Things to do in Cumbria
The County of Cumbria includes the old counties of Cumberland, Westmorland, and part of North Lancashire.
Cumbria is England's second largest county, which encompasses the Lake District National Park, England's largest lake, steepest road and tallest mountain.
This unique county has something to suit everybody's taste - great outdoor pursuits including waters sports, climbing, horse riding, walking, heritage sites, attractions, gardens and stunning coastal scenery. There are tourist information centres throughout the County, to help you plan your visit.
Carlisle and Hadrian's Wall Country
Carlisle is a modern vibrant city with a unique and colourful heritage. Carlisle Cathedral is well worth a visit, also Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery with interactive exhibits to interest all the family. Carlisle is the Gateway City to the western stretch of the 80 mile long Hadrian's Wall, World Heritage Site - learn about its history at Birdoswald Roman Fort.
Keswick and Western Lake District
Nestling on the shores of Derwentwater is the market town of Keswick, an ideal centre for exploring the unspoiled surrounding countryside. Cockermouth, the birthplace of William Wordsworth, has several interesting attractions. In the area are Bassenthwaite, Buttermere, Crummock Water and Thirlmere lakes set amongst the three highest mountain ranges in England, Scafell Pike, Helvellyn, and Skiddaw. The beautiful Borrowdale Valley leads to the famous Lodore Falls and the stunning views from Honister Pass.
The Cumbria Coastline
This is a dramatic coastline, with spectacular scenery, towering cliffs and sandy beaches. The coast around Silloth-on-Solway is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Here you will discover charming seaside ports and market towns, such as Maryport, Workington and Whitehaven. St Bees and Hodbarrow are home to RSPB reserves. One of the outposts of the Roman Empire, the Milefortlet (21) at Crosscannonby is part of the Hadrian's Wall Heritage Site, open to the public.
Ullswater and the Eden Valley
Located on the eastern side of Cumbria, the area surrounding Ullswater provides gentle walks and relaxation, or be adventurous and take on the challenge of Helvellyn. Nestled between the North Pennines and the Lakeland peaks lies the Eden Valley, with undulating meadows, picturesque villages and lively market towns such as historic Appleby-in-Westmorland, Kirkby Stephen and Penrith. The area's varied history has left a wealth of enchanting castles, historic homes, impressive henges and stone circles to discover.
Alston and the North Pennines
The North Pennines is a landscape of high, wild moorland, cut through by green, settled dales and impressive natural features. This is the perfect country for walking, cycling, horse riding and bird watching. Nestled among the majestic North Pennine fells is Alston, England's highest market town, where old stone buildings cling to the side of steep cobbled streets and narrow lanes lead to hidden passageways.
Coniston and the Lake District Peninsulas
Coniston Water on a still day mirrors the beautiful Lakeland fells and inland countryside surrounding it. The Lake District Peninsulas offer a combination of countryside and coast, with beautiful scenery, wildlife sites and nature reserves. The Duddon Valley, immortalised in the writings of William Wordsworth is a hidden gem in the Lake District National Park. Barrow-in-Furness, is home to one of England's most impressive monastic ruins. Ulverston, is south Lakeland's festival town and is close to the Edwardian resort of Grange-over-Sands
Kendal and the Southern Lakes
Majestic fells and sparkling lakes form the very essence of the south Lakeland landscape, a spectacular area of the County and a favourite holiday destination. The lively market town of Kendal, offers an eclectic mix of arts and culture. Bustling Lakeland villages such as Hawkshead, Ambleside, Grasmere and Windermere each have their particular character, with attractions for all the family.
Sedbergh and the Yorkshire Dales
This area encompassing part of Yorkshire Dales National Park has a character all of its own, with flower rich meadows and dry stonewalls climbing up the rounded domes of the Howgill Fells. You will find lots to see in the attractive old market town of Sedbergh, with its engaging mix of historic buildings and cobbled yards, also at Kirkby Lonsdale tucked away in the beautiful valley of the River Lune, where Ivy clad Georgian buildings and quaint cottages line the narrow alleys and courtyards.
