When holidaying anywhere in Britain, you need back-up for a rainy day, and often, this means going to a museum or two. If you have friends or family with you, you will want to be sure that you are visiting the area’s best museums, so we have compiled a list of our favourites here:
1) Lakeland Motor Museum
With over thirty-thousand exhibits, you could learn about the journey of transportation throughout the twentieth century. If your plans to stroll along Lake Windermere have been scuppered by a spot of rain, then definitely take a detour to this museum for an automobile experience like no other.
Alongside the many motor displays, you can take a moment to rest in their lovely riverside café. If you are unsure when you want to visit this attraction, then why not attend on the first Saturday of the month when the Lakeland Historic Car Club gathers at the café too.
September 15th 2019 promises to be an especially great day to visit this museum; the Classic Drive and Ride in Day will see many classic vehicle owners displaying their private collections alongside the museum’s.
The museum is open from 9:30am to 5:30pm every day except Christmas. You can buy tickets at a lower price if you book online, and under 5s go free with further discounts for families available. The entire attraction is very accessible for wheelchair users and the mobility-impaired, including plenty of blue-badge parking on-site.
2) Dove Cottage
It might be small, but it’s an insight into one of the most influential sites of English Literature and an important pilgrimage for literature buffs. Dove Cottage was once the home of William Wordsworth, and the poetry he wrote may have been inspired by the life he led in idyllic Grasmere.
There are often events at this lovely cottage, so check their website and events to plan your visit appropriately. The only aspect of Dove Cottage not accessible for wheelchair users is the upstairs level.
3) Armitt Library and Museum
The Armitt itself has plenty of inspiring events for you to attend and has been open since 1912. Since it’s opening, Beatrix Potter supported the Armitt Library until her passing, and as such their collection hosts a number of the Potter family’s books and watercolours. The Armitt is also home to a famous collection of artworks by Kurt Schwitters, who in fact lived in Ambleside towards the end of his life.
This library and museum in Ambleside are accessible via a pay display car park on the opposite road, or by parking on the pay and display of the University of Cumbria’s Ambleside Campus. Please bear in mind that the ground around this area is heavily sloped, so while the Armitt itself is quite accessible with stair-free access to the first floor and accessible toilets, navigating the surrounding area could prove more difficult.
Their hours are changeable depending on the season, but at any point during the year they are only open from Tuesday-Saturday, and assuredly open from 10:30am to 4:00pm – last admissions from 3:30pm.
4) Quaker Tapestry Museum
The Quaker Tapestry is a piece of art which spans fifteen years, four-thousand people and fifteen countries – culminating in a final product of no less than seventy-seven panels. Its story explores the modern world, covering the industrial revolution, advancements in science and social reform.
Of the original seventy-seven panels, forty are on show in Kendal in the eponymous Quaker Tapestry Museum. The entry fee offers exclusive access to these panels as well as an informative audio guide about the panels. The museum also holds other items of importance to Quaker culture, including clothing and extraneous embroidery.
The museum’s opening times vary from season to season, and they offer concessions for adults accompanying young children, under 18’s, and students. The museum is also fully accessible for wheelchair users and also keeps a mobility scooter on site for visitors with mobility issues to use within the museum.
If you or a member of your part suffers from a mobility problem, they advise for you to ring ahead so that they can secure you an on-site parking space ahead of your arrival.
The Lake District is full of museums and experiences for you to enjoy, on your own, with a friend or with family. We haven’t discussed them at length here, but you might also be interested in visiting The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Museum, The Ruskin Museum, Penrith Castle and Kendal Castle. Use our caravan park near the Lake District as your touchstone for experiencing the culture of the Lake District.