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Westmorland and Furness
A great place to live, work and thrive

Leisure & Tourism

in Westmorland and Furness, Cumbria

With two beautiful national parks, the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, stunning coastline and a number of picturesque towns and villages, it is no wonder Westmorland and Furness is known all over the world for its astounding natural beauty. It enjoys a reputation as a high quality visitor destination, with 19 million coming to enjoy its sights and sounds every year.

Adventurous activity providers, innovative tourist attractions, the great outdoors and sporting, historical and cultural venues provide an abundance of choice for visitors of all ages, abilities and interests.

Westmorland and Furness is a haven for outdoor adventure seekers. Whether looking out to forest, mountains, lakes, or beaches Westmorland and Furness’ natural beauty can be witnessed through a variety of hiking and MTB trails to suit a range of ability. In particular, the popular Hawkshead to Outgate Walk is a 3.8km medium-ability hiking trail in the heart of Westmorland and Furness, whilst the area around Staveley is home to moderate and challenging MTB trails. Alongside cafe’s and Hawkshead Brewery, Staveley is also home to the UK’s largest cycle store. Wheelbase’s massive 16,000 sq. ft. headquarters is on hand for anyone needing advice and servicing on all thing’s bike related, not just MTB.

Westmorland and Furness is the natural home for the UK’s biggest celebration of outdoor adventure – the Kendal Mountain Festival. The ultimate gathering for outdoor enthusiasts, in November each year Kendal hosts a world-class programme of outdoor culture, including films, speakers, literature, music and art, with the aim of inspiring more people to explore and enjoy mountains and the wilderness. The area is also home to the multi-award nominated Kendal Calling. Located near Penrith since moving from Kendal in 2009 Kendal Calling is a four-day, nine stage festival of music and arts, that has featured live performances from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Pendulum, Kaiser Chiefs, Snoop Dog, The Libertines, and Manic Street Preachers.

For those interested in history, Westmorland and Furness’ museums and visitor centres explore hundreds of years of life in the area. For fans of literature The World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere, and Grasmere’s Dove Cottage and Wordsworth Museum, offer a fascinating insight into the lives and works of the area’s most prominent writers. For motor enthusiasts, Ulverston’s Lakeland Motor Museum houses an extensive car collection spanning more than 100 years of motor vehicle history, including Donald Campbell’s restored Bluebird. If sailing is more your style, the Windermere Jetty Museum (shortlisted for RIBA Stirling Prize, 2021), has an exciting programme of displays, activities, workshops, talks and events that bring to life Windermere’s 200-year boating history. If there between April and October why not enjoy a heritage boat trip on one the museum’s steam launches. On the other hand, Barrow-in-Furness’ Dock Musuem focuses on the area’s shipbuilding heritage. Most of the Dock Museum’s exhibits focus on the town’s shipbuilding industry at Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering (now BAE), the steelworks industry (formerly the world’s largest), the Furness Railway and the bombings of the town during World War II. However, the museum also holds a fascinating collection of cave finds, Viking treasure, and Victorian artefacts.

Our world class hospitality offer caters for all tastes and budgets, offering accommodation ranging from cosy, family-run B&Bs to large modern hotels, as well as caravan, campsites, glamping, hostels or even in a castle . Cumbria Tourism is our official tourist board, offering support to an active membership of 3,000 businesses.

Our Tourism Network is made up of over 100 representatives from tourism businesses in Eden who meet on a quarterly basis to share information and discuss the latest tourism developments and issues at both a local and national level. Members of the Network inform and advise our team at Westmorland and Furness Council and stage an annual Tourism Summit with national, regional and local speakers.

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