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5 child friendly hidden gems in the Lake District

Updated: Mar 12

Your Ultimate Guide to exploring child-friendly hidden gems scattered around the Lake District.


Even though majority of the Lake District hidden gems are infinity pools and secret waterfalls, it may be hard to find some suitable for your children. However, if you look hard enough, there's much more to discover in the Lake District with your kids than just hills and scenery.


This article explores Lake District's child-friendly hidden gems that you won't want to miss on any trip there! There's plenty of hikes and hills to explore, however if you want to explore some real hidden gems, keep reading.


Please note: we recommend double checking these hidden gems to ensure they are suitable for your child. We know each child is different, which is why it's best that you as the parent make the decision. Happy exploring!




1) Rydal Cave


There's much more to see than just the Rydal Cave. We suggest doing the whole complete walk! It gives you amazing views over Rydal Water, aswell as views across Heron Pike and Rydal Fell. The whole walk is just under 2 hours, so we'd say its suitable for kids.


To get to Rydal Cave, we recommend parking in the South White Moss Walks car park (the postcode is LA22 9SE).


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Rydal Cave


1) Where is Rydal Cave located?

Rydal Cave is situated in the scenic Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England. It can be found near the village of Rydal, close to the popular tourist town of Ambleside. The cave is nestled amidst picturesque woodland and is accessible via a relatively short walk from Rydal Water.


2) How do I reach Rydal Cave?

To reach Rydal Cave, visitors can start their journey from Rydal village or nearby Ambleside. There are several walking routes that lead to the cave, with the most common being a scenic trek along the western shores of Rydal Water. The walk is approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) each way and offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.


3) What should I expect at Rydal Cave?

Rydal Cave is a man-made quarry cave that dates back to the 19th century. Today, it serves as a popular destination for hikers and explorers seeking a unique natural attraction. The cave's large, cathedral-like interior and striking rock formations make it an ideal spot for photography, picnics, or simply enjoying the peaceful ambiance.


However, visitors should be aware that the cave can be damp and slippery, so sturdy footwear and caution are advised when exploring its interior.


Places to stay near Rydal Cave


Image of Rydal Cave in the Lake District


2) Cathedral Cave


Cathedral Cave/Quarry is an awesome place to take the kids; we're sure they'll love the adventure! The views outside are spectacular and the views outside the quarry are breath-taking. We recommend taking torches which you'll need to explore the tunnels at the end.


Cathedral Cave isn't too far away from Slater's Bridge which is another child-friendly hidden gem that we feature in this article. Keep reading to learn more about Slater's Bridge!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Cathedral Cave


1) Where is Cathedral Cave located?

Cathedral Cave is situated within the stunning Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England. It can be found near the village of Little Langdale, close to the popular tourist destinations of Ambleside and Coniston. The cave is nestled amidst breathtaking scenery and is accessible via a short hike from the nearby car park.


2) How do I get to Cathedral Cave?

To reach Cathedral Cave, visitors can start their journey from the designated car park near the village of Little Langdale. From there, a scenic walking trail leads to the cave, offering picturesque views of the surrounding countryside and nearby fells. The hike to Cathedral Cave is relatively easy and suitable for most ages and fitness levels.


3) What can I expect at Cathedral Cave?

Cathedral Cave is a large, natural cavern renowned for its impressive rock formations and cathedral-like interior. Once inside, visitors are treated to stunning acoustics and a sense of awe-inspiring grandeur.


The cave is an ideal spot for photography, exploration, and enjoying the tranquil beauty of the Lake District landscape. However, visitors should exercise caution, as the cave can be slippery, especially during wet weather, and sturdy footwear is recommended.


Places to stay near Cathedral Cave



Image of Cathedral Cave in the Lake District


3) Aira Force Waterfall


Now this hidden gem is a tricky one. It totally depends on your child and if they dont mind a more-complex walking route. The walk is made up of a mixture of level/stepped pathways, so it won't be suitable for pushchairs. During the walk there are also some steep drops, so we totally recommend supervising at all times!


