Five things to do on a Rainy Day in the Lakes

Five things to do on a Rainy Day in the Lakes


Five rainy day things to do in the Lakes

We don’t want anyone to think that it rains in the Lake District…but without the rain, there would be no lakes! So we make the most of rainy days, because there’s so much you can do while keeping warm and dry.

Here’s five of our favourites.

  1. Allan Bank at Grasmere is one of the many homes of William Wordsworth, but until a few years ago was a private home. Now the National Trust has opened it to the public, and it’s a visitor attraction with a difference, still a work in progress with the atmosphere of a bustling family home. There’s a crafts room where you’re encouraged to try traditional handcrafting, such as weaving and knitting, with step-by-step instructions for complete novices. There’s a study with a collection of books, journals and newspapers, not a formal library, so help yourself to a cup of tea in the kitchen (free), find a comfy chair and peruse at your leisure. And there’s an art room, a great place to paint and draw, with all you need to have a go, and a wonderful view for inspiration. Check the website for opening times.
  2. Heaton Cooper Studio is also in Grasmere, in the centre of the village. The Lake District centre for the interpretation of the landscape, it houses the paintings of three generations of the Heaton Cooper family of artists. There are framed prints for sale, along with artists’ materials, books and very classy gifts. The café, Mathildes, has a Scandinavian theme and a fabulous view up to the mountains. The archive gallery features visiting exhibitions, and from November 15 will be showing Mountain of Destiny, a series of  previously unseen photographs of a remarkable expedition to Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain, by a German team 90 years ago. The photographs are from the private collection of the British transport officer on the expedition. Free entry.
  3. Grayson Perry, the artist known for his ceramic vases, tapestries and cross-dressing, as well as his observations of the contemporary arts scene, and for dissecting British prejudices, fashions and foibles, has an exhibition at Kendal’s Abbott Hall gallery from November 9. Julie Cope's Grand Tour: The Story of a Life by Grayson Perry highlights a fictional character, an Essex everywoman whose story Perry tells through the tapestries and extended ballad presented in this Crafts Council touring exhibition. The tapestries are shown alongside a graphic installation, and specially commissioned audio recording of The Ballad of Julie Cope, a 3000 word narrative written and read by Perry himself that illuminates Julie’s hopes and fears as she journeys through life.
  4. Windermere Lake Cruises operate all year round, and the bigger vessels, while having fascinating histories, have all modern conveniences, so you can stay warm and dry while taking to England’s largest lake. You can sail from Bowness to Ambleside, for example, in a centrally-heated saloon with licensed bar and café on board. Or you can sail south to visit attractions such as the Lakes Aquarium ( or Lakeland Motor Museum (see below).
  5. Lakeland Motor Museum has a fascinating collection of over 30,000 exhibits that trace the development of road transport throughout the twentieth century - cycles, motorbikes, motor cars and automobilia. Housed in a converted mill near the south end of Windermere, there are also local history and period shopping displays, authentic recreations and a café, making it a great day out for the whole family. Open every day except Christmas Day.
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