Places to visit

Places To Visit

Cumbria is packed with places to visit and things to do, ranging from art galleries to zip wires.

We have listed below some popular attractions with links to their websites.

Abbot Hall - Art Gallery
Abbot Hall - Art Gallery
View website The Gallery is housed in one of Kendal's most important buildings, a Grade I listed villa, on the banks of the River Kent. The galleries offer two floors of light-filled spaces in which to see art. As well as a fine permanent collection, Abbot Hall is acknowledged as having one of the most imaginative and independently minded temporary exhibition programmes outside London.  
Blackwell - The Arts and Crafts House
Blackwell - The Arts and Crafts House
View website Blackwell is one of England's most important surviving houses from the turn of the 20th century. Designed by MH Baille Scott between 1898 and 1900, it is a superb example of the arts and crafts movement.  It occupies a stunning position overlooking Windermere in the English Lake District and has recently been restored and opened to the public as a gallery for craft and applied arts. Visitors are encouraged to sit and soak up the atmosphere in Blackwell’s fireplace inglenooks and are free to enjoy the house as it was originally intended, without roped-off areas. The inviting window and garden seats offer stunning views of the surrounding Lakeland scenery.  
Brantwood - the former home of John Ruskin
Brantwood - the former home of John Ruskin
View website Former home of John Ruskin, Brantwood is one of the most beautifully situated houses in the Lake District. It is both a treasure house of historical importance and a lively centre of contemporary arts and the environment. Displays and activities in the house, gardens and estate reflect the wealth of cultural associations of Ruskin’s legacy. With its many contemporary exhibitions, concerts, courses and special events, together with its education work in the wider community, Brantwood continues in the Ruskin tradition today.  
Castlegate House Gallery
Castlegate House Gallery
View website A commercial art gallery in a Grade II Listed Georgian house showing work by northern and Scottish artists and sculpture in the walled garden. Includes work by L S Lowry RA, Sheila Fell RA, Barbara Rae RA, Percy Kelly, Michael Bennett, Winifred Nicholson and Wilhelmina Barnes Graham and well worth the visit!  
Cumberland Pencil Museum
Cumberland Pencil Museum
View website Visit the home of the first pencil, and pencil perfection since 1832. Walk through a replica of the Seathwaite Mine, where graphite was first discovered. Trace the history of pencil manufacture over the last 350 years and see how Derwent Fine Art Pencils are made today. Be amazed at the Worlds Longest Pencil, at over 25 feet. Events and activities are available for children throughout the year, and open workshops are run for adults to experiment with the pencils under the guidance of professional artists.  
Dalemain Historic House and Garden
Dalemain Historic House and Garden
View website Dalemain historic house is a fine mixture of medieval, Tudor and early Georgian architecture. The present owner's family have lived at Dalemain since 1679 and the house is full of the paraphernalia of a well-established home which is still very much lived in. The 16th century Great Barn holds a collection of agricultural bygones and a Fell Pony Museum and the Nursery hosts toys from all ages. Also enjoy the delightful 5-acre Plantsman's garden, the Tudor Knot Garden or the glorious woodland walk, set against the picturesque splendour of the Lakeland Fells and parkland.  
Dove Cottage & The Wordsworth Museum
Dove Cottage & The Wordsworth Museum
View website While living in Dove Cottage from 1799 - 1808, William Wordsworth wrote the most famous and best-loved of his poems including, “I wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and Dorothy Wordsworth wrote her, “Grasmere Journals”. Come and see what inspired them, the beautiful landscape and their simple way of life. This hub of art, literature and creativity has a programme of exhibitions and events from craft workshops and free childrens' activities to fine art, photography and poetry.  
Grizedale Forest
Grizedale Forest
View website From the all access Ridding Wood trail to the demanding Silurian Way, from Go Ape to The North Face Trail, amazing sculptures to great food, Grizedale offers an unrivalled day out for everyone. Discover an outdoor experience you will want to come back for time and again.  
Hill Top - the former home of Beatrix Potter
Hill Top - the former home of Beatrix Potter
View website Enjoy the tale of Beatrix Potter – Hill Top is a time-capsule of this amazing woman's life. Full of her favourite things, the house appears as if Beatrix had just stepped out for a walk. Every room contains a reference to a picture in a 'tale'. The lovely cottage garden is a haphazard mix of flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetables. Hill Top is a small house and a timed-ticket system is in operation to avoid overcrowding and to protect the interior.  
Honister Slate Mine
Honister Slate Mine
View website The last working slate mine in England. You can watch slate being riven (or split) using processes that have changed little over the past 300 years. Fully guided tours into the mine are available several times a day, detailing the history and spectacular features of the mine. The tour shows the current workings of the mine, and how a mixture of modern and traditional methods, is still extracting the slate which was formed some 400 million years before Tyrannosaurus Rex strode the land. Browse the visitor centre and enjoy home-cooked fayre in Yewtree pub & restaurant.  
Hutton in the Forest Historic House
Hutton in the Forest Historic House
View website This historic house is based on a medieval pele tower, with substantial 17th, 18th and 19th century additions. The house contains fine collections of furniture, ceramics, tapestry and portraits and is still a private residence. Walk around the wonderful walled gardens, which are still surrounded by a medieval forest, and you could spend all day at this historic house.  
Jennings Brewery
Jennings Brewery
View website With over 175 years of brewing excellence and overflowing with history, it's well worth a visit. Enjoy a brewery tour and learn all about how they make this special brew with pure Lakeland water drawn from their own well. There's also a tea room and Brewery shop to ensure you get the change to enjoy the fruits of their labour.  
Keswick Launch - Derwentwater crusiers
Keswick Launch - Derwentwater crusiers
View website From just feet away from the theatre door, take a 50 minute cruise on one of the most beautiful lakes in the country, Derwentwater. Launches leave regularly (every half hour during summer) and stop at various landing stages around the lake to enable people to get off, go for a walk, and pick up the launch at a later time. Alternatively, hire a rowing or motor boat and explore the lake and breathtaking views yourself.  
Lakes Aquarium
Lakes Aquarium
View website Journey over, under and around water to discover amazing creatures from across the globe. Encounter otters, piranhas and diving ducks. See rays, seahorses and British sharks. Don't miss the underwater tunnel or Virtual Dive Bell. There's also a lake view cafe and shops.  
Levens Hall & Gardens
Levens Hall & Gardens
View website This beautiful Elizabethan family home showcases fine wood panelling, coloured plasterwork and Spanish gilt leather wall hangings. Visit the world famous gardens dating from 1694, the oldest topiary, the earliest ha-ha, herbaceous borders, colourful spring and summer bedding. There is a play area for children under 12 and a gift shop and licensed tearoom.  
Mirehouse Historic House and Gardens
Mirehouse Historic House and Gardens
View website Mirehouse is a family run historic house open to visitors to enjoy its strong literary connections, live piano music and children's activities. Its grounds, which stretch from Dodd Wood to Bassenthwaite Lake, include four woodland playgrounds and a heather maze for children and grown ups alike to enjoy in all weathers. Set in the heart of the North Lake District, three miles from Keswick, the beautiful gardens at Mirehouse include the Poetry Walk, rhododendron tunnel and walled Bee Garden.  
Muncaster Castle and Gardens
Muncaster Castle and Gardens
View website Historic castle, ghostly goings on, sino-Himalayan gardens, meadowvole maze, world owl centre, Muncaster interactive, darkest Muncaster, (most winter weekends), walks and trails, playground, shops, cafe and plant centre. Muncaster Castle and Gardens is one of the best places to visit in the Lake District for a fun family day out!  
Percy House Gallery
Percy House Gallery
View website Percy House dates from 1390 and was extended in 1598 by The Percy's of Northumberland. The Gallery has work by over 80 Cumbrian artists from Jewellery and textiles to paintings and photos. Exhibitions in this historic building change monthly.  
Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
View website Heritage steam engines haul open-top and cosy covered carriages from the lake district costal village of Ravenglass to the foot of England's highest mountain. The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway was the first narrow-gauge railway to be built in England. As you might expect with Britain’s Favourite View and deepest lake in the next valley, England’s highest mountain at its head, Eskdale and indeed all the railway, is in the Lake District National Park – beyond the commercialism and hustle-bustle – simply surrounded by spectacular beauty.  
Rheged
Rheged
View website International award-winning visitor attraction, the Rheged Centre is Europe's largest grass covered building featuring major exhibitions, 7 giant movies, 12 rather special shops, children's fun, restaurant and cafes and regular daytime and evening events.  
Rydal Mount - Wordsworth's best loved home
Rydal Mount - Wordsworth's best loved home
View website Rydal Mount was Wordsworth's best loved home for 37 years. Here he wrote many of his poems and revised and improved much of his earlier works including the Prelude and the famous 'Daffodils' poem. He became England's finest poet and went on to be poet Laureate to Queen Victoria. This historic home offers, large beautiful terraced gardens landscaped by the poet, magnificent views of lake Windermere and Rydal Water, peaceful relaxed atmosphere and freedom to wander unrestricted.  
The Beacon - Gallery and maritime heritage museum
The Beacon - Gallery and maritime heritage museum
View website Situated on Whitehaven's attractive harbour side, The Beacon is home to the town's museum collection. It traces the social, industrial and maritime heritage of the area, using local characters, audio-visual displays and fascinating museum pieces. The Met Office Weather Gallery offers panoramic views of the town and coast. Also don't miss the exhibition gallery, gift shop and café.  
The Puzzling Place
The Puzzling Place
View website A unique optical illusion exhibition. Witness balls rolling uphill in the anti-gravity room, visibly grow and shrink in the Ames room and be amazed by our interactive optical illusion exhibits, artwork and sculptures, as well as the hologram gallery. The Puzzling Place’s ‘World of Illusion’ is a fascinating, fun and social excursion into the wonderful world of optical illusion, which will leave you quite literally, not believing your eyes!  
The World of Beatrix Potter
The World of Beatrix Potter
View website The World of Beatrix Potter is a unique experience. All 23 Peter Rabbit tales are brought to life in three-dimensions, in a magical indoor recreation of the Lake District countryside, complete with sights, sounds and even smells! There is also the chance to find out more about the fascinating life of Beatrix Potter with the Tale of Mrs. Heelis presentation and take a walk in her footsteps with the Beatrix Potter Virtual Walks. With a calendar of events throughout the year there is always something new.  
Thornthwaite Galleries
Thornthwaite Galleries
View website For thirty five years Thornthwaite Galleries has been a country gallery and a true centre of excellence for artists wanting to exhibit the very best. The changing exhibits over the years have responded to the subtle shifts in cultural expectations which inevitably takes place from season to season and continues to reflect the ever evolving tastes of the contemporary market. The Gallery now displays the work of over 130 exhibitors, many from Cumbria and the North West.  
Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum
Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum
View website The Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum is situated three miles east of Keswick, in the heart of the breathtaking Lake District in Cumbria. The quarry and museum have been lovingly run by our knowledgeable and dedicated staff for more than ten years, and the site continues to expand through the dedication of the staff and volunteers. The museum offers activities for all the family, from budding geologists to hopeful prospectors.  
Townend - historic Lakeland house
Townend - historic Lakeland house
View website A real Lakeland hidden treasure set in the beautiful village of Troutbeck, this 17thC solid stone and slate house sits imposingly on the hillside, its huge chimneys typical of the area. The Brownes lived here for generations, a wealthy, hardworking family, who loved wood carving, books and furniture, and collected them in this homely place. See fascinating kitchen and domestic tools, along with period clothing and the cosy servants' rooms. Our children's trail brings it all to life.  
Trotters World of Animals
Trotters World of Animals
View website A world of wildlife with over 100 species living in a spacious park setting. Enjoy keeper presentations, bird of prey flying displays, reptile encounters not to mention the heated play area and cafe. With animals ranging from antelope to zebra it is a fascinating day out for young and old.  
Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery
Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery
View website Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery houses considerable collections of fine and decorative art, human history and natural sciences.  It also boasts a wide range of  exhibitions and events, brought together in one impressive museum and art gallery. A fusion of old and new awaits you, from the beautiful Old Tullie House, a classical Grade One Listed Jacobean building to the Border Galleries, full of exciting exhibits and interactive displays. There is something for everyone at Tullie House.  
Ullswater Steamers
Ullswater Steamers
View website Ullswater 'Steamers' create the perfect opportunity to combine a lake cruise with some of the most famous and spectacular walks in the Lake District. With miles of bridleways linked by 'Steamer' routes there are so many opportunities for exploring the area or simply relax and enjoy the glory of nature through the seasons.  
Upfront Gallery
Upfront Gallery
View website Upfront gallery has changing exhibitions throughout the year. There is a shop selling ceramics, jewellery, cards and gifts. A restaurant serving a wide selection of vegetarian meals, snacks and home-made cakes. The puppet theatre is open during Easter, August and December.  
Walby Farm Park
Walby Farm Park
View website A high quality, award-winning, all-weather farm visitor attraction with Cumbria's largest indoor play area, outdoor play area, pedal go-karts and tractors, nature trail, mini Land Rovers, barrel train ride, many animal friends, cafe, gift shop and part room too!  
Whinlatter Forest Park
Whinlatter Forest Park
View website One of the Forestry Commission's oldest forests, offering year-round activities for all the family. Several way-marked walks can be followed from the visitor centre, along with orienteering routes, a high-wire ropes course, nature trails and children's adventure playground. The Visitor Centre has a live webcam link to the osprey nest for close-up views of osprey family life during the breeding season (April-August).  
Windermere Lake Cruises
Windermere Lake Cruises
View website Windermere is England's largest lake, in the heart of the Lake District. We offer cruises from 45 minutes to 3 hours - or you can even spend all day on and around the lake with our fantastic 'Freedom of the Lake'.  
Wordsworth House and Garden
Wordsworth House and Garden
View website Visit poet William's childhood home and meet some of the Wordsworth household. Find out what life was like for the family and their servants and hear about the Cumbrian market town in the 1770s. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the working 18th-century kitchen and discover how they cooked their home-grown produce. Listen to the harpsichord, play with the children's toys, dress up in replica costume and watch as skilled masons restore the garden's flood damaged walls and terrace. Join in the hands-on activities, listen to a ten-minute talk, or just watch from a distance and stroll around in your own time.