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Top Attractions in Cumbria

Barrow-in-Furness

Barrow-in-Furness is a town and seaport in the county of Cumbria, England. Historically part of Lancashire it was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1867 and merged with adjacent districts in 1974 to form the Borough of Barrow-in-Furness. Situated at the tip of the Furness peninsula close to the Lake District it is bordered by Morecambe Bay, the Duddon Estuary and the Irish Sea. In 2011 Barrows population stood at around 57,000, while 69,000 lived in the wider borough making it the second largest urban area in Cumbria after Carlisle. Natives of Barrow as well as the local dialect are known as Barrovian. In the Middle Ages, Barrow was a small hamlet with Furness Abbey, on the outskirts of the modern-day town, controlling the local economy before its dissolution in 1537. The iron prospector Henry Schneider arrived in Furness in 1839 and, with other investors, opened the Furness Railway in 1846 to transport iron ore and slate from local mines to the coast. Further hematite deposits were discovered, of sufficient size to develop factories for smelting and exporting steel. By the late 19th century, the Barrow Hematite Steel Company-owned steelworks was the worlds largest. Barrows location and the availability of steel allowed the town to develop into a significant producer of naval vessels, a shift that was accelerated during World War I and the local yards specialisation in submarines. The original iron- and steel-making enterprises closed down after World War II, leaving Vickers shipyard as Barrows main industry and employer. Several Royal Navy flagships, the vast majority of its nuclear submarines as well as numerous ocean liners and oil tankers were manufactured at the facility. The end of the Cold War and subsequent decrease in military spending saw high unemployment in the town through lack of contracts; despite this, the BAE Systems shipyard remains operational as the UKs largest by workforce and has major future expansion plans associated with the Trident successor programme. Today Barrow is a hub for energy generation and handling. Several wind farms located off the coast of the town form one of the highest concentrations of turbines in the world.

Carlisle

Carlisle is a city and the county town of Cumbria. Historically in Cumberland, it is also the administrative centre of the City of Carlisle borough in North West England. Carlisle is located at the confluence of the rivers Eden, Caldew and Petteril, 10 miles south of the Scottish border. It is the largest settlement in the county of Cumbria, and serves as the administrative centre for both Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council. At the time of the 2001 census, the population of Carlisle was 71,773, with 100,734 living in the wider city. Ten years later, at the 2011 census, the citys population had risen to 75,306, with 107,524 in the wider city. The early history of Carlisle is marked by its status as a Roman settlement, established to serve the forts on Hadrians Wall. During the Middle Ages, because of its proximity to the Kingdom of Scotland, Carlisle became an important military stronghold; Carlisle Castle, still relatively intact, was built in 1092 by William Rufus, and once served as a prison for Mary, Queen of Scots. The castle now houses the Duke of Lancasters Regiment and the Border Regiment Museum. In the early 12th century Henry I allowed the foundation of a priory in Carlisle. The town gained the status of a city when its diocese was formed in 1133, and the priory became Carlisle Cathedral. The introduction of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution began a process of socioeconomic transformation in Carlisle, which developed into a densely populated mill town. This, combined with its strategic position, allowed for the development of Carlisle as an important railway town, with seven railway companies sharing Carlisle railway station. Nicknamed The Great Border City, Carlisle today is the main cultural, commercial and industrial centre for north Cumbria. It is home to the main campuses of the University of Cumbria and a variety of museums and heritage centres. The former County Borough of Carlisle had held city status until the Local Government Act 1972 was enacted in 1974.

Keswick

Keswick is an English market town and civil parish formerly part of Cumberland and since 1974 in the Borough of Allerdale in Cumbria. The town, in the Lake District National Park, just north of Derwentwater, and 4 miles from Bassenthwaite, had a population of 4,821 at the time of the 2011 census. There is considerable evidence of prehistoric occupation of the Keswick area, but the first recorded mention of the town dates from the 13th century, when Edward I of England granted a charter for Keswicks market, which has maintained a continuous 700-year existence. In Tudor times the town was an important mining area, and from the 18th century onwards it has increasingly been known as a holiday centre; tourism has been its principal industry for more than 150 years. Its features include the Moot Hall; a modern theatre, the Theatre by the Lake; one of Britains oldest surviving cinemas, the Alhambra; and the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery in the towns largest open space, Fitz Park. Among the towns annual events is the Keswick Convention, an Evangelical gathering attracting visitors from many countries. Keswick became widely known for its association with the poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey. Together with their fellow Lake Poet William Wordsworth, based at Grasmere, 12 miles away, they made the scenic beauty of the area widely known to readers in Britain and beyond. In the late 19th century and into the 20th, Keswick was the focus of several important initiatives by the growing conservation movement, often led by Hardwicke Rawnsley, vicar of the nearby Crosthwaite parish and co-founder of the National Trust, which has built up extensive holdings in the area.

