I’M whizzing down a 250-metre zip wire, past woodland trails and rolling lakeland hills. It’s fair to say I’m out of my comfort zone.
But it’s exhilarating, and as soon as my feet touch the ground I want to do it all over again.
At Brockhole on Windermere you can release your inner child as you swing, climb and fly through a network of 250-year-old oak trees. The Treetop Trek covers 35 aerial challenges, including rope bridges, tyres tied together, wobbly logs, even a skateboard in the air.
I’m fine with heights, so I was reasonably confident as I strapped on my harness. Our instructor then secured each of our harnesses to a rope following a belay system around the treetop course. So even if any of us was to fall off, the harness would be attached to a rope at all times. And, of course, I was the one who ended up falling off...
I set foot on the first challenge, a rope ladder, and tried to look ahead, rather than down, as I clawed my way to the other side. Then came a series of wobbly walkways, which I tentatively stepped over, unlike my teenage nephew, Sam, who quickly scrambled ahead of me like a monkey.
It was the zig-zag planks that did for me. I lost my footing and suddenly I was dangling in mid-air, feeling foolish. “What do I do now?” I yelled. “Put your legs over the planks and stand up,” called Sam, from somewhere in the air.
With some effort, I managed to hoist myself back onto two legs and cautiously snaked around the rest of the mini trek. I left Sam and his brother, Jack, to complete the full trek, suitable for ages seven and above, then we all did the final zip wire from the 14 metre-high Treetop Tower. Zip wires I like - not so keen on wobbly walkways. But I gave it a go, and the boys thoroughly enjoyed it.
With tranquil gardens, woodland walks and lakeshore trails, Brockhole on Windermere is a great family attraction in the Lake District. It was a 20-minute drive from South Lakeland Leisure Village, near Carnforth in Lancashire, where we stayed in a spacious waterfront lodge.
The site has a health and fitness club, including a gym, beauty spa (closed on Sundays, we discovered), an indoor swimming pool and a steam room. We enjoyed a swim (£10 for a family ticket) before dinner at the Watersedge Restaurant, serving a tasty menu of Mediterranean and British dishes.
The leisure village has a lake - free to use for fishing or boating lodge owners or guests - which is home to fish including wild trout, carp and pike. Our lodge overlooked the lake, with patio doors opening onto a spacious balcony. Perfect for al fresco dining in spring and summer.
The site is ideally placed for coastal attractions and walking, cycling and family fun in the Lake District. A 20-minute drive away is Morecambe, where we headed for fish and chips after working up an appetite at the Treetop Trek.
Having enjoyed day trips at the Lancashire seaside town as a child, it was lovely to re-visit with my nephews. Morecambe Bay, where the Lakes meet the sea, never fails to take my breath away, with its sweeping view of Cumbrian mountains. “The tide comes in faster than a horse can gallop,” I told the boys. “Cool! Can we stay and watch?” said Jack, 13.
Taking pride of place on the promenade is the striking Midland Hotel, the Art Deco jewel of the North West coastline.
Morecambe’s Happy Mount Park has plenty of family attractions, including a splash park, with an array of water jets, basketball courts, trampolines and miniature train rides.
We ended our weekend with a visit to the RSPB’s Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay Nature Reserve. Set in the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is home to wildlife including woodland birds and red deer. With spectacular scenery, there’s plenty to see all year round, from the wildflowers of summer to otters skimming on ice in winter.
Attractions include a sensory garden, a reed-edge trail, and pond-dipping. In spring and summer you can spot marsh harriers performing aerial acrobatics, and red deer playing in the sun, while in autumn and winter there are starlings swirling across the sky and flocks of wading birds in the bay.
Armed with binoculars, we explored nature trails and climbed the Skytower, for a bird’s eye view of Morecambe Bay.
Sitting in the various hides dotted about, looking out at ducks and other birdlife in reedbed pools, it felt like bring cocooned in a peaceful haven, with a fascinating glimpse into the natural world.
* South Lakeland Leisure Village is at Borwick near Carnforth, off the M6, J35.
Short breaks at South Lakeland Leisure Village cost from £185 for three or four nights in low season and rise to £860 in summer (school holidays). Holiday homes are available to buy from £69,995, for a contemporary new eco-lodge on the Yealands development, and rise to £250,000 for a luxurious property on the lake side.
Call (01524) 730823 or visit pureleisuregroup.com
* Brockhole on Windermere is on the A591 between Windermere and Ambleside. Call 015394 63955 or visit brockhole.co.uk
* RSPB Leighton Moss Nature Reserve is at Myers Farm, Storrs Lane, Silverdale. Call (01524) 701601 or visit rspb.org.uk