"My County" Top 5 Page for this destination Cumbria by nickandchris
Cumbria Travel Guide: 1,175 reviews and 3,099 photos
It's funny ,but for some reason I have only just got round to creating my Cumbria page, even though we live here. It could be that most of our photos are not digital and we haven't got round to scanning them yet.
I was born in Lancashire, in a small village called Ravenstown. This, and where we live now, Dalton, have long since become part of Cumbria with the re-shuffling of the boundaries and changing of county names. I like the idea of being a Cumbrian, it conjures up images of mountains, rivers and glorious countryside, although, in fact, there are industrial eyesores like any county. Nick always calls me a Lancastrian, as strictly speaking that's where I was born. I don't like the images Lanashire conjures up, industrial mill towns and factories but of course lots of Lancashire is beautiful countryside. What's in a name anyway? It's how you adapt to where you live. I would hate to live somewhere I didn't like.
Cumbria contains the old counties of Westmorland, Cumberland and parts of northern Lancashire and became the second largest county in England.
It is home to the ever popular Lake District National Park, with Sca Fell Pike (3206 ft.) being England's highest mountain and Lake Windermere it's longest natural lake at eight miles in length.
Most people who visit Cumbria do so for the Lake District and tend to concentrate on the central region, Bowness, Windermere, Ambleside, Coniston etc. Yes, these places are all very pretty but also very crowded and pricey and to me not the Real Cumbria.
Try West Cumbria, wihich is lower lying and not so dramatically rugged, falling from the mountains to the sea., with miles of sandy, shallow beaches and empty spaces. Here you will find work-a-day towns, slowly but surely being transformed from their industrial past into interesting alternatives from the more popular areas. Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport all have pleasant harbours and beaches nearby. Millom even has an RAF museum.
Sellafield,one of the largest nuclear engineering centres in the world, is now in the decommissioning stage and is on the shores of western Cumbria. It tries hard with it's customer/tourist relations by long ago opening a visitor centre with guided tours and hands on activities. Admission is free.
Penrith, Appleby and Kirkby Stephen are alternatives in Eastern Cumbria, Penrith being the better known.
Northern Cumbria is home to the county's capital, Carlisle, which is a busy commercial centre but attractive with it's castle ruins and fine buildings. From Carlisle it's a short hop over the border into Scotland. Near Carlisle, at Bowness on Solway, Hadrian's Wall begins (or ends.)
South Cumbria, our patch, is again little known with many interesting places to visit like the ancient priory village, Cartmel or Furness Abbey.
Also in the south are Kendal, Barrow, Kirkby Lonsdale and Sedbergh, to name a few towns.
Mining and quarrying have always played a large part in Cumbria's history, dating back probably to Roman times.Lead, copper, zinc, haematite and coal being amongst others. Nowadays, there are still working quarries, mainly slate but the scars still remain all around. Florence Mine, near Egremont, has been turned into a tourist attraction and the public are allowed down the mine,
Honistor Slate mines is another one open to the public.
In 2001 Cumbria was hit severely by the Foot and Mouth epidemic and many businesses in tourism, as well as the poor farmers, were devastated. The public were denied access to so many places in Cumbria that those in the tourist industry could no longer succeed with their ventures. Farmers are still recovering, ( those that didn't sell up) and it's nice to hear lambs once again. That was what really got to us, the silent, empty fields. We were so used to the sound of sheep and cattle, things we take for granted. It was very eerie, the silence in the countryside and not being able to walk where you wanted. Now, people are recovering gradually but it's an episode no-one would want to re-occur.
All in all, Cumbria is a brilliant place to live, with it's mountains, lakes, rivers and coast. You may find some of the more northern and western towns less pretty than the traditional Lake District villages, many still bear the brunt of industries collapsing and unemployment.is rife.Don't let this put you off. Natives are friendly, prices are cheaper and redundant industrial areas are being re-vamped to attract tourists.
The famous coast to coast walk starts in Cumbria, at St. Bees and ends on the east coast at Robin Hood's Bay.
Fishing, boating, swimming, watersports, not to forget mountain climbing, rock climbing, hiking, biking,.All these are on offer in Cumbria.
The M6 cuts through Cumbria in the south, from near Kendal , northwards to Carlisle with junctions to northern, western, eastern and southern extremities.
Trains connect with branch lines from the West Coast main line London - Glasgow. Absolutely no excuse not to visit!!!!
Other places I have covered in Cumbria are:
Ravenglass and Eskdale
Lake District National Park
TIPS FOR THIS PAGE WILL TEND TO BE ON LESSER KNOWN PLACES.
- Pros:Friendly people, 20 years behind the times.......need I say more?
- Cons:Tourists, poor access
- In a nutshell:Try the lesser known western parts, much quieter
This is in the north of the county and on a recent stay near Brampton, we took a look at Talkin Tarn. Our initial... more travel advice
Dent village is in Dentdale, on the western slopes of the Pennines in Yorkshire, but is actually a Cumbrian village... more travel advice
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