Best things to see and do in Cumbria including top Lake District spots

If it’s a cosy weekend in the picturesque British countryside that you’re after, then Cumbria could just fit the bill.

After all, the breathtaking region is famously home to the epic Lake District , not to mention its rolling green hills, riverside walks and incredible views make for a pretty unforgettable stay.

But it’s not just the landscape that keeps wowing visitors. Amidst all of the greenery you’ll also find charming, quintessentially British towns, as well as a host of landmarks from towering castles to beautiful cathedrals.

With so much on offer it can be difficult to narrow it down, so we’ve done the leg work for you and picked some of our favourite sights and spots you won’t want to miss.

Check out our top 10 picks below…

1. Lake Windermere, Cumbria

Lake Windermere

This breathtaking lake is a sight to behold in itself, but wander along the trails and you’ll find everything from picturesque villages to awe-inspiring mountains.

Families should also head to Bowness-on-Windermere, home to The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction where you’ll find plenty of displays and fun activities based on the author’s beloved works including Peter Rabbit.


2. Ullswater, Cumbria


The second largest lake in the English Lake District, Ullswater is ideal for those who want to take to the water with a range of boat tours and water sports on offer, although if you’re heading in the summer months you may want to book ahead to beat the crowds.


3. Coniston Water, Cumbria

Coniston Water

Coniston Water is one of the larger lakes in the region, with plenty of boat tours and themed lakeside trails on offer.

For something a little different, check out the National Trust’s elegant Victorian Steam Yacht Gondola which sails along the waters and boasts some opulent interiors.

Hikers and ramblers may want to base themselves in Coniston village which offers easy access to the Tilberthwaite Slate quarries, as well as a host of trails which include stops right by some the area’s top highlights.

4. Brougham Castle

Brougham Castle

This former Medieval castle is a must-visit for any history fans. The English Heritage site‘s buildings from the gatehouse and ‘Tower of League’ continue to stand tall, while you’ll find plenty of passages to explore.

The castle also offers the ideal lunch spot as they accept family picnics, not to mention there’s a café, shop and toilets. The castle also features on a host of walking trails so it’s ideal for hikers looking for a place to rest a little.


5. Carlisle Cathedral

Carlisle Cathedral


Having stood on the English border with Scotland for almost 900 years, this cathedral offers up plenty of history, not to mention the building itself is stunning.

One of the smaller cathedrals in Britain, there’s still plenty to see from the stained glass windows to the incredible ceiling decorated like a night sky.

The cathedral is still in use today, but you can find details of the best time to visit on the cathedral’s website.

6. King Arthur’s Round Table, Cumbria

King Arthur’s Round Table


Obviously, we’re not talking about the actual table featuring in the legends of King Arthur.

What you will see though is a pretty eye-catching neolithic henge that’s well worth a visit although you may want to include it as part of an itinerary rather than making a full day out of it.

The henge features on plenty of trails including a walk by the Eden Rivers Trust, so you can include it as part of a wider adventure through the Cumbrian landscape.

7. Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg stone circle

If Stonehenge has always been on your bucket list but you can’t face the summer crowds, then Castlerigg could be the next best thing. 

As well as the quirky stone circle, you’ll also get treated to incredible panoramic views of the Helvellyn and High Seat mountains.

8. Yorkshire Dales, Cumbria

Yorkshire Dales


There’s so much to see and do in the Yorkshire Dales, and with a plethora of cosy cottages, chic B&Bs and luxury hotels to choose from, it’s ideal if you’re considering a long walking weekend.

Think heaps of different trails to suit every fitness level, whether you’re after a leisurely morning stroll or want a more substantial hike.

9. Rydal Mount, Cumbria

Rydal Mount is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes


The famous poet William Wordsworth lived here in the 1800s, and when you see the views from the house it’s not difficult to see where he got his inspiration from.

Nowadays you can visit the property from the family bedrooms to the attic study used by the poet, as well as plenty of portraits, personal possessions and even first editions of his work.

10. Wray Castle

Wray Castle


Run by the National Trust, this breathtaking 19th century castle makes for a fun family day out with plenty of turrets and towers to explore, as well as a dedicated play area for children.

There are guided tours and talks on offer for those who want to learn more about the history of the property, or you can wander the grounds and take in the surroundings for yourself.

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