Places To Visit / Things to do

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Stunning views and some of England's finest scenery provide a backdrop to the wide choice of attractions and things to do in the Lake District.  Take a trip around Cumbria and indulge yourself in quality food and drink from cosy Lake District pubs and inns to more formal restaurants.  For the more adventurous there are plenty of outdoor activities on offer from walking and cycling to rock climbing and abseiling.  If you prefer an amble around the shops and art galleries there is plenty to keep you entertained, with art exhibitions on throughout the year.


Rheged is a Cumbria - the Lake District visitor attraction located just 15 minutes from Tebay Services. An international award winning day out, Rheged is Europe's largest grass covered building, designed to resemble a Lakeland hill.
We now show 3D films at Rheged. Following a massive upgrade of our digital cinema system  - Rheged can now bring you the biggest and best large format films in amazing 3D.5 films daily on the biggest cinema screen for miles around. There are also 10 rather special shops which reflect the unique nature of the region, its craft people and producers, offering a choice not often found on many high streets. As well as a Tourist information centre.  

For families, there are indoor and outdoor play areas and pottery painting workshops and if you are feeling hungry a selection of cafes offering fresh food with a distinct Cumbrian flavour. An all weather, day out with free entry and ample free parking.

Open every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Just 2 minutes from the M6, (J40) at Penrith.

Visit for more information about our Cumbria - the Lake District visitor attraction, or call 01768 868000 


Rookin House Equestrian & Activity Centre, Nr Ullswater, Cumbria.
Tel: 017684 83561

Pony trekking and horse riding lessons, go-karting, quad biking, assault course, human bowling, paint balling, clay pigeon shooting, archery, bait fishing and if thats not enough you can always learn to drive a JCB or have a ride in an amphibious army truck.

They provide all necessary safety and protective gear.


Ullswater based activities for small and large groups that includes: water based activities, mountain activities, team development, challange events, wilderness trips and technical courses.

To discuss your next outdoor adventure please contact Distant Horizons office on
017684 86465 of 017684 81101 or visit the web site by clicking on the logo above. 


TheLakeDistrictWalker this company is based in Cockermouth, near Keswick, in the north western Lake District, Cumbria. They offer a range of guided walks and tailor made days out on the Lakeland Fells to suit all abilities, with qualified mountain guides, whether it be a days hiking or a more adventurous mountaineering experience.

The carry out a regular and varied programme of popular fell walking routes including Wordsworth's Grasmere, Scafell Pike, Helvellyn via Striding Edge and Haystacks, a favourite of Wainwright.


Trotters World of Animals, Coalbeck Farm, Bassenthwaite.
Tel: 017687 76239

Home to hundreds of animals including birds of prey, reptiles and endangered species. A great deal is under cover so rain need not spoil your visit.

Plenty to do including gift shop, childrens play areas, flying displays and demonstations.


Weather Riggs Animals 

Wetheriggs Animal Rescue & Conservation Centre is a county-wide animal rescue centre caring for a range of animals including water dragons, birds, pigs, pygmy goats, burmese pythons, Macaw and land snails.

The animals are usually pets that can no longer be looked after by their current owners or have been swapped for animals in other rescue centres but we also have a variety of rescued wild animals.

All our full time staff are experts in Animal Management and Care. We also have a number of volunteers who dedicate a few hours a week to help care for the animals.

Kennedys Fine Chocolates, The Old School, Orton
Tel: 015396 24781

Kennedys have been making fine handmade chocolates in their small 'factory' (more of a kitchen than a factory!) in the picturesque Cumbrian village of Orton since 1991. You can browse the extensively stocked chocolate and gift shop, enjoy refreshments in the coffee house and also watch skilled chocolatiers at work. Their website also has online ordering!!

Ullswater Steamers, The Pier House, Glenridding
Tel: 017684 82229

M.Y. Raven and M.Y. Lady of the Lake are two 19th century steamers, now converted to oil, cruising on Ullswater, the most beautiful of the English Lakes. M.V. Lady Dorothy is their smaller sister. Ullswater, in the Lake District National Park, is 8 miles long, running from Glenridding in the heart of the mountains to Pooley Bridge where the River Eamont flows out of the Lake. A cruise on the lake is the best way to enjoy the varied and spectacular scenery of the district, 363 days a year. (please check for wheelchair accessibility)

Honister Slate Mine, Honister Pass, Borrowdale.
Tel: 017687 77230

Set in the Heart of Lakeland, Honister Slate Mines have for centuries, produced the beautiful green stone which it is famous throughout the world.

A fully guided tour into the mine itself is available several times a day detailing the history and spectacular features of the mine.

Free parking, refreshments, gift shop and disabled access to the visitor centre.

South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Dalton in Furness.
Tel: 01229 466086

A unique wild life park, built to put animals first. Be amazed by the unique close up encounter you cannot get anywhere else in the UK. Animal Feeding and Conservation Talks take place throughout the day.

