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Outdoor Activities In Lake District

Read our guide for Outdoor Activities In Lake District and Find and Book experiences, courses, activities and tours! Browse through the list of experiences, either instantly book onto your dates or enquire to book. All you have to do is turn up and enjoy! If you’ve got any questions about any specific experience, send a message and the providers will aim to get back to you as soon as possible. Have a specific experience in mind that we don’t have listed? No problem, drop us a message and we’ll send your quote around to hundreds of the best experience providers nationwide and come back with you the best quote, making it easy for you to make the most of your spare time!

The Lake District

England’s largest National Park is arguably its most dramatic and stunning one, recognised by it’s recent awarding of World Heritage status. It is home to England’s highest mountain - Scafell Pike - and it’s deepest lake (Wastwater), as well as bustling local towns like Keswick (home to the Mountain Film Festival each year).
Covering an impressive 912 square miles it is the largest National Park in England, and also the most popular, boasting over 16 million visitors a year. And with very good reason! If you’re looking for things to do in beautiful surroundings you’d be hard pushed to beat the Lake District.
Lake District Activities

Outdoor Activities in Lake District

The Lake District in the north-west of England is two-thousand square kilometres of adventure playground and the ultimate adventure destination in England. The Lake District's geological make-up plus its incomparable scenery makes it perfect for fell walking or hiking. With over 3000km of rights of way there are numerous routes graded from easy through to serious inside the national park boundaries, plus the more demanding Cumbria Way, a seventy-mile long footpath between the towns of Ulverston and Carlisle for those looking for a more challenging undertaking. One of the most popular walks, and voted one of the best 100 walks in the UK, is climbing Scafell Pike, England's highest Mountain at 978m elevation.
Home to both the UK's deepest and biggest lakes, Wastwater and Windermere, as well as multiple other freshwater bodies, there's no shortage of watersport opportunities including diving, canoeing, rafting and boating in the Lake District. For cyclists, whether recreational or serious aficionados of mountain biking, the Whinlatter and Grizedale Forests offer routes to suit all interests and capabilities, whilst the roads themselves off some beautiful (and often testing) routes through the mountains and lakes. There are great climbing challenges for lead, trad and sport climbers on Shepherds Crag and Dow Crag to name just a couple of locations. And let’s not forget other activities like via ferrata, zip wires, horse riding, sailing, bushcraft, archery and much more! The Lake District truly is a mecca for all UK outdoor adventures.
It’s not just physical activities that are well catered for here either. With such dramatic backdrops it's an ideal location for outdoor painting and photography courses and workshops, as well as many other creative arts. There are also plenty of great activities for younger visitors too, such as high ropes courses, as well as many family attractions..
Browse through the list of things to do in the Lake District, then either instantly book onto your dates or enquire to book. All you have to do is turn up and enjoy! If you’ve got any questions about any specific experience, send a message and the providers will aim to get back to you as soon as possible, so you can explore the best of the Lake District. Have a specific experience in mind that we don’t have listed? No problem, drop us a message and we’ll send your quote around to hundreds of the best experience providers nationwide and come back with you the best quote, making it easy for you to make the most of your spare time!
Lake District Scenery

What are the best outdoor activities to do in the Lake District?

This is a completely subjective question of course, but the list below are some of our favourites, alongside some of the more popular ones. For more choices, to find guides, book tours or discover more detail please use the filters on this page to see what’s nearby and available.
  • Climb Scafell Pike
  • Hire a boat on Lake Windermere
  • Via Ferrata at Honistor Slate Mine
  • Winter skills on Helvellyn
  • Ghyll Scrambling
  • Canadian canoeing on Lake Coniston
  • Hire a bike on the mountain bike trails at Grizedale Forest

Cheap outdoor activities to do in the Lake District

The beauty of the great outdoors is that so much you can do is free! Having said that if you’re not comfortable map reading there are plenty of ways to still get out into the hills and lakes, with group tours and hikes, ferry rides, and bike or kayak hire. Below are a few ideas to get you started, and please use the filters on this page to see what’s nearby and available.
  • Hire a bike to cycle along the shores of the iconic Lake Windermere
  • Go star gazing! The Lake District is one of the darkest places in the country.
  • Take a swim in one of the famous Lakes!
  • Join a free hike offered by some of the organisations who look after the National Park
  • Check out some of the amazingly preserved Roman ruins that abound in the area, many of which are free to visit.

Unique outdoor activities to do in the Lake District

Every National Park will have its own distinct features and areas to explore, and the Lake District is no exception. Here’s a little sample to get you started, and use our filters to find more options, book tours to help you find these gems, or for more inspiration:
  • The Bowder Stone, Borrowdale Valley: anyone (or anything) exploring this valley some 10,000-13,500 years ago might have had quite the shock as this 200 ton lump of hardened lava crashed down to earth from the Bowder Crag above, landing with such force that it remained embedded in the ground teetering on one corner. The stone itself is believed to be over 450 million years old and even has a staircase, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with this dramatic example of the area’s geological history.
  • Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick: just a short (30 minute) walk from Keswick lies one of the best stone circle sites in Britain. With 38 stones in total it sits in a large field, meaning kids can play whilst adults enjoy a picnic and take in the amazing views. Visitors are also able to touch the stones, which date back to Neolthic times some 4000-5000 years ago. The site is also popular with photographers with it’s great backdrop of Skiddaw, though best to visit at the beginning or end of the day to capture the best light and avoid the crowds!
  • Take a Cruise on Lake Windermere: ok so this isn’t a ‘hidden gem’, being one of the most popular things to do on England’s largest lake, but the fact that it is the largest body of water in the country does make it unique, and doing it on one of the traditional steam boats makes it even more so. It’s an easy and relaxing way to spend some time on the water with it’s amazing backdrops.
  • Wordsworth Grasmere: find out what inspired one of our greatest poets at Dove Cottage, the Grasmere home of William Wordsworth. Discover more about the man himself, and take in the landscapes that feature in many of his finest works.
  • Little Langdale, Slaters Bridge: this is a gorgeous little 16th Bridge that spans the shallow River Brathay, making for a lovely lunch spot for anyone, but in particular for families so the kids can enjoy paddling in the pools around the bridge. Cathedral Cavern is also walkable from here, making it a great day’s hiking with some stunning features, and a pub or two at the end for a rewarding stop afterwards!

