South Lakeland attractions
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South Lakeland

We’ve highlighted top visitor attractions and reputable activity providers in the southern part of the Lake District, particularly in the Windermere and Coniston areas. Whilst you can enjoy the Lake District by driving through it in a car, you’ll appreciate it more by visiting some of its special places, or by taking part in an outdoor activity safely with an experienced instructor. All locations are easily accessible from Ulverston by car, and in some cases by train or bus.

A beautiful Arts & Crafts house overlooking Windermere. A relaxing place to visit, complete with exhibitions, tearoom, and craft shop.
The former home of eminent Victorian, John Ruskin. The house overlooks Coniston Water, and has large gardens and a jetty. Hosts exhibitions, musical evenings, and has a permanent bookshop and restaurant.
The Lake District visitor centre, on the shores of Windermere. Large gardens with huge playground, and treetop trek high wire adventure. Canoe, kayak and rowing boat hire. Frequent family events in the grounds and exhibition centre. Large restaurant.
Coniston Launch
Explore Coniston by boat, stopping at little jetties around the lake. Follow the story of Donald Campbell’s speed record attempts. See the places that inspired Arthur Ransome to write Swallows and Amazons. Group charters available.
Fell Foot Park
National Trust park on the southern edge of Windermere. Expansive lawns, childrens’ playground, rowing boat hire, and boathouse cafe.
Go Ape! at Grizedale
Tree top adventure at Grizedale Forest. High ropes, bridges, and a zip wire in the beautiful Lake District outdoors.
Grizedale Forest
Waymarked walking and biking trails. Amazing outdoor sculptures. Adventure playground. Hosts many events and activities. Bike hire available. Large restaurant.
Lakeland Motor Museum
100 years of motoring, the Campbell Bluebird exhibition, re-created shop window displays, and Leven Valley heritage centre. Riverside cafe.
Lakes Aquarium
Discover otters and diving ducks. Walk through the underwater tunnel. Many special activity events for children during the school holiday periods. Gift shop and cafe.
Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway
Take a ride on a steam train. Walk round the engine shed, and visit the woodland play area. Combine your trip with a sail on Windermere, a visit to the Lakes Aquarium, Fell Foot Park, Brockhole, and other destinations. Keep an eye out for special events, including Thomas weekends.
Kankku Off Road Driving
Driving adventures designed for complete beginners to experienced 4×4 drivers, on a journey off the beaten track in the Lake District National Park.
Low Wood Bay Watersports
A large modern watersports centre at the head of Windermere. Instruction and equipment hire for a wide range of watersports, including water skiing, sailing, powerboating, flyboarding, canoeing and kayaking.
Millerbeck Light Railway
A private railway situated in the grounds of Millerbeck House, in the village of Staveley-in-Cartmel, near Newby Bridge. Visitors of all ages are welcome to enjoy this 7¼” gauge railway and grounds on a limited number of occasions each year.
Old Hall Farm
A traditional historic working farm, using Shire horses and vintage tractors. See cows being milked, and dairy products being made. Tea room and play barn.
Oxen Park Cinema Club
The Oxen Park Cinema Club (OPCC) is a small charity that aims to bring the enjoyment of film to the rural communities of Colton and surrounding parishes.
River Deep Mountain High
Lake District activities including gorge walking, canoeing, rock climbing, kayaking, and sailing. Fun for families, group adventures and team away days.
Roots Mountain Biking
Mountain biking guided rides and skills tuition. Fully tailored to meet your requirements, fitness and skill level, whilst keeping you safe out on the Lake District trails.
Ruskin Museum
A fascinating small museum, containing exhibits on Coniston’s rural heritage, plus features on John Ruskin (the Victorian philanthropist) and Donald Campbell (the legendary water speed ace).
Steam Yacht Gondola
Enjoy a cruise on this beautifully restored Victorian steam yacht. Gondola glides through the water almost silently. Combine your cruise with a visit to Brantwood.
Stott Park Bobbin Mill
Cumbria Tourism Awards 2014 Winner. This extensive working mill produced millions of wooden bobbins for the Lancashire spinning and weaving industries. See the journey from tree to bobbin during production demonstrations on the original belt-driven machinery.
Adventure activities, outdoor courses, activity breaks and outdoor skills training. Summitreks is based in Coniston, and has been providing outdoor activity courses for nearly 30 years.
Windermere Lake Cruises
Cruise on a traditional steamer or a modern launch. Routes connect you to attractions at Ambleside, Bowness, Brockhole, and Lakeside. Summer evening and buffet cruises available.
The World of Beatrix Potter
Experience a little bit of Beatrix Potter magic, whatever the weather! Interactive virtual world of Beatrix Potter, Meet Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggy-winkle.
Wray Castle
Mock-Gothic castle sitting on the shores of Windermere with turrets, towers and informal grounds. Many indoor and outdoor family activities. Not your typical National Trust house!

Please note, there are many providers of outdoor activities that we haven’t listed here. Not all activity providers offer the same levels of service. If booking with an unlisted provider, make sure that the instructors or guides have nationally recognised qualifications. Review customer feedback on Tripadvisor, etc, not just on the supplier’s own website! Don’t accept poorly maintained equipment, and make sure that you have appropriate insurance.