5 free things to do in… the Lake District

Date Posted: 16/10/2014

A section of Hadrian's Wall.

If you are like the Romantic poets, then the beautiful, natural and free surroundings of Cumbria’s Lake District should satisfy your need for a value visit. However, here are some suggestions for no fee trips in the region, that aren’t simply scenic.

1. Visit attractions around Keswick

Keswick’s central location makes it the perfect place to visit when planning to explore the Lake District – it’s also the home of the Pencil Museum.

The market town is surrounded by famous Lakeland hills such as Grizedale Pike, Skiddaw and Catbells, which have walks to suit all abilities.

The forest of Whinlatter is close by and ideal for walking, mountain biking and the high wire adventure GoApe.

2. Hadrian’s Wall

Britain's greatest Roman monument, at over 2,000 years old, Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site (partly pictured above) runs for 150 miles from Arbeia at South Sheilds to Ravenglass on the Cumbrian coast.

There were once over 30 forts on the Roman frontier, including the original 16 on the line of the wall, along with milecastles, turrets, a ditch to the north and the great Vallum earthwork to the south.

Today you can visit a string of amazing forts and museums that stretch across the north of England. The wall is visible at some sites, such as Birdoswald and at many other places in between.

3. Carlisle Cathedral

The Cathedral, founded in 1122 and battered by centuries of Border warfare, has been in daily operation for nearly 900 years.

Items of special interest include the East Window, with its tracery containing some fine 14th century stained glass and the Brougham Triptych 16th century carved Flemish altar-piece in St Wilfrid's Chapel.

There is an interesting 14th century barrel vaulted painted ceiling above the choir stalls and in the north and south aisles medieval paintings depict the Life of St Augustine, the Legends of St Cuthbert and St Anthony and the figures of the twelve apostles.

Carlisle Cathedral.

Pictured: Carlisle Cathedral.

The carved capitals of the columns in the choir stalls represent activities associated with the months of the year and the early 15th century choir stalls and misericords are notable examples of medieval carving. The cathedral's stained glass dates from the 14th to the late 20th century.

4. Fell Foot Park

Situated at the very southern tip of Lake Windermere, Fell Foot Park is a great, family friendly location to play, explore and relax.

Sweeping lawns offer plenty of space for games, picnics and gentle walks, while easy lake access makes the park perfect for paddling, swimming and boating.

If you are willing to splash a bit of cash then rowing boats are available to hire (from April to October).

5. Award-winning Dock Museum

Discover a fascinating story when you visit Barrow's award-winning Dock Museum.

Built over a Graving Dock, the museum will take you on an extraordinary journey through the lives of people who transformed a small fishing village into a major industrial town.

The landscaped waterfront site has an adventure playground and walkways linked to Cumbria’s coastal way.

Facilities include The Bridge cafe, film shows, museum shop, guided tours for booked groups and events and exhibition programme.

For more information visit www.golakes.co.uk.

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