Days out in Cumbria
Abbot Hall Art Gallery
The Gallery is housed in one of Kendal's most important buildings, a Grade I listed villa, on the banks of the River Kent. The galleries offer two floors of light-filled spaces in which to see art.
Acorn Bank Garden and Watermill
Acorn Bank is a delightful sheltered garden, renowned for its herbs and orchards growing old English fruit varieties.
Birdoswald Roman Fort
Visit the fascinating hands-on interactive visitor centre and remains of the Roman fort where you become part of Birdoswald's 2000 years of history.
Brantwood was the home of John Ruskin from 1872 until his death in 1900, Brantwood became an intellectual powerhouse and one of the greatest literary and artistic centres in Europe.
Standing on the site of a Roman fort, Carlisle Castle is one of Cumbria's best loved landmarks. The sturdy walls of this well-maintained fortress have dominated Carlisle for the last 900 years.
The Cathedral, founded in 1122 and battered by centuries of border warfare, was built for the glory of God, and services have been said and sung daily in it for nearly 900 years.
Carlisle Race Course
Carlisle Racecourse is situated at Blackwell on the outskirts of the historic border city of Carlisle. Set in open countryside, the undulating course provides high quality racing every month of the year.
Cartmel Racecourse is based in one of the prettiest villages in England, in the south of the Lake District.
Dalemain Mansion and Historic Gardens
Behind the impressive pink ashlar façade lies the real surprise of Dalemain - its sheer variety. The history of the house stretches from Saxon times to early Georgian and has been in the same family since 1679
Fell Foot Park
Fell Foot Park is an attractive seven hectare garden in the Lake District which has long outlasted the house which the gardens were originally designed to enhance.
Those who have enjoyed the film Miss Potter will already know that the lovely Lake District farmhouse of Hill Top was the home of the prolific author and illustrator, Beatrix Potter.
Holker Hall and Gardens
At Holker you always feel like a welcome guest not a tourist. It is set in exceptionally beautiful countryside with gardens merging into parkland, with hills on one side and the expanse of Morecambe Bay on the other.
The Elizabethan Range and fortified Pele Tower of Isel Hall dominates the landscape in its magical setting above River Derwent.
Kendal Museum was founded in 1796 - making it one of Britain's oldest museums. The museum boasts unique collections of natural history and archaeology, and often hosts exhibitions, events and workshops.
Keswick Museum & Art Gallery
A Victorian experience not to be missed. Keswick's surprising past, from industrial mining centre to peaceful tourist town, is revealed in this fine example of a late Victorian Museum.
Lakeland Wildlife Oasis
Lakelands Wildlife Discovery Centre is a unique and exciting blend of exotic wildlife and interactive hands-on displays - from magic molecules to mischievous monkeys.
Laurel & Hardy Museum
Now in a brand new location, the Laurel and Hardy Museum has everything you could want to know about 'the boys'.
The Hall is a magnificent Elizabethan mansion built around a 13th century pele tower with unique Topiary Gardens and a working steam collection.
The present house was built in 1666 by the 8th Earl of Derby for his visits to his Cumbrian estates. In 1688 he sold it to his agent Roger Gregg. This is the only time it has been sold.
Muncaster Castle, beloved family home of the Penningtons since the beginning of the 13th Century, displays treasures collected over 800 years.
Rydal Mount and Gardens
Rydal Mount, in the heart of the Lake District, retains a lived-in, family atmosphere and has seen little change since Wordsworth and his family came to live there in 1813.
Senhouse Roman Museum
The Senhouse Roman Museum contains sculpture and inscriptions from the Roman Fort at Maryport, (Alauna), which lies next to the museum.
The imposing Sizergh Castle stands at the gateway to the Lake District near Kendal. It has been home to the Strickland family for more than 750 years.
