Cumbria has always been proud of its heritage, a fact confirmed by the county’s museums which contain important historical details and exhibits from a proud past. Typical is the Museum of Lakeland Life in Kendal where the area’s industrial background is laid down in interesting detail. The museum is next door to Abbot Hall Art Gallery, one of the finest small art galleries in the country, housed in a Georgian mansion where there’s also a collection of furniture, paintings and objets d’art. But it’s the changing exhibitions of art over the last few years – works by Lucian Freud, Bridget Riley, Paula Rego, Stanley Spencer, Euan Uglow, Walter Richard Sickert, L S Lowry and David Bomberg – which have earned the gallery a well deserved national reputation. Abbot Hall is run by the Lakeland Arts Trust, the same body which looks after Blackwell (see Historic homes and castles) and the Windermere Steamboat Museum. After almost 30 years at Holker Hall, the Lakeland Motor Museum has a new home at Backbarrow at the southern end of Lake Windermere. The 30,000 or so exhibits of this wonderful attraction are now integrated with Windermere Lake Cruises and the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Steam Railway. The idea is that you should be able to take a steamer to Lakeside near Newby Bridge, hop on the train to Haverthwaite and get off at a new station close to the motor museum. Not far from Newby Bridge at Finsthwaite is the Stott Park Bobbin Mill, where in its heyday a quarter of a million bobbins a week were being turned out, mainly for the Lancashire textile mills. Stott Park reminds you that the Lake District wasn’t always a quiet sort of place because over the centuries it’s been home to industry of all kinds. In the past people have worked in mines, quarries, mills and tanning factories, as well as working on the land. A visit to the Ruskin Museum in Coniston, the Keswick Mining Museum, the Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum, Honister Slate Mine, the Cumberland Pencil Museum at Keswick and the Museum of Lakeland Life will help you understand the Cumbrian industrial heritage much more easily.
What our Travellers say
Expectations were to see lakes and mountains. But with National Park Traveller's help there was something to do everywhere we turned.
Every turn held more beauty than we expected. We were humbled by the size of the surrounding peaks. The feeling of being in a cathedral never left us as we stopped in deserted spots and just gazed at our surroundings.
Never been somewhere where so many people say they keep coming back. Thank you for finding me this holiday destination.
We saw loads of animals, bison, black and grizzly bear, elk, deer and even wolves in the distance. Waterfalls and lakes were magnificent and the trails that we walked were all so beautiful and well worth visiting.
On our trip there was so much to do. We enjoyed outdoor activities and the adventurous things to do. We were nicely surprised and will be coming back for sure.
Amazing New York highlights were a Broadway show, Central Park, Empire State building and Time Square. We visited MoMA which was amazing to see all best artwork in the world, we were just not expecting it, every room we went into there was another masterpiece. Our hotel was under a mile from the subway station and we saw how the New Yorkers live and commute.
Utah was my favourite part. There was so much to do and it was like nothing I’ve seen before. Really liked Capitol Reef as it was much quieter and we were so close to it. Will always remember going star gazing, brilliant.
We saw all of Las Vegas and really glad we've done it. All the hotels were amazing. I will always remember driving towards Las Vegas, you're just driving for hours through dessert and it suddenly pops up out of nowhere.