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Child Friendly Hidden Gems to visit in the Lake District

Updated: Jan 2

Your Ultimate Guide to exploring off-the-beaten track child friendly locations scattered around the Lake District.


Whether you're looking to hike along picturesque trails, or discover hidden gems perfect for picnics, this guide will lead you to some of the region's best-kept secrets, ensuring a memorable and family-friendly experience for all!


Here are some of our favourite hidden gems in the Lake District which are child friendly, however we do recommend doing your own research, as each child is different.


So grab your walking boots, pack your picnic (or a change of nappies!), and get ready to explore the hidden gems that await you and your little ones in the captivating Lake District.


Image of Aira Force in the Lake District


1) Rydal Cave


Welcome to Rydal Cave; a rare magnificent cave which is accessible by children and also your fluffy companions! We definitely recommend the wonderful experience of using the stepping stones to enter the cave with the children.


It's worth noting that it's not easy to find a parking space, and depending on which route you take it can take up to two hours of hiking to reach Rydal Cave, so definitely one to consider if your children aren't fans of walking!


Image of Rydal Cave in the Lake District

2) Slater's Bridge


Slaters Bridge dates back to the 17th Century and is thought to have been built by the miners working in the nearby Tilberthwaite Quarries. It's a fascinating construction, with a quaint arch at one end, and large flat slates bridging the water at the other.


It's a lovely spot and we're sure the kids will enjoy paddling in a river teaming with little fish - hopefully a good sign that it is as clean and unspoilt as it looks!


Image of Slater's Bridge in the Lake District

3) Cathedral Cave


This place is an absolutely amazing hidden gem in the middle of nowhere. Cathedral Cave is an unused man-made slate quarry with epic walks, tunnels and cave structures. It is family friendly, but expect to do a little bit of climbing!


For those feeling extra adventurous, there are extra side caves to explore that lead on from the main and also an old abandoned mining dwelling is available to visit up a rather uphill battle.


Image of Cathedral Cave in the Lake District


4) Wastwater Lake


This place is literally heaven on earth, and one of the best places in the UK in our opinion. Wastwater is the deepest lake in England at 258 feet (79 m), with the surface of the lake being about 200 feet (60 m) above sea level, while its bottom is over 50 feet (15 m) below sea level.


We definitely recommend parking up and admiring the views of the lake and the mountains whilst the kids have fun exploring and having a little dip in the lake!


Image of Wastwater Lake in the Lake District

5) Ashness Bridge


Ashness Bridge is a must visit when in the Lakes. The beautiful stream and historic bridge is the base setting for wonderful views of Derwentwater and across the lake to Catbells.


If traveling in a vehicle, please be mindful that it’s a narrow road from main road to the bridge and if there are many vehicles going up and down, may involve reversing and waiting. There are not many passing places.


Image of Ashness Bridge in the Lake District

6) Aira Force


Aira Force is a must-visit gem when visiting the Lakes, and one the kids will love for sure! It's a bit of a walk to the waterfalls but doable with children so long as they don't mind walking up and down steps and on slopes!


There are National Trust car parks at the top and bottom of the walk with toilets and often catering at the bigger car park at the bottom. We recommend giving yourself at least an hour to walk between top and bottom car parks and enjoy the paths on both sides of the falls.


Image of Aira Force in the Lake District


7) Grizedale Forest Park


Grizedale Forest Park is a beautiful place to visit with a choice of trail lengths so it's suitable for almost everyone.


Overall, it's a great place to visit for a wonderful family day out. There are some entertainment for kids and adults alike, lots of educational bits so definitely one to add to your Lake District bucket list!


Image of Grizedale Forest Park in the Lake District

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


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