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Famous for its mighty fells and sparkling lakes, The Lake District, Cumbria is deservedly recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with countless treasures waiting to be discovered. Also, home to the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall, Cumbria also boasts more than 100 miles of stunning coastline – which can be explored by rail in almost its entirety. There’s more to this part of England than just outstanding beauty, with this foodie’s paradise offering more Michelin-star restaurants than anywhere north of London, an unrivalled cultural scene thanks in-part to writers including William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, a thriving arts scene and endless opportunities for adventure. It’s easy to get to by train too, being less than two hours from Manchester and three hours from London.
TransPennine Express trains to The Lake District, Cumbria, call at Oxenholme The Lake District (where you can change trains to arrive in Windermere just 20 minutes later), Penrith North Lakes, and Carlisle. A great network of local bus services link the stations with local towns and villages, with more travel information available on The Lake District, Cumbria’s official visitor website, visitlakedistrict.com, operated by Cumbria Tourism.
Bike hire is also available in many areas, with a comprehensive list of hire services here.
Among the “must-visit” attractions in The Lake District, Cumbria which are easily accessible by rail, is Lowther Castle near Penrith, England’s longest Lake, Windermere, which includes the world-famous Windermere Lake Cruises. By taking a cruise from Bowness, you can also stop off at The Lake District Visitors Centre – Brockhole, where you can try your hand at Treetop Trek, or head to the walker’s paradise town of Ambleside at the north end of the lake. Ullswater Steamers is a short bus ride from Penrith station and offers the perfect introduction to the stunning Eden Valley. For a taste of Cumbrian city life, be sure to explore Carlisle complete with its magnificent castle – partly built from stone from the nearby Hadrian’s Wall. Cumbria’s coastline is also home to the St Bees Heritage Coast and the National Park’s only coastal village of Ravenglass, from where a narrow gauge railway journey can be taken into the Western Lake District, the home of England’s highest mountain Scafell Pike.
The Lake District, Cumbria boastscountless producers of mouth-watering food and drink, many of whom use only the finest locally sourced ingredients. From the famous flavours of Cumberland Sausage, Grasmere Gingerbread and Kendal Mint Cake, to locally produced cheese and lovingly-brewed ales, this is #theperfectplacetobe for a taste sensation.
Fine-dining in The Lake District, Cumbria is never hard to find. Michelin-starred restaurants include L’Enclume and Rogan & Co in Cartmel, to Allium at Askham Hall, The Cottage in the Wood, Old Stamp House Restaurant, Hrishi at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, and The Forest Side at Grasmere. Top quality food doesn’t stop there though, with plenty of fantastic options to choose from, right across the National Park and wider county. Check out the wide range of options here.
The Lake District, Cumbria is the home of England’s longest and deepest lakes, as well as the 214 “Wainwright” peaks, famously documented by walker and author Alfred Wainwright. You can check out a guide to the National Park’s best-known lakes here, and if you’re planning on getting up high for a taste of adventure in the world-famous Lake District fells, be sure to be ‘Adventure Smart’ by reading some top hints and tips here. Try your hand at wild swimming or why not check out the amazing range of indoor attractions, great for rainy days? Get started here, to learn more about great days out to suit your interests from guided tours, accessible activities, arts, culture, wildlife, and nature.
Cumbria is the home of multiple independent shops, with plenty of retail therapy on offer both inland and all the way along the county’s coastline. From wines and gins to chutneys and cheeses, The Lake District, Cumbria’s homegrown produce is available to take away, to cook, or to give as a gift for your loved ones, or even just as a treat for yourself. Luxurious products and unusual gifts for special occasions are never hard to find, from candles and soaps to sculptures and furniture. From high street stores in Carlisle, Kendal and Barrow to bespoke independent outlets in market towns like Ulverston and Cockermouth, Cumbria has it covered and is #theperfectplacetobe for a shopping experience away from the usual hustle and bustle found elsewhere.
For the ultimate guide to visiting The Lake District, Cumbria, find more inspiration and book your next break at the official Visit Lake District, Cumbria website, here.