South Tynedale Railway
Buy your ticket in the restored Victorian station building for a leisurely ride through the beautiful scenery of the South Tyne valley. The trains are hauled by preserved steam and diesel engines from Britain and abroad.
Talkin Tarn Country Park
A glacial lake nestling beneath the fells of the North Pennines, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Trotters World of Animals
Trotters World of Animals lies in the north of the Lake District, nestled in the shadow of Skiddaw. The only Wildlife Park in the north of the county, it is a fabulous day out for all the family.
Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery
Our combination of permanent displays (many of them enjoyably interactive and 'hands on'), changing exhibitions and exciting events and workshops makes Tullie House a thriving centre of activity.
Westmorland Motor Museum
At the Westmorland Motor Museum, the visitor can find restored and unrestored trucks and a collection of Automobilia.
Windermere Lake Cruises
Windermere Lake Cruises is the principal visitor attraction in Cumbria and is rated amongst the top ten in England.
Places to Visit in Cumbria
The attractive small village of Allonby on the Solway Coast, lies between Silloth and Maryport. Allonby has a beautiful shingle and sand beach, which has received an award for its cleanliness and safety.
Ambleside lies at the heart of the Lake District National Park at the head of Lake Windermere, nestling under a crown of fells, Loughrigg, Fairfield and Wansfell. Amblesides central location makes it an ideal spot from which to tour the Lake District.
The historic town of Appleby, set at the heart of the lush Eden Valley, is one of the loveliest towns in the North of England and was originally the county town of Westmorland.
Welcome to Barrow-in-Furness - the historic maritime gateway to the Furness Peninsula. One of the best-kept secrets in Britain, Barrow is a Victorian town with a proud heritage of innovation, surrounded by beautiful beaches and inspiring scenery.
Bothel is a delightful rural agricultural village which has a fascinating history dating back to Roman times.
Bowland Bridge is a little jewel! The view from the wonderful Mason's Arms pub halfway up the hill to the fells, is one to rival anywhere in the world.
Bowness-on-Windermere situated in a spectacular lakeside setting on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere, is Cumbria's most popular destination.
Visit Bramptons Wednesday market, granted by Henry IIIs charter in 1252, at the Moot Hall.
Most of Brigham village is on high ground above 2 worked-out 19th century limestone quarries full of wildlife. The A66, which replaced an old railway, is the main route into Brigham.
Caldbeck is a traditional working underfell village named after the river on which it stands. The river provided water power for the important industrial development of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Over 2000 years of turbulent history has made the city what it is today. From the mystical King Arthur, to the far reaching influence of the Romans, whose mighty Emperor Hadrian had the border wall constructed to keep out the barbarians from the North.
Cockermouth is the birthplace of William and Dorothy Wordsworth. An attractive small market town on the fringe of the Lake District National Park. The town was built in the 12th century and is situated on the confluence of the rivers Derwent and Cocker.
Coniston Village lies on the West Side of Coniston Water, with the Coniston fells along the north-west side of the village, dominated by The Old Man of Coniston.
Croglin is the name of a village, beck (stream) and grange in Cumbria in the UK.
Dent village in Dentdale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is a charming village with narrow cobbled streets, lined with attractive cottages and almost from a vanished world.
Flookburgh is a delightful village inCumbria, located on the Cartmel peninsula. It lies between Ravenstown and Grange-over-Sands on the northern edge of Morecambe Bay.
Gilgarran is a medium sized settlement, it has no community services as to speak of, only a bus service twice a day. It has changed a lot in recent years with the addition of the avenue.
Grange-over-Sands is an old-fashioned resort town overlooking the endless sands of Morecambe Bay.
The tiny village of Grasmere in the Lake District, is surrounded by Helm Crag to the north west, Rydal Fell and Nab Scar to the east, Yew Crag and Silver Howe lying west, with the River Rothay running by.
