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Cumbria


Ambleside
Market town situated at the head of Lake Windermere and surrounded by fells. The historic town centre is now a conservation area and the country around Ambleside is rich in historic and literary associations. Good centre for touring, walking and climbing.

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Appleby-in-Westmorland
Former county town of Westmorland, at the foot of the Pennines in the Eden Valley. The castle was rebuilt in the 17th century, except for its Norman keep, ditches and ramparts. It now houses a Rare Breeds Survival Trust Centre. Good centre for exploring the Eden Valley.

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Bowness-on-Windermere
Bowness is the older of the 2 towns of Bowness and Windermere and dates from the 11th century. It is a busy tourist resort set on the shores of Lake Windermere, England's largest lake. Good location for touring, walking, boating and fishing.

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Broughton-in-Furness
Old market village whose historic charter to hold fairs is still proclaimed every year on the first day of August in the market square. Good centre for touring the pretty Duddon Valley.

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Caldbeck
Quaint limestone village lying on the northern fringe of the Lake District National Park. John Peel, the famous huntsman who is immortalised in song, is buried in the churchyard. The fells surrounding Caldbeck were once heavily mined, being rich in lead, copper and barytes.

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Carlisle
Cumbria's only city is rich in history. Attractions include the small red sandstone cathedral and 900-year-old castle with magnificent view from the keep. The award-winning Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery brings 2,000 years of Border history dramatically to life. Excellent centre for shopping.

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Cartmel
Picturesque conserved village based on a 12th century priory with a well-preserved church and gatehouse. Just half a mile outside the Lake District National Park, this is a peaceful base for walking and touring, with historic houses and beautiful scenery.

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Cockermouth
Ancient market town at confluence of Rivers Cocker and Derwent. Birthplace of William Wordsworth in 1770. The house where he was born is at the end of the town's broad, tree-lined main street and is now owned by the National Trust. Good touring base for the Lakes.

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Coniston
The 803m fell Coniston Old Man dominates the skyline to the east of this village at the northern end of Coniston Water. Arthur Ransome set his "Swallows and Amazons" stories here. Coniston's most famous resident was John Ruskin, whose home, Brantwood, is open to the public. Good centre for walking.

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Dent
Very picturesque village with narrow cobbled streets, lying within the boundaries of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

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Elterwater
Attractive village at the foot of Great Langdale with a small village green as its focal point. Elterwater, one of the smallest lakes in the Lake District, was named by the Norsemen as "Swan Lake", and swans still frequent the lake.

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Eskdale
Several minor roads lead to the west end of this beautiful valley, or it can be approached via the east over the Hardknott Pass, the Lake District's steepest pass. Scafell Pike and Bow Fell lie to the north, and a miniature railway links the Eskdale Valley with Ravenglass on the coast.

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Grange-over-Sands
Set on the beautiful Cartmel Peninsula, this tranquil resort, known as Lakeland's Riviera, overlooks Morecambe Bay. Pleasant seafront walks and beautiful gardens. The bay attracts many species of birds.

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Grasmere
Described by William Wordsworth as "the loveliest spot that man hath ever found", this village, famous for its gingerbread, is in a beautiful setting overlooked by Helm Crag. Wordsworth lived at Dove Cottage. The cottage and museum are open to the public.

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Great Langdale
Picturesque valley at the foot of the Langdale Pikes, popular with walkers and climbers of every ability, with some of the Lake District's loveliest waterfalls.

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Hawkshead
Lying near Esthwaite Water, this village has great charm and character. Its small squares are linked by flagged or cobbled alleys, and the main square is dominated by the market house, or Shambles, where the butchers had their stalls in days gone by.

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High Lorton
On the B5292 between Keswick and Cockermouth. Spectacular views from nearby Whinlatter Pass down this predominantly farming valley.

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Kendal
The "Auld Grey Town" lies in the valley of the River Kent with a backdrop of limestone fells. Situated just outside the Lake District National Park, it is a good centre for touring the Lakes and surrounding country. Ruined castle, reputed birthplace of Catherine Parr.

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Keswick
Beautifully positioned town beside Derwentwater and below the mountains of Skiddaw and Blencathra. Excellent base for walking, climbing, watersports and touring. Motor-launches operate on Derwentwater, and motor boats, rowing boats and canoes can be hired.

