Cumbria Attractions

Cumbria offers visitors a choice of local attractions in the county, visitors can choose from a range of interesting and charming places to discover. The county includes the Lake District and Lake District National Park, a number of historic houses, museums, parks, gardens, a number of historic buildings, theatre, concerts and events. Cumbria’s location in north England means the tranquil English countryside, coastline and the great outdoors are all within reach located close to local towns and villages with a range of things to see and do in the county.

We have outlined a number of interesting attractions and places to visit for visitors to Cumbria, these include:

Carlisle Castle is a great medieval castle that has looked over the city of Carlisle for over nine centuries. Visitors to the castle can explore the ancient chambers, stairways and dungeons. It was here where Jacobite prisoners found enough moisture to stay alive, but were executed on Gallows Hill. Explore through the fascinating history through the exhibitions that give more information and greater insight on Mary Queen of Scots, William Rufus and Bonnie Prince Charlie. There are guided tours available and a gift shop to purchase those souvenirs.

Furness Abbey was one of the richest Cistercian monasteries in England. The ruins of red sandstone show the grandeur of this 700 year old site. The abbey is located in a quiet valley in Barrow-in-Furness, there are now remains left but in its heyday Furness Abbey once housed the community of a wealthy order. There are audio tours and guidebooks available to help you navigate around the site that is made up of a number of buildings. The buildings include Precinct and Outer Court, the Church with its North and South Transept and Tower, the Cloister Court, Chapter House, the dormitory, infirmary and kitchen.

Holker Hall & Gardens has been referred to as two superb attractions within one glorious setting. A day out at Holker can include a visit to the stunning Hall, which is the home of Lord and Lady Cavendish which displays grand architecture and furnishings, rooms to look out for include the renowned library with over 3,500 books and the impressive drawing room with silk coverings on the walls and impressive paintings and furnishings. Visitors can enjoy a relaxing walk of discovery and inspiration in the national award winning gardens.

The Solway Aviation Museum is located close to Carlisle airport and is open from April to October. Should you be planning a visit here it is wise to check the exact times to avoid disappointment. The museum is run by volunteers from the Solway Aviation Society. The society owns aircraft and visitors can climb in to the cockpit to get a real feel of the aircraft experience. There is indoor exhibition, with a small display on the history of Carlisle airport. There are a range of various aero engines from early piston engines through to the Rolls Royce Merlin. Other associated displays show RAF uniforms, radio and radar equipment.

The Lakeland Miniature Village is located in Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria and is currently the only miniature village in Cumbria. There are over 140 buildings that are made from Coniston slate. There are houses, barns and farms to help recreate the Lakeland landscape. The model village has been growing and is continuing to do so with new additions added. See the miniature buildings depict Cumbrian houses and farms including classics such as Hill Top, the home of Beatrix Potter. There is a replica of Slater's Bridge with the adjoining Clapper Bridge (Little Langdale) that spans over 50 feet in length.

The Theatre by the Lake is located in Keswick and has a programme that will appeal to culture and art lovers. There are a number of plays to choose from here, there are excellent facilities here with an auditorium, food and drink available in the coffee shop and meeting rooms for conference hire. There are also galleries to see on the premises. There are backstage tours to help gain an insight in to the workings of the theatre.

Lake Windermere is one of the best known attractions in Cumbria; the largest natural lake in England is a popular destination for visitors. Around the lake, the towns of Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere located close by, at the southern end of the lake is Lakeside Pier and the Lakes Aquarium attraction. There are a number of lake cruises and boat trips on offer for visitors to try including Windermere Cruises that offer cruises to Bowness, Ambleside, Lakeside, Brockhole, Ferry House and more. A relaxing lakeside cruise allows visitors to enjoy the natural scenery around the lake and take in the sights at a leisurely pace.

Hadrian’s Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that stretches across northern England. It is one of the most important monuments built by the Romans in the UK and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. Visitors to Cumbria can see the wall at Carlisle and other sections of the wall across the north of England, visitors can drive across the route or take the Hadrian’s Wall Country Bus that takes visitors from Newcastle Central Station to Carlisle.
Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail is the long-distance footpath that runs through the World Heritage Site from England's west to east coasts. The Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail runs for some 84 miles from Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria to Wallsend on Tyneside and includes some stunning natural scenery and landscapes taking in the cities of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Carlisle along with rolling hills and moorland.

South Lakes Wild Animal Park is located in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria. The conservation zoo has been established since 1994 and includes a number of animals ranging from lions, tigers, rhinos, giraffes, kangaroos, emus, wallabies, lemurs, jaguars, flamingos, tortoises and many others. Highlights include seeing the animal feeding demonstrations including feeding giraffes, kangaroos and penguins. There are a number of events held at the zoo through the course of the year and facilities include restaurant, picnic areas and gift shop. The zoo plays an active role in conservation and is actively involved in community and conservation projects in the UK and worldwide. A visit to the zoo offers a fun and educational day out for the whole family.

It is recommended that prior to visiting Cumbria; visitors do their research and ensure any sights and attractions they plan on visiting are actually open on the days you intend on coming. The transport is also worth checking as maintenance and engineering works can mean a restricted service on public transport and the road network.

Cumbria is a county that has plenty to offer visitors with a charming mix of market towns and villages full of history and character including a number of picturesque locations in the Lake District National Park and surrounding countryside to enjoy in addition to the attractions in the urban centres. The city of Carlisle with its range of historic attractions along with a number of charming market towns and villages ensure visitors can enjoy both the urban and rural when visiting the county. The county includes a large number of historic attractions, museums, historic houses, parks, gardens, cathedrals and family attractions. Cumbria’s attractions ensure visitors can enjoy a short break, weekend away or a longer stay here.

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