Historic Market Towns of Cockermouth, Keswick and Ulverston. The latter has lovely cobbled streets, lots of festivals, the award winning Booths Supermarket, and being the home of Laurel and Hardy, has an interesting museum in their memory.
Georgian Whitehaven with its many beautiful buildings and historic port, also hosts a biennial tall ships maritime festival.
The Rum Story in Whitehaven is a fascinating educational exhibition and is just as much an insight into the cruelty of the Slave Trade and atrocious living conditions both on board ships and in the colonies in the 1700s, as it is about the story of Rum. It is in my opinion a must for any History enthusiast.
Also worth visiting is the pretty village of Cartmel, with its beautiful Priory and the smallest Race Course in England, as well as the city of Carlisle with its Castle, Cathedral and Race Course.
Country Houses, Castles, Cottages and Gardens Cumbria has these in abundance. Just to mention a few, there is Holker Hall - a large country house with superb gardens, deer park and car museum. Levens Hall - an Elizabethan Manor House with some of the best topiary in England, Sizergh Castle - a small but traditional castle with battlements and banqueting hall, Brantwood - former home of John Ruskin in a quite outstanding location on the shores of Lake Coniston, Wordsworth's Dove Cottage and Museum, the list goes on...
Beautiful Sandy Beaches The nearest beach to Boot is only a 20 minute drive and West Cumbria has many vast sweeping beaches. Visit the sandy beaches at Drigg with its shipwreck, Seascale and Haverigg or the pebbles and cliffs at St Bees where the bird sanctuary is home to puffins and other seabirds.
Cruises on the Lakes There are many options to go for a lake cruise or to hire motor boats, rowing boats and other craft on Ullswater, Windermere, Derwent Water and Coniston Water. Our favourite is taking the 100 year old Gondola steam yacht across Coniston Water to Brantwood, John Ruskin's former home
Favourite Drives We are in the process of compiling details of our favourite drives and hope to have these in the cottages in the near future eg, discover the secrets of the Duddon Valley, Broughton in Furness and Corney Fell or take a circular trip taking in 8 Lakes and 3 mountain passes! Just ask us for some tips on where to go and we will do our best to recommend something to suit your tastes.
Other Attractions we have visited and can recommend include Gosforth Pottery, Florence Mine near Egremont (interesting underground tours of a former iron ore mine), the Lakeland Sheep and Wool Centre near Cockermouth, the Cumberland Toy and Model Museum in Cockermouth, the Lake District Coast Aquarium at Maryport and the South Lakes Wild Animal Park, voted Lake District's top visitor attraction in 2005 near Dalton in Furness.