9 Indoor Lake District Attractions for Cold Weather

Created Monday, February 5, 2018, by Calum Lewis

Warm and sunny or chilly and fresh, the Lake District’s magic can be enjoyed at any time of year.

These early months of the year can feel empty for some, but we feel it’s a great time for taking a long weekend in the country.

A stay at one of our Ambleside hotels will be just the thing to perk you up in this colder weather, with lots to see and do and plenty of savings to be made by visiting off-peak.

Rather than suffer through the cold, you could be nice and cosy in our lake view lounges, after a day of visiting museums and viewing fun exhibits.

These Lake District attractions below are perfect for the colder weather. Take a look below and get booking your Lake District accommodation today.

Lakes Aquarium
Lakeside, Lake Windermere

Step deep into the ocean without getting wet, at the Lakes Aquarium in Windermere.

This immersive, walk-through attraction is one of the most popular things to do in Windermere, offering the chance to discover the oceans’ fascinating inhabitants, including otters, sharks, sting-rays, diving ducks and marmoset monkeys.

Discover how fast a crocodile can swim with the virtual dive bell, or be entertained by the cheeky diving ducks in the diving duck tunnel.

Get to know the local fish species such as pike, thornback ray and pipefish, as well as discovering exotic species from around the world including clownfish, leafcutter ants, piranha and pufferfish.

The two full floors of mammals, amphibians and reptiles will provide hours of fun and fascination for families, couples or friend groups.

The Armitt Museum
Rydal Rd, Ambleside

Dedicated to preserving the Lake District’s heritage through its museum, library and gallery, a visit to the Armitt Museum is one of the absolute things to do in Ambleside.

It’s exhibition ‘Beatrix Potter, Image & Reality’ reflects the best work of the famous author, with an impressive number of her books, including her personal first editions of her ‘little’ books. It also features a collection of her botanical watercolours and visitors can learn more about the lesser-known aspects of her life.

The Armitt is also home to an important collection of artworks by Karl Schwitter, who influenced much of 20th century art and lived in Ambleside towards the end of his life.

The Snug
Low Wood Bay Hotel, Windermere

Winter blues can often come with winter skin. For the ultimate winter treat, step inside The Snug at Low Wood Bay hotel for an indulgent Lake District spa experience.

The Snug is part of Low Wood Bay’s very own health club, where guests and visitors alike can enjoy a range of beauty treatments and pamper packages.

From luxurious facials, manicures and pedicures to rejuvenating massages and even hair treatments and make-overs, there’s bound to be something for you. Kick back and relax with one of our pamper packages, made up of various massages and relaxing therapies and including robes, towels, slippers and two free hours use of the health club facilities.

If you’re looking for Windermere accommodation, the Low Wood Bay hotel is also a fabulous place to stay for a weekend of rest and relaxation amidst stunning views.

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop
Grasmere, Ambleside

Step inside this tiny shop in the heart of Grasmere, and breathe in the mouth-watering aroma of freshly baked gingerbread.

Few things are more comforting in winter like the smell of baking, and few things come close to this famous recipe by housemaid-turned-entrepreneur Sarah Nelson.

Created in 1854, Sarah’s delicious treats soon became famous locally and beyond, with the closely guarded recipe still being massively popular today.

Whether you’re after a treat or looking for a gift for a loved one, these spicy-sweet, chewy biscuits will really hit the spot. The shop also sells award-winning rum butter and a range of other ginger-themed foodstuffs.

Lakeland Motor Museum
Backbarrow, Ulverston

The Lakeland Motor Museum is truly a testament to UK motoring heritage, with over 30,000 exhibits spanning over 100 manufacturing years.

Among cars, cycles, motorbikes and motorbilia, the Lakeland Motor Museum also features a 1920s garage that vehicle enthusiasts will love exploring, filled with tools and equipment including spanners, trolley jacks and puncture repair kits,

Of particular note is its Campbell Bluebird exhibition, an ode to the 21 world land and water speed records set by Malcolm and Donald Campbell in the series of cars and boats. As part of the exhibition, visitors can marvel at full-sized replicas of the 1935 Bluebird car, the 1939 boat and the 1976 hydroplane.

As well as the exhibits, the museum also hosts authentic recreations, period shopping displays and picturesque views from its riverside cafes. Joint tickets are available with Windermere lake cruises, and other nearby attractions.

The Puzzling Place
Museum Sq, Keswick

Looking to challenge your mind, tease your brain and be entertained along the way?

The Puzzling Place museum in Keswick offers plenty to get your head around, with its amusing array of optical illusions.

From optical exhibits, artwork and sculptures to the amazing hologram gallery, both kids and adults will have fun figuring out the explanation for the bizarre and bewildering displays.

Grow and shrink in the Ames room; watch balls roll uphill in the anti-gravity room, and enjoy getting involved with the many interactive exhibits.

The Puzzling Place will challenge the way you currently think with things that fascinate, startle, stir, amuse or maybe even make you queasy!

Afterwards, visitors can wander around the shop and ‘Puzzle Area’, where they can give their brains a workout trying to solve the puzzles and brain teasers.

Laurel & Hardy Museum
Brogden St, Ulverston

The Laurel & Hardy museum in Ulverston is probably the best ode to the famous comedy duo around.

Whether you’re a fan of the historic pair or fascinated by the era of slapstick comedy, this cosy little nook celebrates the best of the comedy heroes.

Though the museum is small and cosy, it serves no shortage of Stan and Ollie memorabilia that even the most hardcore fan would die to feast their eyes on.

As well as countless authentic photographs and Stan Laurel’s real-life birth certificate, there’s also a quirky cinema running many of the dynamic duo’s short films. Be prepared to squeeze in though as it only has fifteen seats!

The museum also runs regular evening events ‘Nights at the Laurel & Hardy Museum’.

Abbot Hall Art Gallery

Kendal

The Abbot Hall art gallery in Kendal is a must-visit for all art and culture lovers out there.

Set in the majestic Grade I listed building in the town centre, the award-winning gallery has a national reputation for showing contemporary and historical works from a range of local and national artists.

Browse the collection by Cumbrian-born artist George Romney – one of the eighteenth century’s greatest portrait painters – and marvel at his centre masterpiece, ‘The Gower Family: The Children of Granville’.

From the 12th January there will also be a chance to see the fantastic Claude Monet masterpiece ‘Haystacks: Snow Effect’, which is believed to be the first time a Monet has been on display in Cumbria.

Other than that, there is a number of other exhibitions taking place in January and February including Katie Spragg, Percy Kelly display and LAND SEA LIFE.

If you’ve got children with you, the Abbot has many interactive activities from which young ones can learn such as the Abbot Hall Art Gallery Trail, free art smocks on arrival, the Art Studio, the GIF gallery, exhibition-inspired activities and more.

Wordsworth Museum
Grasmere, Ambleside

Attached to Dove Cottage, the famous birthplace of the iconic author, the Wordsworth Museum is a natural stop for those with an affinity for poetry and literature.

Orphaned as a child, William Wordsworth set out to change English literature by writing in a language everyone could understand. His themes of choice were perhaps sometimes taboo subjects that he knew would enrage the establishment.

Visitors can enjoy a deep look into Wordsworth’s historical works, as well as his personal life, including letters, personal possessions and original manuscripts, written and amended in his own hand.

Take a tour of the cottage and hear what day-to-day life was like for Wordsworth and his family, and take a stroll in the gardens he created with his sister, which was also the inspirational setting for much of his poetry.

Once you’re done browsing the house and the museum, take some peaceful respite in the visitor shop and the beautiful tea rooms.