During the walk of Aira Force Waterfall there is plenty to keep the kids engaged and interested. There's also a natural playground by the entrance they may enjoy.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Aira Force Waterfall


1) Where is Aira Force located?

Aira Force is located in the Lake District National Park, near the village of Glenridding in Cumbria, England.


2) What makes Aira Force a hidden gem?

Aira Force is considered a hidden gem due to its stunning natural beauty, impressive height, and the picturesque cascade of water as it plunges down a series of rocky steps amidst the lush woodland surroundings. The waterfall offers visitors a tranquil and enchanting experience away from the crowds.


3) How do I get to Aira Force?

Visitors can access Aira Force by foot from the village of Glenridding. There is a well-marked footpath leading from Glenridding to Aira Force, which follows the course of Aira Beck through the woodlands. The waterfall can be reached by following this footpath upstream.


Places to stay near Aira Force Waterfall



Image of Aira Force Waterfall in the Lake District


4) Ashness Bridge


A traditional and must-visit hidden gem in the Lake District. It's a stone bridge which was built on a single track road located in Cumbria. It's best known for being a breath-taking viewpoint across Borrowdale towards Skiddaw. It also includes views of the amazing Derwent Water nearby.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Ashness Bridge


1) Where is Ashness Bridge located?

Ashness Bridge is a picturesque stone-built packhorse bridge located in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England. It can be found near the popular tourist town of Keswick, close to the shores of Derwentwater. The bridge is situated along the scenic B5289 road, which runs between Keswick and Borrowdale.


2) How do I get to Ashness Bridge?

Visitors can easily reach Ashness Bridge by car or on foot. The bridge is accessible via the B5289 road, which connects Keswick with Borrowdale. There is limited parking available near the bridge, and it is also a popular stop on several walking routes in the area, including the famous Catbells hike. Alternatively, guided tours and public transportation options may also be available.


3) What makes Ashness Bridge special?

Ashness Bridge is renowned for its stunning views and iconic stone arch design, making it a popular spot for photographers and visitors seeking to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Lake District.


The bridge offers breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains, including the majestic Skiddaw and the tranquil waters of Derwentwater. It is also a picturesque location for picnics, leisurely walks, and enjoying the peaceful ambiance of the countryside.


Places to stay near Ashness Bridge



Image of Ashness Bridge in the Lake District

5) Slater's Bridge


This interesting ancient bridge is located in Little Langdale in the Lake District. It was made to allow workers to travel across the River Brathay. The workers would cross this bridge in order to access the slate quarries (Hodge Close and Little Langdale). Visitors often cross this bridge in order to access Cathedral Quarry, as mentioned previously in this article.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Slater's Bridge


1) Where is Slater's Bridge located?

Slater's Bridge is a charming stone footbridge situated in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria, England. It is nestled within the beautiful landscapes of Little Langdale, a picturesque valley located between the villages of Elterwater and Skelwith Bridge.


2) How do I get to Slater's Bridge?

Accessing Slater's Bridge is relatively easy for visitors. It is located off the B5343 road that runs through Little Langdale. Visitors can park at nearby designated parking areas and then take a short walk to reach the bridge. It's also a popular stop along various walking routes and trails in the area.


3) What makes Slater's Bridge special?

Slater's Bridge is renowned for its rustic charm and scenic surroundings. It offers visitors an opportunity to experience the tranquility of the Lake District countryside while admiring the traditional stone architecture of the bridge.


The area around Slater's Bridge is also popular for hiking, with several trails leading to nearby attractions such as Cathedral Quarry and Blea Tarn, providing stunning views of the surrounding fells and landscapes.


Places to stay near Slater's Bridge



Image of Slater's Bridge in the Lake District

We hoped you enjoyed discovering the local finds and less known places which are child friendly scattered in and around the Lake District. We are confident that visiting some of these hidden gems with your little ones will make your adventure around Lake District even more memorable!


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