8 things to do in the Lakes when it rains!

Sorry it has to rain sometimes otherwise we cannot claim to be the Lake District! But we still have lots to offer even when the sun isn't shining!

1. ABBOT HALL ART GALLERY - www.abbothall.org.uk

This is a top class gallery in Kendal's only Grade 1 listed building overlooking the River Kent.  It benefits from some fantastic exhibitions running alongside it's permanent collection of George Romney, who lived in the town, and the more contemporary artists of Kurt Schwitters and Winifred Nicholson.  

It's current exhibition is Ruskin, Turner and the Storm Cloud (running until 5th October) which includes more than 100 works and stretches across six rooms.  It's one of the biggest exhibitions in the UK during the 200th anniversary of John Ruskin’s birth (8 February 1819).  Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud will be the first in-depth examination of the relationship between both men, their work, and the impact Ruskin had in highlighting climate change.

2. MUSEUM OF LAKELAND LIFE & INDUSTRY - www.lakelandmuseum.org.uk

Situated across the courtyard from Abbot Hall this fabulous museum, affectionately nicknamed MOLLI, hosts a range of locally focused exhbitions that showcase life in the Lakes with it's own Victorian high street that you can walk down.  It also has nods to Alfred Wainwright, who was Kendal's town clerk as he wrote his famous walking guides and Postman Pat whose author John Cunliffe was a teacher in the town.

3. RHEGED - www.rheged.com

This centre, just outside Penrith, 25 miles north of CG is built into the hillside with a grass covered roof so you've really got to know where you're going!  Inside are lots of shops with local crafts, a great cafe and the biggest cinema screen north of Manchester showing a range of family films - perfect for wet days.

At the moment they also have a lego exhibition - Brick Science - on until 1st September, a lego laboratory across six different science themes.  Big kids allowed too!

4. WINDERMERE JETTY - www.windermerejetty.org

This is the Lake District's newest attraction and is probably the closest you can get to Lake Windermere without getting wet!  It houses a whole history of boating from Beatrix Potter's rowing boat to world record breaking speed boats.  If the weather breaks you can take a trip on the lake on Osprey their fabulous steam launch built in 1902.

5. LAKE DISTRICT DISTILLERY - www.lakesdistillery.com

Based near Bassenthwaite Lake, about 40 miles north of CG, this is 'wet' of a different kind altogether!  With tours and tastings of their own whisky, gin & vodka you'll wish it rained every day of your break!

6. LAKELAND MOTOR MUSEUM - www.lakelandmotormuseum.co.uk

A must for any petrolhead - a fascinating collection of over 30,000 exhibits that trace the development of road transport throughout the twentieth century - cycles, motorbikes, motor cars and automobilia.  Situated at Backbarrow about 12 miles from CG, book in advance on their website and get 10% off.  There's also a shuttle bus between here and Lakeside Pier so you could combine it with . . .

7. LAKES AQUARIUM - www.lakesaquarium.co.uk

Fabulous place for young and old with an underwater tunnel where you can explore local and more exotic species - visualise large pike & carp being 'dive-bombed' by ducks at feeding time!  Can also see stingrays and smaller marine life in their rock pool and large tank displays.


You don't have to go out for the day!  Book a treatment in The Green Rooms Spa, settle in the lounge with a good book and your favourite tipple or treat yourselves to Afternoon Tea in The Greenhouse Restaurant where you can watch the offending raindrops trickle down the window as you look out onto our fabulous gardens and across to the Lakeland Fells.