Cumbria & The Lake District
A stunningly beautiful outdoor paradise
umbria, with lakes, mountain ranges and more views than you can shake a Nordic walking pole at, is the ultimate destination for walkers and adventure enthusiasts alike. Yet look beyond the scenery and you’ll discover a hive of cutting-edge cultural activity with boutique hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants and music festivals making Cumbria as hip as it is beautiful. Who’d have thought it?
History and Heritage
An example of Roman engineering at its boldest, Hadrian’s Wall has a fascinating history which continues to be explored with ongoing archaeological digs. Find out about Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie at Carlisle Castle , and explore the eerie dungeons if you’re feeling brave. The red sandstone ruins of Furness Abbey , a 700 year old monastery, are also worth a gander.
Arts and Culture
Kendal Calling never fails to get festival-goers buzzing with its mix of top bands and DJs with traditional rural entertainment. There are also contemporary art galleries galore throughout Cumbria as well as world-class museums celebrating famous locals like William Wordsworth and John Ruskin .
Food and Drink
If you begin to flag out on the fells then reach for some Kendal Mint Cake , a sweet treat guaranteed to perk up even the weariest of ramblers. Other regional delicacies to tickle your taste buds include Grasmere gingerbread , Cartmel sticky toffee pudding and the Cumberland sausage. Wash it all down with a skemmy (beer) from one of twenty independent microbreweries.
To choose one favourite place in the Lakes is an impossible task. Every step and every view is magical. If you haven’t yet – pop a foot in this glorious landscape.
Hire a bike from the impressive £5m visitor centre at Grizedale Forest before heading off to tackle the adventurous North Face Trail . As one of England’s windiest spots, Barrow-in-Furness is a kite surfer’s paradise. And of course the area’s lakes and rivers provide many wild swimming, canoeing, and kayaking opportunities. In other words, pack your trunks.
Head to Ambleside and Keswick to stock up on all the latest outdoor clobber, to ensure you are equipped to deal with whatever Cumbria has to throw at you. For something less extreme, take an amble through Ulverston’s cobbled streets or try the market town of Kirkby Lonsdale, keeping an eye out for unique gifts. For original paintings and sculptures visit the 26 at 27 gallery in Keswick.
With no lanes and definitely no chlorine, The Great North Swim comes to Lake Windermere each year. The one-mile course is open to swimmers of all abilities so take the plunge yourself or just enjoy the spectacle. Celebrating the spirit of exploration with films, speakers and exhibitions, the Kendal Mountain Festival is a great place to find inspiration for your next trip.
Visit the setting for many of Beatrix Potter’s stories at her Hill Top Farm, before exploring her world more fully at the attraction in Bowness. The lives of Cumbria’s famous sons, William Wordsworth and John Ruskin, are celebrated through top museums. Or bag yourself a ‘ Wainwright ’ by tackling one of the fell walker’s famous routes.
Psst... Handy Hints
From the source
Head to the farm shop at Low Sizergh Barn for chutneys made from Cumbrian hedgerow fruits and their own Kendal crumbly cheese.
Be sure to pack some Kendal Mint Cake to keep those blood sugar levels up on a walk.
Visit the stunning coastline in the West of the county. It is serene and quieter than the main lakes.
Don’t let the weather ruin your day – pack good boots and full waterproofs.
Messing about on Lake Windermere.Watersports in the Lake District
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