The main reason to visit Cumbria has to be the spectacular outdoors, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy a relaxed spot of shopping in the Lake District as well! If you're having a rest day, why not take a wander around the national park's smaller independent shops and then find a café in which to relax with a coffee and watch the world go by? You're only problem is going to be choosing which of the Lake District's many towns and villages to spend your time in!
The market town of Keswick has a vibrant and bustling atmosphere, whichever day of the week you choose to visit. A traditional market is held on Saturdays throughout the year, and also on Thursdays from February to December. The town has a huge range of independent shops stocking gifts, speciality foods, toys, shoes, clothing and outdoor wear, and has a charming little arcade called Packhorse Court. Head to Keswick Boot Co. for excellent advice and quality items of footwear; try Friars for sweet treats; or visit Cherrydidi for a range of artwork, knick knacks and gifts created by local artists.
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Penrith prides itself on its range of small independent shops, stocking everything from books to sweets. To tease your taste buds, it has artisan bakeries, a butchers, and even its very own smokery (The Old Smokehouse)! Look out for the adorable Devonshire Arcade, an original indoor Victorian shopping arcade in the centre of town, which is home to small boutiques and food retailers. Penrith holds farmers' markets on the third Tuesday of the month (between March and December) in Market Square, and you can also find out about the town's history through the town trail.
The birthplace of William Wordsworth, the historic town of Cockermouth boasts many locally owned speciality shops and is full of character. Look out for the tiny but fascinating museum to the rear of JB Banks, the hardware store! The gem town is perfect for hunting out a bargain or a rare item of interest thanks to its many antique stores, and you can even enjoy the Sunday car boot sale at Mitchell's Auction - arrive early to have the choicest selection! Other wonderful shops in Cockermouth include Hummingbird House for gifts and interiors, Tony Harrison's Butchers for delicious local produce, and The New Bookshop, which includes its very own coffeeshop!
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The historic city of Carlisle is north of the Lake District, but well worth a visit! Home to The Lanes Shopping Centre, the city has it all from big names to independent boutiques. Stock up your wardrobe with a number of fashion retailers including Next, Primark and Schuh; buy something extra special at jewellery stores like Peter Jackson; or head to the quirky Bookcase, one of the biggest independent bookshops in the country!
The bustling village of Windermere is home to art galleries, a dress agency (Julia Tasker Bridal Couture), Peter Hall & Son bespoke furniture makers, gift shops and two butchers (Huddlestons and Claytons)! If you love a quality shoe shop, don't miss out on a visit to Gina Ricci, which stocks an enviable range of stylish shoes, handbags and accessories. Windermere is also home to the flagship store of kitchenware retailer Lakeland, an absolute must-visit if you're a baker or home-cooking enthusiast!
Bowness-on-Windermere is one of the most vibrant areas of the Lake District and has a lot to offer. Shops to look out for include Lakeland Leather, a Laura Ashley gift store, Pretty Things (fashion and accessories), The Herdy Company, The Bath House (natural skincare), and Love the Lakes for a wide selection of local gifts. Combine a shopping trip with a boat ride with Windermere Lake Cruises, or a visit to The World of Beatrix Potter exhibition, an experience that will leave a smile on children's faces for the rest of their holiday!
Browse through our cottages around Bowness.
As you travel a little further north of Windermere, you reach the small town of Ambleside. The town bursts with shops containing outdoor clothing and footwear, books, gifts and bits and pieces for the home, and has a relaxed but vibrant atmosphere. Look out for yummy treats at The Apple Pie Café & Bakery near Bridge House; select something beautiful from Hide and Horn Crafts; or step inside the quirky Rock Shop! Just outside Ambleside you can pay a visit to Hayes Garden World, a real treat for the green-fingered amongst us!
Take a look at our self-catering cottages in Ambleside.
Grasmere is a delightful little village, completely surrounded on all sides by dramatic hills, and with a small road weaving its way through the centre. You'll find lots of small shops of interest here, including a pretty little bookshop, Sam Read, towards the north of the village. The Heaton Cooper Studio is a particular must-see for art lovers, and you should also look out for the National Trust gift shop, Grasmere Garden Village, and, of course, the famous Grasmere Gingerbread® shop!
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On the west side of Lake Windermere, Hawkshead is a firm favourite amongst visitors for its charming buildings and tiny streets. It's perfect for a trundle around to discover shops hidden amongst its twisting ginnels. Take your time on a visit here and look out for Hawkshead Relish (for jams, pickles, chutneys and more!), The National Trust, and Poppi Red, a gift shop and café.
Kendal is a historic market town to the south of the Lake District and is known locally as 'The Auld Grey Town' because many of its buildings were built from the local grey limestone! The town is full of character, much of which comes from its historic yards, hiding all manner of intriguing finds from cafés to specialist craft makers. You'll find just about anything you want or need in Kendal, from high street favourites such as Marks & Spencer, through to outdoor market stalls on a Wednesday and Saturday. Look out for Another Weigh zero-waste shop, Reticule Fabrics, and 1657 Chocolate House for a taste of Romney's Kendal Mint Cake! Read our full guide on shopping in Kendal.
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Between Kendal and Windermere is the small village of Staveley. Surrounded by stunning scenery, it's a great starting point for walking, and a potter around the shops would just wrap off your day nicely! The main shopping centre is Staveley Mill Yard, touted as 'a village within a village'. Here you'll find all sorts of outlets including the Hawkshead Brewery, Wheelbase (the UK's largest cycle store), and More? artisan bakery.
Just south of the Lakes, Ulverston is home to a number of the small and sometimes quirky shops that have so often been driven out of bigger high streets across the country. Take a wander and you'll find plenty of places to pop into including More Glitter Dear (vintage and retro discoveries), Irvings Butchers, and Loopy Wool Shop! Also look out for Cumbria Crystal, just outside the town, which has a factory shop and glass making demonstrations.
The charming village of Cartmel is the home of the renowned Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding, which you can buy along with a feast of other locally produced goodies at the Cartmel Village Shop. Cartmel has high-end gift shops, shops with toys, and beautiful items for the home. Hidden away in Unsworth's Yard you'll find a microbrewery, Cartmel Cheeses and a delightful wine store! Just outside Cartmel is Holker Hall with A Day's Walk's shop selling locally sourced produce.
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Situated on the edge of Morecambe Bay, this small town has a charming main street of shops and pretty ornamental gardens next to the station, which enjoy Grange's unique microclimate. The town became a seaside resort with the arrival of the railway in the 1850s, and you can take a relaxed scenic walk along the prom. Look out for The Hazelmere Café and Bakery, Choco-Lori for handmade chocolates, ladies' fashion at The Foxes Den, and Daisyroots Books.
Set in beautiful countryside between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, Kirkby Lonsdale has a unique atmosphere with its beautiful stone buildings and tiny streets and lanes. There are a number of shops to explore, with items for the home, antiques and collectibles, and fashion too! Some of our favourites include Sew What, The Book Lounge, Abrahams (clothing and accessories), Parma Violet (for an eclectic mix of clothes, gifts and toys) and Bumblebee Gallery.
View our cottages in and around Kirkby Lonsdale.
Self-Catering Cottages in the Lake District
Wherever you're planning to spend time in the Lake District, we're bound to have your ideal cottage in the perfect location - take a look at our selection by visiting our online search facility.