Top Ten Cumbria

Cumbria offer a wealth of great holiday options from the beautiful Lake District to the stunning coastline. The area has an incredible history and some of the most beautiful rural towns and communities in the country. With that in mind we take a look at the top ten things to do in Cumbria.

10. Learn to sail

With so many lakes and so many sailing schools we can hardly avoid having this on our top ten. The lakes are the perfect places for ball levels of sailors and you can get classes to get you sailing in no time. This is one of our favourite ways to explore the Lakes and a great place to leave your kids while you explore other more interesting sites. As part of the top ten things to do in Cumbria this is a must for anyone with an inclination for adventure or who just wants to get up close with the majestic lakes.

9. Old man of Coniston

The Old man of Coniston is not for the unfit or the faint of heart but it is one of the best walks on offer in the Lake District with the added bonus of ruins at the top. The Old Man is really a large hill (mountain – you have been warned) and the tourist path itself is fairly challenging. The view however is absolutely stunning with some of the best views of the lakes and hills on offer anywhere in the Lake District.

8. Grasmere

Grasmere is a literary gem of a place set beautifully against forests and a picturesque lake. Dove cottage here was the home of Wordsworth who called the area “The loveliest spot man hath ever found” and with good reason it is absolutely picture perfect. Nearby you can also explore the Wordsworth museum and immerse yourself fin the works and life of one of England’s foremost poets.

7. Explore the villages

The villages are one of our favourite things to do in Cumbria. They are absolutely exquisite with medieval town centres, rich histories, quaint churches and beautiful architecture. Cumbrian cottages line these quiet places and you can feel completely isolated  sitting in country pubs by the Lakes or between stunning forests and the towering fells. The beer and food on offer is fantastic and there are plenty of walks between towns and villages that let you explore ruined abbeys and deserted fortifications.

6. Holker Hall

Holker hall is a stunning stately home with plenty on offer for all tastes and interests. The stately home itself is magnificent with incredible gardens and stunning interior design. It is really a showcase for everything great about the county with the gardens offering a diverse mixture of flora and fauna that is incredible at any time of the year. Holker hall is also home to a brilliant motor museum with some exceptionally rare cars and beautiful classics for any motoring enthusiast. The hall also has a renowned restaurant and café that are well worth visiting and dining at in the day and evening.

5. Carlisle Castle

Carlisle castle is one of the most famous castles in England thanks to the imprisonment of Mary Queen of Scots here in 1568 and the battles that were fought here during the English civil war and the 1745 Jacobite uprising. The castle was built in the 11th centure by William the second and is a sprawling well preserved site well worth exploring extensively.

4. Helvellyn

Helvellyn is the 3rd highest peak in England standing at an incredible 950 metres above sea level. Again this is of course not one for the faint of heart but the tourist path is fairly accessible – just bring warm gear and plenty of fluids. The views from the top are incredible but even walking half way to the bowl shaped lake is an incredible experience and offers some stunning views. In the winter  the peak is capped with deep snow but in the summer the rugged summit attracts lots of climbers and more expert hikers.

3. Muncaster Castle

Muncaster castle is renowned as on eof the best family attractions in England and offers a host of activities and interesting sights beyond the castle itself. However, the castle itself is incredible with its high walls and beautiful keep that contains a whole host of fantastic historical artifacts. The castle’s great hall is incredible, the tapestry room is beautiful and the library makes us drool at the beauty of the books (though not on them of course). The setting and the grounds are equally impressive with the castle being set between the Lake District on one side and the Irish Sea on the other – giving it a dramatic and purely natural setting. The grounds are home to 70 acres of immaculate Himalayan gardens, a “Meadow Vole” Maze and the World Owl Centre. The owl centre alone is worth the trip if you’re taking your kids and the rare and beautiful birds are majestic.

2. See all the lakes

This might seem trite or obvious but the Lake District really is the best draw of the area and the lakes all have their own charms and idiosyncrasies. Ulswater is brilliant for its steam ship tours and its beautiful scenery.  Windermere is simply stunning and the best place to sail in the county. Coniston is tranquil and quiet with beautiful little islands set in an incredibly deep valley. Wastwater has the most incredible view and so little human influence it feels like it’s been lost in time. Each lake is well worth exploring in its own right and we’d recommend seeing them all on your trip.

1. Walk Cumbria

Maybe this is too obvious for first place in our top ten things to do in Cumbria but in all honesty it’s the best draw of the area. Walking is at its finest here and there are countless places to explore and enjoy during your stay. Walking around the Lake District is fantastic with the fells, mountains and Lakeland paths providing countless hours of entertainment and options for all levels of ability and skill. The coastline is also incredible with beautiful cliffs and lovely beach towns and seaside resorts. There’s a walk for everyone here and it’s the best way to immerse yourself fin everything Cumbria has to offer.


Well that concludes our top ten things to do in Cumbria and we hope you’ve now got plenty of ideas for your next visit. If you need help on where to stay then we recommend the beautiful Cumbria cottages that litter the Lake District or the stunning camping grounds that lie at their shores. There’s B&B’s and beautiful hotels to enjoy as well with something for everyone being at the heart of Cumbrian tourism. Have a fantastic holiday and come back soon.