Rainy Days

Does it rain a lot in the Lake District?

Actually it does rain rather a lot but as the saying goes… ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just inadequate clothing!’  And, we have lots of great ideas for spending fun filled rainy days in the Lake District.

While Cumbria does have a high average rainfall, we rarely get the boring, and often miserable, cloud and drizzle that often blights the southern and eastern parts of the country for weeks on end. The light quality is often fantastic, particularly during the autumn, winter and spring.

Weather transitions in the lakes can be fast-moving and one can occasionally experience all 4 seasons in less than 24 hours.

Family camping holidays in the rain bring back nostalgic memories for most of us but things have moved on significantly in the last 30 years…

All of our grass pitches have a central core of fine round pea gravel, virtually eliminating the bottomless muddy area that would have formerly passed as a pitch. Yet these pitches retain the greenness of the pitch once the tent is up.

Camping and glamping pods provide a simple alternative to tents and eliminate the need for erecting and packing away tents in the rain.

Our Glamping Burrows come with a soft sleep ledge, WC and a large covered deck so you can sit out and admire the awesome alpine view while staying dry!  We have a range of glamping accommodation to choose from to suit families of all sizes.

Top ideas for rainy days

  1. The top place to go in the rain is Aira Force waterfalls, it is just a 10 minute drive from The Quiet Site.  Park in the National Trust car park. Walk up beneath the ancient leaf canopy to the waterfalls which always improves with rain! Magical.
  2. Dalemain Country House is just a 5 minute drive from the site and certainly is worth a visit. Don’t forget to visit the lovely tea rooms. Tel: 017684 86450 www.dalemain.com.
  3. Park at the lakeside car park in Keswick, which also services the theatre. Take a 2 minute walk to Derwent Water where the ducks are always starving (don’t forget to bring some bread).  Continue along the lakeside path to Friars Crag, where an incredible view awaits. Wait a while under the tree canopy and imagine life in the house on the island.  Then stroll into town to marvel at more anorak/outdoor-clothing shops than anywhere else in the country!
  4. Indoor entertainment at Keswick includes a great theatre, a Cinema.  The Cafe at George Fishers is good for family lunch.
  5. Take a trip on the full-size steam train, the Lakeside Railway from Haverthwaite to Windermere. Visit the Aquarium at end of the line before the return journey. The line is fairly short but you have never, ever been on a slower train!
  6. Rheged has a cafe, exhibitions, undercover shops and 2 huge cinemas.   It is the perfect place to shelter from the rain and provide hours of entertainment. Does get very busy.
  7. The Quiet Site bar is a lovely place to avoid the rain.  We are open every day between 4pm and 9pm. We have a lovely roaring fire and lots of traditional games to borrow.  The bar is every day of the year from 9am and you are welcome any time, but only serves drinks from 4pm. Adjacent to the bar is a games room.
  8. One of the best places to watch the fells with out getting wet is from one of the covered canopies of the Gingerbread Houses, Glamping Burrows or Glamping Cabins here at The Quiet Site.
  9. Ghyll Scrambling, well your going to get wet anyway so why not.  All ages love this popular Lake District pastime.  Ross at Reach Beyond Adventure knows all the good places and is a hugely positive group leader.

Lowther Castle, Gardens and Adventure playground

An interesting venue. Pretty castle, extensive gardens with glorious views and a new childrens playground (2016)


Rheged – Penrith

Tel: 01768 868000
An award winning family indoor day out. Named after Cumbria’s Celtic Kingdom, Rheged’s attractions include a cinema screen the size of 6 double decker buses. This is an excellent wet day venue but it does get VERY busy, so if you are going, make sure you are there early.

The Puzzling Place – Keswick

Tel: 017687 75102
The Puzzling Place is a Tourist Attraction that opened to the public in Museum Square, Keswick on the 7th of July 2001. It is the product of two years work by local brothers Tim and Andrew. Their aim was to open a gallery style exhibition that was different to anything experienced before, both in content and the relaxed, informal ambiance of the place that couples education with the elements of fun and surprise.

Penrith Swimming Pool

Tel: 01768 863450
In case you were not wet enough. Climbing wall here as well. Make sure you ask for a parking voucher at reception.


Zeffirellis Cinema and Jazz Cafe Bar – Ambleside

Tel: 015394 33845
Two separate multi-screen cinemas showing the hot films of the moment. Chill out in the cafe bar before or afterwards.


Penrith Cinema

Tel: 01768 862400
Two screens showing the current films. Watch out for the traffic warden, this is Penrith, or what is left of it…


The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction – Bowness

Tel: 015394 88444
Hop down the road to Bowness and see Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle and all their friends at the definitive Beatrix Potter Attraction in the English Lake District.


Windermere Steamboats and Museum – Windermere

Tel: 015394 45565
Windermere Steamboats & Museum offers a unique and historic collection of Steam and Motor Boats, Steam Launch Trips, Shop and Refreshments, “Swallows and Amazons” Exhibition and a Model Boats boat pond with frequent demonstrations.

The Armitt Museum – Ambleside

Tel: 015394 31212
A unique place combining Library and Museum, scholarship and fun, art and entertainment. The Armitt encapsulates all that is best about Lakeland and its people and preserves that essence for future generations to enjoy. This is achieved by the generosity of countless benefactors and volunteers who together have created the building, collection and exhibitions. The Armitt has a superb collection of books and manuscripts, drawings and paintings, memorabilia and archaeological objects relating to an extraordinary gallery of famous Lake District characters.


