Wednesday 20 April 2011

Family Fun: Brockhole, Windermere

Today with a bunch of mums and children I spent a delightful 4 hours at Brockhole the Lake District Visitor Centre. It was an absolutely stunning Cumbrian April day which was perfect to sample the delights on offer at Brockhole. 

It is situated about half way between the towns of Windermere and Ambleside on the A591 on the shores of Windermere and it is an ideal spot to spend all part of the day. There isn't an entrance fee but car parking starts at £1.80 for an hour and I managed to find £5 for a 4 hour stay as it is such a tranquil place to be:

As the party ranged in age from babies to age 7 we started off with a picnic in the outdoor adventure playground. This is fenced off from the main park to keep dogs out and has picnic tables as well as room for picnic rugs. There is a distinct area for children up to age 7 based around a boat and another for older children.

Even though the centre was busy the playground seemed to have plenty of room for the children to play safely. By the time they had over an hour climbing, sliding and having lots of fun it was very hot. Those of us that had opted for a longer stay headed on down to the shores of Windermere to cool off with a paddle:

The water was pretty cold with it only being April but we weren't the only ones tipping our toes or more in the water. In fact the children ended up sitting in the water and having a fabulous time. Other people had brought dinghies to float about on the water under the supervision of their parents. It was about an hour before we had all had enough of paddling and throwing stones and headed off in search of ice creams back at the main house. This was a slight adventure with a push chair as we didn't find the route that didn't have any steps!

Ice lollies for the children and tea or coffee for the mums on the terrace of the big house left the children (those old enough!) refreshed to try out the traversing wall which is adjacent to the cafe. My children then had fun exploring the interactive displays in the information centre and they finished with a session in the new soft play area. With it being a hot and sunny day we didn't make much use of this but I suspect it during a wet day the soft play area would be great for children to let off steam.

My children and I all won't to go back there soon and try out some of the things that we didn't get to do today. There are plenty of activities over the summer and my daughter is disappointed that she is just under the age limit for some of them! I can thoroughly recommend that for a family Brockhole is a cracking day out.

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