Don't tell anybody but.... If you are looking for something a little different to do...
A walk with a difference … You might well expect to go for the odd walk whilst in the Lakes, but what about going for a wander with a wolf or a walk with a hawk? Predator Experience, just a few miles south in Aynside, offer a range of animal experiences including falconry tuition and a whole range of animal encounters. A really special day out..
A hidden gem... Just a short drive up the shores of the lake, Claife Viewing Station has just undergone a two year restoration project by the National Trust. Dating back to the 1790s, Claife was one of several viewing stations around the lake which were constructed for the earliest wealthy tourists to the area. In the 1830s and '40s the station was used for parties and dances, and the windows had coloured glass to recreate the seasons. Now, you can enjoy the café in the courtyard before walking up to the viewing station itself (if you're with the little ones, just be aware that the toilets are four minutes away at the ferry landing).
A temple of peace …. ‘There is no house in England like Conishead’ Simon Jenkins - England's Thousand Best Houses Conishead Priory was originally founded as a hospital by Augustinian monks in 1160, and the present house, which is a Grade II listed example of Victorian Gothic architecture, is currently being restored by the Buddhist community. You can visit the magnificent and recently-built Temple for World Peace, café, gift shop and gardens, and its relaxed woodland walks take you to the beach and breath taking views across Morecambe Bay.
And a little bit of indulgence.. After a long walk in the fells, what could be better than a lovely foot or back massage? The Beauty Rooms is a new salon based in the village of Hawkshead. You can have a half hour foot and leg massage to rejuvenate those tired muscles, or indulge in my favourite, a "Deeper than Deep" hot stones massage.
Steam Engines, Shire horses and tractors... How about a day out driving a pair of shire horses, or driving a steam engine? Old Hall Farm, just 4 miles away in Bouth, offer full day experiences on their historic working farm.
Blow your own … Cumbria Crystal is the last producer of hand-blown and hand-cut luxury English crystal in the UK. Based 9 miles away in Ulverston, they offer hands on glass blowing experiences from a 15 minute "Blow your own bauble" to a full blown (pun intended!) one-to-one glass blowing day.
Beautiful Gardens in a beautiful place.. The National Garden Scheme is well and truly active in the central lakes. Andy's Dad was the area co-ordinator for a number of years and, even though he has now retired from the lists, the number and quality of gardens available to visit in the area is extraordinary. Check out the dates of open gardens close to us before you visit.