Things to do on a rainy day at Fell Foot

Rowing boats in the rain, taken from above

We’re open every day of the year (apart from Christmas Day), come rain or shine, and being at the foot of England’s largest lake we have our fair share of wet weather. So whether you’re visiting with little ones, here to explore or just want to walk the dog, pull on your wellies and a waterproof and embrace the elements.

For families…

Give your wellies a workout

After a downpour the lakeshore path has the best puddles in the park, so little ones can jump, skip and splash their way to the toddlers’ play area. On your way there, dodge the raindrops underneath the gnarled branches of three huge Rhododendron trees, or walk through the long grass in the Pinetum; which showcases the park’s biggest, oldest and most exotic trees. From there, it’s a short walk to the play area where there’s a slide and swings waiting to be played on at the far end of the park.

National Trust
Children sheltering from the rain under umbrellas
National Trust

Hire a balance bike for toddlers

There’s a range of balance bikes in various sizes available to hire free of charge from the Boathouse Cafe down on the lakeshore or the Cottage shop on the hill. They make getting around the park an adventure on a rainy day.

Boy on a balance bike

50 things to do before you’re 11¾

Pick up a 50 things booklet from our team in the car park and get stuck in to checking items off your list. Here are our top picks for a rainy day:

  • Make a mud creation
  • Go welly wandering
  • Go paddling
  • Float in a boat
  • Skim a stone
  • Make friends with a bug


Join a Little Explorers walk

Little legs will like our weekly (free) nature themed walks led by a member of our Active Outdoors team, with things to see and do along the way. They’re every Wednesday, 9.30-10.30am, for pre-school aged children. Make sure to wrap up warm!

Crunch through leaves
Little girl with wellies stood amongst fallen leaves
Crunch through leaves

Check out the gothic boathouses

The newly restored boathouses are the ideal place to dodge a sudden downpour. You’ll find them adjoining the café. The biggest boathouse contains the 19th-century winch used to pull the steam yacht, Britannia, out of the water, which was originally housed there. Next door an animated film tells the story of life on the lake from the viewpoint of Fell Foot’s Victorian owner, Colonel Ridehalgh.

View of the historic boathouses from the lake
View of the historic boathouses at Fell Foot from Windermere
View of the historic boathouses from the lake

For adventure seekers…

Hire a paddleboard or kayak - available again for hire from 14 March 2020.

We’ve got wetsuits available to hire to keep you warm, and prices include entry to the Active Base changing rooms, which have secure lockers, hot showers, hairdryers and underfloor heating. More details including prices can be found here.

Girl balancing SUP Fell Foot

Do a 5km run

The circular route from the café to the south meadow and back is 2.5km, and with views up to the Fairfield Horseshoe to keep you going, it’s an easy 5km route and a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. If running in a group is more your thing, join the free parkrun which takes place every Saturday at 9am. You can grab an Active Base pass for £2 to access the showers and changing rooms, then warm up next to the fire in the café with a hot brew and a well-deserved slice of cake.

Fell Foot's parkrun, Cumbria
Fell Foot parkrun
Fell Foot's parkrun, Cumbria

Join a fitness class

Fell  Foot's very own fitness instructor, Dan, leads a series of various fitness classes throughout the week. If the weather's grizzly, they'll take place in the Active Base, but if it's dry, the park will be your gym. Find out more on our What's on page.

Bring your camera

We all know that Cumbrian weather can be unpredictable so it’s always best to be prepared. Make sure to bring your camera so you don’t miss any great photo opportunities, like this one! (If you do take a picture you're proud of, we'd love to see it - email it across to fellfoot@nationaltrust.org.uk)

Rainbow over sailing boats on Windermere

Warm up in the café or shop

Choose from a range of hot food, freshly prepared in the café every day. There’s soup, one pot, sausage rolls and jacket potatoes on the menu, plus fresh barista coffee which can be taken away. Our autumn/winter menu can be viewed here.

Enjoy a brew with a view from the Boathouse Cafe

The log fire will be burning when it’s cold outside, and our pizza Land Rover serves takeaway piping hot pizzas every Sunday from 12 noon to 3pm outside the Boathouses. Pizza nights will be returning from March 31 2020 from 4 - 6pm.

Pizza landrover

Our shop in a horsebox, up in the main car park, sells umbrellas, ponchos and hats, and whatever you spend there goes towards conservation work at Fell Foot. It's open during peak periods and weekends.

Horsebox shop at Fell Foot

Dogs are more than welcome in the café and shop.

noodles