Plan your family day out

Whether you’re looking for a wander around Acorn Bank’s blossoming garden, or a fancy a quiet spot to curl up with a book on a rainy day, there’s something for all ages here at Acorn Bank.

Useful information

  • You'll find toilets and baby-changing facilities just off the courtyard where our friends from Lakeland Coffee also have a van offering a delicious range of locally sourced light bites, paninis, snack, cakes and barista coffee. Indoor and outdoor seating is available to cover all weather eventualities!
  • The second-hand bookshop in the Drawing Room of the house has plenty of children’s books – an ideal way to spend a bit of pocket money.
  • Dogs are allowed on leads on the estate, but not in house or garden (except for assistance dogs).

What's on at National Trust places across the north Lakes this summer (PDF / 1.6MB) download

Our top picks...

Explore the watermill at Acorn Bank

The working watermill

There’s been a watermill at Acorn Bank for hundreds of years and thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers from the Acorn Bank Watermill Trust, it’s still working today. Be transported back in time whilst watching the huge water wheel turn as it powers the stones which grind the wheat into flour. You can see it in action every weekend, 11am-3pm until September, plus Bank Holidays.

Solitary bee

The bee pot trail in the garden

Follow the bee pot trail around the garden to find out which plants our fuzzy friends like the most. The herbaceous border in particular is bursting with flowers planted to give pollinators a helping hand.

Treecreeper at Acorn Bank

Estate walks and wildlife spotting

Not everyone knows Acorn Bank is a special place for wildlife. In the summer months its home to 70 bird species including redstarts, dippers, spotted fly catchers, 18 species of butterfly and 50 species of solitary bees and wasps. If you’re lucky you might even spot a red squirrel or otter near to the Crowdundle Beck in the woodlands.

A girl enjoys geocaching in the great outdoors


Have a go at geocaching; here at Acorn Bank, there are 6 caches hidden across the parkland, with small treasures to find inside. Can you locate them all? Some may not be immediately obvious – so you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled!

Newt in Sunken Garden pond at Acorn Bank

Newts in the Sunken Garden pond

All three species of native UK newt can be found in the Ornamental Pond in the Sunken Garden (Smooth newt, Great crested and Palmate). On warm sunny days look out for them sunbathing near the water’s surface.

Discover what's in a pond at Acorn Bank

50 things to do before you’re 11¾

The woodland around Acorn Bank and the garden are perfect for ticking off a few 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ list. Get to know a tree (No.1) – we’d recommend the ‘Twister Sister’, the huge copper beech tree on your right as the house and café courtyard are on your left, or the magical Dalston Oak out on the estate. Discover what’s in a pond (No.35) is a perfect one to tick off whilst you’re newt spotting, or look out for wild animal clues (No.34), whilst you’re down at the watermill – often otter tracks can be seen in the soft mud next to the beck.