top of page

Child Friendly Hidden Gems to visit in the Lake District

Updated: Mar 6

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!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Rydal Cave


1) Where is Rydal Cave located?

Rydal Cave is situated near the village of Rydal in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria, England.


2) How do I get to Rydal Cave?

Access to Rydal Cave is via a walking trail from Rydal village. Visitors can park at the designated parking area in Rydal and then follow the footpath towards Loughrigg Fell. The cave is located on the eastern side of Loughrigg Fell, approximately a 20-30 minute walk from the village.


3) What can I expect to find at Rydal Cave?

Rydal Cave is a man-made quarry cave dating back to the 19th century. Visitors can expect to find a large, open cavern with towering rock walls and a stunning natural amphitheater-like formation. The cave offers excellent opportunities for photography, exploration, and enjoying the peaceful surroundings of the Lake District landscape.


View places to stay near Rydal Cave with the below map


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!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Slater's Bridge


1) What is the history of Slater's Bridge?

Slater's Bridge is a historic packhorse bridge dating back to the 17th century. It was originally constructed to facilitate the transportation of goods and livestock across the River Brathay in the Lake District.


2) Where is Slater's Bridge located within the Lake District?

Slater's Bridge is located near the village of Little Langdale in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria, England. It can be found along the route between Little Langdale and Tilberthwaite, providing a picturesque spot for walkers and photographers.


3) Is there parking available near Slater's Bridge?

There is limited parking available near Slater's Bridge, primarily along the roadside near Little Langdale village. Visitors should be mindful of parking restrictions and consider arriving early, especially during peak times, to secure a parking spot. Additionally, public transportation or alternative parking options may be available nearby.


View places to stay near Slater's Bridge with the below map


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.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Cathedral Cave


1) What is the history of Cathedral Cave?

Cathedral Cave is a man-made quarry cave that was created during the 19th century. It was originally excavated for the extraction of slate, which was used for roofing materials. The cavernous space and impressive rock formations make it a popular attraction for visitors exploring the Lake District.


2) How do I access Cathedral Cave?

Cathedral Cave is accessible via a walking trail from the nearby village of Little Langdale. Visitors can park in designated parking areas and then follow footpaths leading towards the cave. The trail offers scenic views of the surrounding countryside, making it an enjoyable hike for outdoor enthusiasts.


3) Is Cathedral Cave suitable for children and families?

Cathedral Cave can be suitable for families with children, but parents should be cautious as the terrain leading to the cave can be uneven and rocky. Inside the cave, children should be supervised closely due to potential hazards such as uneven surfaces and low ceilings. Additionally, the cave's dark and damp environment may not be suitable for all children.


View places to stay near Cathedral Cave with the below map


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!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Wastwater Lake


1) Is Wastwater Lake accessible by car?

Yes, Wastwater Lake is accessible by car via the A595 road. There are designated parking areas along the lakeshore where visitors can park their vehicles and enjoy the stunning views of England's deepest lake.


2) Can I swim in Wastwater Lake?

While swimming is allowed in Wastwater Lake, visitors should exercise caution as the water can be cold and deep. Additionally, there are no lifeguards on duty, so swimmers should be confident in their abilities and aware of any potential hazards.


3) Are there hiking trails around Wastwater Lake?

Yes, there are several hiking trails around Wastwater Lake, including the popular route up Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain. Visitors can also explore the surrounding fells and valleys, offering breathtaking views of the lake and its dramatic scenery.


View places to stay near Wastwater Lake with the below map


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.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Ashness Bridge


1) What is the history of Ashness Bridge?

Ashness Bridge is a traditional stone-built packhorse bridge dating back to the 17th century. It was originally constructed to provide a crossing over Barrow Beck, a small stream near the village of Keswick. Today, it is a popular landmark and scenic viewpoint in the Lake District.


2) How do I get to Ashness Bridge?

Ashness Bridge is accessible by car via the B5289 road from Keswick. There is limited parking available near the bridge, so visitors may need to arrive early to secure a parking spot. Alternatively, Ashness Bridge is also a stop on several walking routes in the area, providing opportunities for hikers to enjoy its picturesque surroundings.


3) Is Ashness Bridge suitable for photography?

Yes, Ashness Bridge is a popular spot for photographers due to its charming stone arch and stunning backdrop of Borrowdale Valley and Derwentwater Lake. The bridge offers excellent photo opportunities throughout the day, with the surrounding landscape changing with the seasons and lighting conditions.


View places to stay near Ashness Bridge with the below map



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.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Aira Force


1) Where is Aira Force located?

Aira Force is situated within the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England. It is located near the village of Watermillock and is easily accessible from the A592 road.


2) How do I get to Aira Force?

Visitors can reach Aira Force by car, with parking available at the nearby National Trust car park. From there, a well-marked footpath leads to the waterfall, passing through woodland and offering scenic views along the way. Alternatively, visitors can access Aira Force via public transportation, with bus services stopping nearby.


3) Is there an entrance fee to visit Aira Force?

There is typically no entrance fee to visit Aira Force itself. However, there may be parking charges for vehicles using the National Trust car park. Donations to support the upkeep of the area are always appreciated.


View places to stay near Aira Force with the below map



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!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Grizedale Forest Park


1) Where is Grizedale Forest Park located?

Grizedale Forest Park is located in the Lake District National Park, near the village of Hawkshead in Cumbria, England. It is easily accessible from the A590 road.


2) What activities can I do at Grizedale Forest Park?

Grizedale Forest Park offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy, including hiking, mountain biking, forest walks, and picnicking. The park also features several sculptures and art installations scattered throughout the woodland, providing an opportunity for visitors to explore art in nature.


3) Is there an entrance fee to visit Grizedale Forest Park?

There is typically no entrance fee to visit Grizedale Forest Park itself. However, there may be charges for parking in designated areas within the park. Additionally, some activities, such as bike hire or participation in guided walks, may incur a separate fee.


View places to stay near Grizedale Forest Park with the below map



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!


View places to stay in the Lake District with the below map


Download the official APP!


Gain access to over 1,600 hidden gems and their co-ordinates all over the UK when you download our app. Add gems to your bucket-list and tick them off as you go along, as well as earn rewards/badges when you visit a certain amount.




2,096 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page