Attractions in Cumbria and the Lake District

Creative Tourist

There are plenty of attractions in Cumbria and The Lake District, could there be a better place to spend a long weekend exploring? The fells and tarns that characterise the region’s unique landscape offer endless adventure, while its network of picturesque towns and villages provide the perfect way to while-away many a pleasant afternoon. It’s also home to Windermere, England’s largest and, arguably, finest lake.

What shouldn’t be overlooked, however, is just how much the area has to offer culturally, as well. Having inspired countless artists and writers over the centuries – from J.M.W Turner and William Wordsworth to Beatrix Potter and Kurt Schwitters, to name just a few – this rich and ongoing history is well celebrated throughout the Lake District’s many unusual galleriesmuseums and stately homes, which give those of nearby Manchester and Liverpool a run for their money.

Here, we’ve put together a handful of our absolute favourites.

  • 1. Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House

    Courtesy of Lakeland Arts

    Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House, Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 3JT - Visit now

    Unlike many of the historic houses that dot the English countryside, Blackwell embodies the entire opposite of rarefied stately-home-stuffiness.

  • 2. Abbot Hall Art Gallery

    Abbot Hall from across the River Kent. Photo © Tony West.

    Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 5AL - Visit now

    Built in 1759 as a private home, saved from dereliction and opened as an art gallery in 1962, the Grade I-listed Abbot Hall, Kendal is now one of the best centres for visual art in Cumbria.

  • 3. Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry

    Courtesy of Lakeland Arts

    Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry, Abbot Hall, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 5AL - Visit now

    The Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry in Cumbria explores the region’s history through the unique customs and traditions of its past inhabitants.

  • 4. Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories

    Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories in Cumbria
    Courtesy of Lakeland Arts

    Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories, Rayrigg Road, Windermere,, Cumbria, LA231BN - Visit now

    Windermere Jetty Museum, on the banks of one of England’s largest and most picturesque lakes, is a new museum dedicated to the timeless pleasure of boating.

  • 5. Windermere Jetty Cafe

    Windermere Jetty Cafe

    Windermere Jetty Cafe, Rayrigg Road,, Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 1BN - Visit now

    Windermere Jetty Museum’s lakeshore café has outstanding food and incredible views over Windermere.

Visitor guides

Walks in Penrith

Walks in Penrith

A selection of some of most rewarding and beautiful walks in Penrith, full of chances to catch open air and natural attraction.

Literary places in Cumbria

Literary places in Cumbria

If it was good enough for Wordsworth and Wainwright, then Cumbria surely has much to offer the literature lover who strayed off the M6. From Kendal in the south to Carlisle in the north, we sniff out the best bookish shenanigans.

Music Venues in Cumbria

When the sun goes down and you’ve had your fair share of Cumbria’s great outdoors, head to the area’s music venues to catch folk and jazz sessions, as well as regular performances by touring musicians. We recommend some of our favourites.

Theatres in Cumbria

Theatres in Cumbria

For striking performances in the truly beautiful setting of the Lake District – check out our pick of theatres in Cumbria.

Museums in Cumbria

Cumbria is studded with fantastic museums – read our picks of the best here.

Art Galleries in Cumbria

Ranging from impressive, nationally-significant collections in Grade listed buildings, to historic houses that now have a particular focus on local, contemporary artists, here’s our guide to Cumbria’s collection of art galleries.

Culture Guides

Cinema in Manchester and the North

Hong Kong classics, a John Carpenter marathon and an obscene midnight movie masterpiece all feature in this month’s cinema guide.

Rachel Kneebone: 399 Days at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Exhibitions

Tales of antiquity, cloud gazing, and a return to the forest all feature among this month’s hand-picked selection of exhibition highlights.

Grimm Tales: Witches, Wolves, Fairies and Frogs at Williamson Park

Families

With summer in full bloom in Costa del Manchester and the North, we round up our top alfresco activities to do with the family, plus exciting indoor offerings.

Writer Louise Finnigan.

Literature

With August, the literature scene is promising some hot events, both online and in real life: with book launches, short story showcases, regular poetry chats, live readings and even an exhibition of word art…

Black Midi

Music

Outdoor shows, candle-lit jazz gigs, boozy all-dayers. Manchester and the North’s live music scene is making up for lost time.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

As some of our favourite theatre teams head back into the rehearsal room, we take a look ahead to some of the performances we’re most looking forward to, as well as the outdoor theatre happening now.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Black Friar

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

A guide to Food and Drink in Manchester and the North, including plenty of new bars and restaurants and exciting new menus from old favourites.

Online events

Discover the best things to do online from the organisations we love in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

Summer is here and we’re so excited to be out in the world touring, making, playing and doing all the things Manchester and the North has to offer.

Things to do right now

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