Lake District mountains

Best outdoor activities for couples in the Lake District

Well this will be mostly down to what your individual preferences are, but if you’re looking for something with a bit of atmosphere to up the romance stakes, you could try one of these:
  • Ennerdale Water: Ennerdale is one of the less visited Lakes, and the reason for this is simply because it’s one of the least accessible. Which is great if you’re looking for a bit more peace and quiet, especially during the summer months. With some great walks and lovely picnic spots on the western shore, it's also where Bill Clinton proposed to Hilary!
  • Rydal Mount and Gardens: home to William Wordsworth until his death in 1950, the beautiful gardens here give some insight into some of the poet’s greatest works. Of particular note is the waterfall, Rydal Falls, located a short walk from the house.
  • Haystacks, above Buttermere: for one of the best and most beautiful views in the National Park, head to Haystacks. If you’re confident descending in low light then stay for the magnificent light during sunset over Buttermere and Crummock Water beyond.
  • Hire a canadian canoe: partner up in a canadian canoe on beautiful Ullswater, to explore some of it’s many islands and beaches.
  • If you’re early-risers then head to Castlerigg Stone Circle for the sun rise. Wrap up warm as it can be quite exposed, but there are few more romantic moments than sharing a cup of something hot watching the first dawn rays hit the stones.

Best outdoor activities for groups in the Lake District

Many activities are better with groups, and you also have the advantages of economy of scale to book your own private guide(s). Some of our top recommendations include:
  • Climbing Helvellyn via Striding Edge: this is classed a grade 1 scramble, and whilst not for the fainthearted it makes for an invigorating challenge, and a fantastic sense of achievement amongst the group at the end of the day!
  • Tackling the Infinity Bridge at the Honister Slate Mine. Whilst the via ferrata courses here are also well worth a go for the more active amongst you, the Infinity Bridge is great fun for an active group! Stretched 2,000 feet above the valley floor, this high-wire bridge it’s the longest of it’s type in Britain, and so named as you can’t see the other side!
  • Ghyll Scrambling down a steep and rocky river, waterfalls included!
  • Mountain Biking, Grizedale Forest: with trails for all levels and bike hire too there’s something for everyone at this mountain biking centre just east of Coniston Water.

Lake District Watersports

Best outdoor activities for families in the Lake District

There are loads of great activities suitable for the whole family in the Lake District National Park, and please do use our filters to browse the list and see what’s local and available. Here are some of our highlights though:
  • Cycling: whilst the mountain bike trails at Grizedale and Whinlatter Forests are worthy of a mention, it’s the family-friendly easy trail alongside Lake Windermere we’re picking for this one. It’s a lovely way for the whole family to be active whilst enjoying some great views and stopping to take in some picturesque spots, have a little paddle, a picnic, and spend some quality time together.
  • Canoeing on Coniston: with smaller children especially canadian canoes are a great way to still get on the water under your own steam.
  • Hiking: Lake District National Park Authority has come up with a list of over 40 ‘Miles Without Stiles’ routes, which are easily accessible walks ideal for those with pushchairs or smaller children, whilst still allowing the grown ups to appreciate the landscapes and the fresh air.
  • The World of Beatrix Potter: for any fans of these much-loved children’s books this attraction is well worth a visit, lovingly bringing these stories to life in a recreation of the Lake District countryside in which they were based.

Outdoor Activities for Kids and Toddlers

Getting kids outdoors is vital to mental and physical health. What can sometimes seem daunting to parents, it doesn’t have to be anymore. Facilities have improved vastly across many places. What’s important is to stay stocked up with all necessary supplies and never be too far away from facilities. Search for Suitable for families in our listing page and you’ll find all activities that providers have suggested are suitable for kids. If you’re looking for other alternatives for your kids, check out the National Trust Outdoor Spaces, Forestry England and search for your local AONB.
outdoor activities for adults

Outdoor Activities for Adults

Beyonk is the home to finding outdoor activities to do. Simply search through our listing page to explore your local outdoor activity for adults! Rock climbing is often a sport we try out in school which many adults are returning back to. It’s becoming ever more popular as a great way to get fit, see the best of the UK and gain a strong community of like-minded people. There’s a wealth of kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding and other Watersports opportunities nearby and a wealth of adventure activity weekends to choose from. If you’re after something more specifically, drop us a message and we’ll scout it out for you.

Extreme Outdoor Activities UK

Want to find your next challenge? Use our filters to search for ‘Tough’ in effort level. This’ll give you some of the most extreme outdoor activities in the UK. From the Welsh 3000 - hiking 15 peaks above 300 foot in 24 hours - to the Yorkshire 3 Peak Challenge, hiking over a marathon and 3 peaks. There’s plenty of tough challenges to get involved with. Lake District

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