Art Holiday Travel and Vacation information for Cumbria

A maritime and border county of England, having the counties of Dumfries and Roxburgh on the north, Northumberland and Durham on the east, Westmorland and Lancashire on the south, the Irish Sea on the west, and the Solway Firth on the NW.; length, NE. and SW., 75 miles; extreme breadth, E. and W., 45 miles; average breadth, 22 miles; coast line, about 75 miles; area, 970,161 acres, population 250,647. The coast on the Solway is low and sandy, but on the Irish Sea it is lofty and rugged; chief promontory, St Bees Head. In the NW. the country is open and flat; it is watered by the Eden and other streams, and consists chiefly of verdant meadows and good arable land. From this plain the surface rises towards the east and south into a region with deep defiles or dales, which form the mountainous district of "The Lakes,". Coal and iron are extensively worked in the west, the coalfield stretching from the neighbourhood of Whitehaven to that of Maryport. Numerous blast furnaces are constantly at work. Plumbago or black lead is obtained in considerable quantities near Keswick. Slate, limestone, and sandstone are abundant. Copper, cobalt, antimony, manganese, and gypsum are also found. Owing to the general elevation of the land, and the moisture of the climate, the cultivation of the soil is less attended to than the rearing of sheep and cattle. The dairy produce is very considerable. Woollen manufactures are carried on to some extent at Carlisle and some other places The County comprises 5 wards, 208 parishes, the parliamentary and municipal borough of Carlisle (1 member), and the parliamentary borough of Whitehaven (1 member). It is mostly in the diocese of Carlisle. For parliamentary purposes it is divided into 4 divisions, viz., Northern or Eskdale, Mid or Penrith, Cockermouth, and Western or Egremont, 1 member for each division.
From Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887.

England's highest mountains and most beautiful scenery, with outstanding access to the countryside, excellent places to stay in, and masses of interesting places to visit, for all ages There's tremendous variety among the lakes and hills around them. Windermere, the longest and busiest lake, has always been a general favourite; it's picturesquely dotted with villas built by Victorian magnates, and has masses of accommodation on its east side.
The famous Lake District, in the heart of Cumbria, is one of England's major tourist areas with its breathtaking panorama of lakes, mountains and forests, attracting walkers, climbers and boating enthusiasts from all over the country. Apart from these physical activities, the area has rich literary connections ranging from the Lakeland Poets, Coleridge, Southey and Wordsworth, whose home, Dove Cottage at Grasmere, is open to the public, through John Ruskin and Hugh Walpole to the famous children's authors Arthur Ransome and Beatrix Potter who lived and worked at Near Sawrey in a house now housing a museum dedicated to her.

The main centre for tourist activity is Lake Windermere, the largest of the lakes, some ten miles long and a mile wide, while the old market town of Keswick, on Derwent Water below the towering Skiddaw mountain, is regarded as the northern capital of the area. Other notable features include Wast Water, the deepest lake at 250ft, overlooked by Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England at 3,206ft, Grizedale Forest, with its unique art and crafts centre, the Ruskin Museum at Coniston where a 19th century steam yacht still crosses Coniston Water, the Laurel & Hardy Museum at Ulverston, where Stan Laurel was born, and a wealth of scenic locations. These include Buttermere, the Langdale Pikes, Hardknott Pass, Ullswater, Rydal Water and Grange Over Sands, a busy resort with magnificent views southwards over Morecambe Bay. Contrasting features of the west coast are to be found in the Ravenglass & Eskdale narrow gauge railway, dating from the 19th century, and the Sellafield Visitors Centre, giving a fascinating insight into the world of nuclear power. Further north Carlisle, the county town, retains its 12th century castle and a number of other ancient buildings recalling the town's turbulent past as a Border settlement. The Tullie House Museum traces Carlisle's history back to Roman times when it formed part of Hadrian's defences.


Ullswater approaches the grandeur of Scottish lochs, and has some excellent (if not cheap) places to stay right by the lake shore; Buttermere and Crummock Water also have scenery on the grand scale, perhaps without quite matching Ullswater's scenic perfection. Derwent Water wavers charmingly between highland and lowland in flavour, and its islands and manageable proportions make it a favourite for idle boating as well as for bankside strolls. Coniston Water, quite well wooded, also appeals to both boaters and walkers, with some fine views - in some ways it's a junior version of Windermere, smaller and quieter.

Wast Water, England's deepest lake, is austere, surrounded by towering screes. Bassenthwaite is altogether gentler, lowland in feel. Some much smaller lakes, notably Grasmere, Rydal Water and Elterwater, are idyllic. The most beautiful landscapes are concentrated thickly around the central area, especially around Ambleside and Windermere. Both places are quite intensively developed for visitors and very busy indeed in summer; Keswick too has lots going on for all ages. These parts really come into their own at quieter times of year - you need a degree of peace and quiet to enjoy the beauty of the delicious central area between Windermere and Grasmere.

