As children love art and the outdoors look no further than the Lake District, Cumbria this half-term

Make the most of the last school holiday before Christmas and let the Lake District, Cumbria plan your half term break away. We have some of the best family-friendly accommodation to make your home for a short break and plenty of things to do to make you want to stay longer. From cottages and lodges to sleeping under the stars at a holiday park, to trying out a brand new Hobbit Hole or camping pod we guarantee you will not be disappointed.

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Once you have booked your base it’s time to get out and about in the late hazy autumn sunshine to location spot and have a Swallows and Amazons autumn adventure. This summer the Lake District dazzled on the big screen with the release of the new film adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s classic children’s book Swallows and Amazons. Now it’s time for you to follow in the footsteps of the famous characters and hire a kayak on Coniston or learn to sail with Glenridding Sailing Centre. At Brockhole on Windermere you can join the team for a unique Swallows & Amazons Adventure Trail around the beautiful grounds and gardens and check out their special Arthur Ransome Exhibition on display until the 31st October to find out more about the author and see some of the props from the film.

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Whilst in Coniston enjoy a family fun trail around Brantwood’s enchanting woodland estate to discover hidden gardens and woodland creatures. Learn about how they live and their habitats.  The trails are available throughout the school holidays and included in the admission price. If you are still hungry for the great outdoors then Grizedale Forest, in the heart of the Lake District, offers an unrivalled day out for all the family. Choose from a variety of walking and cycling trails as a unique way to discover over 40 stunning outdoor sculptures, not forgetting to make a pit stop at tasty café, conveniently situated next to the outdoor adventure play area.  Come along to the Yan – the forests education centre, and join us to take part in Big Draw, the biggest drawing festival in the World!  All ages and all levels of drawing are welcome to this free drop in event from 11am – 3pm on 23rd October.

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The quirky village of Grasmere is full of artistic gems just waiting to be discovered. Take a trip to the Heaton Cooper Studio in the centre of the village and whilst exploring the gallery and what’s on, try searching for the wooden mice located at various points throughout the studio. Before you leave make sure to treat the kids to a memento from a wide selection of books, crafts and artist materials to keep the children entertained all week long. Whilst in Grasmere and new for 2016, all accompanied children aged 16 and under go FREE at William Wordsworth’s inspirational home, Dove Cottage and The Wordsworth Museum. During the school holidays get stuck into their Family Events & Activities programme and enjoy hands-on learning in their family activity room, fully equipped with toys, art and antique objects to explore. Every Wednesday you can take part in ‘Wild Walks’ exploring the area with their education team and learn about the wild landscape of the Lake District.  See what birds and animals you can spot and collect plant specimens for further examination. Hear extracts of Wordsworth’s poems and Dorothy’s journal as well as taking time to sketch and chat.

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As Halloween is just around the corner there is plenty going on to get into the seasonal swing of things from a Woodland Pumpkin Trail at Allan Bank in Grasmere, where they have been taken over by spooky pumpkins and don’t forget to check inside the spine-tingling tunnel. Draw the faces as you go and spot 6 or more to win a prize. Join in the fun from the 22 – 30 October for only £1.50. If you want a go at carving your own pumpkin then take a trip to Wray Castle on the shores of Windermere where you can pick up pumpkin and make your own spooky lantern every day during half-term at 12.30pm.

Whilst out and about enjoying a day out with the family treat yourself to a bite to eat or a light refreshments at one of our family favourite café’s and tearooms around the area.

Grizedale Cafe, Grizedale Forest, LA22 0QJ
The cafe offers a variety of hot meals and salads, children’s’ meals, sandwiches, soups and cakes with a wide range of teas and coffees. There is also a range of takeway snacks available from the “hatch” if you don’t have time to sit down to eat and drink.

Brantwood Café, Coniston, LA21 8AD
Enjoy delicious food with spectacular views. Brantwood Café offers a family friendly menu with a tempting range of freshly prepared snacks and light meals, homemade cakes and cookies . Head chef, Simon Boden, creates delicious food using fresh ingredients and specialises in making his own bread to accompany his range of homemade soups, as well as baking a fabulous range of cakes

Café at Brockhole on Windermere, LA23 1LJ
Sample Cumbrian cooking at its best in Brockhole on Windermere’s café – with seating for 100 people and even more outdoor seating on the terrace overlooking Lake Windermere.

Their full menu is available during school holidays. At other times they offer light snacks – including hot paninis, soup and sandwiches – as well as cakes and hot and cold drinks.

Caffé Riva, Bowness on Windermere, LA23 3EF
A stylish Italian restaurant near Lake Windermere. Caffe Riva brings the heart and soul of Italy to the shores of the Lakeland Riviera. Perfect for an evening meal with the family.

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