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Five Things to do with your Elderly Parents in Ambleside, Cumbria

Many elderly people welcome the chance to inject an element of variety into their days, with trips out and about in their local area. Here are some great days out to enjoy in Ambleside and the surrounding area.

  1. Rydal Mount
  2. Wray Castle
  3. Windermere Lake Cruises
  4. Hill Top
  5. The Armitt

Ambleside can rightly claim to be in one of the most stunning locations in the UK. Tucked at the head of beautiful Lake Windermere, there is a huge variety of things to see and do in this lovely place; it’s an ideal base from which to explore all that the Lake District has to offer.

Many elderly people welcome the chance to inject an element of variety into their days, with trips out and about in their local area. These suggestions are an ideal way for those receiving companion care or live-in care in Cumbria to enjoy a day out with their carer.

If they are living with dementia, they are likely to benefit from activities involving calm, natural surroundings with a sensory element, or equally, may enjoy reminiscing about the past as they explore one of the historical attractions this part of the world has to offer.

Here are some great days out to enjoy in Ambleside and the surrounding area.

Rydal Mount

Rydal Mount was once the home of one of the Lake District’s most famous sons - the poet William Wordsworth. Set in the heart of the Lake District, and commanding spectacular views all around, Rydal Mount was the much-loved family residence of Wordsworth for the majority of his life and the source of much of his output. The Wordsworth family still own property today, and it’s a charming place to visit, with a real family home fell.

The house itself dates from the 16th century, though it has been extended over the years, with some of these improvements carried out by the great poet himself. It is packed with treasures and portraits owned by the family. The gardens spread over a five-acre site, and much of it remains just as Wordsworth, a keen gardener, designed it. The site also has a tearoom that serves Fairtrade beverages, delicious cakes and pastries. This is a great place to get a sense of how Wordsworth would have lived and been inspired by the beauty of his surroundings.

Wray Castle

Wray Castle is an impressive example of Neo-Gothic Victorian architecture. Since 1929, the grounds and house have been managed by the National Trust, but it has only recently opened to the general public. The beautiful grounds encompass part of Lake Windermere’s shoreline and are known for their selection of tree varieties, including weeping lime, beech, redwood and Wellingtonia.

This is a fascinating and atmospheric place to visit and gives a real sense of the grandeur of its halcyon days and eclectic history. Free guided tours are available, although disabled access is limited to the ground floor. There is also a café offering light refreshments on site. To make a real day of it for your elderly parents, you could consider travelling to the castle by boat from Wray Castle jetty.

Windermere Lake Cruises

Windermere Lake Cruises has been offering boat services around the lakes since Victorian times. The comfortable fleet of steamers boasts promenade decks, saloons, bars and tearooms, and they offer an authentic time-gone-by experience that is great for elderly visitors who enjoy reminiscing, perhaps with their care-at-home companion.

There are lots of routes to choose from, and if you take the 40-minute trip that starts at Ambleside, you will also receive free entry to the Visitor Centre based at Brockhole, with its pretty gardens, exhibitions and restaurant. There is plenty of parking at Ambleside.

Mikis’ care story

In this short video, Nick and Maro explain their reasons for choosing Elder live-in care.

They discuss how live-in care has allowed Nick’s father Mikis to stay independent in his own home while making a new friend at the same time.

Hill Top

Hill Top was home to another of the Lake District’s most famous figures - Beatrix Potter. As you enter this 17th-century farmhouse, you feel as if you have stepped back in time; the house has been kept just as she lived in it.

Beatrix Potter bought the cottage in 1905 with the money that she made from the Tale of Peter Rabbit, the first of her published works, and it’s easy to see how this charming home and the countryside that surrounds it inspired much of her literary output.

The cottage garden is overflowing with a delightfully random collection of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs, just as Peter Rabbit himself may have liked it. It is a relaxing and fragrant place to stroll, and a lovely way for an older person receiving elderly care or dementia care to appreciate the sights and sounds of nature.

The Armitt

The Armitt is a quirky combination of library, gallery and museum, curating all aspects of the Lake District’s cultural heritage.

The library was the brainchild of Mary Louisa Armitt, who opened it in 1912, to bring together creative minds in the local area. Beatrix Potter was a vocal supporter of this aim, and the library is home to many books from her family, first editions of her famous works and some of her watercolours of botanical scenes.

There is an exhibition dedicated to Potter, that takes the visitor on a journey through her life. The Armitt is also home to a collection of paintings by noted artist Kurt Schwitters. Schwitters made Ambleside his home in the last years of his life, and some of his artworks were purchased with help from the V&A. The first-floor library can be accessed via the staff lift if you ask. There are accessible toilet facilities and a lovely cafe just across from the museum for a refreshing cup of tea.

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