Things to do nearby 1 Archway Cottages
Little Broughton is a typical West Cumbrian village with mixed farming and industrial heritage. A network of footpaths radiate out from here and neighbouring Great Broughton. Take a stroll through fields alongside the River Derwent towards Cockermouth. Accessed by stone steps down the side of Broughton Bridge, this pleasant walk is a good opportunity to watch the wildlife on the river. Turn left from the top of the drive to follow a footpath over the fields and take in the lovely views as you head, to Dovenby where there is a pub. You could also head towards the old open cast site at Soddy Gap, which is well known locally as a good birding site. From here, a track (suitable for all-terrain pushchairs) heads up to Broughton Moor and offers panoramic views back over the valley to the fells beyond. For a longer walk you can continue on through Flimby Great Wood and down to the coast but, be warned, it will be uphill on the way back!
The lovely Georgian town of Cockermouth is only three miles away so is easily visited on foot, on the bus, or by car. You will find all the local amenities you would expect, including a supermarket, plus a range of independent shops. Cockermouth is at the confluence of the rivers Cocker and Derwent and there are some lovely riverside areas to explore and pretty back streets to wander around. Wordsworth House, now owned by the National Trust, was the childhood home of William Wordsworth and his family. It is presented as it would have been in 1770 complete with costumed guides! Also in the town is the Jennings Brewery, which offers tours and those all-important tastings!
Walkers have numerous options to choose from for both days on the high fells or lower level walking, so get out the map and start planning! The quiet fells above Ennerdale will get you away from the crowds, as will the rolling grassy hills in the area known as ‘Back O’ Skiddaw.’ Or how about giving Skiddaw itself a go? It is one of only four fells in the Lakes that are over 3,000ft high and on a clear day the views stretch from Scotland, round to the Pennines and over the Lake District fells. For gentler walks try Loweswater or catch the bluebells in May at Rannerdale. Whinlatter is great all year round as it is sheltered from the sun and wind and offers an easy way to get up to the snowline in winter. For autumn colours you cannot beat the woods around Derwentwater, accessible for all.
Cyclists can head to the off-road tracks at ‘Back O’ Skiddaw’ or the mountain bike trails at Whinlatter. If you prefer road cylcing, the Newlands and Whinlatter passes offer a real challenge.
Maryport is an attractive coastal town with harbour and marina. Senhouse Roman Museum, located next to the site of a Roman fort that was part of Hadrian’s Wall, houses a large collection of Roman alters. A viewing platform provides views of the fort as well as spectacular vistas across the Solway to Scotland. Maryport Blues Festival is a popular annual event and Maryport Aquarium will entertain and educate all ages with a variety of creatures found in local lakes, rivers and seas that are otherwise hard to see. Alternatively, for a more energetic indoor activity, head to Clip n Climb to tackle one of the climbing walls or the ‘Leap of Faith’. On a nice day walk along the prom or explore the cycleway running north or south along the coast.
Further up the coast is Allonby, a small seaside village with pubs, cafés, a chippy (The Cod Father) and a popular ice creams parlour. It also has miles of sandy beaches, views across the estuary to the Scottish hills, and a playground. The nearby Gincase is a farm park with an excellent café and craft shop. As well as the animals there are indoor and outdoor play areas including a barn with giant sandpit and ride-on tractors.
Birdwatchers and nature lovers will love this area of the Solway Coast, which is well-known for large winter flocks of geese. There are also waders, seabirds and a good variety of small birds to spot all year round. Try the SSSI at Grune Point/Skinburness or the RSPB reserve at Campfield Marsh. There are many other reserves to explore, too: look for dragonflies on the raised mire at Drumburgh Moss or rare marsh fritillary butterflies at Finglandrigg Wood. Both have marked trails to follow.
Head towards Bassenthwaite and you will find the Lake District Wildlife Park with a range of critters including meerkats, otters, gibbons and lemurs as well as excellent bird of prey displays. Right next door is The Lakes Distillery, which boast tours, tastings, a shop, a bistro, and even a family of aplacas!
Anyone with an interest in wildlife should visit the Osprey viewpoint at Dodd Wood from May to August. You may also be lucky enough to see a red squirrel on the feeders while you are there. On the other side of the road is Mirehouse, a sunny house dating from 1666. There are extensive and varied gardens, a lakeshore walk and natural play areas. Don’t miss the short walk to the compact pre-Norman St Bega’s Church. When you are done, you can enjoy a sausage sandwich of spectacular proportions in the Old Sawmill Café back at Dodd Wood, Tea, cake, and ice cream is also available if that is your preference, all are delicious!
Keswick is the hub of the Northern Lake District. Beautifully located on the shores of Derwentwater it is the starting point for numerous walks. You can also take the launch across the lake to explore various areas of interests. Walk down to Friars Crag for a beautiful view down the lake to Borrowdale, buy something in one of numerous outdoor shops, and don’t miss Old Friars Sweet and Chocolate Shop on the Main Street! Play mini golf or tennis, take in a show at the Theatre by the Lake or a film at the vintage cinema, have fish and chips or sit down to a Mexican - it is all here, plus much more!
The city of Carlisle has plenty of shops and eateries as well as a sandstone cathedral, an historic castle with dungeons, and Tullie House Museum, which has interactive exhibits on local history, geography and wildlife as well as a very good café.