Bassenthwaite Lake & Mirehouse Gardens

Being lucky enough to live in the Lake District, I’ve always enjoyed spending time outdoors with my family. Whether we head over to Crummock Water  or to Rannerdale to see the bluebells in May, walking together is something we’ve always enjoyed doing. For those days when it’s pleasantly warm, we have the whole day free, and the kids are full of energy, then we’ll often head over to Mirehouse Gardens.

Why do we love it? It’s got several perfect picnic spots (such as the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake above); great adventures for the kids (whatever their age) and beautiful gardens that will take your breath away. I’ve been visiting since I was a child, and it’s a joy to see my children enjoying it as much as I always have.

When you first enter the grounds of Mirehouse, you’re met with beautiful, fragrant gardens. Large trees and rhododendrons line the pathways that lead to the different adventure playgrounds made for big – and little – kids to enjoy.

Mirehouse Gardens

There are four playgrounds in all, which offer activities for kids of all ages. These include

  • “The Steeplechase” – a selection of obstacles that you need to balance on, jump over or crawl under
  • “The Forest Castle” – a wooden tree house that kids can climb into
  • “Squirrel Island” for younger kids, and
  • The “Forest Hazard Course” – an assault course .

This last course is generally the favourite for my kids, though they do like to explore everything.

Mirehouse Gardens

The playgrounds offer everything from swings and rope bridges to balance beams across streams and scramble nets. One of our favourite’s is the zip wire.

Mirehouse Gardens

After having a good play in the playgrounds and exploring the other trails, the path takes you along woodland trails until you reach the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. We often stop here to eat our picnic, to admire the view and to feed any ducks or geese that may be passing. On a nice day, the kids will have a good play here…simply paddling, throwing in stones or just chilling out and talking under the trees. After this, we complete the circular route and head back to the starting point. It’s a short walk through a field, often full of sheep, through the woodland and you’re back where you started.

Mirehouse Gardens

At the time of writing, tickets to the gardens, the adventure playgrounds and the lake walk are priced at £4 per adult and £2 per child. You can also visit the Historic House and there are more demanding hillside walks on offer. (I’ve not tried these yet, though I hope to visit again, soon).  Lakeside, flat, relaxed walks are our favourite…especially on warm, summer days if you’re walking with children. I’d love to hear about some of your favourite places to visit, or ideas on how to entertain the kids during the summer holidays, in the comments below.

If you’d like to find out more about Mirehouse Gardens, you can find a link to their website here.

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17 comments on “Bassenthwaite Lake & Mirehouse Gardens”

  1. WOW, Mirehouse Gardens are so picturesque! (I want to go there!) We have lovely places, too, where we can enjoy outdoor activities, but they are pretty in a different way. For example, there’s a well-groomed trail up to the top of Sharp Top Mountain in the Blue Ridge, a mountain that Thomas Jefferson himself surveyed in 1815. The hike is free, and kids from 10 years old and up can handle it. There are no rhododendrons or fragrant gardens, but when you get up there, you are above the treeline and can see for miles.

    • Thanks, Priscilla! I’d love to see some photos of where you live, too. That trail sounds amazing! In fact, saying that, I’ve just had to Google it. It looks amazing 🙂

  2. This is very pretty! I’ve been wanting to go to the lake district for years – may have to give this an add!

    • Thanks, Nicola 🙂 We’re so lucky to live here, I hope you have a lovely time if you decide to visit.

    • Thanks for your comment 🙂 Grasmere is beautiful, too, isn’t it? It’s not somewhere we get to as often as we like, but we were there earlier this year.

  3. Oh yes I’m definitely jealous that you live in such a beautiful part of the world. This looks like so much fun and the pricing is really good too x

  4. Such an informative post – thank you! It’s such a beautiful part of the country. I love stopping next to the lakes for a picnic – I’ve not been since having children so we need to make another trip their soon 🙂

  5. Oh wow, how lucky to live in the Lake District… I have never been but it’s on my to-do list this year. Your post has made me even more excited for our visit! Such beautiful photos x

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