"There are so many natural play areas concealed within its wooded grounds that children will slip from one messy adventure into another. From the walled Bee Garden, with its heather maze and sheltered dens (perfect for picnics), you can hear shrieks coming from the adventure playground, where a zip-wire, rope climbers and balance bridges crisscross a gushing stream."
"Compared with some of the pleasure boats that ply Lakeland's bigger waterways, the Keswick Launch on Derwent Water is affordable and flexible. Its wooden boats zip frequently between seven jetties, so you can stay on for a 50-minute circuit or hop off to explore pebble beaches and lakeside footpaths. A good starting point is the marina at Nichol End, where the dog-friendly cafe serves homemade pizzas with tables overlooking the slopes of Skiddaw."
"England's only mountain forest is a playground for trail bikers, and you do not need finely honed skills to enjoy the thrill of a two-wheeled descent. If you don't have your own mountain bikes you can hire them at Cyclewise (minimum 14in wheel, minimum height about 4ft 8inches), which also runs family mountain-bike skills sessions during school holidays."
"Buttermere has no jetties, no motor boats, no picnic tables … just a 1¼-mile stretch of shimmering water surrounded by steep-sided fells and farmland. Walking around Buttermere takes two to three hours with children; the path is bumpy in places but manageable by all-terrain buggy (although you'll need to lift it over the kissing gates). The shoreline is dotted with mini beaches, some sheltered and mossy, others wide and pebbly: children may become so absorbed in pebble-skimming and paddling that they forget to ask when it's time for ice-cream."