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 3 miles away, 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, with lovely views, to Dovenby where there is a pub for refreshment before you return. You could also head towards the old open cast site at Soddy Gap which is well known locally as a good birding site and from where a track (suitable for all terrain pushchairs) heads up to Broughton Moor with 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 3 miles away, visit 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 to browse. 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 Jennings Brewery offering tours and the all-important tastings!
Walkers have numerous options to choose from both for days on the high fells or lower level walking. The whole of the north-western lake district is your oyster, a great excuse to get the maps out 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 4 fells in the Lakes over 3000ft and on a clear day offers views stretching from Scotland, round to the Pennines and of course across the fells. For gentler walks try Loweswater or Rannerdale in May for stunning displays of bluebells, Whinlatter is great all year round with shelter from the sun or wind and can offer an easy way to get up to the snowline in winter. For autumn colours you cannot beat the woods around Derwentwater, accessible for all. Don’t forget the coast is also within easy reach for a change of scene, go and try out a section of the new England Coast Path between Allonby and Whitehaven. Cyclists can head to the off-road tracks at ‘Back O’ Skiddaw’, the mountain bike trails at Whinlatter or for road cyclists Newlands and Whinlatter passes offer a real challenge.
Local attractions ideal for young families include The Gincase, a farm park with 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, easily enough to keep youngsters busy all day. Head towards Bassenthwaite and you will find the Lake District Wildlife Park with a range of wildlife to view including meerkats, otters and red panda for the cute factor, gibbons and lemurs for entertainment and an excellent bird of prey display. Allonby is a small seaside village with pubs, cafes and of course a chippy and ice creams, it also has miles of beaches, views across the estuary to the Scottish hills and a popular playground. For older members of the party how about a trip to The Lake District Distillery near Embleton for tours and tastings.
Maryport can be reached in around 10 minutes from the cottage, an attractive coastal town with harbour and marina it also offers a number of tourist attractions. Senhouse Roman Museum houses a large collection of Roman alters, located next to the site of a roman fort which was part of Hadrian’s Wall. 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. Or for a more energetic indoor activity head to Clip n Climb to tackle one of the climbing walls or for the bravest try ‘the leap of faith’. On a nice day walk along the prom, rock pool on the beach or explore the cycleway running north or south along the coast.
Anyone with an interest in wildlife should head to the Osprey viewpoint at Dodd wood from May to August, volunteers are on hand to show everyone the birds through telescopes set up at the viewpoint. 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, the sunny house dates from 1666 and welcomes visitors to linger and soak up the atmosphere, children are encouraged to play in the nursery. There are extensive and varied gardens, a lakeshore walk and natural play areas to wear out all ages and don’t miss the short walk to the compact pre-Norman St Bega’s church in stunning surroundings. When you are done you can enjoy a sausage sandwich of spectacular proportions in the Old Sawmill café, or just tea and cake or ice cream if this is your preference, all are delicious!
Birdwatchers and nature lovers should head to the Solway Coast, 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.
Half an hour’s drive south can take you to St Bees, from where you can walk up onto St Bees Head. This is a spectacular walk at any time of year but in spring and early summer there is the added bonus of the unforgettable sight, sound and smell of a seabird colony on the red sandstone cliffs. St Bees also boasts a lovely sandy beach, host to an annual sand sculpture competition, and the 12th century St Bees Priory. For keen walkers a good option for a day away from the fells is to utilise the train between St Bees and Whitehaven to do a linear walk of around 8 miles right round St Bees head. This offers the lovely beach at St Bees at one end, the lighthouse, sea bird colonies, industrial heritage of mining and quarrying in the middle, the pretty harbour of Whitehaven at the other end and spectacular views throughout.
The city of Carlisle has a variety of options for a day out, there are plenty of shops and eateries but the sandstone cathedral is still the tallest building in this compact city. Visit the historic castle which was once home to Mary Queen of Scots and explore the dungeons. Try Bitts Park for lovely gardens, a walk by the River Eden, a large play area with a music trail and snack bar between the castle and the river. Tullie House museum has interactive exhibits on local history, geography and wildlife as well as a very good café.
Keswick is the hub of the Northern Lake District, beautifully located on the shores of Derwentwater and starting point for numerous walks for all ages and abilities it is well worth a visit. You can also take the launch across the lake to see Lodore Falls made famous by ‘The Cataract of Lodore’ by Robert Southey or Lingholm walled gardens which were Beatrix Potter’s inspiration for Mr McGregor's garden in Peter Rabbit. 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 to treat yourself or for gifts to take home. Play mini golf or tennis, take in a show at the Theatre by the Lake or a film at the traditional cinema, have fish and chips to take away or sit down to a Mexican, it is all here plus much more.
1 Archway Cottages is perfectly located for exploring the whole area, fells, coast, town or city - all is within easy reach.