A family tale of Lakeland adventures

Breathtaking natural reserves, family-friendly activities and delicious local treats – the Lakelands are an outdoor enthusiast’s heaven. Jane McGowan and family journey to England’s verdant north-west in search of a Lakeland adventure, taking a seven-stop tour of the scenic country. Feature highlights from the November 2018 Club magazine.

In search of the lush greenery of Cumbria - a family road trip

By: Jane McGowan (and family) | 12 Nov 2018, 4.43pm

Breathtaking natural reserves, family-friendly activities and delicious local treats – the Lakelands are an outdoor enthusiast’s heaven. Jane McGowan and family journey to England’s verdant north-west in search of a Lakeland adventure, taking a seven-stop tour of the scenic country. Feature highlights from the November 2018 Club magazine.

How to swerve the tourist traps 

The Meathop Fell Club Site is just a 10 minute drive from the sleepy town of Grande-over-Sands. This is the perfect place to avoid the tourist traps and find some hidden gems and explore the great outdoors.

One stop-off not to miss is a trip to Arnside, a little village overlooking the River Kent. Down on the coast, the seafront is dotted with boutiques, gift shops and award winning cafes. This is the ideal location to relax, watch the world go by and stop for a bite to eat. Yew Tree Barn is a treat for treasure hunters; enjoy the delicious local food at Harrys Café Bar and the great antiques and reclamation bargains.

We watched life flutter by

Time to unwind! There are picturesque walking routes directly from the campsite so it's easy to get lost in the beautiful surrounds of Kendal Club Site. With an abundance of flourishing flowers and running waters, the River Kent is the perfect spot for a bit of angling. 

We strolled across the Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve where you may be lucky enough to see a rare White Faced Darter Dragonfly (a British Dragonfly introduced to the reserve in 2010). This is also the perfect observatory point for bird spotting, where you can even watch numerous species close and personal on the live webcam streaming from the wildlife garden. 


Al Fresco in Cartmel; a micro-brewery and local cheeses

The peaceful and secluded Old Barn Farm CL was next on the list, where we enjoyed excursions to Windermere and Hawkshead. Situated just one mile from Lake Windermere, this pretty certificated location is surrounded by stunning mountain views and is just minute’s from the A590.

Just a short hop from the Old Barn Farm is the stylish neighbourhood of Cartmel. Already famed for its racecourse and medieval priory, it’s now recognised as one of north-west England’s premier 'foodie' destinations. Home to a number of noteworthy establishments including Unsworth’s Yard, where you can tour and taste at the micro-brewery and sample Cartmel cheeses (where a vast selection of English and continental products are offered).

Angling for fish and castle gardens

Next was Troutbeck Head Club Site - a real back-to-nature location. The site is perfect for walkers and anglers, as a river runs alongside the entrance road. You can fish for salmon and trout, and daily or weekly licences can be bought from the on-site shop. During late summer, wildflowers had spread across the private pitches too.

A short stroll from Troutbeck Head is Sizergh Castle. It's said to have a garden for every season and it certainly didn't disappoint. For a spot of arts and crafts, Crafty Monkeys Pottery Studio in Penrith is also a must try.

Reaching for the sky

Wallthwaite CL is a picturesque certificated location is situated on a family-run sheep farm, easily located one mile from the A66 and in a great area for the North Lakes and a spot of family fun. 

The entire family had a fantastic adventure here - from rowing on Windermere, to exploring Millican Dalton’s Cave in Borrowdale. In Keswick there's an Alpaca Walk experience and for some real thrill seeking, there's Go Ape Tree Top Adventure where we spent hours of treetop fun, climbing on mid-air obstacle courses, before riding a 250m zip wire down to the shoreline. 

Making fury friends

Englethwaite Hall Club Site is surrounded by ancient trees and magnificent rhododendron bushes. The historic Settle-Carlisle Railway runs close to the site and holds special stream train services during the summer months.

Near to Englethwaite Hall is Oak Tree Animals’ Charity where you can met some cute four-legged residents like Zara and Archie the dogs, and larger fury animals that the charity provides care to, including cats, dogs, horses, goats and cows.

Exploring Eden Valley

It's hard not to fall in love with the natural beauty of High Cup Nick and the Pennine Way. Croft Ends Farm CL is a working farm which has stunning views of the picturesque Eden Valley.

There's a walk to the dramatic glacial valet of High Cup Nick, if you're feeling fit! The circular trek is 9.5 miles and should only be undertaken in good conditions. We were able to hop on a bike and explore the history of Whitehaven which is one of the starting points for the UK’s most popular cycling routes 'the Sea-to-Sea'. It follows the course of the now-disused railway line built in the 1850s and passes many heritage sculptures and artworks dotting along the route.