RSPB (Leighton Moss) 01524 701601 (3 miles) www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/l/leightonmoss
Leighton Moss is the largest remaining reed-bed in northwest England and attracts a wonderful range of wildlife including bearded tits, marsh harriers and the elusive bittern. An excellent education centre with experienced staff. Open daily (except 25th December) 9am – to dusk. This is a Lancashire CC Approved Centre for Outdoor Activities – extra risk assessments not required.
Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, Hale – 015395 63027 (4 miles) www.wildlifeoasis.co.uk
Half Zoo, half Museum and totally fascinating, the Lakeland Wildlife Oasis is a unique look and learn centre which blends interactive "hands-on" exhibits and exotic wildlife. There is a collection of animals ranging from starfish to snakes; from molluscs to monkeys and includes creatures rarely seen in captivity such as flying foxes, chameleons and poison arrow frogs. The friendly staff are always on hand to answer your questions and let you meet some of the inhabitants face to face. Interactive displays include projection microscopes and fossil rubbing.
Heron Corn Mill, Beetham. Contact Audrey - 015395 65027 (4 miles) www.heronmill.org
Restored Corn Mill with a museum of paper-making attached. This is within walking distance following the old coffin route to Beetham. Also now home to a hydro turbine as well as a waterwheel.
Leighton Hall and Gardens, nr Carnforth – 01524 734474 (5 miles) www.leightonhall.co.uk
This beautiful family home offers a special blend of attractions : lively tours, peaceful gardens and woodland walks. Home to the Gillow Reynolds, descendants of the famous furniture a maker, Leighton Hall has many unusual Gillow pieces as well as fine objects d'art and paintings. Free-flying birds of prey are a special attraction in the summer and by arrangement for groups.
Levens Hall and Garden - 015395 60321 (6 miles) www.levenshall.co.uk
Levens Hall is a Magnificent Elizabethan mansion built around a 13th Century Pele tower. The family home of the Bagots, it contains a collection of Jacobean furniture, fine paintings, the earliest English patchwork and many other interesting historical objects. The world famous gardens were laid out in 1694 and feature topiary, beech hedges and colourful seasonal bedding that combine to create a stunning visual impact.
Sizergh Castle & Gardens – 015395 60070 (7 miles) www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-sizerghcastlegarden
Since the Middle Ages the castle has been home to the Strickland family. The impressive 14th Century Pele tower was greatly enlarged in Tudor times and contains some of the finest Elizabethan wood-carving in the Country. The surrounding informal landscaped gardens include a rich variety of plants. There are pleasant walks across the estate farmland with views to the sea and the lakeland mountains.
Kendal and other Lakes museums (from 12 miles) www.kendalmuseum.org.uk
A great variety of Museum Services including outreach where the museum service comes to you here, are now available from the Lakeland Museums’ Education Network.
Holker Hall – 015395 58328 (16 miles) www.holker-hall.co.uk
Located in the countryside of the South Lakes and accessible by train from Arnside, Holker Hall offers a fabulous range of experiences. There's 400 years of fascinating history in the hall, a 125 acre Deer Park, and the magnificent gardens.
Lakeland Motor Museum, Backbarrow – 015395 30400 www.lakelandmotormuseum.co.uk
Motoring memories abound when you visit the Lakeland Motor Museum with their unique collections. Exhibits include the Campbell legend Bluebird exhibition, classic & curious cars, vintage vehicles and micro cars.
Lancaster - Tourist Information Lancaster 01524 582394 (15 miles). Accessible by train.
The award-winning Lancaster Maritime Museum: 01524 382264 covers the maritime trade of Lancaster, the history of the port, the Lancaster Canal and the fishing industry of the Lune Estuary and Morecambe Bay using sound, smells, reconstructions and audiovisuals. Lancaster Castle: 01524 64998 is still a court and was a prison until recently – have your kids locked in a dungeon! The Judges’ Lodgings museum is Lancaster's oldest town house - home to a renowned collection of Gillow furniture and the enchanting Museum of Childhood. Salt Ayre Sports Centre: 01524 847540 is an excellent facility and only a short traffic free walk from the Maritime museum via the new Millennium Cycleway Bridge over the River Lune.
Kendal - Tourist Information 01539 725758 (12 miles) www.kendaltowncouncil.gov.uk
Kendal museum: 01539 815597 - as well as a wide range of fascinating temporary exhibitions, the museum houses wonderful and unusual collections of objects and artifacts covering the subjects of archaeology, geology, natural and social history - both local and global. The Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry: 01539 722464 takes you back through time to explore the story of the Lake District and its inhabitants. Isolated before the arrival of the railway and motorcar, this area developed its own unique customs and traditions. Abbott Hall art gallery: 01539 72246 – permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Morecambe – Tourist Information 01524 582808 (16 miles)
Interesting urban studies of a traditional seaside town. Coastal defence works. Of more interest at KS2 is the art work and sculpture on the newly refurbished promenade and stone jetty – lots of puzzles and interest.
Barrow in Furness.- Tourist Information 01229 894784 (27 mile) Accessible by train
Really well worth a visit. Excellent free Dock museum 01229 894444, with attached fun playground and really helpful and enthusiastic guides available for discovery trails of this unique Victorian town. (Also free)
Aquarium of the Lakes - 015395 30153 (15 miles) www.lakesaquarium.co.uk
At the south end of Lake Windermere is located the Aquarium of the Lakes. Definitely worth a visit. Also from here you can take a steam train on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway and take a boat up the Lake to Bowness and Ambleside. (Combined tickets are available)
Rheged - 01768 868000 (40 miles) www.rheged.com
This centre hosts the National Mountaineering Expedition and shows large format exhilarating films like “Everest”, both of which are very much worth a visit particularly for any school group “doing” mountains
Guides and Tutors
Cedric Robinson, the Queen’s Guide to the Sands leads walks out into the Bay or and/or talk at the hostel. 015395 32165.
The AONB Landscape Trust on 01524 761034 can provide guides for shore walks and other areas of particular interest or help in habitat studies. www.arnsidesilverdaleaonb.org.uk/AONB/Support/AONB-Landscape-Trust.html
The RSPB reserve offices at Leighton Moss (3 miles) offer an education service. They can provide tutors to cover a subject range wider than you would expect and at all levels, but especially KS2. You can visit them at Leighton Moss or arrange for them to come to you. 01524 703015LeightonMoss-Education@rspb.org.uk.