Penrith Town Centre

Katie Hale
Penrith Town Centre
Creative Tourist

Travel to Penrith, and you’ll be part of a tradition dating back eight centuries. The town was granted its market charter by Henry III in 1223, and people have been gathering here ever since, to buy and sell goods, but also to swap news and stories. 

Today, many of those stories are still told through the town’s historic buildings. If you look closely, you can read Penrith’s violent border history in the thick walls of the castle and in the beacon which watches from the nearby hill. The memory of William Wordsworth and the Romantic poets lives on in the street names and the buildings where Wordsworth lived and went to school. You can see the historic market town in the narrow yards (or ‘ginnels’) that wend between the shops, and were used to help stable the horses of farmers who carted their produce to town. The act of droving (moving animals between pasture or to market for sale) is celebrated annually through the Winter Droving festival, which sees a masked and torch-lit procession drove enormous lantern animals through the streets. 

It’s this blend of historic and contemporary that gives Penrith its edge, ancient tradition sitting side-by-side with trendy wine bars, hipster cafes and fine dining. Walk from the museum to the cinema, and you’ll travel four centuries over about twenty paces. Or, if you’re in for a bit of retail therapy, you’ll find a selection of independent and high street shops. 

It’s also a town with a sense of humour and fun. Look out for the #SignsOfPenrith: an installation of apparently ordinary street signs, proclaiming things such as “only an idiot would take a selfie next to this sign” and “walk slowly, softly humming to yourself”! 

And, once you’ve done all that (including the humming), Penrith’s location makes it the ideal base for exploring the northern Lake District. 

Penrith Tourist Information Centre, MiddlegatePenrithCA11 7PT View map
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Opening Hours

  • MondayOpen 24 hours
  • TuesdayOpen 24 hours
  • WednesdayOpen 24 hours
  • ThursdayOpen 24 hours
  • FridayOpen 24 hours
  • SaturdayOpen 24 hours
  • SundayOpen 24 hours

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on at Penrith Town Centre

What's on near Penrith Town Centre

Where to go near Penrith Town Centre

Cumbria
Cinema
Alhambra Cinema

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

Cumbria
Gallery
EVAN Gallery & Studios

A gallery and studio space displaying works by local artists – including paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, jewellery and textiles, as well as gift items.

Cumbria
Restaurant
La Casita

La Casita serves the most authentic tapas in Penrith – the only thing not-so-Spanish about La Casita is their high quality fresh Cumbrian ingredients.

Cumbria
Café or Coffee Shop
The Yard Kitchen

Boasting an array of hot and cold food including homemade cakes, The Yard Kitchen is a café with a distinctly quirky feel.

Cumbria
Restaurant
Simple Goodness

Rich soups, salads, hearty meals and homemade cakes are freshly made using seasonal and organic incgredients whereever possible from this vegetarian takeaway bistro.

Cumbria
Restaurant
Grants of CastleGate

This modern bistro and bar, open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday, serves up classic British pub fare reimagined to its most indulgent.

Victoria Clothing
Cumbria
Shop
Victoria Clothing

Victoria Clothing is an independent clothing boutique in the centre of Penrith, specialising in goods by small-scale British artisans and Fair-Trade apparel. 

Cumbria
Restaurant
J&J Graham

Right in the heart of the town centre, deli and bakery J&J Graham is a Penrith icon that dates back to 1793.

Penrith Castle
Cumbria
Tourist Attraction
Penrith Castle

Ruins of a 14th century castle, former home of Richard III. Situated in Penrith’s Castle Park, and managed by English Heritage. Free to visit.

Cumbria
Restaurant
Xavier’s Café & Wine Bar

Xavier’s is Penrith’s answer to Paris’ wine-infused café culture. An elegant spot to unwind in both the daytime and evening.

Bank House
Cumbria
Hotel
Bank House

Close to the centre of Penrith, Bank House is a stylish family-run bed and breakfast, in a Victorian house with a traditional garden. 

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