Attractions

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.

Visitor guides

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

BSL Led Gallery Tour: David Lynch My Head is Disconnected

Cinema

It’s all about David Lynch this month, as the cult artist and filmmaker brings his inimitable brand of surreal menace to Manchester as part of MIF19.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the north

Exhibitions

Like the 58th Venice Biennale which opened earlier this May, our latest pick of exhibitions across the north also has a strong ecological bent.

Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade

Families

We can smell the summer and have sniffed out the best family things to do in Manchester and across the North.

Literature

We’re in full festival swing with both Manchester International Festival and Refract festival’s first focus on live literature, the welcome return of some old favourites, and plenty of poetry and prose.

Music

Some of the world’s most exciting producers are heading to Manchester and the north in the coming months. Read about them here.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

You’ll find award-winning adaptations, experimental pieces and outstanding open-air performance in our theatre guide this month.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Discover the best food and drink that the North has to offer in our expert guide to food and drink in Manchester and beyond.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Challenge yourself to try something different this summer with our guide of Manchester based tours and activities. You’re bound to find something new to do in the city.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts