Monday, November 30, 2009

Top five festive days in Cumbria

It's dry (at last), snow-capped and as beautiful as ever. Even better, it's also much quieter than normal! People, it's the best time to visit Cumbria so come on up, the weather's lovely

Despite the terrible recent flooding in Cumbria there are still plenty of wonderful places that are accessible and very much still available to enjoy. Most of South Lakes is perfectly passable and the flooding is easily avoidable. Now just as the festive sparkle starts to gather, so do the snowflakes on the peaks. So to help you make the most, here’s our Top Five festive days in the Lakes:

1. Kirkby Lonsdale, 10 mins off the M6

If you're in the mood for something festive why not turn off at junction 36 on the M6 and head east for 10 minutes. You'll arrive in Kirkby Lonsdale which is arguably one of the prettiest villages in Cumbria and perfect for finding that festive feeling.

Shop: Look out for the Christmas fair over the weekend of 5th and 6th December.

Eat: The Sun Inn is perfect for a mulled wine by the fire. We also love Avanti for a spot of lunch or Sublime cafe by the market square for a scone.

Wander: through the church yard and down to the river to feel as though you've stepped back in time

2. Ulverston, 35 mins off the M6

Ulverston is a larger market town but just as traditional and a great Christmas destination.

Clearing cobwebs: Walk up the Hoad (currently being restored) for fantastic views

Eats and drinks: warm up in Gillam's tea room over some lovely organic tea and cakes by a traditional stove complete with roasting chestnuts. It's all one rather lovely cliché. Also try the World Peace cafe for really tasty veggie food.

Sparkle: we tweeted recently about the rather lovely Italian platters on offer in Avanti Capitola Wine Bar - goes nicely with a glass of Prosecco over lunch. Hic!

Shop: I was enjoying Two by Two at the weekend, a lovely independent clothes shop that is part of the famous Tinner's Rabbit shop, an art gallery, gift shop and local book store all in one. Ulverston also boasts fantastic charity shops - check out St Mary's Hospice shop for some real high quality bargains.

3. Darkest Muncaster – a real day out amidst stunning scenery

Muncaster Castle is a delight at any time of the year but not least during the dark nights, when something magical happens... Muncaster is currently hosting a spectacular during the evenings called 'Darkest Muncaster' where there is a show of lights and sounds after dark, illuminating the grounds and surroundings. With a rum hot chocolate you can cosy up and enjoy the feast for eyes and ears.

4. Windermere

Given that Tripbod is about getting off the beaten track we wouldn't normally suggest dropping into Windermere as it's very much the honey pot of the area. But due to the flooding and national assumptions that the whole county is underwater, the town is not so crowded and this might be just the time to visit.

Start the day: Jump on the train and arrive into Windermere right next door to the flagship Lakeland Limited store. If you don't lose hours in here among the aisles of kitchenware you never realise you needed until now, then we'll be amazed.

Drinks and eats: From the station tottle down into the main part of town where you could do no better than checking out Francines bistro for lovely seafood, or drop into The Lighthouse for a mulled wine while people watching. Fish and chips just over the road is pretty good too

Shops: some independent gift shops and a lingerie shop that was recently praised in a national retail awards ceremony. You might just find the perfect Christmas gift in there for the lovely lady in your life...

5. Cartmel and a New Year's Eve to remember

The Faure Requiem will be performed in the hauntingly beautiful Cartmel Priory at 11pm on New Year's Eve. Have supper before hand in one of the lovely local pubs and then wander to the priory for an enchanting night and start of the new year.


If you want a few personalised tips to add to your visit to Cumbria then please do get in touch. We are your Tripbods in Cumbria, waiting to hear from you and share our local knowledge.


  1. Don't forget the beautiful City of Carlisle with its Cathedral, Castle, and Guild Hall to name but a few. Then there is the wild Hadrian's Wall country to the east.

  2. Ooh yes, Hadrian's Wall, we must write a post about that. I was there last week, completely under snow!
    Thanks Lizzie :)


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