Sights in Penrith
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Penrith's name derives from an old Celtic word meaning 'red fell', and the area's crimson sandstone is clear to see in many of the town's buildings, including its parish church. Legend has it that a great giant (the 'rightful king of all Cumbria') is buried in the churchyard, but the stone pillars marking his grave are actually the weathered remains of Celtic crosses.
Opposite the train station are the remains of Penrith's 14th-century castle, built by William Strickland (later Bishop of Carlisle and Archbishop of Canterbury) and expanded by Richard III to resist Scottish raids, one of which razed the town in 1345. It's now largely ruined, although some of the original walls are still standing.
Cunningly disguised as a Lakeland hill 2 miles west of Penrith, this visitor centre houses a large-screen Imax cinema and an exhibition on the history and geology of Cumbria. There's also a large retail hall selling Cumbrian foodstuffs and souvenirs, and local celeb chef Peter Sidwell has recently reinvented the menu at the centre's cafe.
The frequent X4/X5 bus stops at the centre.