Looking out across the Irish Sea to the north west of England, Cumbria is England's third largest county. Mostly rural, the landscape is dominated by the magnificent Lake District National Park. The area's beauty has inspired some of Britain's most famous poets, such as Wordsworth and Coleridge, who have waxed lyrical about its crystal clear lakes, expansive mountain ranges and panoramic vistas. In addition to Wordsworth's beautiful poems he also wrote a guide book in which he describes the lake district as a national treasure "in which every man hath a right and interest..."
Grasmere - Lake District National Park (ASP)
As Britain's least inhabited place, with only 47 residence per sq miles, it certainly allows you to wander "lonely as a cloud", a perfect retreat for those seeking peace and quiet. The area is also packed with picture post card villages, packhorse bridges, attractive cottages and lakeland stone farm houses.
The region has also provided inspiration for generations of artists such as Beatrix Potter, who have helped to make this area such a draw for tourists.
The main industries are tourism, dairy and sheep farming, and forestry.
'Well I call to mind ('Twas at an early age, ere I had seen Nine summers) when upon the mountain slope the frost and breath of frosty wind had snapp'd the last autumnal crocus, 'twas my joy to wander half the night among the cliffs and the smooth hollows, where the woodcocks ran along the open turf.'
William Wordsworth (1805), "The Prelude"
|Carlisle - distance from London: 261 miles (420 km)|
|Northumberland, Durham, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Scotland|
|Northern Rail / Virgin / Cross Country|
|Blackpool / Manchester / Liverpool|
|Scafell Pike, highest mountain in England, at 3210 feet (978 m)|
|Derwent, Duddon, Eden, Esk, Rothay|
|Cumberland Pie - meat dish topped with mash potatoes and a layer of breadcrumbs|
Cumberland Sausage - a long, coiled sausage, flavoured with herbs and spices
The name Cumbria (previously Cumberland, and first recorded in 945 as Cumbriland) comes from the same origins as Cymru, the ancient Britons' name for Wales. In times of trouble when the ancient Britons were driven into the western mountains they called themselves the Cymry or brotherhood. The Angles pronounced it Cumbri, and also associated the inhabitants of this area with the Welsh.