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The Best Places for Family-Friendly Hiking in the Lake District

Renowned for its scenic landscapes and diverse hiking trails, the Lake District is an excellent place for family-friendly hiking. Depending on the trail, your family adventure can take you through tranquil lakes and lush valleys, with majestic peaks on the backdrop. Explore gentle paths around picturesque lakes, ascend iconic fells for panoramic views, or wander through ancient woodlands rich in wildlife. 

Here are the best places for family-friendly hiking in the Lake District.

1. Bowness-on-Windermere

Nestled in the heart of the Lake District, Bowness-on-Windermere is a quintessential destination for families seeking outdoor adventures. Surrounded by picturesque landscapes, it offers an ideal base for exploring the region’s renowned hiking trails. It’s close to Lake Windermere, England’s largest natural lake, where you can indulge in fun water sports and scenic boat cruises.

Bowness-on-Windermere offers a range of family-friendly amenities, including cozy accommodations that will include child-friendly amenities, making it even more ideal for family getaways. But the highlights of your visit will be the numerous family-friendly hiking trails suitable for all ages and abilities.

Check out the nearby Orrest Head trail, which features a gentle ascent rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Windermere and the surrounding fell. It’s an ideal introductory hike for your little adventurers. For a slightly more challenging but equally rewarding experience, the Post Knott and Brant Fell trails offer stunning vistas and ample opportunities for wildlife spotting. You will also find some accessible paths around Claife Heights and Latterbarrow, perfect for gentle strolls through lush woodlands and meadows. 

After all the fun outdoor adventures, visit charming cafes and attractions like the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction for a more memorable and enjoyable family getaway.

Lake District countryside

2. Grasmere

Renowned for its serene and picturesque setting, Grasmere is ideal for family-friendly hiking adventures. Surrounded by stunning landscapes, quaint villages, and scenic lakes, it provides a perfect base for family-friendly hiking adventures.

One of the most popular family-friendly hiking trails in Grasmere is the Coffin Route. This easy and accessible trail meanders through the countryside, offering breathtaking views of Grasmere Lake and the surrounding fields. It’s suitable for all ages and provides a glimpse into the area’s rich history and folklore.

You can also enjoy relaxing strolls around the Grasmere Lake itself. There are shaded areas along the water’s edge to relax and enjoy a picnic. The path is flat and well-maintained, perfect for young children and those seeking short strolls.

For families seeking a bit more adventure, the ascent to Helm Crag provides a rewarding challenge with stunning views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. While slightly more strenuous, it’s achievable for older kids and offers a sense of accomplishment upon reaching the summit.

Besides hiking, you and your kids will find plenty to enjoy in Grasmere. It has charming tea shops, cozy pubs, and cultural attractions like the Wordsworth Museum. With its diverse range of trails and attractions, Grasmere truly epitomizes the family-friendly spirit of the Lake District.

3. Keswick 

Surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Lake District, Keswick is a fantastic destination for families seeking outdoor adventures and memorable hiking experiences. With its accessibility to a wide range of trails catering to all ages and abilities, it is the perfect base for family-friendly exploration in the Lake District region.

What’s great about choosing the Lake District is the abundant accommodation options in the area. So even if you come here during the peak season, you can always guarantee a place to stay. In fact, there are many great group accommodations in Cumbria, perfect for families visiting here. From cozy bed and breakfasts to spacious holiday cottages, these accommodations provide comfortable and convenient bases for families exploring the region.

One of the standout hiking trails in Keswick is the picturesque Derwentwater Circuit. This easy loop trail encompasses the stunning shores of Derwentwater Lake, providing breathtaking views and ample opportunities for picnics and wildlife spotting along the way. Additionally, the nearby Catbells hike offers a slightly more challenging ascent, suitable for older children and boasts panoramic vistas of the surrounding lakes.

Keswick’s central location makes it an ideal hub for exploring other attractions in the Lake District, including cultural sites, adventure parks, and water-based activities on nearby lakes. 

Lake District waterfall

4. Ambleside

Ambleside is a prime destination for families looking to explore the natural beauty of the Lake District through hiking adventures. With its scenic rolling hills, serene lakes, and lush woodlands, Ambleside offers an array of family-friendly hiking trails suitable for all ages and abilities.

One such trail is the picturesque Loughrigg Fell Loop, which starts just a short distance from Ambleside. This moderate hike offers panoramic views of Lake Windermere, with gentle slopes making it accessible for families with children. Additionally, the nearby Wansfell Pike provides a slightly more challenging but equally rewarding ascent, boasting breathtaking vistas of Ambleside and the surrounding valleys.

Ambleside is also a gateway to longer hiking routes, such as the Fairfield Horseshoe and the Langdale Pikes, perfect for more adventurous families with older kids or teenagers. Moreover, Ambleside’s charming village atmosphere provides plenty of opportunities to unwind after hiking, with quaint cafes, traditional pubs, and local shops offering a warm welcome to families.

5. Coniston

Coniston is another fantastic destination for families seeking hiking adventures amidst the picturesque setting of the Lake District Region. Surrounded by towering fells, tranquil lakes, and lush woodlands, Coniston has plenty of family-friendly hiking trails suitable for all ages and abilities.

One of the most popular trails is the ascent of the iconic Coniston Old Man. While it presents a moderate challenge, the well-maintained paths and stunning views of Coniston Water and the surrounding countryside make it a rewarding experience for families looking for some challenges. Additionally, the nearby Tarn Hows circular walk provides a gentler option, with accessible paths winding through scenic woodlands and pastures, perfect for younger children and those seeking a relaxing stroll.

Coniston also offers hiking trails for more adventurous families, such as the Coppermines Valley route, which leads to historic copper mines amidst dramatic mountain scenery, or the Grizedale Forest Park, where they can walk through paths amidst towering trees and art installations.

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