Off the beaten path, Cumbria by train.

On Monday 3rd June Cumbria Tourism launched their ‘Cumbria by Train’ a £285,000 marketing campaign across cities in the UK.

Cumbria Tourism marketing campaign ‘Cumbria by Train’

While the campaign should be celebrated for encouraging a more sustainable way of accessing the region, typically seen as a destination where a car is seen as a vital means of transport and instead focusing on encouraging the use of rail to explore Cumbria.

My hope is that it helps to tackle issues around the Cumbrian communities, such as increasing economic opportunities across the region, bringing employment and creating further investment in the areas outside of the main tourist attractions. Engaging tourists in accessing the lesser visited areas of Cumbria and therefore encouraging Northern Rail to continue and maintain vital infrastructure in these areas. This is particularly important, considering the recent issues with Northern Rail over the last two years in this area, with a high number of rail strikes, delays and cancellations.

So if you want to do Cumbria by train – which we highly recommend – do it right and take the time to visit some of the regions most beautiful areas

Cumbria by train (7 Days) – Carlisle to Lancaster.

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Map of Cumbria by Cumbria Council

Day 1: Arrive in Carlisle (1 night)

The historical city of Carlisle, located in the North West England, is a great first base for your trip to Cumbria.
The city is situated just 10 miles south of the Scottish border and has trains arriving from all across the UK – including easy access to Manchester (+Manchester Airport), London (+London Airports), Liverpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh (+Edinburgh Airport), Glasgow (+Glasgow Airport) and Aberdeen.

What to do:
Carlisle has lots to offer not matter if its entertainment for the kids, a good night out, a bit of shopping or exploring the cities history you are interested in.
Just a minutes walk from the centrally located train station and you will find Carlisle’s medieval Castle and dungeons. Or you can take a short bus journey to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Hadrian’s Wall and follow in the footsteps of the Romans. Not interested in history, then enjoy Carlisle’s lively nightlife with its many bars and restaurants and take in your favourite music, ballet or theatre at The Sands Centre.

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Carlisle Castle – Image from suitcaseandpassport.com.au

Day 2: Arrive in Cockermouth (2 nights)

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Jennings Brother Brewery
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Wordsworth’s House – photo curtesy of ITV.com

How to get there:
From Carlisle, catch the Western Lakes coastal train from Carlisle train station (heading towards Barrow-in-Furness) arriving in the city of Workington just 50minutes later. Take the X4 or X5 bus (30minutes) to arrive in the Cockermouth.

What to do:
Cockermouth, once the home of William Wordsworth, is a wonderful small market town to spend a few days. Visit Wordsworth’s house, enjoy a tour around Jennings Brewery, river walks in the town or a hike around the local fells. What about a day trip to Keswick? You can even enjoy a picnic at Bassenthwaite Lake National Nature Reserve.

There are a number of speciality shops, bars, takeaways and great restaurants in this area; including my favourite Turkish restaurant Aspava.
Local amenities include Sainsbury, Aldi and Co-Op – and a local bus service to Workington, Keswick, Whitehaven and more.

Keswick, Cumbria. (Photo by KatieAnneJowett)

Day 4: Arrive in Ravenglass (2 night)

How to get there:
Retrace your steps back to Workington and catch the train down the coast to the small village of Ravenglass (55minute train journey).
On the train ride down you may be lucky enough to catch a glims of the Isle of Man!

Drigg beach looking towards Ravenglass
(photo by KatieAnneJowett)
Photo of Parton beach heading on the train from Workington towards Whitehaven.

What to do:
Whether you want to stay in the cosy village in a rental, at the local hotel or campsite, with Muncaster Castle or travel on the Ratty Train to stay in the beautiful countryside of Eskdale. There are plenty of options.

While the village of Ravenglass is small, it is a beautiful location and a wonderful place to escape the stress of everyday life.

Enjoy a walk and a coffee at Muncaster Castle Estate and Grounds, while taking in their fantastic bird display. The grounds are renowned for the wonderful garden and woodland walks, the annual sausage festival or even their annual Fool Festival. They also have a number of holiday themed events throughout the year. If you want to challenge yourself, you can walk along the Eskdale trail starting at Ravenglass Estuary up along Muncaster Fell to the small village of Boot – 7miles along mixed terrain – enjoying the woodland walks and wildlife on offer in this area. Before enjoying a fish supper and catching the Ratty Train back down the valley into Ravenglass.

Photo Gallery by KatieAnneJowett

Day 6: Arrive in Grange-over-Sands (1 night)

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How to get there:
Just a 50minute train journey continuing down the coast and you arrive at the seaside town of Grange-over-Sands. The Southern tip of the Cartmel peninsula and has lots to offer nature enthusiasts.

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Costal walk Grange-over-Sands

What to do:

A nature lovers heaven, Grange-over-Sands has a number of nature reserves nearby, with birds, nature and wildlife of scientific interest; and parks and coastal walking paths. Or you can enjoy the sunshine and take in the Lakeland Miniature Village.

Walking path within Lakeland Miniature Village in Grange Over Sands
Lakeland Miniature Village, Grange-over-Sands

Saying Goodbye

Finally, end your visit to Cumbria with the 30minute train ride from Grange-over-Sands to Lancaster.
From Lancaster train station you can go to most city train stations within the UK such as Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, London, Glasgow or Edinburgh. Or you can make the hour journey towards Carlisle, even continue your Cumbrian journey by stopping off at Oxenholme Lake District or Penrith.

Where are your favourite places to visit off the beaten path in Cumbria?
Get in touch and let us know.

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