/ Lakes walks with 2.5 year old
We've got a very active 2 1/2 year old who loves being outside and running around. She can walk 3 km by herself and can be carried for up to about an hour but only on the flat (she is too heavy now to carry up hill!)
We're down in the Lakes for a week in early July and I was hoping for some advice walks that might be suitable for us. I know the Lakes pretty well, having lived there for 5 years and spent most weekends walking and climbing, but a toddler brings extra considerations that I've overlooked before. Our new criteria are:
No / minimal drops on side of path that she can fall off
Up to 40 mins(ish) from Ambleside
Scenic for us, fun for her
Teashops at start/end are good
Water isn't a problem
The Langdale valley should be a good option, and probably Tarn Hows but other ideas gratefully appreciated.
Helm crag is hardly flattish! What about walking on the lower slopes of Loughrigg, maybe from Rydal? The cave can be reached without too much climbing, though it might require several chocolate bribes to get a 2.5 year old up it....
Whoops! Very true, I didn't notice that stipulation, bugger!
> Helm crag is hardly flattish! What about walking on the lower slopes of Loughrigg, maybe from Rydal? The cave can be reached without too much climbing, though it might require several chocolate bribes to get a 2.5 year old up it....
Cave might be interesting.... no problem with using chocolate for bribary :) Any chance of a grid ref, can't see it marked on th 1:25000?
I remember taking our children, when small, around Rydal Water, to the slate quarries at Little Langdale, up Lingmoor Fell, along Mickleden & back, and up to Stickle Tarn. (I know you said 'flat' but...)
I remember at the time discussing with Mrs D that these were the sort of walks we hoped we would still be doing in our dotage!
Grid - 3505, or about 354057, eyeballing it. Marked as 'caves' on the OS Explorer, and Rydal Cave on the BMC map. See also Loughrigg Fell in Wainwright guides under Loughrigg Fell 7. Altitude about 130m, so maybe 75m up from wherever you parked. The cave isn't obvious until you're on top of it, but then it's very obvious, and very large! Good views, but no sheep that I can think of (my toddler loves sheep...). Tea shop ar Rydal Hall, though a short walk uphill from the road which may not be appreciated at the end of a walk. Would be surprised is there isn't an icecream van at the Rydal Water parking 350064, and I think the approach might be easier going for short legs from that direction.
For more like 4km with an intermediate stop, park at the P&R, then head out towards the cave, and down to Rydal Hall tea shop. Rest. Return via the obvious path above the road (aka the coffin path, wooded, possibly not the best views, but I was running, it was late, and getting dark, so my memory may be jaded). If tired, the bus definitely stops at Rydal Hall, and I would imagine it stops at the parking too.
Subbing for any more ideas, I'll be up there with my just-gone-3 year old later in the summer....
As others have said Loughrigg fell the lover flanks easy walking good paths, benches to sit on, caves, easy to get down to the lake shore and walk along the gravel beaches and skip stones, paddle in the shallows if the weather is warm. Ambleside and Grasmere close by, easy access, good road links, easy to get back to the car if the weather turns sour or the child doesn't want to be there.
Or A walk around Tarn Hows beautiful location, great mountain views, amazing lake and easy walking on good paths, easy to get away from th crowds and walk in the wood heading back towards Coniston.
Loughrigg caves, definitely. There's a geocache just above them - always motivates mine!
Brockhole is worth a visit - adventure playground (mainly 7 plus in theory, but my younger one was 2.5 last summer and managing quite happily, showing 10 year olds how a scramble net should be done...). And plenty of grounds to walk around. We did a trail, but I think that was a special thing for their birthday celebrations.
Similarly Grizedale Forest. And Whinlatter Forest.
The rest of my ideas will probably be pushing the 40 min from Ambleside, as we're in Cockermouth. But walk around Buttermere (plenty of tea/ice-cream/beer options in Buttermere village and usually something parked in the Gatesgarth car park at the other end) is a good option - about 5 miles total, although you could always do half with child and send an adult back for car. Sale Fell and Binsey also child sized, though obviously some up. Similarly Rannerdale Knotts (side of Buttermere). Mirehouse just north of Keswick has grounds with playground and lovely walk around lakeshore.
High Rigg? Not entirely flat (about 120m ascent by the easy route) but it's short so you can take your time and it's fun and has nice views.
Little Langdale Blea Tarn - Parking curtesy National Trust, down to the tarn for fishing, paddling and stone throwing, hours of fun in a brilliant location - swimming for the adults
Have you considered sticking small person in a hard hat(peztl picchu?£40)
gives a lot of security for tackling more difficult ground and gives you more options.
we found they would motivate themselves more if there was a goal to reach..like a top.
Many thanks for your ideas.
We'll get to try some of these out the week after next. The little person concerned owns a full set of waterproofs :)
Circuit of Tarn Hows would be my choice.
Our boys enjoyed a walk that included Cathedral Cave.
And maybe start geochaching - they love treasure hunting.
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