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Cumbria (county) Hotels

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Best Hotels in Cumbria (county)

Cumbria Hotels

Wispy mist patches hang to craggy limestone fells, crumbly dry stone walls zigzag green fields, and moor-like mountains meet sparkly lakes. This is Cumbria, home to the Lake District, and one of England’s most treasured areas. Once a plundered place close to Scotland – look out for tumble down forts - Cumbria’s now renowned for its outdoor pursuits. Yet it’s also a place for quaint Englishness where hundreds of homely tea rooms offer tea and cake every day of the year.

Things to see

Without doubt the Lake District is Cumbria’s best loved attraction. Busy year-round, this huge National Park really comes alive in summer when thousands of visitors flock to welcoming lake-side villages. Around Lake Windermere - whose sparkly reflections were inspiration enough for William Wordsworth no less – are a scattering of towns and villages, including yachting haven Windermere, and chocolate-boxy Ambleside. Learn more about Wordsworth’s love of the lakes at Dove Cottage - his pretty whitewashed home in nearby Grasmere. Rainy afternoons can be spent admiring the figurines in Beatrix Potter World, while Windermere’s shops and chandleries are a great place to start your outdoor adventures, offering hiking, biking, sailing and climbing gear for sale and rental. If you fancy a real challenge, you can hike Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. Outside of the National Park Cumbria’s Eden Valley is an often-overlooked area of rolling sheep-filled pastures, babbling brooks and slate-topped fells.

Hotels in Cumbria

As one of England’s top destinations, Cumbria’s range of accommodation will suit most tastes and budgets. Prices are steeper inside the Lake District National Park and in summer many places sell out in advance. If you’re looking for a last-minute or cheap hotel in Cumbria, especially in peak season, your best bet is to head to Penrith, a market town such as Cockermouth or the county capital of Carlisle. Around the county hotels vary from country house mansions offering luxury accommodation to welcoming mid-range inns and small B&Bs. For something secluded and truly Cumbrian, try a charming family-run farm stay.

Where to stay

Inside the National Park, Windermere is a great central area with an array of amenities, though Keswick is a popular alternative further north, and often less crowded in peak season. You can avoid the crowds in Kendal – at the park’s southern entrance – and take home some famous Kendal Mint Cake while you’re there. To the north of the county, Carlisle is the only Cumbrian city and is the best option for those heading to Hadrian’s Wall, or for exploring historic Carlisle Castle, whose red brick battlements are perfect for entertaining little ones with games of hide and seek.

How to get to Cumbria

Direct train services run from Manchester, Preston and Lancaster to Carlisle, Windermere and Barrow-in-Furness on the coast. Coaches arrive from various UK cities and can be a quicker alternative if travelling from London and the south. Relying on a car to get around the National Park can be a headache in summer, and with an incredibly well served bus and rail network, it’s often less stressful – and greener – to leave the car behind. Local buses jolly along between towns and villages throughout the region and are a low cost way to travel – buy a day ticket for best prices.

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