From Barrow-in-Furness head for Ulverston. Head west to reach Whitehaven on the coast before arriving at Workington. Pause at Cockermouth before heading to Buttermere in the Lakes. Take in Keswick before passing through Bassenthwaite. Head up to Bowness-on-Solway before crossing the border to Scotland and arriving in Gretna Green.
The former iron, steel and ship-building centre, Barrow-in-Furness is home to a number of attractions including the Town Hall, Furness Abbey and The Dock Museum. Catch a ferry to the tiny Piel Castle from Roa Island or cross to Walney Island nature reserve which can be reached by bridge from Barrow Docks.
The Furness peninsula market town of Ulverston is the birthplace of Stan Laurel and home to the Laurel & Hardy Museum. Visit the Lakes Glass Centre and if you have the energy take a climb up Hoad Hill to Hoad Monument to be rewarded with stunning panoramic views across Morecambe Bay to the Lake District.
The Georgian town of Whitehaven marks the start of the 140 mile cycle tour to Ennerdale on the north east coast. Take in the pretty harbour, climb St. Nicholas Church tower, visit “The Castle”, Sir John Lowther’s former home, discover local history at the Beacon and take a tour of The Rum Story.
The ancient market town of Workington sits at the mouth of the River Derwent. Visit the Helena Thompson Museum and Workington Hall dating from the 14th century or the model farm Schoose Farm built in 1800.
The birthplace of William Wordsworth, Cockermouth is a pretty town just outside of the Kale District National Park where the River Derwent and River Cocker meet. Take a tour of Wordsworth House and relax before setting off to explore the Lakes.
Pass through the village of Buttermere, pausing at the church of St. James to see the memorial to Albert Wainwright, the famous author and walker. Visit the tallest waterfall in the Lakes – Scale Force – before enjoying Buttermere Lake and the Buttermere Valley with peaks such as Haystacks and Buttermere Round.
The bustling market town of Keswick is a hive of activity and often associated with Beatrix Potter. Explore the Keswick Museum & Art Gallery and the Pencil Museum, before enjoying water sports or the surrounding area on foot or by bike, including Borrowdale and Derwentwater – where you can take a lake cruise.
Close to Bassenthwaite Lake is the village of Bassenthwaite, backdropped by the Skiddaw. Visit Armathwaite Hall and Mirehouse an historic house and gardens overlooking Bassenthwaite Lake. Take a tour of the Lakes Distillery before heading north.
Located in the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Bowness-on-Solway marks the start of Hadrian’s Wall, a designated National Trail stretching to the east coast. The surrounding area, including the famous Bowness Sands, is a haven for wildlife.
Across the border in Scotland, Gretna Green near the main village of Gretna at the mouth of the River Esk is the world famous wedding venue. The area played an important part in ammunition manufacturing in WWI and you can explore the story of the factory at The Devil’s Porridge in East Riggs.