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Things to Do

10 Hidden Gems in the Lake District

15 December 2022


The Lake District is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations and with good reason. The area is home to some incredible attractions, ranging from picturesque natural woodlands to stunning sandy beaches. 

Go a little off the beaten track and you’ll be treated to the most amazing hidden gems, from historic castles like Lowther, to the beautiful Grizedale Forest. 

There’s something to suit everyone in the Lake District, whether you’re searching for a fun family day out or you’ve got your heart set on a big adventure. 

Make the most of your next trip to Cumbria by visiting one of our top Lake District hidden gems. Here are our top tips for the perfect break in the Lake District. 

Holehird Gardens, Windermere

Spanning 17 acres of beautiful natural parkland, Holehird Gardens are tended to by the Lakeland Horticultural Society. 

The beautifully landscaped gardens pop with colour all summer long, but they also make a fantastic setting for atmospheric walks in winter months, which is a great way to break up your day and boost your mood. 

Lowther Castle and Gardens

The Lake District is home to many historic attractions, but few are as impressive as the gothic ruin of Lowther Castle and its gardens. The breathtaking ruin is set amongst 130 acres of ancient gardens, in the heart of the Lake District National Park

We love exploring this romantic setting, particularly at sunset when it really comes to life. 

Claife Viewing Station, Far Sawrey

Views of the lakes are what many Lake District visitors come for, and there’s no better way to soak up the scenery than with a trip to Claife Viewing Station. Located on the western shore of Windermere, this impressive viewing station has recently been fully restored by the National Trust. 

Morecambe Bay

To the south of the Lake District National Park, you’ll find Morecambe Bay. Spend a day exploring the area’s pretty Victorian towns, or head to the bay for a glimpse of local flora and fauna.

If you’re lucky you might even see seals playing near the shore, or wading birds flying by. 


Alston is the highest market town in England, meaning its views really are a sight to behold. Located in the heart of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this charming town is home to historic churches, intriguing independent shops and great bars and restaurants. 

Grizedale Forest and Visitor Centre

If you’re planning to explore the Lake District on foot, there’s no better place to do so than Grizedale Forest. The forest has eight signposted walking trails, with various options to suit all abilities. 

Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of this historic woodland, which is home to indigenous red deer, buzzards, red kites and barn owls. 

The National Garden Scheme (NGS)

If you’re looking for real hidden gems, you won’t want to miss the National Garden Scheme. This scheme opens up gardens that would otherwise be off limits to the general public, inviting visitors to explore at specific times during the year. 

There are always fascinating local gardens taking part in the scheme, so pick up a copy of the latest listings to see what’s on nearby. 

Brougham Castle, Penrith

Perfect for family days out at any time of the year, Brougham Castle is another fantastic hidden gem in the Lake District. 

There are passages and stairways for visitors to explore, and the views from the top of the keep are not to be missed. Take a picnic and make a day of it. 

Quaker Tapestry Museum, Kendal

The Lake District has a fascinating history, and there are plenty of opportunities to learn about it in local museums throughout the area. One of our favourite lesser-known museums is the Quaker Tapestry

Here you’ll find 77 unique embroidered panels, which were handcrafted by over 4,000 people to illustrate the history of Quakerism. 

There are also activities for children to enjoy at the museum. It’s the perfect spot for Lake District days out if the weather isn’t on your side. 


A lesser-known town on the Duddon Estuary, Millom is another well-kept secret in the Lake District. There are salt marshes and beaches within easy reach of the town, which are well worth a visit if you’re in the area. 

You’ll be able to see the famed peak of Black Combe from Millom. So, if you’re feeling adventurous you could incorporate a walk of the Black Combe Circular. While this trail is definitely challenging, the views are certainly worth the effort. 

Get Advice on Lake District Breaks

There are so many hidden gems in Cumbria, visitors are always spoilt for choice. Whether you’re planning a peaceful weekend in the Lake District or you’re hoping for a jam-packed weekend of activities, you’ll find plenty of options to suit your whole family. 

If you’d like more advice on planning your itinerary and staying at one of our hotels in the Lake District, don’t hesitate to contact our team on 0330 094 5919 or visit Coast and Country Hotel Collection.

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