A good day out at Brockhole the Lake District Visitor Centre
Published: Thursday 25th Feb 2016
Written by: The Original Cottages Team
The Lake District is somewhere that promises adventure and fun every step of the way. But with over 880 square miles to explore, where do you start? We suggest you pay a visit to Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre on the shores of Lake Windermere and the perfect place to start your Cumbrian caper.
‘Something for everyone’ may be an overused phrase but it’s a near perfect fit for this not-for-profit attraction run by the Lake District National Park Authority. It’s an amazing place to visit, filling over 40 acres with fantastic things to do for all the family.
One of the newer attractions to Brockdale are the Treetop Nets. There are over 1,500 metres of giant trampolines, slides, walkways, and tunnels strung between the trees, up to nine metres off the ground! It’s suitable for anyone over the age of three and huge amounts of fun.
Also taking place high in the sky is the Treetop Trek, a trail of ropewalks, plank bridges, and various other aerial obstacles that will test your agility (and nerve) to the limit. The whole adventure culminates in a 250 metre triple zip wire from the 14m high Treetop tower down to the shore of Lake Windermere. Wheee!
Once you’ve had enough fun travelling through the air, why not tackle another element? England’s biggest lake awaits you and you can hire a range of craft from Brockhole, including rowing boats, paddleboards and kayaks.
But if you’d prefer to keep your feet on terra firma then Brockhole still has plenty to enthral you. Let’s start with the Thomas Mawson designed Arts and Crafts gardens. Covering thirty acres and full of beautiful features such as the Chilean Lantern Tree, dazzling camellias and clipped yews you could quite happily spend the whole day simply wandering from terrace to terrace.
Children can blow off some of their seemingly endless energy on the free adventure playground, while under sevens have their own special area to enjoy, complete with swings and a wacky noise tunnel! Budding equestrians will enjoy the pony rides available at Brockhole, and perhaps you’ll uncover the next Jordan Speith on the mini-golf course.
There are also plenty of footpaths and trails to follow, from the easy ‘Miles Without Stiles’ route to the Wansfell Walk that takes in the beautiful views and a boat trip. Don’t miss the Beatrix Potter trail which takes you around the same grounds where she was a regular visitor. Older children and adults will love to tackle the two orienteering courses, one with 22 controls to navigate, the other with 12.
If walking seems a bit slow then take advantage of the chance to hire a bike (price includes helmets, locks and puncture repair kits) and explore on two wheels. During the summer months you can even take a boat across to the western shores of Windermere and ride through on quieter bridleways. Look out for the Bark Barn and the ruined castle that lie within the woods!
Apart from Christmas Day, Brockhole is open all year round, so whenever you make your trip to the Lake District, you know that there’ll be a great day out waiting for you.