Explore Cumbria for a Great Day Out
Cumbria has lots to offer
Walby Farm Park
A must-visit for the whole family. Attractions include Cumbria’s biggest indoor play area, a working farm with lots of rare breeds to meet, mini go-karting, nature trails, mini quad bikes, a barrel train and a maize maze.
There are also plenty of activities for adults, such as the agility trail and grown-up go-karting, as well as the Curly Tails café, which serves some delicious locally-roasted coffees. One day simply won’t be long enough.
Walby Farm Park, Crosby-on-Eden, Carlisle 01228 573056 www.walbyfarmpark.co.uk
The Cumberland Pencil Museum
Explore the fascinating history of the not-so-humble pencil at The Cumberland Pencil Museum. Beginning in the year 1500, the exhibition allows visitors to learn more about the stationery staple, including how RAF pilots used pencils to guide them home safely during the war.
There are creative craft workshops in animation, cartoons, illustration and model making, as well as a specialist gift shop to browse and a riverside coffee shop, where you can indulge in a sticky bun and enjoy the views of Catbells.
The Cumberland Pencil Museum, Southey Works, Keswick 01768 773626 www.pencilmuseum.co.uk
A 16th century country house set in beautiful gardens and grounds, Swarthmoor Hall is a historic and peaceful place with a jam-packed programme of activities, such as journalling classes, teddy bears’ picnics and a 17th century garment-making workshop.
Top off your day with a slice of homemade cake and a pot of tea in the café before taking a stroll through the tranquil grounds, which look amazing whatever the season.
Swarthmoor Hall, Ulverston 01229 583204 www.swarthmoorhall.co.uk
The beautiful Rydal Mount was William Wordsworth’s beloved family home for most of his life. It was there that he wrote many of his poems and revised much of his earlier work, including his most famous poem ‘Daffodils’.
The house, which remains in Wordsworth’s family, still has a lived-in atmosphere. Visitors can explore the attic study he used for his work as poet laureate, and the house also contains portraits, personal possessions and some first editions of his work.
Wordsworth was also an avid landscape gardener and the four-acre garden surrounding the house remains as he designed it, featuring rock pools, rare shrubs and an ancient mound. Finish off your day with coffee and cake in the tearoom, which is located in the original saddlery.
Rydal Mount, Ambleside 01539 433002 www.rydalmount.co.uk
Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery
Housed in a classic Grade I listed Jacobean building, Tullie House is famous for its collections of fine and decorative art, human history and natural sciences.
There’s a changing programme of temporary exhibitions and events, and the main displays allow you to explore a variety of themes, such as wildlife of the Eden Valley and extensive local history.
Kids will especially love the hands-on exhibits, where they can fire a Roman weapon, climb a life-size section of Hadrian’s Wall or visit a badger’s sett.
Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Castle Street, Carlisle 01228 618718 www.tulliehouse.co.uk
Treeby & Bolton
Having been an iconic china shop for over 100 years, Treeby & Bolton is an Aladdin’s cave of home accessories, contemporary art and design-led interiors.
The destination spreads over three floors, including a shop, gallery and Treeby’s Gallery Café, which serves homemade cakes, light bites and Square Mile coffee.
Treeby & Bolton, Keswick 01768 772443 www.treebybolton.co.uk
Castlegate House Gallery
Having recently been taken over by new owners, Castlegate specialises in internationally renowned artists, such as Percy Kelly, Ken Howard and Sheila Fell.
The gallery is housed in a stunning Grade II listed building Castlegate House Gallery and is also home to a fantastic collection of British ceramics.
Cockermouth 01900 822149 www.castlegatehouse.co.uk
Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House
As well as a fabulous collection of art, Blackwell also houses a Craft and Book Shop, which stocks jewellery, leatherwear, textiles, ceramics, silver, glassware, wood and metalwork for the home, and an award-winning tearoom, where you can enjoy freshly prepared food on the terrace overlooking the Coniston Fells and Lake Windermere. It’s little wonder The Times voted it one of the top 50 places to eat al fresco.
Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere 01539 446139 www.blackwell.org.uk
The World of Beatrix Potter
Most of us need no introduction to Beatrix Potter’s lovable children’s stories, featuring Peter Rabbit and his woodland friends.
Potter was famously inspired by the Lake District and its natural beauty when writing the tales, and this attraction brings the stories and characters to life in the very same landscape.
Make sure to visit the Peter Rabbit garden, Jemima Puddle-Duck’s woodland glade, Mrs Tiggy-`winkle’s kitchen and Mr Tod’s underground home before heading to the gift shop and taking some of the Beatrix Potter magic home with you.
The World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness-on-Windermere 0844 504 1233 www.hop-skip-jump.com