Coast’s Choice: Cumbria

Our journey up the west coast of England has reached its peak, as this week we’re investigating the beautiful county of Cumbria. The home of the Lake District is one of Britain’s most popular tourist destinations and has inspired poets, musicians and naturalists alike.

In addition to offering fresh air, country walks and breathtaking scenery, Cumbria has many cultural hot spots. Here are some of Coast’s recommended places to visit.

Beatrix Potter Gallery

This National Trust property showcases many original watercolours and paintings created by the renowned children’s author Beatrix Potter. Although Potter was born and raised in London, her family regularly holidayed in Cumbria and she moved to the county after marrying solicitor William Heelis in 1913 to become a farmer.

The 17th century house in which her artwork is displayed was once Heelis’ office and the gallery also contains information about the couple’s life in the area. Entry costs £4.80 for adults and £2.40, please note the gallery is closed on Fridays. Click here to find out more.

Nearest caravan site: 0.4 miles

The Rheged Centre

Europe’s largest grass covered building hosts a wealth of family activities and local culture. Its nine independent shops offer unique clothing, trinkets, gifts and sweets, while there is a store dedicated to stocking items made in Cumbria including accessories, pottery and candles.

The Rheged Centre is also a great place for energetic youngsters to let off some steam courtesy of an outdoor playground and indoor soft play centre. There is also a 3D cinema screen, pottery painting centre and regular shows and exhibitions on science, arts and crafts.

Parking is free at the centre and there are a number of on-site cafés and restaurants including the Taste Food Bar, which uses local ingredients and cooks all dishes from fresh in front of its customers. Visit the official website for more information about all the services and entertainment available.

Nearest caravan site: 3.6 miles

Theatre by the Lake

Culture vultures will adore this Keswick gem; a year-round professional theatre presenting an acclaimed programme of performing arts. The building itself is situated on a lakeside overlooking the Western Fells, Derwentwater and Borrowdale, and has a traditional Lakeland exterior made from local slate, stone and roughcast.

The theatre seats an audience of up to 400 people, along with a 100 person studio for more intimate performances. Productions range from comedy to classics, with a six play repertoire during the summer along with a family-friendly Christmas programme. Click here for the full programme of events.

Nearest caravan site: 2.6 miles

Tullie House

Hadrian’s Wall is one of north England’s greatest historical treasures, and you can uncover the mysteries behind it with a visit to Tullie House. The journey begins with exhibitions and artefacts on Roman occupation and Celtic life in Cumbria, before travelling through time to the Civil War, Middle Ages and finally the Edwardian era.
Many art fans also visit Tullie House for its impressive collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and drawings, alongside work from the next generation of creative talents. Nature lovers, meanwhile, can enjoy the museum’s wildlife gallery, Cumbrian mineral crystals and regular exhibitions on the region’s geography and geology.
Tullie House is open seven days a week with tickets priced at £5.20 for adults and £0.50 for children. Click here to find out more. Nearest caravan site: 4.2 miles

Ullswater Steamers

What better way to  take in Cumbria’s beautiful surroundings than a cruise around the beautiful Ullswater lake? Ullswater Navigation & Transit Co Ltd have been ferrying passengers across the water since 1859, although these days their steamboat fleet has been converted to oil or diesel power in order to run tourist trips. 

Sightseers will board one of the company’s four vessels – either the 19th century Raven, 20th century Western Belle and Lady Wakefield or the former Guernsey sea vessel Lady Dorothy – to travel between Glenridding, Pooley Bridge and Howtown. A single journey takes between 35 and 65 minutes, while a round trip through the Lake Pass lasts 140 minutes. Light refreshments are served aboard the steamer, while passengers can alight at stops along the journey to enjoy a country walk or a village pub lunch!

Fares cost from £9.50 return for adults and £4.75 for children. For more information visit the website.

Nearest caravan site: 0.1 miles (Glenridding)

Caravanners heading to Cumbria or anywhere else in the UK – and beyond! – this summer can make sure their caravan is protected by taking out a dedicated insurance policy. Coast offers comprehensive touring caravan insurance and motorhome insurance; to find out more call our sales team on Freephone 0800 614 849 or visit our Quotation Page.