Our lakes are lovely, but they are often getting topped up by the rain. If you agree with the saying: “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing”, what can you do? Well, quite a lot! Here are some of the best things to do in the Lake District when it’s wet, which are indoor or undercover.
But first: a tip about the weather
The weather in the Lake District can vary a lot. It can be pouring down with rain in one valley. But a few miles away, it’s dry.
This is all down to our geography: the prevailing westerly winds tend to blow in saturated air from the Irish Sea. It cools going over the mountains, condensing the droplets into rain. It’s, therefore worth checking out these webcams from across the Lakes to see if it’s stopped raining elsewhere.
1. A calming cruise
For a low-maintenance way to soak in the scenery, you can’t beat a boat cruise! Check out:
- Coniston Launch
- Keswick Launch
- Steam Yacht Gondola on Coniston Water
- Windermere Lake Cruises
- Ullswater Steamers
2. Undercover history
- Armitt Museum in Ambleside, including old photos of Ambleside and sketches by Beatrix Potter
- Lakeland Motor Museum, Backbarrow for any petrol heads
- The Rum Story in Whitehaven for tales of smugglers and pirates
- Windermere Jetty Boat Museum to dive into the history of this lake’s boats
3. Kid-friendly indoor attractions
- Allan Bank house, Grasmere
- Brockhole Visitor Centre on Windermere
- Derwent Pencil Museum, Keswick
- Kids Hard Play at Kong Adventure in Keswick
- Lakes Aquarium – seeing the fish in the tunnel is amazing, but our kids were most fascinated by seeing ducks from underneath!
- The Puzzling Place in Keswick
- Rheged near Penrith – including cinema screens, a gallery and children’s activities
- The World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness
4. A rail-ly good time
These steam train lines charm and entertain whatever the weather!
- Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway
- Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway – apart from the Turntable Café at Ravenglass station, and certain events
Also don’t forget the more modern railway lines of:
- Cumbria Coast line, which runs around the west coast from Silverdale to Ravenglass, then Whitehaven all the way round to Carlisle.
- Settle to Carlisle railway can be the start and finish of a great day out
5. Retail therapy
6. Wet your whistle in the wet
Tour the Lakes Distillery near Bassenthwaite to see how they make their whisky, gin and vodka. We’ve also heard good things about their bistro!
Keswick Brewery Company blends English and international hops to create delicious craft beers. It also runs regular tours of the brewery, including a tasting session.
7. Stretch your legs – and arms
Indoor climbing walls often offer beginner’s sessions. Check out:
8. A different view
The Lake District has inspired artists for centuries. A rainy day is the ideal opportunity to wander around some lovely galleries. Who knows, it may inspire your own family’s Turner or Beatrix Potter!
Some recommendations include:
- Beach Hut Gallery in Grange-over-Sands has lots of different types of art, from woodwork to pottery
- Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere, which includes a shop and cafe
- Old Courthouse Gallery in Ambleside is an indie gallery packed with stunning displays across three floors
- Thuline Studio in Bowness for some wonderful animal and cow portraits
9. Make like Jemima Puddleduck
OK, this one will mean getting wet, but it’s a firm family fav. May we introduce the noble art of ‘puddle splodging’? When you’re all in waterproof trousers and wellies, jumping in puddles is a lot of fun!
If you’ve forgotten to pack ‘forest school’ clothing for your little ones, Ambleside and Keswick have some great outdoor equipment and clothing shops.
What’s your go-to Lake District activity when it’s we
Disclaimer: We’ve tried to be as accurate as possible when writing this article, but information can change. Please check for yourself before making any decisions based on this blog.