The National Trust controls over a quarter of the land in the Lake District National Park. So preservation of and access to the countryside here is first-class (and it's an area where membership of the Trust really pays off in terms of free admission). The best coastal scenery is around Morecambe Bay in the south. The west coast is untouristy, with miles of unfrequented beaches (as well as some run-down looking places - and the big nuclear power plant at Seascale, which has an excellent visitor centre). There are lots of interesting places to visit, including a great many good craft shops. We'd recommend a look at Hawkshead, Troutbeck and Cartmel, and among the many other places of interest we'd pick out the great houses and impressive gardens of Holker Hall at Cark-in-Cartmel, Levens Hall and Sizergh Castle (all in the south), Muncaster Castle in the west, and, towards the North, Dalemain House at Dacre, friendly Mirehouse near Bassenthwaite, and Hutton-in-the-Forest at Skelton. Many of these are given special charm by a degree of intimacy and personal contact that's missing from many places further south - and this is particularly true of smaller houses, such as Townend at Troutbeck, or those connected with literary figures.

The Wordsworth trail at Grasmere and Rydal is heavily trodden in summer, but extremely well managed (the Wordsworth Trust here is among two dozen out-of-London museums designated in 1997 as outstanding by the Heritage Secretary); specially rewarding at quieter times. Ravenglass has a fine steam railway. The Maryport Steamships, now volunteer-run, are intriguing; and Whitehaven's heritage centre, the Beacon, is fascinating for anyone with a weather obsession - all too easy to acquire in Lakeland. Cumbria is very good territory for children who get a kick out of doing outdoor things. Families who need more in the way of amusements laid on have tended to enjoy other areas more, but the growing list of enjoyable family attractions here is now reaching a level where there's really plenty to keep most children entertained. Some very good places (which many adults like too) are the Lakeside Aquatarium, well organised farm centres at Morland, Southwaite and Bassenthwaite, the wildlife parks at Dalton in Furness and Milnthorpe, the very cheery sheep centre near Cockermouth, and perhaps the vast collection of reptiles at Amazonia in Bowness. Many young children very much enjoy the Beatrix Potter centre in Windermere, and the Lowther Leisure Park at Hackthorpe will keep most amused for the best part of a full day. There's an excellent choice of places to stay, many of which serve really good food. We have gone out of our way to recommend places that are strong on peace and quiet; there's a splendid range of styles and prices.

Rupert Belfrage, Potter
I make functional pottery, that is aesthetic and pleasing to the eye. I accept commissions and have pleasure in showing you examples of my work within my website. I work from my studio in the Lune valley producing Studio Pottery that reflects the diverse influences from my travels, especially Japanese ceramics.

2 Vicarage Lane
Cumbria England
Lune valley, Japanese ceramics, Millstone Plates, functional pottery, pottery, ceramics,

The Judy Boyes Studio
The Judy Boyes Studio can be found in the village of Elterwater, Langdale, close to the Britannia Inn. The gallery has a permanent, changing exhibition of originals with over 200 limited edition prints on display; the largest single collection of Judy Boyes' work. Prints are also available unframed, by mail order. At her site you may view all of Judy's current prints, as well as some highly acclaimed award winners.

Crag House
Cumbria England
- The Judy Boyes Studio

Rothay Manor Hotel
Rothay Manor is an elegant Regency country house hotel, with a well known restaurant, in the heart of the Lake District. Run by the Nixon family for over 35 years, it combines well appointed bedrooms with a relaxed atmosphere.

The English Lake District
Cumbria England
- Rothay Manor Hotel

The Dalkeith Guest House
Mik and Fedella welcome you to the Dalkeith - a beautiful stone-built Lakeland Bed & Breakfast Guest House set in the Cumbrian market town of Keswick in the heart of the Lake District National Park. The atmosphere here is of a small friendly country guest house, rather than a formal hotel. After all, Dalkeith is our home, and you are our guests!


1 Leonard Street
Cumbria England
- The Dalkeith Guest House

Luxury Self Catering Accommodation for 10 people in the Lake District
We present a beautiful rural property newly available for holiday lets.
The house can accommodate up to 10 people in comfort surrounded by dramatic scenery. If peace, tranquility and comfort are high on your list of holiday priorities, then FME will suit your needs perfectly.If you want to enjoy classic mountain walks with gorgeous scenery and breath-taking views, then you can do so right from the doorstep. You do not even need your car to enjoy miles & miles of unspoilt countryside.

Far Moor End Ennerdale Bridge
Cumbria England
Self Catering Accommodation, 10 people, Rural Accommodation, Lake District National Park, Ennerdale, near Lake, near pub, near village, near coast, near beach - Luxury Self Catering Accommodation for 10 people in the Lake District