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King's Meaburn
Unspoilt Eden Valley village on the River Lyvennet.

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Kirkby Lonsdale
Charming old town of narrow streets and Georgian buildings, set in the superb scenery of the Lune Valley. The Devil's Bridge over the River Lune is probably 13th century.

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Kirkby Stephen
Old market town close to the River Eden, with many fine Georgian buildings and an attractive market square. St Stephen's Church is known as the "Cathedral of the Dales". Good base for exploring the Eden Valley and the Dales.

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Kirkoswald
Village of red sandstone houses in the fertile Eden Valley, with the ruins of a 12th century castle. The village derives its name from the church of St Oswald.

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Langdale
The 2 Langdale valleys (Great Langdale and Little Langdale) lie in the heart of beautiful mountain scenery. The craggy Langdale Pikes are almost 2,500 feet high. An ideal walking and climbing area and base for touring.

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Little Langdale
See Langdale.

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Longsleddale
Quiet valley in the south-eastern fells, stretching 6 miles and lying 5 miles north of Kendal. Narrow roads, bordered by rolling hillsides, woodlands and craggy valley head.

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Loweswater
Scattered village lying between Loweswater, one of the smallest lakes, and Crummock Water. Mountains surround this quiet valley of three lakes, giving some marvellous views.

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Mungrisdale
Set in an unspoilt valley, this hamlet has a simple, white church with a 3-decker pulpit and box pews.

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Newby Bridge
At the southern end of Windermere on the River Leven, this village has an unusual stone bridge with arches of unequal size. The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway has a stop here, and steamer cruises on Lake Windermere leave from nearby Lakeside.

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Penrith
Ancient and historic market town, the northern gateway to the Lake District. Penrith Castle was built as a defence against the Scots. Its ruins, open to the public, stand in the public park. High above the town is the Penrith Beacon, made famous by Wordsworth.

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Pooley Bridge
The bridge is on the northern tip of Lake Ullswater and spans the River Eamont where it emerges from the lake. Good centre for exploring, walking and sailing.

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Sawrey
Far Sawrey and Near Sawrey lie near Esthwaite Water. Both villages are small, but Near Sawrey is famous for Hill Top Farm, home of Beatrix Potter, now owned by the National Trust and open to the public.

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Sedbergh
This busy market town, set below the Howgill Fells, is an excellent centre for walking and touring the Dales and Howgills. The noted boys' school was founded in 1525.

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Spark Bridge
Small, attractive village beside the River Crake, south of Coniston Water. Cumbria's last bobbin mill recently closed here.

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Staveley
Large village built in slate, set between Kendal and Windermere at the entrance to the lovely Kentmere Valley.

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Threlkeld
This village is a centre for climbing the Saddleback range of mountains, which tower high above it.

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Ullswater
This beautiful lake, which is over 7 miles long, runs from Glenridding to Pooley Bridge. Lofty peaks ranging around the lake make an impressive background. A steamer service operates along the lake between Pooley Bridge, Howtown and Glenridding in the summer.

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Ulverston
Market town lying between green fells and the sea. There is a replica of the Eddystone lighthouse on the Hoad which is a monument to Sir John Barrow, founder of the Royal Geographical Society. Birthplace of Stan Laurel, of Laurel and Hardy.

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Wasdale
A very dramatic valley with England's deepest lake, Wastwater, highest mountain, Scafell Pike, and smallest church. The eastern shore of Wastwater is dominated by the 1,500-ft screes dropping steeply into the lake. A good centre for walking and climbing.

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Whitehaven
Historic Georgian port on the west coast. The town was developed in the 17th century and many fine buildings have been preserved. The Beacon Heritage Centre includes a Meteorological Office Weather Gallery. Start or finishing point of Coast to Coast, Whitehaven to Sunderland cycleway.

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Wigton
Built on the site of a Roman fort, Wigton has a centuries-old market as well as cattle, sheep and horse auctions.

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Windermere
Once a tiny hamlet before the introduction of the railway in 1847, it now adjoins Bowness which is on the lakeside. Centre for sailing and boating. A good way to see the lake is a trip on a passenger steamer. Steamboat Museum has a fine collection of old boats.

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