Towns and villages to visit in The Lake District
The Lake District Travel Guide, highlighting attractions, history, and visitor information.
Historic towns and villages in Cumbria
This page Ambleside - Edenhall
With the occasional city thrown in for good measure!
Ambleside is one of the premier visitor destinations within the Lake District National Park, and is perfectly situated for some of the most popular walks in the park. The town stands at the north end of Lake Windermere, on a site that has seen occupation since Roman times. Indeed, the remains of the Roman fort of Galava can still be seen in meadows on the southern edge of the town. A short walk up the hill behind the main shopping area (home of one of the largest suppliers of outdoor equipment in England) brings you to one of the Lake District's most visited waterfalls, Stock Ghyll Force. Extend the walk even further and you come of High Sweden Bridge, one of the most photographed beauty-spots in the National Park.
Appleby is a good base for a visit to the Eden Valley; large enough to boast a variety of accommodation and services, yet small enough to give a feeling of "getting away from it all".
A remote moorland hamlet which features the extraordinary 'Bewcastle Cross', a 7th-8th century cross with intricate carvings on all 4 sides. Beside the church stands the ruins of a castle, built in part with stone from Hadrian's Wall.
The closest village to the western end of Hadrian's Wall, and the site of a Roman army camp. The church porch boasts a bell stolen from a Scottish church as revenge for a raid in which the Scots stole the church's original bell, only to lose it in Solway Firth on their return north.
Famous as the place where Edward I was brought after his death in 1297. Edward was on his way north to fight the Scots under Robert the Bruce when he died, and the king's body was brought to lie in state in the fortified church of Burgh-by-Sands. The course of Hadrian's Wall runs right through the village.
This little village at the foot of the Caldbeck Fells is known as the final resting place of famed hunter John Peel (d.1854). Peel's grave is in the 12th century churchyard, under the gaze of the fells he hunted for 55 years. A popular song about his exploits was written by his friend, JW Graves. Caldbeck is a good walking centre, with access to High Peak and Carrock Fell.
The county town of Cumbria, and one of the most historic cities in England. Carlisle has a history dating to at least the Roman period, and there are Roman and medieval buildings scattered around the city centre. Chief among these is the medieval cathedral, begun in the late 11th century but heavily remodelled in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The pretty market town of Cockermouth stands in the north west corner of the Lake District National Park. Cockermouth's most famous native is poet William Wordsworth, who was born here in 1770. Wordsworth's birthplace is the most popular visitor attraction.
A popular village at the north west corner of Coniston Water. The origin of the name is thought to derive from 'King's town'. Coniston has a long history as a centre for mining, with copper mines dating to the 17th century. More recently, slate mining has helped shape the landscape. However, it is primarily as a centre for walking that Coniston is rightfully known; the area is known for its superb recreational opportunities, and many of the most popular walks in the Lake District start or finish from Coniston.
The little village was home to the Musgrave family, subject of a ballad by Longfellow. According to Longfellow, the House of Musgrave was doomed if a 'fairy cup' in their possession was broken. The cup, believed to be 13th century Persian, is now in a museum in London, and the house is destroyed. The parish church is Norman, built on Saxon foundations, and several Musgrave monuments can be found in the interior.
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