The Lake District Visitor Centre
Tel:- 015394 46601
Visitor Centre operated by the Lake District National Park Authority.
Situated on the A591 road, midway between Ambleside and Windermere.
Consists of a large country house set in 30 acres of parkland and gardens which slope down to the shores of Windermere.
Access to the visitor centre and grounds is free, although there are charges for some of the activities on offer, and also to park.
Brockhole is served by a boat service from Bowness and Waterhead, operated by Windermere Lake Cruises.
- Visitor centre displays
- Gift Shop
- Toilets with Baby changing facilities both in the car park and the main house
- Undercover and outdoor picnic areas
- Tree Trek Adventure Course
- Adventure Playground (Free)
- Mini Golf
- Terraced formal gardens
- Jetties with Lake Access
- Boat and canoe hire
- Car Parking (pay and display)
Much of the ground floor of the house is devoted to enabling visitors to discover how the Lake District was formed and finding out about the creatures that live in the lakes and rivers, there is plenty to see.
Touch-screen computer games, a video presentation and interactive displays are all designed to bring the centre into the 21st century and make it appealing to all ages.
For the very small there is an indoor Soft Play area and "Creativity Space", ideal if the weather is not so good.
Most popular amongst the kids is the Adventure Playground, which is free. It features all the usual swings, rope walks, slides, and scramble nets, as well a wooden fort and a miniature play steamer.
So younger ones do not get barged out of the way, there's a special area just for the under sevens.
The celebrated landscape gardener Thomas Mawson designed the garden when the house was built. From Camellias and Rhododendrons to thoughtfully planted herbaceous and mixed borders, there is usually plenty of colour to be seen, and fragrance to fill the air.
Less formal is the wildflower meadow, whilst the kitchen garden provides the terrace cafe with a range of produce, as well as cut flowers.
The Treetop Trek aerial adventure course is available for 5 year olds and above. It is similar to the "Go Ape" courses, available in Grizedale and Whinlatter Forests, in that participants climb and swing their way through the trees at high level.
There are two Treks. The Mini Trek is intended for 5 year olds upwards and takes approximately 1 hour to complete. Children of 5 and 6 years of age must be accompanied by a participating adult on a one to one basis. Children of 7 to 11 years of age must be accompanied by a participating adult on a ratio of up to 3 children per adult. All supervising adults must 18 years or over.
The Treetop Trek is a little more advanced. It is designed for 7 year olds upwards and takes approximately 2 and a half hours. Children under 12 must be accompanied by a participating adult on a 1 adult to every 3 children ratio. Supervising adults must 18 years or over.
Durable clothing must be worn, and jewelry or any clothing that may be a hazard is not considered suitable.
All participants are securely fastened into a safety harness and are secured to a rope at all times. Consequently no previous experience or climbing ability is needed. However, a certain amount of stamina and a good degree of determination are essential.
Also essential is pre booking. Call 01539 447186.
If a stroll around the gardens is not your thing, then maybe a walk round the 12 hole miniature gold course will be more to your taste.
Ever played Croquet? It is not the most popular, or widespread of games, but it can be great fun. The Brockhole Croquet Lawn must be one of the most scenic in the country, with it's backdrop of the Lakeland fells.
Boat hire is available during the summer months, weather permitting. Rowing boats, kayaks and canoes can be hired on a hourly rate. Call 015394 46601 for details of what is available and charges.
Not a wildlife park, "Predator Park" consists of demonstrations of a variety of British birds of prey, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. The species and experiences vary depending on the seasons and availability.
The sessions are run by an independent company and last 30 minutes. They are available most weekends at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm.
All ages are welcome at a cost of £3.50 per person. Under 2 year olds are free. Sessions can be busy and numbers are limited so booking is advisable. Call 015394 46601 to book and to find out which experiences are being offered on any particular day.