The Lake District is one of my favourite walking destinations and an absolute must visit for walkers in the UK. From the craggy peaks to the lush lowland countryside and dreamy lakes, this is heavenly walking territory with the best of all elements of the British countryside. As the home of Beatrix Potter, setting of several stretches of scenic railway and the whole landscape providing a massive adventure playground for kids, watersports included, the Lake District is also a fantastic family destination and great spot to introduce children to the joys of walking and camping.
As I have not managed to get around to revisiting the Lakes with my toddler yet, I was thrilled to receive a Lake District guest-walk from Catherine Redfern this week. Starting from Elterwater, this is a great wander for those based in and around the Ambleside and Windermere areas walking with a baby carrier – you can find the walk description here.
Catherine is a keen walker and manages the inspirational website London Hiker – if you live in the capital but hear the hills calling you, check it out. She is also Mum to eight-month-old baby son Sam who she took on a family holiday to the Lake District recently. Fishing for a few tips for entirely selfish reasons I asked her for some advice on visiting and walking in the Lake District with a baby.
Here’s what she had to say:
How did you find returning to walking in the Lakes with a baby?
We usually ‘move on’ on our holidays, backpacking from place to place, so this was the first holiday in a long time where we’d stayed in one location for two whole weeks. This felt weird at first, but we soon settled into it!
What is your one key piece of advice for other parents walking with babies in the Lake District?
Don’t book your holiday cottage up a hill called ‘The Struggle’, as pushing a buggy up it certainly IS a struggle!
But seriously… I think a good tip is to look out for walks near National Trust car-parks as they will almost always have baby change facilities and be relied upon to be quite good standard. Tarn Hows is a good example, they have a recent new toilet block which is really handy as well as a refreshment van.
As an advocate of using public transport, what resource would you recommend for finding your way around the Lake District without a car?
What if it just isn’t walking weather for a baby?
Do you have any recommended resources for finding and getting out on family walks in the Lake District?
Ambleside has a dedicated children’s walking shop which is really good. http://www.littlewalkers.co.
For more walking inspiration from Catherine Redfern don’t forget to check out her guest walk for Baby Routes and head on over to London Hiker for tips on escaping the capital with your hiking boots. You can find more ideas for Lake District family friendly walks here.