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.

Our top picks

Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House

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.

Courtesy of Lakeland Arts

Abbot Hall Art Gallery

Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kirkland, 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.

Abbot Hall, Lakeland Arts.

Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry

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.

Courtesy of Lakeland Arts

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories

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.

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

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.

Windermere Jetty Cafe

Where to go in Cumbria

Cumbria
Cinema
Alhambra Cinema

An independent cinema in the heart of town, the Lonsdale Alhambra is, for many locals, a treasure of Penrith.

Cumbria
Cinema
Rheged Centre

A visitor centre off the A66, containing gallery spaces, cinema screen, artisan shopping and local produce, as well as cafes and children’s play areas.

The Kirkgate, Cockermouth, image via Visit Cumbria
Cumbria
Music venue
The Kirkgate, Cockermouth

A theatre-cum cinema in Cockermouth offering a wide programme of touring theatre, music, independent film and events to townsfolk and visitors.

Cumbria
Gallery
Florence Arts Centre

Florence Mine has been transformed into a centre for cultural activity, offering workshops, gallery space, cinema and music venue.

Cumbria Visitor Guides

Stately Homes in the North

The North of England is blessed with countless stunning stately homes, many dating back decades and even centuries. Here are some of the very best.

Literary places in Cumbria
Literary places in Cumbria

It was good enough for Wordsworth and Wainwright... From Kendal in the south to Carlisle in the north, we sniff out the best bookish shenanigans in Cumbria.

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.

Walks in Kendal

A round-up of the best walks in Kendal, including the town centre, official tours and the surrounding area by Creative Tourist.

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.

Restaurants in Cumbria

Cumbria is far from short of good places to eat – here’s our guide to restaurants to put on your map of the area.

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.

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.

Spotlight on

Father's Day in Manchester and the North

This year's Father's Day is Sunday 16 June. Get out and about and spend some quality time with the old man in Manchester.

Take me there

Culture Guides