Half term adventures in the Lake District

Pull on your wellies and take in the best of autumn on a family adventure in the Lake District. Find inspiration for things to do and places to visit, where you can crunch through autumn leaves, spot autumn wildlife and create family memories. Every visit to the National Trust this autumn helps Europe’s largest conservation charity care for special places for years to come.

Adults and two children taking an autumn walk amongst the trees

Which places are open and what you need to know before you visit 

More than 100 gardens and parks and hundreds of coast and countryside places are open in England and Northern Ireland. Many historic houses are open in England. To avoid disappointment please book in advance, especially at weekends and school holidays. In line with Welsh Government legislation, all places in Wales will close from 24 October to 9 November. Please check the property webpage of the place you wish to visit before you travel. Read this article to find out how to book and what to expect from your visit.

Little girl with wellies stood amongst fallen leaves

Walk in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter

Explore the cottage garden to spot signs of the changing seasons. Soak up the views in an autumnal hue at Beatrix Potter’s 17th-century farmhouse, the inspiration and backdrop to some of her most famous tales. Don’t miss the ‘fire wall’, a vine which changes from green, to fiery reds and oranges at this time of year, and spot the sheep and blackbirds in the paddock snacking on fruit from the ancient apple tree. As you make your way up the garden path you’ll see for yourself why Beatrix and her animal friends loved this place.

The view from Allan Bank in Grasmere

Become a nature detective at Allan Bank

Come and explore the great outdoors at Allan Bank as the grounds reopen for half term week (24 October - 1 November). Head out on an autumn walk through the woodland - the perfect place for a game of hide and seek or to create some wild art with leaves. Put your detective skills to the test by following the wild garden trail and pick up a fungi ID sheet to see what’s growing beneath the trees.

An autumn visit to the rock garden

A treat for the senses at Sizergh

Wake up your senses this half term with autumn scents, sights and sounds at Sizergh. Crunch through fallen leaves, take in the colours of the rock garden, and sniff out the sweet smell of our Japanese Katsura tree with its toffee apple scent. You can pick from a number of short walks to follow as a family, before rewarding tired legs with a slice of something sweet and sticky in our café. Our Pumpkin Spiced Latte is a must for grown-ups too!

Family playing in autumn leaves

Go wild in the great outdoors at Fell Foot

Fell Foot is a perfect family-friendly location to play outdoors this half term. The sweeping lawns are a good spot for games on drier days and gentle walks for little legs. The lakeshore location means you can take in colourful, autumnal views with boats bobbing in front of you on Lake Windermere - a picture-perfect backdrop for a family photo. To add to your day, download the ‘Tree Trail and Bird Spotter Sheet’ ahead of your visit and put your nature spotter skills to the test.

A family at Aira Force in Ullswater

See nature’s power and spot rare animals at Aira Force

Crisp autumn days are fun at Aira Force, but wetter days are even better when the waterfall has more power. As well as big waterfalls to spot, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for smaller wonders too. Aira Force is one of the few remaining places in England where you can still see native red squirrels. Pick up a copy of Cyril’s red squirrel ramble from the welcome building and follow the clues to unlock the password. As well as adding extra fun to your day, you’ll be helping our red squirrels too, with proceeds going towards their care.

Kids run free in Langdale

Webbed feet and warming treats at Sticklebarn

Whooper swans, pink-footed geese, redwig, dippers and buzzards – autumn is the perfect time to spot wild birds and make new feathered friends on the fells of Great Langdale. After an autumn walk with the family, warm up from the inside out with a tasty meal at our Sticklebarn pub. Book in advance to enjoy family favourites like Mac & Cheese, and top your day off with a Langdale Sundae with warm homemade gingerbread.

Gondola cruising on Coniston Water

Go full steam ahead on Coniston Water

Jump onboard this historic steam-powered boat for a family adventure. Chug along on Coniston Water and spot the autumn colours hugging the lake shore. Watch the gleaming steam engine at work from the open viewing windows and speak to the boat’s engineer who’ll be happy to answer questions from little shipmates.