Allan Bank, Grasmere, image courtesy of Visit Cumbria
Image courtesy of Visit Cumbria

South Lakes, Cumbria

Creative Tourist

No trip to Cumbria is complete without a visit to its best-loved places, Coniston and Grizedale among them, but even here you can uncover some lesser-known cultural highs. Grizedale Arts, for instance, is an organisation that puts sculpture in forests, has helped revivify a local library and community centre and is behind the Lawson Park Farm Cottage, an award-winning eco-retreat at Parkamoor. William Wordsworth’s former home at Dove Cottage in Grasmere offers both a historic look at poetry and, via its workshops, tours and events, a route into new writing too.

Nearby, Allan Bank – a home a first described by Wordsworth as a “temple of abomination”; he later changed his mind and moved in – is a place where visitors are encouraged to “write on Wordsworth’s walls”, while Blackwell in Bowness-on-Windermere is one of the finest architectural examples of the Arts & Crafts Movement anywhere in the world. Time a visit to Ulverston to coincide with the annual Printfest, a celebration of artist-led printmaking, and don’t miss Cartmel’s ancient Priory – as well as Simon Rogan’s Michelen-starred restaurant L’Enclume.

Discover our top picks

David Nash, Running Table, Grizedale, 2021
Exhibitions Until 12 December 2021, FREE

David Nash: Return to the Forest at Grizedale Sculpture in Cumbria

Return to the Forest captures a seminal moment in the development of one of Britain’s most important contemporary sculptors.

Cumbria District Guides

Things to do in Penrith

Things to do in Penrith and the Surrounding Area

With the picturesque Lake District to the west and the sweeping ridge of the Pennines to the east, Penrith is a stunning cultural destination.

Kendal and Sedbergh, Cumbria

Packed with fantastic places to visit and a wide range of high-quality restaurants, bars and pubs, there’s loads to do in Kendal and Sedbergh.

Eden Valley, Cumbria

Our guide to the best things to do in the beautiful Eden Valley in Cumbria, which stretches from Sedbergh to Penrith.

Cockermouth and West Cumbria

Our guide to West Cumbria, with its independent, industrial streak, and Wordsworth’s birthplace, Cockermouth.

Carlisle and Keswick, Cumbria

Our guide to things to do in Carlisle, a city framed by its famous castle, and the ‘honeypot’ town of Keswick in Cumbria.