The Lake District looks beautiful any time of year but autumn and winter can be especially stunning as there is such an array of colours everywhere from the highest hills to the leafy woodlands. There is much more to the Lakes though than just outdoor adventures so if you don’t feel like braving the cold then here are some great ideas for places to visit where you won’t need your hat and scarf.

Wray Castle


Owned by the National Trust this mock-Gothic castle sits on the shores of Windermere and is far from a ‘typical’ National Trust house full of old paintings, furniture and antiques. It is a truly fascinating building with turrets and towers and a real sense of historical grandeur and some pretty amazing views too!

If you have children to entertain then this is the perfect place to let their imaginations run wild. With dressing up, castle building, adventure play area with den building and rope swings they will be kept busy all day and if they, or you, run out of energy there is a lovely little cafe to take a break in. For a bit of added adventure you can even arrive by boat direct to Wray Castle’s jetty.

Blackwell Arts & Craft House


One of the most enchanting historic houses in the Lake District and one that encourages you to relax and immerse yourself within the atmosphere. The inviting window seats allow you to gaze out over the stunning surrounding scenery and you are free to wander around the house without restrictive roped-off areas. Retaining many of its original decorative features including a rare hessian wall-hanging, stained glass and carved wooden panelling, the rooms also contain historical exhibitions and furniture and objects from many leading designers from the Arts & Craft Movement.

Dove Cottage and Wordsworth Museum


A visit to the Lake District wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the home of the very famous William Wordsworth. Take a tour around this traditional Lakeland cottage to discover what life was like for Wordsworth and his family then take a stroll around the garden he created with his sister that provided the inspiration for some of his greatest poetry.

The museum, just next door, is dedicated to Wordsworth’s life, where he travelled and what he saw, in addition to various exhibitions of historic artefacts, original manuscripts and wonderful pictures by artists ranging from the famous to the obscure.

Hill Top - home of Beatrix Potter


On everyone’s list, not just the children, you can explore this time capsule of what life was like when Beatrix Potter lived at Hill Top more than 70 years ago. The house is maintained to reflect exactly how it would have been when this famous writer lived there, every room containing a reference to a picture in one of her stories. You will even recognise the rhubarb patch where Jemima Puddle-Duck laid her egg and the garden where Tom Kitten and his sisters played.

Take a leisurely amble around her garden which even in autumn is buzzing with colours of pink and white Anemones and Michaelmas Daisies. The vegetable garden is brimming over with pumpkins, raspberries and apples from the ancient tree in the paddock.

There are so many more places to visit and things to do in the Lake District, many just a short walk or drive away from us here in Ambleside. Our team love to share their favourite places to go and might even give you some insider local top tips. Come and enjoy a warm welcome from our lovely Lake District.

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