Cumbria CrestCUMBRIAounty of Northwest England, created in 1974 from Cumberland, Westmorland, the Furness district of Northwest Lancashire, and the Sedbergh district of Northwest Yorkshire.

Local Links Cumbria County Council - Carlisle City Council - Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council

owns and cities AlstonCarlisle (administrative headquarters), Barrow, Kendal, Penrith, Whitehaven, Workington

Many Cumbrian towns host markets and Alston claims to be the highest market town in England.

rea 6,810 sq. km / 2,629 sq. miles
opulation 490,200 (1994)


Great GableBack to top Cumbria is dominated by the Cumbrian Mountains - known as the Lake District and very popular with tourists from all over the world for the picturesque villages and wonderful walking.

Cumbria is divided into six districts, which are (from north to south): Carlisle, the city and its surrounding area up to the border with Scotland; Allerdale, the Northwest coastal lowland with the coastal towns of Maryport and Workington, and the inland towns of Cockermouth and Keswick; Eden, from Helvellyn to the boundary in the Pennines with Northumberland, Durham, and North Yorkshire; Copeland, the western valleys and coastlands, including Whitehaven; South Lakeland, stretching from Grasmere and Ambleside to the shores of Morecambe Bay; and Barrow-in-Furness, which covers the town and neighbouring Dalton-in-Furness. Barrow, Carlisle, and Copeland have been given the status of borough.

Scafell PikeScafell Pike (978 m / 3,210 ft), the highest mountain in England, is surrounded by many other mountains such as Bow Fell and Great Gable (899 m / 2,949 ft) which are very popular with climbers, walkers and ramblers. It is separated from Scafell (964 m / 3,164 ft) by a ridge called Mickledore.
The summit of Scafell Pike was presented to the National Trust by the third Lord Leconfield, as a war memorial, in 1919. Lake Windermere, the largest lake in England (17 km / 10.5 miles long, 1.6 km / 1 miles wide), and other lakes (Derwentwater, Grasmere, Haweswater, Ullswater). The rivers Eden and Derwent flow through the county as does the M6 motorway, which runs north to south.

ommerce Highland CattleThe traditional coal, iron, and steel industries of the coast towns have been replaced by newer industries including chemicals, plastics, marine engineering, electronics, and shipbuilding (at Barrow-in-Furness, nuclear submarines and warships); tourism; salmon fishing
Agriculture: in the north and east there is dairy farming; sheep are also reared; the West Cumberland Farmers is England's largest agricultural cooperative. Permission was granted in 1992 to build fifteen 24 m / 80 ft high wind generators; nuclear power stations at Calder Hall (1956) and Sellafield (formerly Windscale, the first to produce plutonium in the United Kingdom); British Nuclear Fuels' THORP nuclear reprocessing plant began operating 1994
amous people Thomas de Quincey; Beatrix Potter; John Ruskin's home, Brantwood, on Coniston Water; homes of Robert Southey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge at Keswick; birthplace of William Wordsworth at Cockermouth, and home at Grasmere; Stan Laurel was born at Ulverston

Loch Dunmore


Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway Kirkby Lonsdale, set on a hill above the River Lune, is one of the most beautiful towns in Cumbria.
For walkers and hill climbers there are some classic peaks to climb, some of the better known being, The Old Man of Coniston, Skiddaw, Helvellyn, Great Gable and England's highest point, Scafell Pike.
Alston, which is the highest market town in England.

Back to top Lake District National Park

The ScafellsScafellAlthough known as the Lake District, the area is a s popular for its mountains as it is for its lakes. The Lake District contains the principal English lakes, separated by wild uplands rising to many peaks, including Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England. The area was made a national park in 1951, covering 2,292 sq. km / 882 sq. miles. There are many routes for climbing England's highest peak, some difficult and some relatively easy to the experienced walker.

Helvellyn (950 m / 3,118 ft). The summit is the highest point of the ridge which separates the the valleys containing Thirlemere and Ullswater lakes. The peak may be climbed from Wythburn at the head of Thirlemere on the western side, and from Patterdale or Glenridding on Ullswater to the east. Two sharp ridges, Striding Edge and Swirrell Edge, on the east side, provide more challenging routes. Helvellyn forms part of an annual Three Peaks charity event held in the Lake District; the other peaks are Skiddaw (930 m / 3,052 ft) and Scafell Pike. The summit of Helvellyn is amazingly flat and the approach via Striding Edge is spectacular with the ground falling away steeply on both sides.

Hawes WaterThirlmere, Hawes Water, and some other smaller lakes are managed as reservoirs for some of England's major conurbation's, including Manchester. The Lake District has a radial system of valleys, deepened by glaciers. Windermere, in the Southeast, is connected with Rydal Water and Grasmere. Old Man of ConistonThe westerly Scafell range extends south to the Old Man of Coniston overlooking Coniston Water, and north to Wastwater.
Ullswater lies in the Northeast of the district, on the east side of Helvellyn peak, with Hawes Water and Thirlmere nearby. The River Derwent flows north through Borrowdale forming Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite. West of Borrowdale lie Buttermere, Crummock Water, and, beyond, Ennerdale Water. Woodland includes broadleaf species, partly naturally occurring; and the plantations (mainly coniferous) of the Forestry Commission. Much of the scenery is relatively wild and very attractive.

WastwaterThe main tourist centres are Windermere, Keswick, Ambleside and Grasmere. There are 100 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and 82 regionally important geological or geomorphological sites, making the area of enormous conservation interest. There are also nearly 2,000 listed buildings. Much of the land in the area is owned by the National Trust, and the National Park owns 8,600 ha / 3,481 acres of the land under their jurisdiction.
Grizedale Forest sculpture project; Furness peninsula; western part of Hadrian's Wall. Cumbria's varied history is reflected in its historic remains, which include barrows, stone circles, the western section of Hadrian's Wall, and a number of castles. In the 7th century it was part of Northumbria. In the 10th and 11th centuries it alternated between Scottish and English rule, until taken by the English in 1157.

Back to top Grasmere is associated with many writers. William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy lived at Dove Cottage (now a museum) 1799-1808, Thomas de Quincey later made his home in the same house, and both Samuel Coleridge and Wordsworth are buried in the churchyard of St Oswald's.

Old Man of ConistonConiston Water has a length of 8 km / 5 miles and a width of 1 km / 0.6 miles, which makes it one of the smaller lakes in the area. The village of Coniston lies 14 km / 9 miles west of Bowness, between the lake and Coniston Old Man, which is 802 m / 2631 ft high.
Donald Campbell died while attempting to improve his world water-speed record on Coniston Water in 1967.
Peel Island, one of three small islands on the lake, is the `Wild Cat Island� of Arthur Ransome's novel Swallows and Amazons (1931). Brantwood, once the home of John Ruskin, stands above the eastern shore of Coniston Water. Ruskin is buried in Coniston churchyard.