A proportion of every entrance fee is donated directly to wildlife conservation and protection in the wild.

There is a huge range of animals (too many to list) - African lions, Cheetahs, Pygmy Hippos, Amur Tiger, Red Panda, Emu, Swamp Wallamby, White handed Gibbon, Short-clawed Otter, Lemurs, Macaws, Spider Monkeys..... (wheelchair accessible)


Hutton in the Forest House & Gardens, Penrith.
Tel: 017684 84449

Hutton-in-the-Forest is a beautiful historic house on the north eastern edge of the Lake District. It is the home of Lord and Lady Inglewood and their children and has belonged to the family since 1605. The house was originally a medieval stronghold and the Pele Tower still survives. Both the outside and the inside show a wide range of architectural and decorative styles from the 17th century to the present day.

Gardens - The beautiful Walled Garden, built in the 1730s, is a wonderful setting for a large collection of herbaceous plants. The topiary terraces round the house, which were originally laid out in the 17th century, are the foundations for an extensive Victorian woodland garden. The fine specimen trees and the 17th century Dovecote form part of the Woodland Walk. (several areas wheelchair accessible)

The Village Bakery, Melmerby, Nr Penrith.
Tel: 01768 881811

Since 1976 The Village Bakery Melmerby has been making high quality organic food such as organic bread and organic cakes using artisan methods and wood-fired ovens. Our aim is to make delicious food that contributes to positive health.

Our hands-on bakery courses lead novices, enthusiasts and culinary professionals alike to journey to the heart of our most basic food.

Our award-winning organic restaurant is famous for its imaginative home cooking. Take a ride along the celebrated A686 Pennine route and call in for breakfast, coffee, lunch or tea.


The Wordsworth Trust, Dove Cottage, Grasmere.
Tel: 015394 35544

The Wordsworth Trust exists to be a living memorial to the life and poetry of William Wordsworth and his contemporaries, serving, in the words of the first Trustees, 'lovers of English poetry from all over the world'. Its focus is Dove Cottage and the hamlet of Town End, Grasmere, a place and a landscape at the centre of the English Lake District where the poet lived from 1799 to 1808.

The Wordsworth Trust was founded in 1891 to secure Dove Cottage. The Trustees have built an award-winning museum, opened in 1981, which together with the Wordsworth Library houses what is one of the greatest collections of manuscripts, books and paintings relating to British Romanticism.


Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, Ravenglass, Cumbria.
Tel: 01229 717171

From the Lake District National Park´s only coastal village of Ravenglass, the Railway winds its way through the secret valley of Miterdale to the village of Eskdale Green. A seven-mile journey of steam, to the foot of England´s highest mountains. This is a land of native Herdwick sheep, Roe Deer, Buzzards and Red Squirrels.


Fishing in the Lake District & Eden Valley.

The Lake District & Eden Valley offers a vast and varied amount of fishing. This site has details of where to fish, bait shops, where to buy permits etc.


Muncaster Castle and Gardens, Ravenglass, West Cumbria.
Tel: 01229 717 614

Muncaster Castle, World Owl Centre, gardens and Maze. Visitor Attraction of the Year. Muncaster Castle, home to the Pennington family for 800 years, is a genuine treasure trove of art and antiques. But Muncaster's wild history reveals a flipside to life in a stately home. The castle evolved from the Pele Tower, built to repel marauding Scots. Those who stay here say it is haunted by ghosts, including the legendary Tom Fool.

Muncaster is also headquarters of the World Owl Trust, you will find one of the largest collections of these thrilling birds in existence. There are also buzzards, kestrels and red kites and a daily flying display on the Castle lawns.

Explore the designated paths and walks. Try the awe inspiring Wild Walk or the fascinating Sino-Himalayan Trail. Walking boots or stout footwear recommended. All beneath the grandeur of Scafell Pike, England's tallest peak.

Imagine being a meadowvole - just two and a half inches tall - living in meadowland, where dangers lurk at every turn. It's no picnic. But down at the MeadowVole Maze the secret world of wildlife makes for a wild experience. Here, where the grass is seven feet tall, you'll find what life is like for these tiny creatures. (most areas wheelchair accessible)


Aquarium of the Lakes, Lakeside, Newby Bridge, Cumbria.
Tel: 015395 30153

Set on the shore of Lake Windermere, the award-winning Aquarium of the Lakes takes you on an amazing voyage of discovery.

Enjoy close encounters with hundreds of amazing creatures including trout, eels, pike, perch, giant crabs, rays and many more.

More than 30 spectacular, naturally-themed habitats bring the natural history of the Lake District vividly to life.

