Things to do nearby Birkbank
Birkbank offers a wonderful situation to enjoy this north western edge of the Lake District. Why not visit the nearby town of Cockermouth, it has delightful Georgian architecture, a great range of independent shops and eateries and literary connections to explore at Wordsworth's birthplace. Head into the fells nearby, take on one of the giants such as Grassmoor or enjoy another iconic peak such as Melbreak and treat yourself to a meal and pint at the Kirkstile Inn afterwards. On a sunny day enjoy a paddle and a picnic or even a brisk wild swim at beautiful Crummock Water.
Surrounded by rolling farmland and offering easy access to the stunning valleys of Buttermere and Ennerdale, this area is an ideal location for a fabulous getaway from everything. The rural location attracts many rare species of birds and wildlife. Visitors such as curlews, buzzards, barn owls and herons are a regular sight in the fields and overhead. The area is also a red squirrel stronghold and within easy reach of the Lake District Osprey Project.
Whinlatter Forest Park, England’s only true mountain forest, has mountain bike trails for all abilities, walks suitable for all ages, a Go Ape! high ropes course and a visitor centre with café. You can even hire bikes from the park or even take a Segway tour around the forest!
Cockermouth is a Georgian market town with many interesting independent shops and Wordsworth House, now a National Trust property. The house, which was William Wordsworth’s childhood home, takes you back in time to when the poet’s family lived there. There are stories from the servants, cooking demonstrations, and a vegetable garden to explore.
In Cockermouth you will also find a Sainsbury's supermarket as well as several independent greengrocers and two excellent butchers. The New Bookshop is worth a visit, with its amazing range of books and a café. The town has a varied selection of pubs, inns and eateries for all tastes and boasts the home of Jennings Brewery, which offers tours and tastings. The town also has a public swimming pool, leisure centre and gym, and lovely riverside walks.
The pretty valley of Loweswater is a ten-minute drive away and offers many gentle walks around and near the lake. The Kirkstile Inn is very popular due to its beautiful surroundings and good food. They are also happy to accept pets during the day. The grassy fells surrounding Loweswater offer easy walking and beautiful views to the mountains of Buttermere and Ennerdale and also to the west coast.
At nearby Rowrah you will find a well-maintained karting stadium that caters for all ages and abilities. The track is in a disused quarry; this part of Cumbria was heavily mined in years gone by and a wander over the fields will reveal plenty of intriguing industrial history.
Within a 20-minute drive you can be on the coast, where you will find miles of quiet sandy and pebbled beaches. The West Coast Main Line offers a spectacular train journey along the coast towards Lancaster with views of the mountains as well as the sea. There are many interesting towns and villages along the line so why not hop on and off and explore on foot? Also consider the Whitehaven Maritime festival if you are here in June.
Ennerdale is one of the most remote valleys in the Lake District but is easily reached from the area. It offers superb valley walking and heart-stopping, high-level routes and rock climbing on famous fells such as Great Gable, Pillar, Steeple and Kirk Fell. There is also beautiful walking in Buttermere, which is regularly voted as having one of Britain’s best views.
Further adventure can be found with a 30-minute drive to Honister Slate Mine and Visitor Centre at the head of the Buttermere Valley. Here you can take mine tours, tackle the Via Ferrata, or even step out into the unknown on the Infinity Bridge, set 2,000 feet above the valley floor!
Birdwatchers will appreciate the Solway Coast, just a half-hour drive away. Here you’ll find an area of Special Scientific Interest surrounding Skinburness and Grune Point that offers miles of unspoilt coastline, saltmarsh, specialist vegetation, a World War II pillbox, and the opportunity to view a wide variety of wading birds and wildfowl. Make sure to watch out for the tides! Even without the lure of birdlife, this area is well worth a visit as it has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Why not buy some fantastic local fish and chips followed by a delicious ice cream and find a quiet spot to enjoy a Solway sunset?
Keswick is one of the most well loved towns in the Lake District and is a short drive from the village. It is chock full of outdoor shops, pubs and bars. There is also a cinema and a theatre (for which guests at Sally’s Cottages can get discounts on tickets). Keswick has a beautiful lake, Derwentwater, that has shallow bays for swimming and a regular boat trip allowing you to hop off and hop back on again in order to explore the lakeshore walks. The town is also known as the adventure capital of the Lake District so, however you'd like to test your wilder side, then Keswick opens the opportunity to you!
The Lake District Wildlife Park shouldn’t be missed. You can get to know Lemurs, Otters, Zebra and the many other animals that roam the beautiful 25-acre estate. You can even arrange to be a zookeeper for a day! Right next door there is also the Lakes Distillery with tours, a bistro, gift shop, and even a family of Alpaca!
For your adrenaline fix, why not book a session at nearby Lingholm Sporting Quad Bike Treks? Head out with experienced guides who will take you around the 1,000-acre Lingholm Estate where you'll find some staggering views of the surrounding countryside while kicking up some dirt and having a fabulous time!