Greenodd is a picturesque village right on the edge of the Lake District National Park - the border goes right through the village! Very easy driving distances to the Lakes of Windermere and Coniston Water.
Harraby is located1 mile from the historic centre of the border city of Carlisle and it's many attractions, including Carlisle Castle, Cathedral, Tullie House and the Citadel Bastion.
The historic village of Hawkshead lies between Ambleside and Coniston, near the head of Esthwaite Water and is one of the Lake Districts unspoiled treasures.
Ireby - Once a thriving market town, with the market cross believed to date back to 1200. Ireby is now a truly unspoilt, peaceful fell village.
The market town of Kendal is known as 'The auld grey town', because of its many fine grey limestone buildings and is the principal commercial and shopping centre of the area.
Keswick is situated in the picturesque northern region of the Lake District. Lying on the banks of the River Greta and on the north shore of Derwent Water, famed for its salmon and trout.
The small Cumbrian town of Kirkby Lonsdale is situated above the River Lune, 13 miles southeast of Kendal.
Loweswater is a picturesque, rural village. It has an annual Loweswater Agricultural Show (in September), and is an ideal place to enjoy country walks, taking in the natural beauty as you go.
Visit Maryport, on the Solway Coast a lively town and celebrate 2000 years of the sea! An 18th century planned town, set on a cliff above the Solway. It was also an important Roman seaport.
The sprawling Cumbrian Parish of Ousby lies in the North East of the County some ten miles to the East of the market town of Penrith and on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Oxenholme is a tiny village in Cumbria, although it was originally in the former county of Westmorland. It is on the outskirts of Kendal, two miles away, and not far from the lovely town of Kirkby Lonsdale
Patterdale (origin.. Patrick's valley) is a small, unspoiled village in the heart of the Lake District. Surrounded by mountains situated at the southern end of Ullswater, England's second largest lake, makes it an ideal base for sightseeing
Penrith is a busy market town, lying in the lovely Eden Valley, to the north east of the Lake District and a few miles north of Lake Ullswater. Penrith makes the perfect base from which to explore the Eden Valley.
Along with Glenridding, the village of Pooley Bridge is the most important settlement on Ullswater, which would have been settled very early in the history of the lake...
Port Carlisle, very near the beginning (or end!) of the Hadrian's Wall Walk is a lovely little hamlet in its own right. It is an ideal place to stay for a few days to enjoy the local bird life which can be seen in abundance.
The fishing village of Ravenglass is spectacularly situated between the Lake District Mountains and the sea.
Nestling on the shores of the Solway Firth is the charming Victorian planned town of Silloth-on-Solway. Silloth owes its name to the monks of Holme Cultram Abbey.
Skirwith is a beautiful village, especially in the summer. Tucked away in the countryside, just outside the Lake District and so it's close to a whole world of magnificent mountain and lake walks.
Thursby is a quiet village of agricultural origins, 6 miles South West of Carlisle. While the Romans travelled through at an earlier date, Thursby is named after the Viking god Thor (pórr) and a temple was said to have been dedicated to him
The peaceful traditional village of Uldale has links with Sir Hugh Walpole's highly acclaimed Herries chronicles.
Ulverston is a market town in Cumbria, just north of Morecambe Bay and south of the Lake District.
Wetheral is a picturesque village, with walks by the River Eden in National Trust woodland.
The Elegant Georgian town of Whitehaven allows you to recapture the atmosphere of the 18th century, as you explore its unique and original streets. In the days of sail it had important links with North America and the Caribbean.
Wigton is the bustling and thriving centre of the Solway Plain, situated between the Caldbeck Fells and the Solway coast. The Market town of Wigton is an ancient settlement and evolved from a pre-medieval street plan.
Originally a tiny village named Birthwaite, the town of Windermere is now an extension of Bowness-on-Windermere, just a short distance up hill from the shores of the lake.
Welcome to Workington, an ancient market and industrial town, situated of the Cumbrian coast at the mouth of the River Derwent where it flows into the Solway Firth.