Wet Days

What can you do on a Wet Day?

So you’ve started your holiday in the Lake District and unfortunately it’s raining.  What can you do if you have children to entertain?  Here’s some suggestions and ideas for those inevitable wet days:

Sometimes Sunnier on the Coast! - Maryport Aquarium and Adventure Playground

West Coast Lake District Aquarium, The Harbour, Maryport


This is a popular attraction, winner of Cumbria’s small visitor attraction of the year 2010, interesting and fun for both young and old.  At £18.95 for a family ticket (in 2010) it also represents good value for money.  There’s also crazy golf and a free adventure playground (Shiver me Timbers) located next door.

Aquarium of the Lakes, Lakeside, Newby Bridge


Located on the southern edge of Windermere, this is South Cumbria’s alternative to the aquarium in Maryport.  It does have an underwater tunnel but is a little more expensive at £26.95 for a family ticket (in 2010).

The Rheged Centre, Redhills, Penrith


Good choice for a wet day or if the rain cuts short a visit to Ullswater.  There are indoor and outdoor play areas and activities, specialist shops and short 3D Films for the whole family.  Films cost £19.50 for a family.

West Coast Indoor Karting, Solway Trading Estate, Maryport


Become Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button!  There’s a 520m full indoor racing circuit; 40mph adult karts and 25mph kids karts.  Safety clothes and helmets are provided. Adults £16; children £14.

The World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness on Windermere


Aimed at younger children, those who enjoy reading about Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Tom Kitten and co will enjoy this attraction.  There are various scenes from the stories which are brought to life.  Our children really enjoyed it but it does not take very long to get round, so won’t fill much time on a wet day.  However, at £18.00 for a family ticket it’s not going to break the bank.

Laurel and Hardy Museum, Roxy Cinema, Brogden Street, Ulverston


Arthur Stanley Jefferson was born in Ulverston.  He would later change his name to Stan Laurel and, with Oliver Hardy, would become possibly the best comedy duo of all time.  Learn more about the famous duo at this museum, which is great value at only £8 for a family ticket (2010 prices).

Honister Slate Mine, Borrowdale, Keswick

Honister Slate Mine, Honister Pass, Borrowdale, Keswick


Visit a working slate mine high up on Honister Pass, which runs several different guided tours daily.  If you’ve got a head for heights and looking for something different then there’s also the Via Ferrata and zip wire on a better day.


More Ideas for Wet Days


Carlisle, which is one of the UK’s oldest cities, is the No.1 shopping destination in Cumbria.  All the big name shops are located in Carlisle which includes ‘The Lanes’, a large indoor shopping centre.  The shopping experience can be mixed with a visit to the Castle or the Tullie House Museum, where you can learn about the history of this border city.

Workington's redeveloped town centreWorkington, which is 30 minutes from Keswick, is a reinvigorated shopping centre following its redevelopment around 2008.  Most of the big name shops are there including Debenhams.  There’s also an indoor soft play area called ‘Funtastic’, which is located above Wilkinson’s on Ladies Walk.  Workington is conveniently sandwiched by the two pretty seaside harbours at Maryport and Whitehaven.

Similar in size to the shopping centre at Workington, Kendal also offers you most of the big names and has retained its pretty stone built shops.  Kendal is only 15 minutes from Windermere.

Kendal Town Centre

Barrow-in-Furness also offers the big name shops and has the advantage of having the superb coastal walking and the marvellous Dock Attraction (free entry) to learn about Barrow’s incredible shipbuilding heritage.  www.dockmuseum.org.uk

Swimming Pools

There are Council run swimming pools in all the main towns plus a Leisure Pool, with crazy slide, in Keswick.  Additionally, many of the private hotels accept visitors.



Plaza Cinemas, Dunmail Park, Maryport Road, Workington www.workington-plaza.co.uk (6 screens)

Zeffirellis & Fellinis, Compston Road, Ambleside www.zeffirellis.com

Lonsdale Alhambra Cinema, St Johns Street, Keswick www.keswick-alhambra.co.uk (2 screens)

Vue, Botchergate, Carlisle (multiplex) – www.myvue.com/cinemas

Lonsdale Cinema, Middlegate, Penrith – www.lonsdalecitycinemas.co.uk

Apollo Cinema, Hollywood Park, Hindpool Road, Barrow-in-Furness www.apollocinemas.com/apollo-barrow-in-furness.aspx

Brewery Arts Centre, Highgate, Kendal – www.breweryarts.co.uk


Other considerations:

Lakeland Motor Museum, Backbarrow, Newby Bridge


Cumberland Pencil Museum, Keswick

The world’s longest pencil and, history of pencil manufacture and activities for children.  www.pencilmuseum.co.uk

The Puzzling Place, Keswick

Images and sculptures to fool your mind. www.puzzlingplace.co.uk

Rum Story

In Whitehaven, there is ‘The Rum Story’ where you can learn about Whitehaven’s dark spirit. www.rumstory.co.uk

We hope this guide helps you with ideas on what to do in the lake district when it rains, for those inevitable wet days that you will get.