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Plan your family day out at Allan Bank

Visitors enjoying art activities in the art room at Allan Bank, Grasmere, Cumbria
Visitors enjoying art activities in the art room at Allan Bank | © Lakes Culture/Jill Jennings

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 spring. 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
  • Free creative activities and boardgames

May half-term at Allan Bank

Pop in for Spring themed activities the whole family can enjoy this half-term.

Enjoy traditional games on the lawn including croquet and tug of war, or head indoors to get crafty or play a board game. Head to the art room to paint your own watercolour inspired by Eleanor Rawnsley's paintings on display in the house or Hideyuki Sobue’s huge mural in the entrance hall. Have a go at making your own seed bombs for your garden to attract pollinators.

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

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