm of its kind in Europe, visitors can view the alpacas from the edge of their paddock or the tearoom. There is also a gallery and shop selling clothing from the exceptionally soft alpaca yarn. (01768 8911440)

Crookabeck farm

Crookabeck Farm and Red Tarn

This farm in Patterdale by Ullswater uses fleece from its flocks of Angora goats and Herdwick sheep to create a range of mohair and wool products. Socks, scarves, rugs, natural and hand-dyed yarns are available to buy from the farm shop. If you wish to visit the farm or its shop, phone ahead to make an appointment. (017684 82742)

Lowther Castle & Gardens

Having been abandoned 70 years ago, Lowther Castle and Gardens is undergoing a restoration programme designed to preserve the rich wildlife that moved into the ruins and vast gardens. It is open to visitors every day (01931 712192). In the Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre in the castle’s walled garden is a collection of eagles, falcons, hawks and owls. (01931 712746)

Brougham Castle

Lake view of Brougham Castle

This medieval castle is about two miles south east of Penrith and near the crossing of the rivers Eamont and Lowther. Founded in the early 13th century by Robert de Vieuxpont and restored by Lady Anne Clifford four centuries later, the castle is a maze of passageways and spiral stairways. The castle is great fun to explore, while the riverside grounds are a good picnic spot. See the English Heritage website for opening times. (0370 333 1181)

Gamelands stone circle

Circular enclosure of Bronze Age large stones in the Lake District

Between the village of Orton and the hamlet of Raisbeck is the Bronze Age Gamelands stone circle. An oval enclosure of around 40 large stones and three smaller ones, the stone circle is one of the largest in Cumbria. All the stones appear to have fallen over, so that none are more than a metre high.

Long Meg and Her Daughters

Stone circles in the Lake District

This stone circle near Penrith consists of around 59 stones, 27 of which remain upright. An oval shape measuring 100 metres at its longest, Long Meg and Her Daughters is the second largest stone circle in England. Long Meg is an outlying stone of red sandstone marked with examples of megalithic art.

Red Barn Gallery

Interior of the Red Barn Gallery

Red Barn Gallery exhibits contemporary painting, sculpture and jewellery from artists in the UK and Europe. The lower gallery space sells art, accessories and furniture for home and garden. On the same site as Larch Cottage Nurseries, Red Barn Gallery is in Melkinthorpe, a hamlet in the Eden Valley. Both the gallery and the nursery are open seven days a week throughout the year. (01931 712767)