Half Term Hikes: Lake District Walks with Kids | John Norris
It’s hard to believe it but half term is just around the corner! There’s no better way to keep your little explorers occupied than by taking them out into the great outdoors, so we have compiled a list of the best Lake District walks with kids. Filled with bright and beautiful terrains, providing perfect, picturesque photo opportunities, and lots of space to blow off some steam, there are plenty of Lake District walks to keep the whole family entertained this half term. The Lake District offers everything from terrific tarns, and lakeside strolls, to wonderful waterfalls, and of course hikes to a wainwright. So, pack a picnic and bundle up warm with John Norris as the Lake District is calling you and your family this half term!
A Cumbrian treasure nestled with the Pennines to the east and the Lake District Fells to the west, the beautiful Eden Valley is surrounded by the tranquil Eden River. Encompassing the towns of Penrith, Kirkby Stephen, Appleby-in-Westmorland and Alston, this area is steeped in history and full of activities for the whole family! The administrative centre of the valley is the historic market town of Penrith which is where our store is based. Why not start your half term adventure by stopping by John Norris and getting everything you need to keep you and your kids safe and comfortable whilst exploring our selection of Lake District walks.
Kirkby Stephen Family River Trail and The Poetry Path
Created as a part of the ‘At the Riverside project’ by Kirkby Stephen Community Arts and Stomping Ground, this Lake District walk is accessible and fun with two paths available; one being 1 hour long and the other 2 hours long. Eden Rivers Trust provides a map and activity pack for kids which includes games for the whole family to play. Situated within the parishes of Kirkby Stephen and Nateby, keep your kids intellectually stimulated this half term with the ‘Poetry Path’. Comprised of twelve short poems, written by poet Meg Peacocke, which have then been carved by lettering artist Pip Hall on blocks of stone, this walk addresses the Hill Farmer's relationship with the beautiful landscape of the Upper Eden Valley. With decorative motifs accompanying each poem, rubbings can be taken from these using sheets of paper and a crayon, letting your kids get creative.
Providing sensational views of Derwentwater, Skiddaw and Blencathra, Catbells is the perfect peak to explore. At 451m high, it is one of the smaller fells but is still a significant climb. Often when compared to other Lake District walks this hike is described as an easy first fell for kids, but it is steep and does involve lots of scrambles. This aside, Catbells is an accessible and short hike with the scrambling adding to the sense of adventure. British Fellwalker, Alfred Wainwright gave his approval and captured the essence of this hike, by labelling Catbells as a “family fell where grandmothers and infants can climb the heights together.” The trail starts with a steep, zigzag, but then quickly turns into a straightforward trail. Once at the top, there are trail options for descending. One is about 5km ‘the bridleway’, and the other is 10km towards Manesty. Both provide spectacular views and perfect picnic spots to stop and take a break. This hike requires sturdy, walking footwear and should only be attempted if you think your kids are willing to complete the hike, as once started the terrain can make it difficult to turn back. This Lake District walk is a rewarding challenge for those who undertake it, so why not take it on this half term.
Situated right in the heart of the Lake District between Windermere and Coniston, is Grizedale Forest. Like an outdoor, living art gallery, Grizedale Forest is the UK’s first forest for sculpture, with around 80 unique artworks scattered throughout the trees. The moderate, 4-mile-long Grizedale Tarn Trail, is the perfect path for spotting the sculptures, scattered amongst the trees, encouraging kids to be curious about the ‘minibeasts’ of the forest. There are trail options for all abilities such as climbing to the summit of Carron Crag for magnificent views or letting younger hikers explore the Riding Wood and Millwood trails. Find the necessary walking attire for your kids with John Norris' children's range. To top it all off, Grizedale Forest has a bustling and highly rated café, ‘Café Ambio’ and a kid's play area making it the perfect place to take the kids for a well-earned treat after their hike in the Lake District.
White Moss to Rydal Cave
Remnants of an old Lake District slate mine from the 19th century, Rydal Cave is a large cavern above Rydal Water on the north side of Loughrigg Fell. Taking about 30 minutes to get there, this hike is a peaceful stroll through White Moss woodland and open countryside before arriving at the quarry. At about 2 miles in length, this hike is an easy one and suitable for most abilities, making it perfect for a lake district walk with kids. In recent times the cavern has grown in popularity as it was used as a filming location for Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’ (episode 7, Voleth Meir’). With schools of local fish in the shallow 4-meter-deep water, there is lots for kids to explore. There is also the opportunity to go wild swimming for those who want to brace against the cold this half term. If choosing to do so keep your personal items secure and dry with a Yeti collection waterproof duffel bag and have a hot beverage ready to warm you and your kids up in one of our Stanley collection thermal cups.
Situated on the northern edge of the Lake District, Binsey provides magnificent views of the Northern and North Western Fells of the Lake District, the coastal plain, and Scotland across the Solway Firth. Alfred Wainwright described Binsey as “a most excellent station for appraising the Northern Fells as a preliminary to their exploration…it is a viewpoint of outstanding merit.” As one of the smallest fells, it only takes a few hours to complete, making it the perfect introduction for young hikers. The summit is broad and grassy with no cliff edges, providing plenty of space for kids to safely run around whilst everyone enjoys the 360-degree views.
A short but moderately steep walk, Hallin Fell is an ideal hike for kids, especially those who are just beginning to explore the activity. As one of the 214 Wainwrights in the Lake District, named after Alfred Wainwright, Hallin Fell is a brilliant hike for giving you maximum satisfaction for minimum effort. You can park opposite St Peter's Church, then walk back along the road briefly in the direction of Howtown until you spot the path leading up to the summit. The wide path makes it especially safe for kids to run and explore and the track to the fell is simple and straightforward. Once at the top, the views of Ullswater beneath you and the fells of Martindale behind you are breathtaking and definitely worth the steeper parts of the hike. Close by is Pooley Bridge which has lots of cafes and restaurants, many of which are dog friendly, for you to indulge and warm up in after your half term hike. Why not check out our range of dog walking accessories to make sure your furry friend is kept comfortable and cosy on your whole family adventures.
Don’t forget to pick up all hiking necessities from John Norris and enjoy spending special, quality time with your kids, whilst completing our half term hikes in the Lake District.