Our top Lake District attractions
Looking for things to do in and around the Lake District? Want a day out at an attraction in Allerdale that the weather can’t spoil? Need something to keep the kids happy that won’t break the bank? Desperate to discover more of this area’s history and don’t know where to start? Or perhaps you’re seeking some art and culture at a nationally-renowned venue?
If you’ve based yourself in Keswick, venture out and explore the rest of Allerdale.
We’ve selected just a few of the great places Allerdale and the Lake District have to offer – from historic houses and wildlife havens, to adrenaline-fuelled activities or new learning experiences. From Keswick, Cockermouth, Silloth and Aspatria to Maryport, Workington and Wigton, there are loads of places to visit and things to see and do. Be in the know with these top picks of the Allerdale attractions which will bring to life our heritage, culture, landscape and achievements. Get out there and explore.
This is an historic house and gorgeous gardens that families will love, situated in a majestic setting between Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw. There are fabulous walks, through its woodlands to the lakeshore or up Allerdale’s fells which surround it. Literary connections and live piano music are some of the things that make it an award-winning attraction.
Lake District Distillery, Bassenthwaite
This distillery is home to the Lake District first whisky, produced on the premises alongside their own gins and vodka. Take the distillery tour, with a brilliant fly-through which gives a bird’s eye view of Allerdale and the River Derwent from its source to the sea, eat lunch, snacks or dinner in the excellent bistro and make sure you treat yourself in the gift shop.
Lake District Coast Aquarium, Maryport
Get hands on and discover the wide variety of native species which swim off the shores of Allerdale. The harbourside attraction offers proper family fun indoors, with a nautical-themed adventure playground and mini golf outside. There’s even a bait shop for those who want to go fishing along the Cumbrian coast.
Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
Even the London critics know about Theatre by the Lake thanks to its amazing reputation for professional, repertory theatre with a rotating programme of classics and new works. It’s in a stunning location too, right on the shores of Derwentwater. Get a bite to eat in their café as you browse the forthcoming programme or grab a pre-show supper.
Jennings Brewery tour and shop, Cockermouth
They have been brewing these famed ales in the historic market town of Cockermouth since the 19th century and still use their own spring to provide the water for their classic beers. Find out more on the tour with the experts, sample their wares in the brewery bar, have lunch on the riverside terrace, and pay a visit to the great shop.
Whinlatter Forest Park, between Keswick and Cockermouth
This is England’s only true mountain forest and, thanks to its great Allerdale location, offers endless fun for all the family. Take a stroll or go mountain biking around the special trails, try something different on a Segway lesson or swing through the trees on a Go Ape course. There’s bike hire on offer and a great café for when you’ve worked up an appetite.
Derwentwater Launch Co., Keswick
No trip to Allerdale is complete without a trip on a lake – and what better way to do it than on a traditional launch. You can get off at numerous jetties, combine your trip with a walk or a picnic, and explore this very beautiful lake at your own pace. You could even visit Lingholm where children’s author Beatrix Potter got some of her inspiration.
There is more to this working slate quarry than meets the eye. It’s been reimagined as a high-adrenalin experience which will take those with a head for heights across the Allerdale and Lake District landscape on an historic via ferrata. You can also explore the mines and even climb in their caverns. Don’t forget a slate souvenir.
Wordsworth House, Cockermouth
Discover the birthplace of William and Dorothy Wordsworth and find out how they spent their early years in this National Trust house. Don’t miss the working 18th century kitchen, chat to the costumed servants, sit on the riverside terrace and listen to a little poetry, or explore the gardens with their heritage varieties of fruit and vegetables. This is a true Allerdale gem.
Senhouse Roman Museum, Maryport
The Romans shaped much of the landscape of Allerdale – this is a place with a fascination past. This museum displays the largest group of Roman military altar stones and inscriptions from any site in Britain, as well as unique examples of Romano-British religious sculpture. Find out where else you can explore to tread in the their footsteps.
Solway Coast Discovery Centre, Silloth
The exhibition showcases the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and its special wildlife, heritage, landscape and communities. Take a wander from the Ice Age to the present day, find out how things changed when man came here – from Romans to Normans, and monks to industrial giants – and discover the area’s natural beauty.
Maryport Maritime Museum
Maryport’s rich maritime history is on display throughout this harbourside museum. It details the town’s strong links to Thomas Henry Ismay, the founder of the White Star Line who built the fated Titanic. There’s also to the acclaimed artist Percy Kelly with one of his striking works on display.
This award-winning attraction in the heart of Allerdale offers some excellent permanent collections that include decorative and fine art, literature, mountaineering and archaeology, as well as frequently changing exhibitions. The lovely Arts and Crafts building which houses it is perfectly located close to Keswick town centre.
Lake District Wildlife Park, Bassenthwaite
See more than 100 amazing animals in 24 acres of parkland in a gorgeous Allerdale location. You can get up close with the furry, scaly and feathered residents or even try a keeper experience and learn what it’s like to look after these fascinating creatures. Bring a picnic or eat in the on-side café.
Derwent Pencil Museum, Keswick
Ever seen a pencil that’s eight metres long? Did you know they hid maps in pencils during the Second World War? Want to learn about 500 years of Derwent Fine Art pencil production from graphite mines right here in Allerdale? Visit this quirky attraction which has fans around the globe.
Puzzling Place, Keswick
This is a destination which offers smashing fun for children and big kids alike. Be amazed, by mystified and be delighted in all one visit to the Keswick attraction. Don’t forget your cameras to capture the moment your eyes begin to deceive you. It’s a quirky side to Allerdale you don’t want to miss.
Helena Thompson Museum, Workington
The museum reflects the history, industry, culture and social life of the area and is a place which sums up the sense of community in Allerdale. It has collections of 18th and 19th century local history bequeathed by a former resident, Miss Helena Thompson, and it’s run by a charity, the Workington Heritage Group.
Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum, Keswick
As well as the fine mining museum, experience what it was like to be a miner at this historic quarry site. You can take a trip on a steam train, head underground for an expert tour of the old mines, discover where the granite went which was blasted from the landscape, and learn about the lighting, drilling and explosives used in its work.