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Plan your family day out at Allan Bank

Making Christmas paper chains in the craft room at Allan Bank, Grasmere
Making Christmas paper chains in the craft room at Allan Bank, | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

From spotting wildlife on a woodland walk to getting creative in the art room or playing in the garden, there’s plenty to enjoy here at Allan Bank this winter. Find out what's on offer and all the details you need to plan your visit.

Planning your family visit

  • Baby-changing facilities available on site
  • Picnics welcome both inside and out. There are benches in the garden and chairs and tables inside for those rainy days
  • Self-serve, free hot drinks
  • Highchairs are available
  • Children under 5 are free
  • No parking on site, so please use pay-and-display public car parks in Grasmere or public transport. 
A pinecone Christmas tree decoration at Allan Bank in Grasmere
The house will be decked with festive greenery at Allan Bank this Christmas | © National Trust Images

Christmas at Allan Bank

A roaring fire, a house decked with greenery, live festive music and a wintery walk with views of snow topped fells. Take a moment this Christmas to slow down and appreciate the simple things at Allan Bank with lots of festive fun for everyone.

After a walk round the gardens grab yourself a warm drink of alcohol-free Christmas punch from our self -service kitchen and settle down in front of a roaring fire. Keep an eye out for the red squirrels running to and from the feeders on the lawn. Our art room is the perfect place to make a start on those Christmas crafts.

Festive Intro to Lino printing workshops

Get ready for Christmas with this festive edition of our popular lino printing workshops. Linocut is a traditional relief printing technique where a print is taken from the surface of a lino block. In this one-hour workshop you will learn how to use the tools, equipment and materials to get started in linocut. You’ll carve your own lino and use the burnishing technique to make cards, gift tags or prints inspired by the season and the nature around you at Allan Bank. £20 per person, admission to Allan Bank & hot drinks included. Book your tickets.

Hibernation trail

Tackle the Hibernation trail. Crunch through the leaves in the garden at Allan Bank and learn about the different animals that might be hibernating here, complete the trail to win a prize. £3.

Explore outside 

The woodland grounds at Allan Bank are perfect for little legs to enjoy. Pick up one of our spotter guides or a bug explorer bag from the welcome hut and see if you can discover any minibeasts in the woods. Bring your binoculars and see if you can spot any buzzards flying overhead.

Spot a red squirrel

Time spent at Allan Bank offers the rare chance of spotting a red squirrel, either out on the woodland walk or from a picture window in the house. We are lucky to be working in partnership with Grasmere Red Squirrel Group, to create a safe haven for red squirrels. Keep your eyes peeled and you might spot one on their feeders or scampering about on the lawn, but don’t forget to look up, red squirrels spend a lot of time in the branches of trees.

Red squirrel on the feeder at Allan Bank, Cumbria
Red squirrel on the feeder at Allan Bank, Cumbria | © National Trust Images/Michael Hirst

Bring a picnic

We love a picnic at Allan Bank, and you are welcome to enjoy yours anywhere in the historic woodland grounds, with the stunning views of lake Grasmere as your backdrop. If the weather has other ideas, we also have tables and chairs available for you to have your picnic in the house, where you can help yourself to free hot drinks.

Get creative

Unleash your creative side in our art room, with picture perfect views over Grasmere, pencils and paper. Pick up a craft bag or take inspiration from our resident artist Hidiyuki Sobue’s giant murals and create our own nature inspired artwork.

‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’

Allan Bank is a great place to start ticking of some of your '50 things' list. Here's a few ideas to get you started: 

  • No. 1 Get to know a tree: Some trees have spaces big enough to get inside. Others can be climbed. Many have vibrant summer flowers or colourful autumn leaves to catch. Get to know a tree and see what creatures they are home to

  • No. 6 Go welly wandering : When it's pouring with rain, what could be better than chucking on your wellies and waterproofs and zooming around in the puddles, soaking up all the watery fun?

  • No. 12 Have fun with sticks: There are so many ways that you can have fun with sticks, we can’t begin to list them all here

  • No. 31 Make friends with a bug: Ladybirds, spiders, caterpillars, woodlice - there are all kinds of creepy crawlies hiding at the places we look after. Can you make friends with a bug?

Family-friendly events

In addition to all the usual crafty, woodland and nature based fun we sometimes have extra seasonal events and activities running. Find out what's coming up here.

Children looking out at the autumn view from Allan Bank in Grasmere

Discover more at Allan Bank and Grasmere

Find out when Allan Bank and Grasmere is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Plan your next family day out in the Lake District – seek out natural play areas, scramble over rocks and spot wildlife on your way.

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‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’ 

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