Eden

Eden is a local government district in Cumbria, England. Its council is based in Penrith. It is named after the River Eden which flows north through the district toward Carlisle. It has an area of 2,156 km², making it the eighth largest district in England and the largest non-unitary district. It also has the lowest population density of any district in England and Wales, with a mean of just 25 persons per square kilometre. In 2011, the population was 5% above its 2001 level. The district council was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, from the Penrith urban district, Alston with Garrigill Rural District and Penrith Rural District, all in Cumberland, and Appleby Municipal Borough, part of Lakes urban district and North Westmorland Rural District, all in Westmorland. Part of the Lake District National Park is in the district. The West Coast Main Railway Line runs through the district but with only one station at Penrith. Services on this line are provided by Virgin Trains and First TransPennine Express. The Northern Rail Settle-Carlisle Railway also goes through the district and has stations at Armathwaite, Lazonby, Langwathby, Appleby and Kirkby Stephen. Roads through the district are the M6 motorway, the A6 and the A66. It was shown a national detailed Land Use Survey by the Office for National Statistics in 2005 that Eden District has the second lowest proportion of land taken up by roads of any district in England: 0.8%, fractionally greater than Craven in North Yorkshire and both adjoining the Pennines. This compared with a maximum of over 20% in four London boroughs and the City of London. In that detailed survey it was shown that Eden District had the greatest proportion of greenspace (which excludes domestic gardens) of any district, 97.9%, as shown by the following extract:

Cartmel

Cartmel is a village in Cumbria, England, 2.2 miles north-west of Grange-over-Sands and close to the River Eea. The village was once known as Kirkby in Cartmel, as it was the location of the church for the large parish of Cartmel. It is the location of the 12th-century Cartmel Priory. Historically in Lancashire, boundary changes brought it into the newly created county of Cumbria in 1974. The village has more recently become known as the "home of sticky toffee pudding". This can be purchased in various sizes from the Cartmel Village Shop. Its racecourse hosts popular meetings two or three times a year, traditionally in Whit Week. The ancient parish was traditionally known as the Land of Cartmel an area quite separate from the Furness peninsula. Holker Hall, associated with the Cavendish family and the Dukes of Devonshire, is located within the original boundaries of the parish. The village is served by the nearby Cark and Cartmel railway station opened in 1857 by the Ulverston and Lancaster Railway and which is currently served by the Furness Line. Cartmel College at the University of Lancaster is named after the Cartmel peninsula. Recently, Cartmel has become noted for Simon Rogan's Michelin-starred restaurant, L'Enclume. There are also several gift shops through the village including Hales Chocolates and Perfect English. In Unsworth's Yard there is a new micro brewery, Cartmel Cheeses and an artisan bakery. Visitors can take a tour around Cartmel Park on a Lakeland Segway or have a horse-drawn carriage ride provided by Cartmel's Black Horses.

Walney

The Isle of Walney, also known as Walney Island, is an island off the west coast of England, at the western end of Morecambe Bay. It forms part of the town of Barrow-in-Furness, and it is separated from mainland Barrow by Walney Channel, a narrow channel which is spanned by the Jubilee Bridge. Walney is the largest island of the Furness Islands group, both in population and size, as well as the largest English island in the Irish Sea. Its population at the 2011 UK Census was 10,651, distributed evenly across the island's two Wards of Walney North and Walney South. Walney Island formed during the last glacial period, when the River Duddon was a large glacial lake, depositing till at its mouth, which became Walney. Some evidence of neolithic inhabitants has been found in the island's sand dunes, though its name is likely of Norse origin. The island remained rural until the growth of Barrow-in-Furness' industries in the nineteenth century. In particular, the development between 1867 and 1881 of docks at Barrow Island, in Walney Channel opposite Walney, encouraged the growth of Walney as a settlement. The planned worker town of Vickerstown was built on the island in 1898, resulting in a large population increase, and the construction of Jubilee Bridge connecting Walney to the mainland in 1908. Walney's contemporary population now forms about a seventh of the overall population of Barrow-in-Furness. The island contains two nature reserves, at either end, and its sandy beaches make it a popular leisure site.

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