Things to do nearby Beeby House
Allonby is perfectly placed for exploring the Solway coast and the western Lake District. A small, pretty village with a long green at the back of the beach it has plenty of facilities. Within a few minutes’ walk of Beeby House you can enjoy a huge ice cream from Twentymans, a fish and chip supper from The Codfather or choose from the 2 pubs and a tea room. A children’s playground can be found just round the corner along with a small football pitch for wearing out younger members of the party. An off-road cycleway heads south following the coast all the way to Maryport 8 miles away, in spring and summer it is lined with wildflowers and all year has spectacular views across the Solway to the Scottish hills. Then of course there is the main attraction, the beach; part pebble and part sand, when the tide goes out the beach is huge. Whether you want to go for a long walk on the edge of the waves, do some beachcombing for pebbles and shells or just sit and have a barbeque you will always find space to do so. Allonby beach faces west making it perfect for stunning sunsets over the sea, don’t forget to take a camera on your evening stroll!
North up the coast a few miles is Mawbray where the beach is backed by sand dunes for a coastal walk with different character, head into the village and you’ll find a lovely little pub behind the play area – The Mawbray Arms. Further north again is the small town of Silloth with a promenade, small fairground and lovely town green with play areas. It is also the starting point for a pleasant walk along isolated Grune Point with beautiful views and lots of wildlife. Head inland a little to Abbeytown and visit Holme Cultram Abbey, now the parish church but once part of Holme Cultram monastery it is built from attractive local red sandstone.
Birdwatchers and nature lovers should head to the north 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 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.
The harbour town of Maryport has all your local amenities including supermarkets plus plenty of history to explore, the old castle mound provides spectacular views over the town and the coast. The Senhouse Museum showcases some of the Roman finds from the area and is located next to a roman fort which can be viewed from a tower within the museum. The large harbour, part of which is now a marina, hints at the importance of Maryport for exporting coal and iron ore in the industrial revolution. 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’.
The lovely Georgian town of Cockermouth is only 10 miles away, you will find all the local amenities you would expect, including a supermarket and 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 and 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. The route up over Long Side and Carlside is beautiful when the heather is out and provides a more interesting approach than the tourist trail from Keswick. 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. 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. Closer to hand you can cycle off road to Maryport and, with only a very short on road section round the harbour, continue on to Workington and Whitehaven.
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. For older members of the party how about a trip to The Lake District Distillery near Embleton for tours and tastings.
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 to the walled gardens at Lingholm, 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.
Beeby House is centrally located within the lovely village of Allonby and you could spend your whole holiday exploring the beautiful coastline nearby, but if you want to go further afield then there are plenty of options within easy reach safe in the knowledge that you have a relaxing base to return to at the end of the day.