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Off The Beaten Track - Explore Cumbria

Cumbria is one of the most beautiful regions of England and it's just waiting to be explored. A primarily rural county in the far north west, you'll be a stone's throw from Scotland when you visit. Famous for its beautiful lakes and mountainous fells, carved out long ago by glaciers, the Lake District is perfect for anyone who loves nature and the outdoors. It's a walker's paradise.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cumbria includes the Eden Valley, the North Pennines, the Furness Peninsula and a small part of the Yorkshire Dales! Let's see what will be waiting for you when you arrive in this picturesque county.

The Solway Coast - Alonby Bay

The Solway Coast is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it's not hard to see why. The coastline here is dominated by sand dunes and shingle beaches. They form a habitat for birds, often of the wading variety. The migration season takes place from February to late May, and the reverse happens in the autumn. The plant life is made up for alkaline loving plants which grow on calcium-rich sands, with heathers on the acidic areas. Nature lovers will be at home here. Teeming with wildlife and unusual plant varieties, it highlights the uniqueness of this landscape.

Buttermere

The Lake District is one of the biggest draws for those visiting Cumbria. We're highlighting one specific spot to explore. We have selected Buttermere lake, among the northern fells and commonly known at 'Buttermere'. It means 'the lake by the dairy pastures'. It is 1.24 miles long, 570 metres wide and 23 metres deep. Walking is one of the most popular activities here, because no vehicle will give you access to such stunning landscapes. A footpath runs round the perimeter of the lake, but if you're feeling more adventurous, you can walk to the summits of Haystacks and Red Pike.

Take a moment to sit and take in these sights and soak them in, because they are unique and magical.

Adventures With Dogs

Cumbria is very dog friendly, and the opportunities for walking with your canine companion are plentiful. The terrain of this county is wide and varied, so there will be something for dogs (and humans) of all ages and abilities. You could choose a route that encompasses a steam train ride. If you head for the Eskdale Valley, you can hop aboard the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. The heritage fleet of steam engines are dog friendly, and will provide you with a wonderful pitstop mid walk. The 7 mile route will take you to the foot of England's highest mountains.

Explore Pretty Villages

While the countryside is magnificent, so is the architecture in the pretty villages that dot the landscape in Cumbria. Head off to Kirkby Lonsdale, an unspoilt market town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Now full of independent shops, it is also bustling with restaurants, cafes and bars.  Home to the 14th century Devil's Bridge, as well as Ruskin's View, which inspired a painting by Turner in 1822. The poet John Ruskin declared 'I do not know in all my country, still less in France or Italy, a place more naturally divine'.

Pack Your Walking Boots!

Where do we start? There are so many opportunities for amazing walks. Whether you're an accomplished trekker, prefer a gentle stroll or are walking with young children there is something for everyone. Countryfile's 'Best Walks In Cumbria' provides you with lots of opportunities for well worn walking paths. However, there are opportunities to explore in different ways. Carlisle is a historic city with plenty of fascinating facts waiting to be explored. Join the Secret City walking tour at the front of the Old Town Hall and discover secret places and unexpected stories about the history of Carlisle.  The tours take place between July and September.

Hutton-in-the-Forest, Penrith

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Stepping away from the larger National Trust properties, we suggest Hutton-in-the-Forest. A 'Historic Houses' member, this is a smaller, independently owned property. Located on the northern edge of the Lake District, it has been owned by the same family since 1605, at which point it was already 250 years old. The unusual architecture is beautiful, and the gardens and woodland have been developed over centuries by the same family. Support independently owned historic properties by visiting this fantastic house and gardens.

Skye Farm Tea Room

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And finally, once you have exhausted yourselves and you're ready for some sustenance in an amazing location, head to Skye Farm Team Room in Buttermere. Their amazing reviews will encourage your to visit, but so will the delightful selection of cakes and beverages on offer. The perfect end to a busy day!

Accommodation in Cumbria

We hope you've enjoyed our suggestions of where to visit in Cumbria! If you're looking for somewhere to stay, we highly recommend the 5 star rated, award winning Green Acres Caravan Park just outside Carlisle. An adult only touring park, the team have been proudly offering accommodation for over 50 years to holiday makers looking for a place to relax, de-stress and enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside.