Things to do nearby Townend Stables
Just a few miles from the cottage is the Border City of Carlisle, offering an array of activities for all ages and interests. Having been settled by the Romans to serve the forts along Hadrian’s Wall, the city is swimming in interesting history. Explore the dungeons of Carlisle Castle – briefly the residence of Mary, Queen of Scots - learn about the local history at Tullie House Museum, or explore the beautiful sandstone cathedral. Once you’ve soaked yourself in the history, why not try a bit of retail therapy or settle down for a tasty meal at one of Carlisle’s many eateries? Alternatively, take a walk through the gardens of Bitts Park or stroll along the river.As if that weren’t enough, Carlisle also has the popular Sands Centre, which offers up varying entertainment including top-name comedians, touring musicals, and live concerts ranging from classical to rock to folk. Alternatively, lay your bets at Carlisle Racecourse, fly away to the Solway Aviation Museum, or tee off at Stony Holme Golf Course.
Nearby Watchtree Nature Reserve offers something for everyone. The Watchtree Wheelers provide cycle hire for all visitors to the Reserve and the huge collection of standard and adapted cycles means there is something for everybody. You could cruise along in a KMX kart down at the same level as the hares and the stoats or hop on a trike so you can take in the landscape views over the tops of the bustling hedgerows. There are also an array of interactive trails and orienteering activities.
Allonby is a picturesque seaside village in the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Its sand and shingle beach and wide crescent bay make it a popular place for kite-surfers, wind-surfers, walkers and horse riders. The stunning views and famed Solway sunsets have attracted photographers and artists for years, including Sheila Fell, L.S. Lowry and Workington-born Percy Kelly. Sites of historical interest include Roman Milefortlet 21 and the Crosscanonby Saltpans; a reminder of an important coastal industry that dates from the 1650s.
Silloth is another pretty town within the Solway Coast AONB. It is thought that it got its name from the Cistercian Monks of Holme Cultram Abbey, who stored their grain in barns – known as ‘lathes’ – here. As Silloth is on the coast, ‘lathes’ become ‘sea-lathes,’ which is where the name Silloth is thought to have derived from.
The town was later developed with the introduction of the railway and a new port and dock. The coastal location and clean sea air made it a popular destination in the Victorian period, and it retains some of that charm today with a sea front promenade, cobbled streets, and elegant buildings. Fantastic sunsets over the Solway and its great Cumbrian produce (including locally potted Solway shrimps) add to its appeal.
The Solway Coast Discovery Centre in the town offers a fascinating introduction to the area’s wildlife, heritage, and landscapes, and there are some great walks and cycling routes. Several long distance routes pass through Silloth including the Hadrian’s Cycleway (NCN 72, 174 miles), the Cumbria Coastal Way (150 miles) and the Allerdale Ramble (54 miles). An events programme that includes a vintage rally, kite festival, carnival, music and beer festival, and the family friendly Solfest Music Festival offers entertainment for all the family.
A World Heritage Site since 1987, Hadrian’s Wall is an astounding feat of engineering. It’s the best known and the best-preserved frontier of the Roman Empire. When Hadrian’s men set out to construct it they were faced with a relentlessly challenging and variable landscape to conquer. Neither the fierce torrents of fast rivers, the hard rock of the Whin Sill, nor mile upon mile of rolling hills would defeat them! The Wall is Britain’s most impressive and most important Roman monument. Together with the Antonine Wall and the Upper German Raetian Limes, it forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Frontiers of the Roman Empire.’
If fell walking is your preferred activity, you are within an hour’s drive of lots of northern Lake District favourites including Skiddaw, Catbells, Blencathra and Helvellyn, voted Britain’s favourite walk. For something gentler, you can head to Bassenthwaite Lake with its national nature reserve or to Derwentwater where you can take a stroll half way around the lake and catch a Launch back to Keswick.
Keswick and Cockermouth are two popular market towns just a short drive away. They both boast lots of independent shops, a variety of eateries, a theatre, cinema, and museums. In Cockermouth you can explore William Wordsworth’s childhood home or take a tour and tasting around Jennings Brewery, whilst in Keswick you can try just about every outdoor adventure activity you could possibly imagine!