Brockhole on WindermerePolly Checkland Harding
This 19th century Arts and Crafts style house occupies extensive grounds on the shore of Windermere in the Lake District, with striking views across the water and a host of adventure activities available to book on site. A not-for-profit enterprise run by the Lake District National Park Authority, Brockhole is home to the Gaddum Gallery and The Lake District Story exhibition, three cafés (one at the house itself and two takeaway outlets on the grounds), as well as exciting diversions that make the most of the house’s scenic, lakeside surroundings.
These include boat hire on Lake Windermere, from kayaks and paddleboards to row boats, open canoes and motorboats, with kayak tours from an experienced guide also available. There’s Krazy Karting along a woodchip track, with friends and family able to negotiate obstacles and compete for best lap on the site’s new pedal karts with electric turbo boost. Those aged seven and above can try their hand at archery, while the laser clay shoot is suitable for adults and children over ten; aim at clays travelling 65mph and attempt increasingly difficult challenges. Children can learn how to navigate the wild and create their own adventure on Brockhole’s orienteering courses, or explore the Adventure Playground, complete with a Play Galleon boat and a Mountain Tower.
Alternatively, head up into the woodland canopy and through a 1,500 metre network of Treetop Nets, giant trampolines, walkways, slides and tunnels. There’s even a Treetop Trek through 250 year-old oak trees, complete with 35 treetop challenges including a rope bridge and wobbly logs, the trek ending with a 250 metre zip line down to the shore. For those less inclined to adventure, there are Brockhole’s beautiful gardens to explore, ranging from the productive kitchen garden to the games lawn, terrace and jetty. Special events and workshops run throughout the year, and the gift shop is full of products from local artisans.