Cumbria is the ultimate staycation destination. It’s best known for being home to the Lake District National Park, England’s largest National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cumbria is full of stunning landscapes, including glacial ribbon lakes, rugged mountains, charming market towns and historic castles.
It’s the perfect staycation spot for active folk, as there are plenty of outdoor activities to get stuck into, from watersports and horse riding, to hiking and climbing. Read on to discover more about staycations in Cumbria.
There’s plenty of choice of accommodation in Cumbria, ranging from getaways for two to large, family size options.
When in Cumbria, you’re going to want to make the most of the Lake District’s scenery, and one of the best ways to enjoy this is by camping. There are numerous campsites all around Cumbria, whether you’re looking for something simple or one with modern facilities. If you fancy something a little more luxurious, why not stay out at one of the many glamping sites around the county?
There’s also a large choice of B&Bs and hotels around Cumbria which range from budget to five stars. If you’re looking to splash out, many of the luxury hotels also have spas (because staycations are all about relaxation).
If you’re travelling with a large group, self-catering holiday cottages are your best bet. You’ll find plenty of traditional Cumbrian stone cottages, log cabins and holiday apartments all around Cumbria, whether in a small village or out in the countryside.
Cumbria has countless attractions so there’s always something to see and do. Some of the most popular are the Beatrix Potter attractions. The famous children’s author spent much of her life in the Lakes, and her legacy is preserved in some of the places she lived and worked. Find all of her characters in the World of Beatrix Potter, an indoor recreation of her books. You can also visit Hill Top where she once lived, the Beatrix Potter Gallery and ‘Miss Potter’ film locations.
If you’re a fan of historic houses, Cumbria doesn’t disappoint. There are so many stately homes, castles and manor houses which are open to the public, many of which are still occupied by the same families who have lived there for hundreds of years. One of the most impressive is Holker Hall and Gardens. The house is filled with fine displays of antique furniture and art, and the gardens cover 25 acres of formal and woodland gardens. Other notable historic houses in Cumbria include Levens Hall, Mirehouse, Sizergh Castle and Muncaster Castle.
A must do when in Cumbria is a trip on a steam train. This is a great way to take in the scenery and a fun family day out. The Ravenglass and Eskdale railway travels through stunning countryside from Ravenglass, calling at several stops before reaching Dalegarth Station in Eskdale. Another fantastic railway is the Lakeside and Haverthwaite railway. Enjoy a journey in a 1950s carriage which runs through pretty countryside between Haverthwaite and Lakeside at the end of lake Windermere.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Cumbria without visiting the last working slate mine in England, dating back over 350 years. Honister Slate Mine offers fully guided tours into the mine where you can learn about the history and current workings of the mine. The mine also offers a range of adventure activities like Via Ferrata, a climbing system using a permanently fixed cable up the rock face of the original miners’ route up the mountain.
One of the most popular places in Cumbria is Windermere and Ambleside. Windermere is England’s largest lake, and also the name of a small town just over a mile from the shores. Along the shoreline you’ll also find Bowness-on-Windermere, one of the busiest towns on the lake. It’s the main jetty for cruise boats, and the best spot for boating activities. Windermere is one of the prime destinations for watersports in Cumbria, and you’ll find several marinas and activity centres on the shores of the lakes. If you prefer something more relaxing, you can take a lake cruise on a modern or traditional steamer.
At the north end of lake Windermere is Ambleside. This town is one of the main tourist resorts where you’ll find shops, restaurants, cinema and plenty of accommodation options. Ambleside is a great base for exploring the rest of the Lakes, and there are plenty of fell walks which start from the town.
Another town to visit is Keswick. This is one of the major tourist centres in the northern Lake District. This bustling market town has plenty of attractions, from shops and restaurants to museums and outdoor activities. The town is a short stroll away from Derwentwater, a beautiful lake with a range of landscapes. It takes a good part of a day to walk around the lake, making it the perfect day out.
A trip to Cumbria definitely calls for a visit to Scafell Pike and Wastwater. Situated in the Wasdale Valley, Wastwater is the deepest lake in England. This stunning lake is surrounded by mountains including Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. On the far east bank of the lake are the Screes, an area of loose boulders which rise from the lake floor up to 2,000 feet. This is one of the most famous scenes in the Lake District. Our tip? Visit at sunset to see the Screes glow.