Things to do nearby Orchard Cottage (Waberthwaite)
If hiking is your thing then tackling Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain is a definite must when visiting Cumbria's west coast. Walkers travel from all over to undertake its various accents, and while there are endless variations for reaching the summit, there are three most popular routes that are commonly believed to be easily accessible. Trails start at Borrowdale, Wasdale and Great Langdale, all of which are possible for a day out from Waberthwaite, however, the Wasdale trails is by far the easiest drive. An enjoyable 20-mile journey alongside Wastwater takes you to the Wasdale Head car park to begin the 6.5-mile walk.
Still the lived-in home of the Pennington Family, Muncaster Castle makes for a fun and fascinating day out. The castle itself dates back to the 13th century and has been enlarged and upgraded over the centuries so displays a variety of architectural features from various eras. The audio tour around the castle is narrated by members of the Pennington family and is full of captivating tales, humorous anecdotes and intriguing facts. The historic gardens cover an area of 77 acres and offer a wonderful place to enjoy the tranquillity of this natural environment. With wild woodlands, rolling lawns and vibrant, mature borders, it makes for a fabulous place to roam. The enchanted trail, play areas and hawk and owl centre make it a hit with younger visitors too.
Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway
Complete with recorded commentary and opportunities for wildlife spotting, a trip on Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is a lovely way to while away an afternoon. The journey takes 40 minutes but can be extended by choosing to hop off at one of the seven request stops along the way. Walks are possible from many of the stops, and the cafes and nearby attractions at both Boot and Ravenglass station provide an excellent way to break up the trip or end a great day out. Of course, you don't need to leave the train at all; passengers are invited to sit back and relax while they are transported through spectacular countryside, from the coastal village of Ravenglass inland towards the hilly Eskdale Valley.
Cumbrian Coast Line
A fabulous way to explore Cumbria's coast is by jumping on a train at Bootle station bound for either Barrow-in-Furness in the south, or Carlisle in the north. The 82-mile journey makes many stops along the way, offering the perfect opportunity for sightseeing. Visit the attractive seaside towns of Maryport and Whitehaven, enjoy a windswept walk up St Bees Head or along Silecroft beach, take in a bit of history and explore the Roman connection at Carlisle's Tullie House Museum, or just sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Lakeland Fells and the Irish Sea. You'll also see plenty of evidence of Cumbria's energy developments as you pass by wind turbines, gas platforms, and of course the controversial site that is Sellafield.
A lush green valley at the foot of Honister Pass and with views over Wainwright's favourite fell, Haystacks, Buttermere is a gem in the English Lake District. With walking opportunities that range from the gentle, reasonably flat circular walk around the lakeshore, to the exhilarating ridge walk of Rannerdale Knotts, there is plenty to explore whatever your stamina. You'll also find a couple of delightful pubs and a few tearooms serving yummy cakes and light lunches. Syke Farm Tearoom can be found in the farmyard that marks the end of the Buttermere circular walk if travelling anti-clockwise and is home to Ayrshires Ice Cream. The tearoom and ice cream counter is very popular in summer and offers a delicious treat at the end of a satisfying walk.
Dock Museum, Barrow in Furness
Overlooking the town's Dockland, Barrow's Dock Museum has permanent exhibitions which explore the area's shipbuilding past, transport you back in time to when Vikings roamed these parts and challenge you to think about our social history. There is also a gallery dedicated to travelling exhibitions and a host of events taking place at various time throughout the year. On a fine day, you can enjoy one of the Channelside walks from the museum taking you to the beaches and nature reserves on Walney Island. The walks allow you to enjoy views of Black Combe while passing by the fishing boats moored to the pier as you go.
Eskdale Golf Club and Fishing
More than just a round of golf, Eskdale golf club offers a tranquil private spot to enjoy fishing for salmon, sea trout and brown trout in a picturesque part of the River Esk. Day permits for fishing on the Rivers Esk and Irt can be obtained through Millom and District Angling Association online. However, if a round of golf is what you're after, you won't be disappointed. This 18-hour golf course offers a challenging game while boasting some of the most spectacular views you could wish to have. Eskdale Golf Club is less than 5 miles from Waberthwaite and is very welcoming of visitors.
One of the most accessible central Lake District villages from Waberthwaite, Coniston is certainly worth a visit. Nestled in the shadows of the imposing Old Man of Coniston, the village is a representative Lakeland village with its cluster of slate buildings just a short walk from the lake shore. It is a haven for walkers and climbers and has plenty of outdoor activity providers offering a variety of pursuits. If you're looking for a more peaceful exploration of the area, the steam yacht gondola is a lovely way to take in the spectacular scenery without exerting yourself, and a path along the waters edge towards Torver if perfect for a gentle walk. Back in the village, the Black Bull Inn is an attractive whitewashed 400-year old coaching inn now home to Coniston Brewing Company. Their Bluebird Bitter has won awards with CAMRA and is popular with visitors and locals alike.
Driving the sites
Driving routes from Waberthwaite can be followed to take in the many fascinating sites the area has to offer. Not far north of the cottage a half day leisurely can include stop-offs at Hardknott Roman Fort, Eskdale Mill, Burnmoor Stone Circle, Muncastle Castle, Raven Glass Roman Baths and Gosforth Cross, among others. Pack a picnic or stop off at Ravenglass for a pub lunch to make a full day of exploration.
The attractive coastal town of Maryport, with its pretty Roman harbour and its imposing Georgian houses, is well worth a stroll around. Try and cath the Maryport Blues Festival if you can. The Lake District Coast Aquarium offers you a look at a range of marine life as well as a chance to take part in their daily fish feeding and talks. Maryport Maritime Museum is run by volunteers and is a great way to learn a little more about the port's maritime, industrial and social history, while Senhouse Roman Museum, which sits on a cliff overlooking the Solway Firth, displays inscribed stones and other artefacts discovered in the area dating back to the Roman period.