Abbot Hall Art Gallery
Kendal LA9 5AL
This award-winning art gallery regularly displays some of the world’s best artists on the walls of this Georgian home. A gallery since 1962, its permanent collection houses stunning 18th and 19th century watercolours, including some by JMW Turner. However, it also has a broad selection of contemporary paintings, sculptures and prints.
Beckstones Art Gallery
Greystoke Ghyll, Penrith CA11 0UQ
This place has built a great reputation over more than 40 years by displaying work from some of the very best contemporary artists in the UK. Each artist with work on display here has been picked specifically by the gallery, meaning that the standard of art at Beckstones is second to none.
Castlegate House Gallery
Cockermouth CA13 9HA
This Georgian home in Cockermouth sells works by some of the best-known contemporary and 20th century artists in Britain, including Grayson Perry, Winifred Nicholson and Ken Howard. It’s also a major destination for ceramics fans, with studio pottery by Jim Malone, William Plumptre and Doug Fitch.
Meadowbank Farm Artist’s Studio
Meadowbank Farm, Curthwaite, Wigton CA7 8BG
A former cow byre, Meadowbank Farm Artist’s studio is home to Sue Glassford, a mixed-media artist strongly influenced by the stunning Northern landscape. Invited artists also exhibit in the studio alongside Sue, while some paintings are displayed in the farm house.
Northern Lights Gallery
22 St Johns Street, Keswick CA12 5AS
Cumbrian and Northern artists working in mixed media are promoted strongly at this Keswick-based gallery, while their collaboration with the Own Art 10-month interest-free payment plan scheme allows people to buy pieces more easily.
Treeby & Bolton
Lake Road, Keswick CA12 5BX
This Keswick art gallery spent the best part of a century as a china shop, but now also houses a selection of contemporary art and glasswork as well as unique bronzes, all of which sit cheek-by-jowl with eclectic items over three floors. Check out the exhibitions, which change constantly, for some inspiration.
Castle Street, Carlisle CA3 8TP
An extensive collection of fine and decorative art resides in Tullie House, much of which dates back to the 18th century onwards. Alongside classic works by Rossetti and William Morris are other items that reflect everyday life in and around Cumbria.
Penrith CA11 9TG
Celebrating 20 years since its creation in Penrith, husband and wife John and Elaine Parkinson attract locals and tourists to their gallery and its puppet theatre (you read that right). Local, national and international artists present their work at regularly changing exhibitions, while the coffee and gift shops are good places to spend a lazy afternoon.