10 ideas for Father’s Day in the Lake District

The ground floor inside Stott Park Bobbin Mill
On the tour at Stott Park Bobbin Mill

With Father’s Day just around the corner, you might well be looking for places to enjoy a leisurely day out in Lake District, so in this post I thought I would put together a few ideas especially for dads!

I’ve thrown in a couple of events, as well as recommendations for local attractions. Fingers crossed for good weather, and enjoy!

1. Exploring the Lakeland Motor Museum, Backbarrow

Car enthusiasts will love a nostalgic look back at cars through the decades at the Lakeland Motor Museum. The exhibitions feature cars, bicycles and motorcycles, and I enjoyed discovering the history behind the Backbarrow site, which was originally used for the manufacturing of the washing additive known as Dolly Blue. There’s a building with exhibits dedicated to Donald Campbell, and Café Ambio’s just next door, which I can highly recommend too!

2. A tour of Stott Park Bobbin Mill, Finsthwaite

The last remaining bobbin mill in the Lake District, this is a fascinating way to learn more about one of the local industries in the 19th century. Much of the woodland around the mill was coppiced for the manufacture of bobbins, and after a tour of the mill you may decide to take the peaceful woodland walk up to the man-made tarn which once fed the mill, High Dam. You can read more in my previous blog posts about Stott Park Bobbin Mill and the walk to High Dam

3. A tour and tasting at the Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite

A view of Bassenthwaite
Looking over Bassenthwaite

The Lakes Distillery was once a Victorian cattle farm which has been tastefully transformed, with products of the distillery including whisky, vodka and gin. You can take a distillery tour lasting an hour, and opt for the additional half-hour guided tasting experience to really get you ‘in the spirit’… (sorry!).

There’s also the Bistro at the Distillery, which serves lunches, afternoon teas and suppers, a lovely way to finish off your visit. There’s a Father’s Day deal if you visit both (see the website for details).

4. A tour of Hawkshead Brewery, Staveley

Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley from outside
A tour of Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley

Hawkshead Brewery run tours of the brewery four times a week including at 2pm on Sundays. That’s timed just right to allow you to enjoy a leisurely lunch and to sample the product beforehand! (Booking might be advisable).

5. A visit to the Millerbeck Light Railway

The Millerbeck Light Railway
Papillon, one of the miniature trains at the Millerbeck Light Railway, open for special event days only!

Recently, I discovered the charming Millerbeck Light Railway, a 7 1/4 inch gauge railway in the grounds of a private house in Staveley-in-Cartmel, near Newby Bridge. Although non-commercial, and therefore not usually open to the public, the railway runs occasional open days, with the next ones being 17th and 18th June 2017 especially for Father’s Day. Several beautiful engines will either be on display or running on the track. And if you’re looking for an extra special gift to give, you could book a ‘Driver for the Day’ experience for another day, lasting between 90 minutes and a full day.

6. A trip on Steam Yacht Gondola, Coniston

The interior of Steam Yacht Gondola on Coniston Water
The National Trust’s Steam Yacht Gondola on Coniston Water

A boat trip on any of the Lake District’s lakes is always a special experience (with services on Windermere, Ullswater, Derwentwater and Coniston Water), but this one on Coniston is the most unusual. The National Trust’s Steam Yacht Gondola is an original Victorian pleasure boat which was beautifully restored in the 1970s. You can smell the authentic steam smell, hear Gondola’s steam whistle, and see the engine room in action from the front and side hatches. For an extra special gift, take a look at their ‘Engineer for the Day’ package. Read more about Gondola from my visit…

7. Lunch at the Lingholm Kitchen & Walled Garden, Portinscale

The Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden
Overlooking the Walled Garden from the Lingholm Kitchen

The Lingholm Estate was where Beatrix Potter’s family spent several of their summer holidays, and it even became the inspiration behind some of the settings in her famous children’s tales. Recently the owners of Lingholm recreated the original octagonal Walled Garden, which is overlooked by its fabulous Lingholm Kitchen. It’s a lovely setting for a special lunch, and because Lingholm has its own jetty on Derwentwater, you could travel in style on a Keswick Launch! Read more about my visit to Lingholm…

8. A trip on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

This charming narrow gauge railway extends seven miles from the coastal town of Ravenglass to Dalegarth in the Eskdale valley, with several stops on the way. It was originally used to transport iron ore, and is one of the main popular attractions in the south-western corner of the Lake District.

9. A train journey on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

Trains feature heavily in this blog post, and this time it’s the full size version! On the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, you can travel onboard a steam locomotive with 1950s carriages, which takes in three and a half miles of the former Furness Railway branch line, and connects with Windermere Lake Cruises at Lakeside. Combined tickets for the boat and train are available.

10. A day out at the Lakes Classic Car Show

Classic carsAnd finally…! Fans of classic cars may like to go to the Lakes Classic Car Show, a charity fundraising event run by the Windermere and Ambleside Lions Club, which takes place on 18th June 2017. In 2016 there were apparently 300 exhibits, even though it rained (that’s dedication!), and taking place on the Grasmere showground, you couldn’t ask for more beautiful surroundings.

Do you have any recommendations for things to do in the Lake District this Father’s Day? If so, let other readers know by leaving a comment below!


  1. There are so many amazing places to visit in the Lake District, whatever your interests, so I hope you have a lovely weekend. Now all we need to do is book the sunshine! 🙂

  2. Got to make a stop at the new Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam & Stories. Book a crackin’ lunch in the cafe too!

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