Cumbria & the Lakes

Cunningly disguised as a Lakeland hill 2 miles west of Penrith, this visitor centre houses an IMAX cinema and temporary exhibitions. There's also a large retail hall selling Cumbrian foodstuffs and souvenirs. Local chef Peter Sidwell runs cooking classes and is also responsible for the cafe menu.

Its curious name comes from the ancient Celtic kingdom that covered much of what is now modern Cumbria.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cumbria & the Lakes attractions

1. Dalemain


Driving southwest along the A592 road from Penrith, you can't miss the striking salmon-pink facade of Dalemain, a mile from Ullswater's northern tip. With…

2. Penrith Castle

1.33 MILES

The ruins of Penrith Castle loom on the edge of town opposite the train station. Built in the 14th century by William Strickland (later Bishop of Carlisle…

3. St Andrews Church

1.65 MILES

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,…

4. Lowther Estate

3.16 MILES

This sprawling country estate once belonged to one of the Lake District's most venerable families and is currently undergoing a huge, multimillion-pound…

5. Howtown & Martindale

6.33 MILES

Ullswater's west side gets busy, but few people take the time to explore the lake's eastern side. The little hamlet of Howtown is perfect for an…

6. Gowbarrow Park & Aira Force

7.77 MILES

This rolling park stretches out across the lakeshore between Pooley Bridge and Glenridding. Well-marked paths lead up to the impressive 20m-high waterfall…

7. Castlerigg Stone Circle

13.12 MILES

Set on a hilltop a mile east of town, this jaw-dropping stone circle consists of 48 stones that are between 3000 and 4000 years old, surrounded by a…

8. Keswick Museum

14.49 MILES

Keswick's quirky town museum explores the area's history, from ancient archaeology through to the arrival of industry in the Lakes. It's a diverse…