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28 reasons to love the Lakes

Published on: Wednesday 30th March 2016

There’s no excuse for being bored in Cumbria, as Mark Green finds out.

Believe it or not, what to do and where to go in Cumbria can be a problem.

When you’re faced with so many choices, it can be difficult making a decision or getting the timing right.

But a fantastic new guide offers plenty of ideas on what to do and when to do it across Cumbria.

The Lakes Visitor is a complete holiday guide with suggestions for events, walks and places to see for people of all ages and all abilities.

There’s a preview of the Lakesman Triathlon, the newest, toughest and most scenic event of its kind, a run down of the great music festivals lined up for the summer and an exclusive chat with Julia Bradbury who describes her perfect weekend in the Lakes.

And it’s FREE.

The guide also offers ideas on 50 things to do in the county before you grow up (though grown-ups will love plenty of them anyway).

Here’s a taster:

Go Ape!

Experience an exciting forest adventure which will see you fly down zip-wires, leap off a Tarzan Swing and tackle tree top crossings.

Visit The World of Beatrix Potter

Be transported into Beatrix Potter’s magical world, where you can explore the Peter Rabbit garden, Mrs Tiggy Winkle’s kitchen and Mr McGregor’s greenhouse.

Go on a Llama Trek

Get to know a friendly llama with the Llama Karma Cafe just outside Penrith. Experienced guides will give you an insight into the animal’s life as you lead them on a mini trek.

Take a trip at Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

Go on a spectacular, steam-powered journey through Ravenglass Estuary and Eskdale Valley, nature spotting on the way.

Swim in a lake

Take a swim round one of Cumbria’s many incredible lakes - Rydal Water and Crummock Water are particular favourites among locals.

Pull the sword from the stone at Tullie House

Live like King Arthur at Carlisle’s award winning museum and solve a riddle to pull the sword from the stone!

Play crazy golf

Show off your crazy golf skills at Hope Park in Keswick, which has a fantastic pitch set in their beautiful gardens between the town and Derwentwater. You can have a go at racing remote controlled boats too!

Eat Lakes Ice Cream

Available across the Lake District, there are over 30 delicious flavours of Lakes Ice Cream and sorbet - can you try them all?

See the fossilised cat at Keswick museum

Ever seen a 700-year-old cat? You can change that at Keswick’s award-winning museum, which houses the naturally mummified cat in its natural history collection.

See the licking stones at Carlisle Castle

Witness the damp dungeon walls of Carlisle Castle which prisoner were forced to lick to survive. A suitably creepy day out, you can see where the stones have been worn away.

Go on a steam boat

The award winning Ullswater Steamers allow you to step out on one of their historic fleet and cruise across Lake Ullswater, just as the boats did more than 100 years ago.

Go to a music festival

Enjoy the music, learn circus skills and even get a good night’s sleep at Solfest. With quiet, family friendly camping areas and a dedicated kids area, there’s more to do than you can fit into the weekend!

Do the Sizergh Trail

The wild play trail at Sizergh will test your balance, strength, stamina and mind as you follow the path through the woods, completing puzzles and obstacles on the way.

Do the red slide at Walby Farm Park, near Carlisle

Are you brave enough to tackle the steepest slide at Walby Farm Park? Those who do win bragging rights for years to come.

Win a craft class/cake class at a country show

Cumbria is famous for its country shows, try your hand at baking a cake or getting crafty and you could be crowned the winner.

Join the Roman Army

Could you hack it in Roman Britain? Head to Birdoswald Roman Fort and find out, with a variety of hands on activities.

Go to spooky Muncaster Castle

One of the most haunted stately homes in the country. Are you brave enough to visit?

Explore Lowther Castle and Gardens

Lowther Castle and Gardens has over 130 acres to run wild in, woods to build dens in, summerhouses, rope swings, hidden wildlife and secret paths to follow. Get out and explore it!

Meet Taffy Thomas

Visit the Storyteller’s Garden in Grasmere and watch a show from legendary storyteller Taffy Thomas. There are often musicians and jugglers too to put on a great show.

Disbelieve your eyes at Puzzling Place

The Puzzling Place in Keswick is home to the World of Illusion, featuring an Anti-Gravity Room and more which will leave you quite literally, not believing your eyes!

Learn about our military history

Visit Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life and enjoy the interactive trail and immersive displays as you learn about the lives of Cumbrian soldiers.

Brave a Predator Experience

The Predator Experience at Cartmel gets you up close with snakes and tarantulas as you learn to handle them, after an exciting hawk walk. Are you brave enough?

See the world’s longest colour pencil

Though closed by the floods, Keswick Pencil Museum will be open again this summer, once again displaying the world’s longest colour pencil

Have an underwater adventure

Get up close with aquatic life from around the world at the Lake District Coast Aquarium, Maryport.

Explore the Magic Castle

You’ve explored Carlisle Castle, time to explore the city’s Magic Castle. Suitable for children up to age 10, the soft play area is tonnes of fun, with mazes, tunnels and slides.

Walk around Talkin Tarn

Talkin Tarn has been popular for over 200 years, with its gentle stroll around the beautiful lake. Afterwards, you can feed the ducks, or try another flavour of Lakes Ice Cream in the onsite cafe.

Go stargazing

There’s no better place to look at the stars than Ennerdale - a Dark Sky Discovery site. Look up at the sky and you may see satellites, shooting stars and even other galaxies!

Learn to sail

Explore the Lake District just like the Swallows and Amazons, learning to sail with Glenridding Sailing Centre. Soon you’ll be a master of the water!

Lakes Visitor is available throughout Cumbria, free of charge.

Click here to view Lakes Visitor Spring/Summer 2016 online.