Cumbria

Cumbria is a county in the North West of England. Its most famous tourist attraction is the Lake District National Park.

Cities

Map of Cumbria

Cities

Towns

Villages

Other Destinations

Understand

This modern county was formed in local government reforms in the 1970s, and comprises the traditional counties of Cumberland (to the north and the west), Westmorland (to the east), and parts of Lancashire (to the south). Geographically, it is dominated by the Lake District at its centre, England's only true mountain range that presents a natural barrier to travel across the county.

To the west of the county, the towns of Workington and Whitehaven lie on a disused coalfield, which in the last twenty years has led to relatively high unemployment and low property values. Farther south, along the coast, are the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant and the shipbuilding town of Barrow-in-Furness.

To the east lies the Eden Valley and the western slopes of the Pennine Hills.

To the north is a low-lying plain containing the border city of Carlisle before the Solway Firth forms the natural border with Scotland.

Talk

Isolated by its geography, the inhabitants developed a strong regional accent and language commonly called 'Westmerian' after the former county name of Westmorland. The region's main language was Cumbric (Cwmbraích in Cumbric) until about 1100 AD, which was a Brythonic Celtic language very similar to Welsh and, to an extent, Lowland Scots Gaelic (Gàidhealig). Today, Cumbric no longer exists as a spoken language but has been reconstructed in various forms in the past with limited success at taking off. Norse also became a main language after Cumbric, to be eventually replaced by English although Cumbrian English still preserves a large number of Scandinavian words as well as a few Celtic ones.

Get in

By car

Motorway M6 from the North and South.

For the Lake District: Kendal is the main town to the South East (convenient for Windermere, Coniston etc.), Penrith is to the East, and Carlisle is to the North.

For Barrow and the West coast: Take A590 from junction 36 of the M6.

The motorway also provides access to the West side of the Pennines, and, from Carlisle, to Hadrian's Wall and to the North East corner of England.

By train

Cumbria is traversed North-South by the high speed West Coast Main Line. It skirts the eastern edge of the Lake district with stations at Oxenholme, Penrith and Carlisle. Fastest journey times from London are three hours to Carlisle.

Windermere station is most conveniently located for the Southern Lakes. The train from here travels to Oxenholme station on the main West Coast line. The Leeds-Settle-Carlisle line also links Cumbria to Yorkshire, as does the line from Leeds to Barrow via Hellifield.

The South and West Lakes is accessed by one of the most scenic railways in the country. Starting from Carnforth the line travels across the Lake District peninsulas by a series of impressive viaducts to Barrow in Furness. The Cumbria Coast line then travels via Millom to Whitehaven, and re-joins the West Coast Main line at Carlisle. At Foxfield the old market town of Broughton in Furness and the Duddon valley is accessible. From Millom northwards some of the most interesting of the western valleys can be seen and accessed from such as Drigg, Seascale and Ravenglass stations. Further north the line literally runs along the beach at Braystones and after a superb serpentine section next to the Irish Sea it passes through St Bees with its Heritage Coast and ancient priory, and thence to Whitehaven. The line then follows the coast to Maryport and thence to Carlisle via Aspatria and Wigton.

Do

Eat

Cumberland Sausages:One of the most famous traditional Cumbrian foods has to be the coiled Cumberland Sausage . The uniqueness of the Cumberland Sausage is that it is sold in a coils rather than by links. The sausage is also more heavily spiced than regular sausages.

Kendal Mint Cake

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Grasmere Gingerbread

Drink

Cumbria is home to 23 breweries and brew-pubs including The Bitter End Pub & Brewery in Cockermouth.

Damson Gin: the Lyth Valley is famous in Cumbria for damsons. Many pubs offer a locally made 'damson gin', which is particularly popular as a pre-dinner drink around Christmas.

Sleep

There is a huge range of accommodation available in Cumbria. See the individual city/town articles for listings.

Stay safe

A relatively quiet and rural county. As is usual in England, it's best to be wary around the centre of larger towns (such as Barrow-in-Furness, Workington and Carlisle) on weekend nights as they're prone to binge drinking culture.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 26, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.