One thing Cumbria & The Lake District is synonymous with is rainy days. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, the likelihood of a rainy day is almost certain, which is why I want to share with you some top things to do on a rainy day in the Lake District.
Whilst The Lakes is gorgeous on those warm, sunny days, there is also a beauty to the rainy days as well. The grey tones, the harshness of the countryside, and the waterfalls become even more stunning.
However, if you’re not up for exploring outside in the rainy weather, here are 25 things to do on a rainy day in The Lake District.
19 things to do on a rainy day in The Lake District
1. The Pencil Museum
A classic rainy day out in the lakes is The Pencil Museum. See the home of the Derwentwater pencils, the worlds largest pencil and the worlds smallest, all under one roof
Price : Adult – £4.95, Senior/Student – £4.50, Child – £3.95
Location : Keswick, CA12 5NG
2. Wordsworth Grasmere
Wordsworth Grasmere is a museum all about the famous poet William Wordsworth & his family. Here, you can learn all about the poet’s life, the poems he wrote, and be inspired by the landscape that’s inspired thousands of creatives.
Click here to read my review on Wordsworth Grasmere
Price : Adults from £12, Child from £4
Location : Grasmere, LA22 9SH.
3. The cinema
Cumbria has some brilliant independent cinemas, playing box office hits, indie films, and broadcasting live theatre.
If you’re in Keswick or Penrith, the Lonsdale Alhambra Cinema has premises in both towns. I’ve spent countless hours here, and the staff at both locations are lovely, and the cinemas have an old school cinema feel.
If you’re looking for a big IMAX style cinema, then head to Rheged, near Penrith.
If you’re based in or near Ambleside, then Zeffirelli’s is another brilliant independent cinema, showing the latest blockbusters and art house films.
4. A food tour of the lakes
The Lake District has a whole range of amazing places to eat, including 3 Michelin star restaurants. Why not head on a food tour of some of the towns (If you’re looking for inspiration, click here for my food guide to Keswick)
5. The Lakes Aquarium
Based on Windermere lake, The Lakes Aquarium is home to hundreds of amazing creatures; showcasing local wildlife from around the Lake District and more exotic species from around the world. They also work on conservation projects, both locally and further afield.
Don’t miss their underwater tunnel, and see what lives in Windermere! At feeding time, you’ll see the surface-dwelling ducks dive deep into the waters in search of food.
Price : Adults £8.50 / Child £6
Location : Newby Bridge, LA12 8AS
6. Haverthwaite Railway
Next to The Lakes Aquarium, you’ll find The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. Jump aboard the steam train at Haverthwaite Station and njoy views from your carriage up to Lakeside; the southern tip of Lake Windermere. Then if you fancy, continue your journey aboard a Windermere Steamer to Bowness or Ambleside. You can get combo tickets for the boat and train, so you can have a full day out!
The station welcomes dogs and friendly owners.
Price : Adult Return £8.60 / Adult Single £5.60 / Child Return £4.30 / Child Single £3.20
Location : HAVERTHWAITE STATION: LA12 8AL / LAKESIDE STATION: LA12 8AS
7. The Lakes Distillary
You’ll find The Lakes Distillery near Bassenthwaite Lake. There are currently three tours; Distillery Tour & Tasting, Single Malt Whisky Tour, and the Chocolate & Whisky Experience. For younger members of the family, there’s also a meet the Alpaca’s attraction as well!
The cafe/restaurant at The Lakes Distillery is a must visit – the food here is delicious, and they change the menu seasonally. There’s also afternoon tea, which always looks delicious when you go!
Prices : From £18
Location : SETMURTHY, CA13 9SJ
6. The World of Beatrix Potter & Hill Top Farm
Another author synonymous with The Lake District is Beatrix Potter and the wonderful world of Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggywinkle and Jemima Puddle-Duck.
There are two brilliant attractions you need to visit when you come to The Lakes; The World of Beatrix Potter, a family-friendly attraction that brings the characters to life, and Hill Top Farm, the national trust site where Beatrix lived.
If you have children, The World of Beatrix Potter is the place to go. I have many happy memories coming here as a child, and it truly is magical. The exhibition features favourite characters from the famous books, an award-winning outdoor Peter Rabbit Garden, a superb character-themed family-friendly café and world-famous gift shop ensuring all generations of visitors can experience a little bit of Beatrix Potter magic.
Hill Top Farm is where Beatrix Potter lived, and wrote her brilliant books. This is one for all the family, and it’s fascinating to see where she lived. Make sure you keep an eye out for Jemima Puddle-Duck’s golden egg in the garden as well!
7. Kong Adventure, Keswick
Kong Adventure is in the heart of Keswick and has a whole host of indoor adventure activities when it’s cold and wet outside.
Find climbing walls, Krazy Kong (a slightly different kind of climbing wall), indoor caving, and a mountain themed escape room.
Don’t forget to take a picture with the giant gorilla!
8. The Puzzling Place, Keswick
Another perfect place to go on a rainy day in Keswick is The Puzzle Place. Filled with optical illusions, holograms and anti-gravity rooms, if you’re looking for something to do in Keswick that the whole family will enjoy, then this is the place to go. The Puzzle Place always has me in stitches, and it’s a really good day out – especially on a wet and windy day!
