Allerdale is the capital of doing
Allerdale is the capital of doing
Lake District Activities
Allerdale is definitely the capital of doing. Whether you love a gentle walk in the Lake District, cycling along the Solway Coast, or even some exciting white water action in the mountains, you’ll find them all – and everything in between – here in Allerdale. We reckon the best of the Lake District’s activities are here – with the added bonus that we have a fabulous stretch of coastline too.
Let’s start with Derwentwater and the adventure capital that is Keswick. Get out on the lake in a kayak or rowing boat, or let the motorised launches take the strain. Head up into the becks and rivers for some high-adrenaline ghyll scrambling or dive deep below the surface of our lakes.
You could bag some Wainwrights – those Lake District peaks of all shapes and sizes – written about by by AW Wainwright in his famous pictorial guides. They’re all over 1,000 feet high, apart from one very special one here in Allerdale – Castle Crag at the southern end of Derwentwater is the perfect mini mountain for a family walk.
If you love the water but like something a little more sedate, how about some wild swimming? It’s said to be good for the soul. Those of you who want to stay on dry land will be in your element.
Try climbing and bouldering indoors and out, discover horse trekking or tree-top adventures, take a walk on the beaches of the Solway Coast, do a bit of archery or orienteering, or even go walking with llamas.
Or why don’t you try getting out on two wheels? The cycling opportunities here are endless. Head for the coast for miles of flat routes, or get into the Lake District National Park for some fantastic mountain biking. Try the marked routes around Whinlattter Forest Park or make your own way across the valleys and fells.
You could even see Allerdale from the air. This is a popular spot for paragliders or you could take a pleasure flight from Carlisle Lake District Airport.
Whatever you want from the great outdoors, you could find it in Allerdale.
Sailing, walking, cycling, paragliding, climbing, horse riding, canoeing, swimming, climbing, canyoning… The list goes on. And, with two of England’s highest peaks close by, you won’t be short of a challenge.
Explore Britain’s most stunning scenery and walks, with a hike up Skiddaw or a gentle amble along the shores of Buttermere. And don’t forget a walk along the Solway’s beaches for some reviving sea air.
For a cycling buff, Allerdale has it all being home of the Coast to Coast and Hadrian’s Cycleway. For budding Kings of the Mountains, head over the Honister or Newlands Pass – or the aptly named Fangs Brow near Loweswater.
Get up high
See the Lake District in a whole new way from a paraglider or, if you like to keep your feet on the ground, how do you fancy climbing or bouldering? You could also take in the view from one of our mountain peaks.
To get the miles in, the rolling Solway coast is perfect cycling country too and don’t forget about the smooth, off-road cycle path up the coast from Maryport to Allonby (and which may, by the time you read this, have reached Silloth).
We’re a mountain biker’s paradise with loads of off-road routes and the fantastic Whinlatter Forest Park at our heart. You can hire bikes there, or take your own, and there are marked routes for you to follow.
On the water
If water’s your thing, take a dip in a lake, scull a paddle board or canoe, or just relax on Derwentwater’s lakes cruises. You could go wild swimming or paddle boarding, leap into ghylls and gullies, or simply take a paddle on the Solway Coast. Please check out the guidance for paddlers and boaters to help reduce the spread of invasive plants and animals in our waters here.
If your four-legged friends are with you, there are miles of paths to explore. The Solway Coast is a great place to take your horse, or go trekking in one of Allerdale’s riding centres. You can even take a llama for a walk here…
Wheelchair and buggy friendly walks
Harris Park Cockermouth
Harris Park in Cockermouth has a children’s playground, tennis courts and bowling club. From its elevated position enjoy the extensive views of the Buttermere Fells. Paths drop down quite steeply from the children’s play area to reveal the fast flowing River Cocker. You can follow the path the along the river back into town.
Friars Crag Keswick
A short walk from the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, along the foreshore path of Derwentwater, brings you to Friar’s Crag. The views are sensational along the lake to the head of Borrowdale. Prominent is Castle Crag, and the mighty Scafell range of fells in the distance. The work of Canon Rawnsley, one of the founders of the National Trust is commemorated here.
Caldbeck is a charming Lakeland village with pretty cottages, a village pub, and a restored water mill with café, gift shop and wool shop run by a local cooperative. This is a short walk starting from the car park, following the sign posted path. Along the way you will encounter small waterfalls in a limestone gorge before reaching a disused bobbin mill, a reminder of the areas industrial past. From here, return to the start.
Quiet inlets and bays are there to discover and savour on the far, wooded shore of peaceful Loweswater. There is a small car park at Maggie’s Bridge where a road and then good path takes you towards the lake. Enjoy identifying the trees and birdlife all in an incredibly beautiful setting. When the path steepens and gets very uneven, it’s time to turn round if you want to avoid the ups and downs and the main road which you will have to negotiate if you wish to do a full circuit of the lake.
The Buttermere valley is perhaps the prettiest in the Lake District, with its lake and steep, high fells on both sides. This route allows you to take it all in. Park in Buttermere, pass the Fish Inn and follow the sign posts to the lake. This leads to Buttermere’s wooded shore. Follow the path and take in the views. On your right is Red Pike, a fine summit whose ridge leads to High Crag and High Stile. Across the valley, famous Lake District fells are arrayed from Whiteside, Grasmoor and Robinson. It then gets a little rough a little more than half way along the shore path, so it’s a good point to reverse the route. From this point there are fine views ahead to Fleetwith Pike and to the right, Haystacks, Wainwright’s favourite mountain where his ashes were scattered.
Silloth is a well preserved Victorian sea side town, with a big town centre green and long, flat promenade. Starting from the Solway Coast AONB Discovery Centre, head towards the Green and sea which brings you to the Promenade. Turn left along the Prom and enjoy the fresh air and extensive views across the Solway Firth to Scotland. The large hill across the water is Criffel. Enjoy a gentle stroll until you reach the RNIB lifeboat station and turn left by the side of the Green and into town. Turn left opposite the Golf Hotel. Criffel Street is a fine cobbled thoroughfare showcasing Silloth’s street grid pattern and fine houses with unrivalled views out to sea. Follow Criffel Street until you reach the Discovery Centre on your right.
Fitz Park Keswick
Fitz Park provide some of the best views of mighty Skiddaw to be had. The vista constantly changes when you follow the path along the banks of the River Greta. Keswick Museum in a corner of the park brings the history of the area to life, especially with its changing exhibitions. There is a play area and outdoor fitness machines as well as a range of other sports facilities. Keswick Leisure Pool is also on the edge of the park.
Workington Hall Parkland
Workington Hall Parkland in Workington is the peaceful heart of West Cumbria’s premier shopping town. At its centre is a Workington Hall, a Grade 1 listed ancient monument, once the home to generations of the Curwen family. All is now ruined and but incredibly picturesque. The parkland has many impressive, mature trees and associated wildlife. Follow the paths north that slope down to the River Derwent. The river flows through attractive parkland and meadows. Heading south out of the park takes you into the historic centre of Workington. Its story is well told at Helena Thompson museum and the town’s 18th century streets are well worth exploring especially Portland Square.