Come face to face with playful otters in their riverbank home, enjoy the ultimate underwater thrill as you stroll along a recreated section of Windermere's lake-bed surrounded by surrounded by gigantic carp and the amazing diving ducks, and meet the Aquarium's most popular residents - inquisitive rays and British sharks in the Morecambe Bay display. (wheelchair accessible)


The World of Beatrix Potter, The Old Laundry, Bowness.
Tel: 015394 88444

In an indoor re-creation of the Lakeland countryside, discover the world of Beatrix Potter - complete with sights, sounds and even smells. Also onsite - gift shop and tea rooms.


Eden Ostrich World, Langwathby Hall Farm, Langwathby, Penrith.
Tel: 01768 881771

Eden Ostrich World is a Farm Visitor Centre based at Langwathby Hall, a 500 acre working arable beef and sheep farm near Penrith in the beautiful Eden Valley.

Of high educational value, the Centre boasts rare breeds of cattle, horses, donkeys, shire horses, outdoor pigs, goats, red deer, ducks and geese. Of course, the centrepiece is the magnificent African Black Ostriches.

Other facilities include - adventure playground, gift shop and tea rooms. (wheelchair accessible)


Holker Hall & Gardens, Cark-in-Cartmel, Nr Grange-over-Sands
Tel: 015395 58328

Holker Hall, never sold throughout its 400 year history, is the family home of Lord and Lady Cavendish. It is a delightful family home with fine displays of antique furniture and art.

The gardens are winners of Christies/HHA Garden of the Year in 1991, and voted 'amongst the best in the world' by the Good Gardens Guide, 1996. The grounds cover 25 acres of formal and woodland gardens, with majestic water features including the limestone cascade.

The Lakeland Motor Museum, winner of Cumbria Tourist Board's Attraction of the Year 2000, and the English Tourism Council's Best Small Visitor Attraction, houses an extensive and fascinating collection extending to some 20,000 exhibits, including cars, motorcycles, tractors, bicycles, pedal cars and engines plus perhaps the largest display of automobilia on public display within the UK - pure nostalgia, certain to provide a thoroughly enjoyable 'motoring memories' experience. (most areas wheelchair accessible)



Windermere Steam Boats & Museum, Rayrigg Road, Windermere.
Tel: 015394 45565

Windermere Steamboats & Museum offers - A unique and historic collection of Steam and Motor Boats, Steam Launch Trips, Shop and Refreshments, "Swallows and Amazons" Exhibition, "Model Boats: You Too Can Do It!" Exhibition. (majority of site suitable for wheelchair access)


Homes of Football, 100 Lake Road, Ambleside.
Tel: 015394 34440

Stuart Clarke began photographing The Homes of Football in 1989, after the Hillsborough disaster, soon creating a huge portrait of the national game in change. After years of touring his exhibition throughout the UK (which is ongoing to this day) Stuart found a permanent home for his collection of some 60,000 images at Ambleside.

Limited edition signed prints are for sale in the shop.


Lake Ullswater

Ullswater Steamers. Take a trip on Ullswater from Pooley Bridge.

Ullswater Steamers Pooley Bridge
Aira Force Waterfall and Tearoom. A spectacular waterfall set in woodlands on the shores of Ullswater.
Between Pooley Bridge and Glenridding
Historic Houses and Gardens
Hutton-in-the-Forest Historic House and Gardens

Dalemain Historic House and Gardens


Brougham Castle - ruins of 13th Century fortress
1.5 miles from Penrith
Mire House, Keswick - Historic House and Gardens
(approx 19 miles)
Outdoor Pursuits

Rookin House Farm, Troutbeck - Equestrian & Activity Centre
(approx 7 miles away)


Sockbridge Pony Trekking - 2.5 miles from Pooley Bridge
Tel: 01768 863468
Farms and Animals

Birdwatching (eagles and ospreys)

  • there is still a single golden eagle at nearby Haweswater (20 minute drive). In the summer, an observation point is manned by the RSPB and visitors can use their telescopes to try and catch a glimpse of the eagle
  • ospreys can be seen at Bassenthwaite (25 minute drive) near Keswick
Trotters Farm - World of Animals Near Keswick
Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre, Lowther
Approx. 6 miles away
The Alpaca Centre, Stainton. 2 miles away.
Eden Ostrich World, Langwathby (approx. 9 miles away)
The Village Bakery at Melmerby - Award winning restaurant and bakery shop - 9 miles from Penrith, 14 miles away from us.
Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel. World renowned cuisine.
Kennedy's at Orton Penrith - Handmade Chocolates
Tourist Information
Eden District Council Tourist Website - information about the area.
North Lake District information
Local interest site run by the Westmorland Gazette
Public Transport
Public transport information at Traveline 0870 6082608
Beckstones Art Gallery. 3 miles from Penrith, 7 miles from us.
Theatre by the Lake, Keswick (approx. 17 miles away)
Other places of interest
Rheged Visitor Centre. Giant IMAX screen film about the history of the area, National Mountaineering Exhibition,shops etc.