Lake District Museums

(Lake District, Cumbria, England, UK)

Picture of the World of Beatrix PotterThe profusion of museums spread around the Lake District provide pleasant interludes for hikers plying the huge selection of walking trails. Many different topics are covered at these rich, cultural attractions, with Windermere being home to the popular World of Beatrix Potter museum and its enchanting memorabilia.

The Wordsworth Museum is situated in the village of Grasmere and housed within Dove Cottage, which was once the actual Lake District home of this famed poet for nine years, at the beginning of the 19th century.

Further image of the entrance to the World of Beatrix Potter

The World of Beatrix Potter

Address: Crag Brow, Windermere, Lake District, England, UK
Tel: +44 015394 88444
The Lake District has long enjoyed strong connections with Beatrix Potter, and her life and works are very much celebrated in Windermere's popular World of Beatrix Potter. Here, visitors are able to learn more about this acclaimed children's author, with children always fully appreciating the models and reconstructions of some of the stories and their Lakeland settings, including Mr. McGregor's Garden and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle's kitchen. The Tailor of Gloucester Tea Room is on hand with refreshments and terrace views. Renée Zellweger has recently paid a visit to this attraction and actually played Beatrix Potter herself in the 2006 movie entitled 'Miss Potter', opposite Ewan McGregor.
Open hours: daily, April to September - 10:00 to 17:30, November to March - 10:00 to 16:30
Admission: charge, discounts for children

Windermere Steamboat Museum image

Windermere Steamboat Museum

Address: Rayrigg Road, Windermere, Lake District, England, UK
Tel: +44 015394 45565
The Windermere Steamboat Museum is a definite Cumbrian highlight and is home to an impressive collection of both motor boats and steam boats, which are displayed on the lake itself. Of particular importance is the most historical mechanically powered boat in existence, as well as the 'Esperance', which was the inspiration behind the houseboat of Captain Flint in the famous novel, Swallows and Amazons. Families will no doubt enjoy the scenic steam boat trips around Lake Windermere.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children

Armitt Museum

Address: Rydal Road, Ambleside, Lake District, England, UK
Tel: +44 015394 31212
Providing Lake District visitors with background information about the region and its rich history, the Armitt Museum boasts exhibits relating to famous locals, such as both Beatrix Potter and also John Ruskin, the latter of which is best remembered for his art works and poetry. Those with a love of Beatrix Potter will likely be delighted to peruse her historic botanical drawings, while close by are a series of extremely pleasant walking trails.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children

Photograph of the Wordsworth Museum

Wordsworth Museum

Address: Dove Cottage, Grasmere, Lake District, England, UK
Tel: +44 015394 35544
William Wordsworth (1770 to 1850) is perhaps best known for his daffodil poem entitled 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud', which recounts his springtime experience in the Lake District, as he walked around Lake Ullswater with his sister. At the end of his life, Wordsworth actually served the nation as Poet Laureate, and his life and works are all recorded here.
Open hours: daily - 09:30 to 17:30
Admission: charge, discounts for children and families

Ruskin Museum

Address: Consiton, Lake District, England, UK
Tel: +44 015394 41164
The history of the fascinating geology and heritage of the Coniston area is showed at the somewhat eclectic Ruskin Museum. Exhibits range from artefacts recounting the past copper mining industry, to a display relating to the tragic day in January 1967, when Donald Campbell lost his life on the nearby Coniston Lake, whilst attempting the break the world speed record of 300 mph. This particular attraction has welcomed visitors for more than 100 years and was extended at the turn of the millennium, following a substantial Heritage Lottery grant.
Open hours: March to November, daily - 10:00 to 17:30; December to February, Wednesday to Sunday - 10:30 to 15:30
Admission: charge, discounts for children

Hill Top photo

Hill Top

Address: Near Sawrey, Hawkshead, Lake District, England, UK
Tel: +44 015394 36269
A large number of Beatrix Potter's much-loved children's book were actually written in this 17th-century farmhouse known simply as 'Hill Top', which is located at the village of Near Sawrey. The farmhouse itself is especially charming and filled with treasures connected to her time spent here, including innumerable illustrations and items featured in here actual stories. The surrounding gardens remain very much as they were when Potter lived here in the early part of the 20th century, and it was in this actual spot where her legendary pet hedgehog once lived, inspiring her famous character, 'Miss Tiggy-Winkle'.
Open hours: April to October, Saturday to Wednesday - 10:30 to 16:30
Admission: charge (free to members of the National Trust)

Pencil Museum photograph

Pencil Museum

Address: Southy Works, Keswick, Lake District, England, UK
Tel: +44 017687 73626
Very much a cult attraction is its own right, Kewsick's surprisingly popular Pencil Museum really is devoted to the history, origins and development of the humble pencil. The hands-on exhibits will appeal to children, as will the biggest pencil in the whole world. There is also the reconstruction of a mine, and details about how graphite was discovered during the 16th century, in Borrowdale. Next door, the Derwent Watercolour pencil factory may also be of interest.
Open hours: daily - 09:30 to 16:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children

Cars of the Stars Motor Museum

Address: Standish Street, Keswick, Lake District, England, UK
Tel: +44 017687 73757
Truly housing something for everyone, the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum is yet another attraction in the Cumbrian town of Keswick and contains many exciting surprises, such as the actual 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' car, made famous in Ian Fleming's musical film of the same title in the late sixties. Other highlights include the extensive James Bond collection and its multitude of Aston Martins, as well as the Batmobiles, the DeLorean from Back to the Future, a life-size Stone Age vehicle from the Flintstones, and an actual 1923 Model T Ford.
Open hours: February half term, daily - 10:00 to 17:00, April to November, daily - 10:00 to 17:00, December - Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children

The Puzzling Place

Address: Museum Place, Keswick, Lake District, England, UK
Tel: +44 017687 75102
The perfect wet-weather attraction for all the family, the Puzzling Place offers all kinds of entertainment, with balls that appear to roll up hills, an anti-gravity room, and a hologram gallery. Optical illusions are what the Puzzling Place is all about and around every corner you will find your eyes seemingly deceiving your brain. Look out for the computer modules and software, the illusion gallery and its 'impossible structure', and a fun gift shop, brimming with brain teasers, puzzle books and science-related toys.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children