Honister Slate Mines – Honister

Tel: 017687 77230
A great day out. A fully guided underground tour into the mine itself is available several times a day, detailing the history and spectacular features of the mine. Via Ferrata.  Now includes ‘Climb the mine’ which looks fun.  http://www.honister.com

Dalemain House

Tel: 017684 86450
Dalemain is one of the most beautiful and impressive stately houses in the North West of England. The Estate includes the house, the gardens, tearooms and is home to the famous Marmalade Awards.

Aquarium of the Lakes – Lakeside Windermere

Tel: 015935 30153
More than 30 spectacular, naturally-themed habitats bring the natural history of the Lake District vividly to life. Enjoy close encounters with hundreds of amazing creatures including trout, eels, pike, perch, giant crabs, rays and many more.

Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway – Lakeside Windermere

Tel: 015395 31594
Travel through time in the Lake District – ride on the train and help to preserve steam on one of the last Furness railway branch lines.

Pencil Museum – Keswick

Tel: 017687 73626
Journey through the history of pencils and pencil making, with in depth information on such topics as: the History of Graphite Mining in Borrowdale, including a replica of Seathwaite Graphite Mine, Machinery Displays, Video Shows of Pencil Making & Artistic techniques, Children’s Drawing Corner and free Competition, Brass Rubbings, Artists’ Workshops.

The Lakeland Plastics Shop – Bowness

Tel: 015394 88100
Visit the recession beating Lakeland Plastics shop for a spot of retail therapy. Discover kitchen gadgets that you never even knew existed! The cafe upstairs is fairly good.

Cedar Gallery – Bowness

Tel: 01539 448009
This is where we got the prints of Windermere by Jeff Sudders that decorate the lodge.

Hayes Garden World – Ambleside

Tel: 015394 33434
More than just a garden centre, more like a small town, Hayes Garden World attracts in excess of a million visitors a year, with exciting new ideas and imaginative displays to enthuse the keenest gardener and shopping enthusiast alike.

A Cookery Course – Lucy’s – Staveley

Tel: 015394 32288
Discover a whole new approach to the preparation and cooking of food, in particular food produced in Cumbria, with an emphasis on food that is ‘sourced locally and cooked globally’. Whether you wish to learn the basics for life, find a new direction or simply escape the day to day routine, you’ll be thrilled at what Lucy’s have to offer.

Ullswater Steamers

Take a tour of arguably the most beautiful lake in the country.

The Keswick Climbing Wall

Tel: 017687 72000
The Keswick Climbing Wall and Activity centre has covered activities that will burn off some energy on those days when the weather means you don’t want to be outside.

Watch Swallows and Amazons Videocast
On the free Quiet Site WiFi

Ahead of the BBC’s 12-part series of Swallows and Amazons, planned for 2010, you can learn about the writer and the setting for the iconic children’s books. The books are based on the sailing adventures of four friends on holiday in the Lakes during the 1930s. If it’s too wet to venture out to Coniston, why not log onto www.golakes.co.uk to watch the story of Ransome and the area, so your genned up for when the sun comes out.

The Lake District Coast Aquarium – Maryport

The new-look Lake District Coast Aquarium, has opened a new extension, the Wild Solway Centre, which is currently housing a shark exhibition and film. Other exhibits include fish and invertebrates in 50 displays and fish feeding demonstrations. It costs £5.75 for adults and £3.75 for children.

Greenlands Farm Village – Near Carnforth, Lancashire/Cumbria Border

This open farm launched in April 2009 and is ideal for rainy days because its shops, activities, café and vast indoor play area are all under cover. There’s opportunities to buy local produce, crafts, organic toiletries, wine and plants, plus there’s a pottery. If it’s fine you can brave the picnic area and have hands-on experience with the farm animals, including pygmy goats, Shetland ponies and miniature sheep.

Moresby Hall – Whitehaven

The elegant Grade I listed Moresby Hall has launched cookery courses this year following the completion of a demonstration kitchen. Each session will teach you to make a starter, main course, pudding, vegetable dish and canapés. It lasts four hours and the £50 fee includes a recipe pack, foodie gift and lunch.

Dubwaite Silver Meadows – Keswick

Well, it is a wetland nature reserve, which makes this new centre a perfect trip for a drizzly day. At the north end of Bassenthwaite Lake, near Keswick, this new centre has 70 acres of reserves teeming with native birds and wildlife. No wellies needed – you can make your way round on the eco-friendly boardwalk made from recycled plastic.

Peter Rabbit Garden at The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, Bowness

At the new Peter Rabbit Naturally Better Garden you can jump into the scene of one of Potter’s famous stories. Shelter in the green house and potting shed if it’s too wet, then nip outside in a dry window to explore the gooseberry bushes, fruit trees and rows of radishes, lettuce and carrots (the plant varieties adhere strictly to those familiar to Beatrix Potter). The rest of the attraction is indoors. It costs £6.75 for adults, £3.50 for children.

Theatre by the Lake – Lakeside, Keswick

This stunning theatre, with views over Derwentwater, Borrowdale and the Western Fells, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in style. It has a host of summer productions this year.

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