Museums in Cumbria

Polly Checkland Harding

Cumbria’s museums do a fantastic job of showcasing the area’s historic figures and practices, with Hill Top – Beatrix Potter’s 17th century farm house – as much of a draw as The Wordsworth Museum, next to the writer’s first family home. Here’s our selection.

Here are our picks

  • 1. The Ruskin Museum

    The Ruskin Museum.

    The Ruskin Museum, The Ruskin Museum, Coniston, Cumbria, LA21 8DU - Visit now

    The Ruskin Museum tells the story of Coniston in Cumbria – a place of copper mines and slate quarries, Swallows & Amazons country where Beatrix Potter owned farms and Stone Age fell walkers once dwelled.

  • 2. 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.

  • 3. The Wordsworth Museum

    Dove Cottage and The Wordsworth Museum

    The Wordsworth Museum, The Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere, Cumbria, LA22 9SH - Visit now

    Next door to Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s first family home, is the Wordsworth Museum, which houses an unsurpassed collection of the Wordsworths’ letters, journals and poems.

  • 4. 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 tells the story of how the unique landscape in the Lake District has shaped the lives of its inhabitants, tracing historic farming, mining and tanning practices as well as showcasing a typical Victorian farm house and high street.

  • 5. Hill Top

    Hill Top © National Trust Images / Stephen Robson.

    Hill Top, Near Sawrey, Hawkshead, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0LF - Visit now

    Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top in 1905 with the proceeds from her first book; the 17th century farmhouse has since been turned into a time-capsule of her life, surrounded by a lovely cottage garden.

Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.

Here’s our guide to supporting organisations in Manchester and the North.

Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.