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Towns of the Lake District & Cumbria

On this pageAmbleside, Barrow in Furness, Coniston, Grange-over-Sands, Grasmere, Kendal, Keswick, Newby Bridge, Patterdale, Penrith, Whitehaven, Windermere and Bowness on Windermere

also see the Tourist Information Centres and websites listings page

Ambleside – A popular tourist town at the northern end of Lake Windermere. It has the facilities that you would expect for tourists and those seeking outdoor activities, with a wide range of accommodation and eating places on offer. Its position makes it an ideal base to explore the area with road access to Keswick and the Northern Lakes, to Ullswater via the Kirkstone Pass and locally to Windermere, Grasmere, Hawkshead and Coniston. There is also a ferry service from Waterhead Pier to Bowness and Lakeside. There are many walks from Ambleside for those with good boots and plenty of energy! – websites with local tourist info,,

Barrow in Furness – An industrial town outside the Lake District National Park situated on the East coast of Cumbria at the northern end of Morecambe Bay. Its Dock Museum is one of the areas top attractions. Travel to by Barrow by train end enjoy a scenic railway journey along the Furness Line with spectacular views across Morecambe Bay and the Kent Estuary. The town is also known for its shipbuilding – being home to BAE Systems submarine building. – local council website (tourist info)

Coniston – The village of Coniston is a popular centre for walkers and climbers. Situated at the northern end of Coniston Water the village welcomes tourists but is not an overly commercialised tourist centre. The basics are available with the addition of the local brewery which I can testify produces a fine beverage for the thirsty traveller. Coniston has a number of notable names associated with it including Ruskin, who lived by the lake, his home “Brantwood” and can be seen as it was in his time, and nearby the National Trust operate a Steam Yacht Gondola from Coniston pier there is also the Coniston Launch with scheduled cruises. – websites with local tourist info,,

Grange-over-Sands – A tourist seaside town on the Cartmel peninsula looking out across Morecambe Bay. It is a quiet and traditional resort favoured by those looking to relax and take things at a slower pace. – websites with local tourist info,

Grasmere the village sits at the northern end of Grasmere lake, it is one of those villages that is very tourist centred, it can be a little crowded in the high season but well worth a visit. It also makes an excellent place to make your base for exploring the Lake District as it is quite central as well as very picturesque. Attractions include two of William Wordsworth’s homes ” Dove Cottage” and “Rydal Mount” – websites with local tourist info,,

Kendal – the southern gateway to the Lake District, just off the M6 it is an old market town and historically was an important regional centre. For those who intend to explore the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, or those that enjoy a little retail therapy, this makes an excellent place to base yourself. Attractions include the Museum of Lakeland Life, the 12th century Kendal Castle and the Quaker Tapestry Exhibition Centre & Tearooms It also of course is the home of Kendal Mint Cake. – websites with local tourist info,

Keswick – A market town and tourist centre for the northern lakes. the town is situated at the northern end of Derwent Water. It depends heavily on tourism and is well set up to cater for the tourists needs, with plenty of accommodation and eating places as well as a good selection of shops (many outdoor and activity orientated) The main shopping street is traffic free with lots of tempting small shops and there is a traditional street market. Take a boat trip on Derwentwater with the Keswick Launch Company or why not see the Theatre by the Lake – websites with local tourist info,

Newby Bridge – This village can be found at the southern end of Lake Windermere. The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway runs steam trains to Haverthwaite. Boats from Bowness and Waterhead call at Lakeside Pier. There is also the Lakes Aquarium showing the underwater life of the area. Newby Bridge has a number of hotels and makes a good base for exploring the Sothern Lakes and Furness peninsula.

Patterdale village is situated just to the south of Ullswater, it is also close to Helvellyn and so is a popular base for exploring the area. For its size it manages to cater for the walkers, climbers and day trippers that visit, with a selection of eating places and accommodation. – websites with local tourist info,

Penrith – The northern gateway to the Lake District, close to Ullswater it is a busy market town and shopping centre. The town has the ruins of two castles and some fine old buildings. The Tourist Information Centre and Museum are located in the former Robinson’s School, an Elizabethan building. Tourists are well catered for though the town is not entirely dependant on tourism. – websites with local tourist info,

Whitehaven – a Georgian laid out harbour town which now has a popular marina, it has its history in shipping and mining. Much of the town was developed by the Lowther family and their residence ‘The Castle’ is an impressive building. The 140 mile long C2C Cycle Route begins in the town and winds its way across the country to the East coast at Tynemouth. The most popular tourist attraction is The Beacon – a modern museum / gallery / exhibition space – there is also The Rum Story and the Haig Colliery Mining Museum
websites with local tourist info

Windermere and Bowness on Windermere – Bowness with its lake shore views and water based attractions has been popular with visitors from Victorian times, boat trips around the lake are just as popular today. Windermere also reflects the Victorian popularity with many of its buildings being from this period. Today the two towns provide a centre for tourists with all the facilities the modern traveller expects. To many Windermere is the Lake District, it is makes a good base to explore the southern lakes and villages such as Ambleside, Coniston, Grasmere, Hawkshead, Newby Bridge etc. – websites with local tourist info,

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Ambleside, Barrow in Furness, Coniston, Grange-over-Sands, Grasmere, Kendal, Keswick, Newby Bridge, Patterdale, Penrith, Whitehaven, Windermere and Bowness on Windermere


Return to the top of the page              Last updated Dec 31st 2012
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