Things to do nearby West Cottage
Set among the rolling hills of the Eden Valley, Cumwhinton has a shop with post office and a pub, The Lowther Arms, which serves good food. The village is less than a mile from junction 42 of the M6 yet peace and quiet comes easily in this area. Just a short drive will take you to the nearby River Eden, where you can follow footpaths along the river bank.
The village provides an ideal base for exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Lake District National Park and Hadrian’s Wall, the most remarkable edifice built by the Romans in Britain. Almost 2,000 years old, the wall stretches 73 miles from Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria right over to Newcastle and you can enjoy its associated forts and museums as well as the rugged beauty of the landscape through which it passes. Some of the best remaining parts of Hadrian’s Wall can be seen along the Roman road which runs parallel to the A69. If you’re feeling energetic you might want to cycle along it – the hills will certainly test your energy levels! There are plenty of footpaths if you prefer to walk along the wall. This area of north Cumbria can deliver tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of the Lake District tourist hotspots while still offering plenty of attractions within easy reach.
Located about four miles away, the Border City of Carlisle is compact and ideal for exploring on foot, offering shops, cinemas, museums and plenty of places to eat and drink. You can also visit the imposing castle, which has medieval dungeons, passageways and chambers to explore and was once home to Mary Queen of Scots. The sandstone cathedral is another impressive building to add to your list, or why not wander through one of the parks alongside the River Eden?
While you’re in the area you could take a picturesque trip on the famous Settle-Carlisle Railway, with 21 viaducts and 14 tunnels on its 72-mile journey. Special charter trains occasionally run from Carlisle to Settle, including steam and diesel trains. Settle, at the far end, is a lovely market town only a few minutes’ walk from the station. If you choose to stop off along the way you could go for a walk in Coombs Wood at Armathwaite, visit the historic town of Appleby-in-Westmorland or buy an antique in the market town of Kirkby Stephen.
If you’re seeking activities to entertain children, Walby Farm Park near Crosby-on-Eden is an award-winning all-weather attraction. It has all sorts of animals to meet, including pony grooming, sheep racing, rabbit cuddling, lamb feeding, a nature trail, pedal go-karts and a maize maze, to name but a few!
The attractive market town of Penrith has numerous independent and high street shops as well as many places to eat. There’s even a smokery! The exquisite Victorian Devonshire Arcade is home to small boutiques and food retailers, and nearby there is a host of watermills, potteries, alpaca and ostrich farms and the ruins of a castle that you can visit. The Rheged Centre, which is located just outside Penrith, hosts a calendar of events, exhibitions and cinema screenings, plus indoor and outdoor play for children.
The historic properties of Dalemain, Hutton-in-the-Forest and Lowther Castle all have tearooms where you can tuck into tasty treats. In addition, daily flying displays take place at the Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre on the Lowther estate. You could also visit Abbott Lodge to meet the animals and enjoy various play options, as well as tasting delicious Jersey ice cream.
The attractions, walks and beauty of the northern Lake District are also conviently within reach. Ullswater is your nearest lake, considered by many as England’s most beautiful. Hop aboard the ‘Steamers’, which drop visitors off at various points to explore the lakeshore or fellside, or take a rowing boat or canoe onto the lake. From Ullswater there are hundreds of walks to enjoy. Probably one of the most famous of the Lake District waterfalls is Aira Force, which falls almost 70 feet from below a stone footbridge and is on land owned by the National Trust. If you are feeling adventurous, Helvellyn – named Britain’s Best Walk in an ITV programme presented by Julia Bradbury – is the Lake District’s third highest mountain, after Scafell Pike and Scafell. Several routes are available to walkers.
It’s an easy drive to the Solway Coast, with its stunning sunsets, coastal walks and nature reserves, and the Scottish Border country. You could even take a day trip to Edinburgh or Glasgow – or sit back and enjoy the view from the train, with direct services available from Carlisle.
Also within reach is the Northumberland National Park with miles of quiet walking or cycling. Enjoy the landscape of the North Pennines or visit Alston, the highest market town in England, for a ride on a narrow-gauge steam railway.