Even the smallest of minds need captivating and entertaining, through-out the day. The cute gargling sounds and sweet wee giggles don’t really last for long, and there’s a sudden panic to keep tantrums at bay…especially in unfamiliar surroundings, even if they are perfectly pretty. Here is a little guide for your little ones, that might be just the thing to keep those smiles on faces.
We are lucky enough to be amongst some rather fetching buggy-friendly lowland walks, that are almost a hop, skip and jump away. The most popular, being Tarn Hows, which boasts Coniston’s Hills and Langdale views. A walk filled with a plethora of perfumed trees, picnic spots, top-notch hide and seek places, interesting nook and crannies, and the all-important baby changing facilities. A lovely brief 1.8-mile circular walk, for either little giddy legs or sturdy buggy-wheels. Walk the wonderful woodlands, with a slight nod to the Canadian scenic vibe, due to the vast amounts of pine trees along the way. It is a pretty path indeed.
A walk is so much sweeter, when a sweet treat is waiting for you at the finish line. Take the Britannia Inn at Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge stone path, for a comforting filled scone of jam and clotted cream, at Chesters. This 2.4-mile amble ticks lakeside meadows, picturesque bridges, majestic woodlands and a stunning waterfall, off your ideal walk check list. There are many more local buggy-friendly walks nearby, like Coniston to Torver and Laughrigg Tarn, which would be pleasant alternatives. It is not just the vivacious views you get to experience on your walks. It is the treat afterwards that is worth all the trudging through muddy puddles and endless piggy-back rides. A place to relish in the homemade cakes, sit back and lovingly smile at the jammy grins from your brood.
A child’s raw imagination is so care-free, precious and short-lived. You only have to catch a glance of them offering afternoon tea to their teddies, within the comforts of their room. Or glimpse at an intimate moment, pushing their trains around their makeshift tracks. It is these little snippets of life that we all cherish and hold dear. Some of our local parks and playgrounds are the ideal places to let them explore and be free. We recommend Grizedale Forest, that happily tucks itself in-between Lake Coniston and Windermere. Enjoy the fresh air with your cubs and indulge in the traditional wooden playground and perhaps take a stroll around the nature and animal trails, with crafty wooden creatures to spot on your adventure.
After your nutty nature trail adventure, why not stop off at Hawkshead’s version of chocolate heaven? The Cocaobean Company is home to all tasty treats and fun little interactive workshops, for children to explore and make their own chocolate creations. You can sip your coffee and indulge in lunch at the café, while they cause hilarious havoc in the kitchen! A truly unique experience that is quite unforgettable and a perfect way for your children to get messy with different textures and colours. Just a little tip…do not forget the baby wipes!
If you fancy spreading your wings a touch further, Whinlatter Wildplay Trail, is fantastic for kids in this age group and a little older. A 600m long trail, consisting of nine unique play zones of climbing, swinging, balancing, slides at various heights and a fabulous fairy kingdom full of secret paths. You could spend the best part of the day here, with picnics, coffee stops, playground fun and lowland walks. Set them free, within this wild adventure, to hop, skip and jump though this wonderfully whimsical woodland.
We know that the Lakes would not be as special as it is, if we did not have the downpours that we do. If you are finding it a smidge on the wet side, then why not head to The Fun Factory, at Bowness-on-Windermere, with your brood? We love this rainbowed soft play centre because of its’ brightness and how you can let your children explore safely, while you relax in the lounge area, sipping brewed coffee and munching homemade cake. Giggle at their animated faces, as they slide, swing, bounce and run off some excitable energy. They also have an interestingly well-equipped section for your bijou babes to enjoy as well, perhaps in between a cat nap or two?
If you are stopping to potter through Ambleside’s quaint village, take a visit to the noteworthy boutique shops for that little eccentric gift you have been searching for. And as you sip your favourite coffee beans and nibble homemade sandwiches, you might even get the stolen relaxing moments of sleeping babies and tiny tots. When all is awake and yearning to be entertained, just bob round to the sweet grounds of White Platts Park for playground shenanigans and being all silly, as the big and small kids play crazy golf.
We recommend the Zeffirellis Cinema for those rainy Lake District days. Literally a little amble up the hill from White Platts Park and you will stumble upon this quirky place. Enjoy films, with intimate screens, a touch of history and comforting charm. As well as showing niche films, they do cater for young children and display cute cinema favourites. They also offer a cinema and meal deal, at their Fellinis or Zeffirellis Restaurant, for an extra special dining treat. It is worth noting that the Fellinis Restaurant is vegetarian with hints of the Mediterranean and beyond. A place of culture and palate, under one roof!
If you have water babies in tow in need of a jolly splash and kick, then head out to Dalton-In-Furness’ Leisure Centre, to embrace their Splash Zone. Jacko the frog slide, will be waiting for them along with an array of other exciting water features. This is heaven sent, when those grey clouds fall over our Lake District and you need an alternative afternoon excursion. The pools of warm water ensure no temper tantrums or shocked faces, as they test the water with twinkly toes.
Location: Newby Bridge
How about taking these little weenie tots on a steam train ride? Let them chuckle, point their chubby fingers and experience a sense of an old-fashioned novelty, while they explore this beautiful district by train. Depart from Haverthwaite, chug along past Newby Bridge Halt and arrive at the Lakeside Station. You can combine your trip with a cruise on the lake, with their Park, Rail & Sail ticket. Widen your exploration footprint and visit Ambleside and Bowness. Bob along and wave at the people walking up to Wray Castle and your fellow sailors drifting by. The children will love the sense of an exciting escapade and ensure a restful sleep, back under Holmthwaite’s sheets.
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