Price : Adults £4.50 / Children (16 and under) £4.00
Location : Keswick, CA12 5DZ
9. Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum
Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum is a brilliant attraction, three miles outside of Keswick. Situated in a microgranite quarry, the museum takes full advantage of its position within the Northern Lake District.
This is a brilliant and interactive day out – you can go into the mine and explore the quarry, as well as walk around the museum. There’s also a steam train there which you can ride on!
Price : Adults £7.50 / Children £4.00
Location : Threlkeld, CA12 4TT
10. Lakeland Motor Museum
Head down memory lane to the Lakeland Motor Museum and see a unique collection of 30,000 exhibits. That includes 140 classic cars and motorbikes, all carefully assembled over 50 years. The museum isn’t just about cars, the entire collection is presented in a social context, with a host of rarities to awaken some special motoring memories.
There is also a lovely riverside cafe with locally sourced homemade food, freshly baked scones and cakes, Lake District cheeses, Cumbrian meats and sticky toffee pudding
Price : Adult £10 / Child £6
Location : Backbarrow, LA12 8TA
Part of the Westmorland Services family (aka the famous Tebay & Gloustershire services), Rheged visitor center is the perfect place to explore on a rainy day.
There’s the IMAX cinema, soft play area, art classes for all ages, shops, and a gorgeous cafe, this underground and unique place is a must visit. A big plus is there’s ample, FREE parking!
12. Honister Slate Mine
Honister Slate Mine is the ultimate adventure playground. This is a place to come whatever the weather – from infinity bridges and cliff camping to mine tours and climb the mine, it’s safe to say you’ll have an adrenaline filled day.
There’s a range of indoor and outdoor activities here, so whatever the weather, you can find adventure.
Location : Keswick, CA12 5XN
Ah, Lakeland. Potentially one of my favourite places to go on a cold, rainy day. Lakeland is the home of all things kitchenware, and is filled with every kitchen gadget you could possibly want. An odd place, potentially, to add to a list of must see things to do in The Lake District, but if you love cooking, eating, and organisation then you’ll love it here.
Another bonus is the cafe here is divine, and the lunch menu is filled with flavoursome food!
Brantwood is an arts and crafts house on the edge of Coniston and was the home of writer, artist and social reformer John Ruskin.
At Brantwood, you’ll find the house, which also has a Turner exhibition inside, the most AMAZING gardens and a beautiful cafe/restaurant.
In and around Cumbria, there is some brilliant theatre to be found.
My favourite theatre is Theatre by the Lake, and they always have a wide variety of theatre, and you’re bound to find something you like! Find Theatre by The Lake on the shore of Derwentwater in Keswick. If you’re coming in the summer, you’ll find their summer season of plays – usually six plays in rep. If you’re here for the week, it’s worth getting a season pass to see more theatre at a reduced price whilst you’re here. Click here to see what’s on currently
Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal has a wide range of touring theatre, talks, and comedy and you can find really fun and unique things on. There’s a real wide range here; I’ve gone to a Radio 4 recording, a comedy show, and a piece of serious theatre here – all of which were brilliant in their own way.
16. The Laurel and Hardy museum
Stan Laurel, of Laurel and Hardy was born in the Cumbrian town of Ulverston. The Laurel and Hardy museum stemmed from one man’s collection stemming from his lifelong love of ‘the boys’. Starting out as a few scrapbooks of photos, the collection grew over time until it filled one small room with pictures covering all the walls and even the ceiling.
Now, the museum is based in the Roxy Cinema and is the place to go for any fan of the comedy duo
Price : Adults £6 / Child £3
Location : Ulverston, LA12 7AH
17. Brewery tour at Keswick Brewery
Visit Keswick’s micro brewery and see how the local beer is made. The Keswick Brewery Tours are hoping to start again in Spring 2022, but in the mean time, you can also try the beer in the bar (no booking necessary!)
18. The Rum Story, Whitehaven
The Rum Story visitor attraction is housed within the original 1785 Shop, Courtyards, Cellars and bonded warehouses of the Jefferson family, a prominent Whitehaven family who were instrumental in bringing in exotic products such as sugar and Rum to the British Isles from their trans-Atlantic travels across to the Caribbean in the 1700s.
Price : Adults £9.95 / Child £4.95
Location : Whitehaven, CA28 7DN
19. The Windermere Jetty
The Windermere Jetty Museum really is a beautiful place, based right on the shore of Lake Windermere. Celebrating boats, people and the rich history of Windermere, Windermere Jetty Museum reflects industry and engineering in one of England’s most famously beautiful locations, the Lake District National Park.
You can get up close and personal with boats from all era’s, and see the beautifully restored Edwardian launches which rest gently against the jetty and offer the perfect opportunity to get out on the lake. There are daily cruises on Motor Vessel Penelope II or Steam Launch Osprey, which are a unique and memorable experience for any occasion.
The museum is a working destination, committed to conserving, saving and sharing its internationally important collection.
Price : Adults £9 / Child £4.50
Location : Bowness on Windermere, LA23 1BN
See, there are lots of things to do on a rainy day in The Lake District!
There’s lots of things to do in The Lakes, whatever the weather, so you should always be able to find an adventure whilst you’re here. If you’re planning a trip, and looking for places to stay, Best Western have a wide range of hotels across the county, for all budgets. Click here to explore places to stay (a firm favourite and PF recommendation of Castle Green in Kendal). If you’re looking for more inspiration of things to do, and places to eat, click here to read all of my Lake District posts!