Cumbria and the Lake District

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Click on picture for a brief overview

The county of Cumbria is formed from the older counties of Cumberland, Westmorland, and parts of North Lancashire, and North Yorkshire. It contains The Lake District National Park, the largest national park in Britain, established in 1951 and covering 2,292 sq km (885 sq mi). It is an area of glaciated mountains – including Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England at 978 m (3,209 ft).

It also contains a small part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The northern ranges of the Lake District consist of Ordovician slate, about 500 million years old; the central ranges of younger volcanic rock; and a southern range of limestone and other Silurian rock about 440 million years old. These highlands are dissected by U-shaped valleys, known as dales, containing the lakes, some of which are artificial and all but one of which do not have the word “lake” in their names, being known instead as “meres” (Windermere, Grasmere, Thirlmere) or “waters” (Ullswater, Wastwater, Coniston Water); the exception is Bassenthwaite Lake. The animal life of the Lake District includes three unique species of fish: the schelly, the vendace, and the char; and a number of golden eagles.

In due course, this page will describe the influence of man on the Lake District, including :

  • Early Settlers :
    Human settlement began in the Lake District at least 5,000 years ago, when Pike o’Stickle and other mountains became the source of stone for axes and the sites of stone circles at Castlerigg, Long Meg, and elsewhere. Later inhabitants dug parts of the Lake District for copper, iron-ore, graphite, and green slate.In Neolithic times, the Lake District was a major source of stone axes, examples of which have been found all over Britain. The primary site, on the slopes of the Langdale Pikes, is sometimes described as a ‘stone axe factory’.Celts, Romans, Angles, and Vikings in succession settled among the lakes, and it was the last of these who provided such place-name elements as “-thwaite” (clearing), “fell” (mountain with grazing), “gill” (ravine), “force” (waterfall), and also introduced the localHerdwick sheep, which are born black and become white.Cumbria still has evidence of these settlers in Hadrian’s Wall, and its Forts, and Vikingcrosses.
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Interesting places in Cumbria

The Beeches Guesthouse

Penrith Road, Keswick, CA12 4LJ
Tel: 017687 72266   Email:
The Beeches is a large Victorian residence built in 1884 which has undergone extensive restoration by its owners Brian and Irena. Our elegant interior has been designed to give a contemporary feel, while at the same time, acknowledging the history and charm of the building.

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How Head Cottage

How Head Cottage, East of Lake, Coniston, Cumbria LA21 8AA
Tel: 015394 23001   Email:
The main house of How Head Cottage is occupied by Gillian, the owner. Coniston is a beautiful area in which to live, with the ever-changing views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Our guests are welcome to share our pretty garden and we will be pleased to help with information and advice during your stay.

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Overwater Hall Hotel

Ireby, Cumbria CA7 1HH
Tel: 017687 76566   Email:

Relax and enjoy your stay in our elegant 18th century country house hotel, tucked away in the unspoilt beauty of the northern Lake District.
Now in its 3rd decade of family ownership, Overwater Hall has developed an enviable reputation as a luxury hotel offering genuine hospitality, quality accommodation and award-winning food.

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The Horse & Farrier

Threlkeld, nr Keswick, Cumbria CA12 4SQ
Tel: 017687 79688 Email:

The Horse & Farrier has enjoyed an idyllic location in the centre of the picturesque village of Threlkeld, just 4 miles east of Keswick in Cumbria, for over 300 years. Built in 1688 and situated beneath Blencathra, with stunning views looking over towards the Helvellyn Range, this traditional Lakeland Inn offers a warm Cumbrian welcome to all its customers.

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Damson Ghyll B&B

Latterhead, Loweswater, Cockermouth , Cumbria , CA13 0RR
Tel. 01900 85609 Email

Damson Ghyll is situated at Latterhead, Loweswater in the Vale of Lorton in the secluded north west part of the Lake District National Park and is an ideal base for walking, cycling and touring. The towns of Cockermouth (Wordsworth’s birthplace) and Keswick are nearby.

Latterhead is a small hamlet enclosed by Low Fell on one side and by the

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The Fisherbeck

Lake Road, Ambleside, The Lake District, Cumbria LA22 0DH
Tel: +44 (0)15394 33215 Email:

When you are away from home you want to be looked after and comfortable. So let us do that for you at The Fisherbeck in our ideal Lake District location.

Sleep easy in one of our individually designed bedrooms, some with superb views, balcony or spa bath. Then wake up to our excellent Award

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Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

Crook Road, Windermere, The English Lake District, LA23 3NE
Tel: +44 (0)15394 88818 Email:

Choosing between the many Lake Windermere hotels can be a task in itself, and of course it is far more than just buildings and interiors.

In the “us” section, meet the family and team. Our Lake District hotel has been family-run for over 25 years with a long-standing team, resulting in truly professional service with a personal, relaxed, warm and caring style.

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Royal Station Hotel

Royal Station Hotel, Market Street, Carnforth LA5 9BT
Tel: 01524 733636 Email:

A traditional English hotel on the edge of the Lake District National Park

The Royal Station Hotel is situated in the heart of the small market town of Carnforth, overlooking the historic railway station, made famous as the setting for the 1945 classic Noël Coward film, ‘Brief Encounter’.

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Caledonia Guest House

8 Victoria Road, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 8HR
Tel: 01768 864482 Email:

The Caledonia Guest House is a 19th century Victorian town house offering 6 comfortable and well presented ensuite rooms. We are conveniently located just a few minutes walk from the town centre with a good range of bars, restaurants and public houses. Penrith is well located at junction 40 of the A66 and M6 motorway, giving excellent access to the Northern Lake District.

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Woodlands Guest House

New Road,Bowness on Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 2EE
Tel: 015394 43915 Email

Woodlands Guest House Windermere, Bed and Breakfast Windermere Welcomes you to their lovely Guest House, in Windermere in The Lake District they want to help you to have the best luxury break in Englands most stunning destination.

The Woodlands Guest House in Windermere is a five star luxury Guest

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