Located just south of Scotland on England’s northwest coast, Cumbria offers Royal Holiday members the chance to experience the country at its best, with impressive castles and gorgeous rustic vistas around every corner. A largely rural gem, the region’s main attraction is the incredible Lake District National Park, an enormous nature reserve that includes some of the highest peaks and deepest lakes in the country. Cumbria is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the country, and Royal Holiday members will enjoy discovering for themselves why this corner of England is so popular with both international and British travelers.
Royal Holiday’s affiliate in the region, Whitbarrow Village, provides condominium-style lodgings right in the heart of Cumbria. A short drive from Penrith and the area’s largest city, Carlisle, the resort is perfect for a family vacation, with ample entertainment options for kids and adults alike. The rooms range from cozy four-person units to enormous eight-person suites, ideal for bringing along the entire family, while the in-cottage amenities like full kitchens and bathrooms make it easy to set up a home away from home. The resort itself resembles an old-fashioned village, but its cobblestone streets belie all the modern amenities Royal Holiday members expect, from a pool and spa to tennis courts and gym.
The county of Cumbria has been home to Englishmen and women for centuries. During the Roman occupation of Britain, the area around present-day Cumbria served as the northwestern outpost of the Roman army, a fact made evident by the region’s most famous historical site (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Hadrian’s Wall. The area later became part of Scotland. By the 9th century, the region had been wrested away from Scotland by King William II, but it did not begin to truly flourish until the 19th century, when the romantic movement of poets and artists began drawing inspiration from the Lake District and industrialization brought new industry. Today, Cumbria remains charmingly rustic, with Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness representing the only true urban areas. Royal Holiday members who visit this area will quickly recognize all the beauty that inspired poets like Coleridge and Wordsworth.
Called “The Adventure Capital of the UK” by many, Cumbria offers Royal Holiday visitors plenty of outdoor activities. A horseback ride along Ravenstonedale’s Eden Valley Trail or a hike around one of the numerous tarns, or lakes, will provide infinite relaxation and stunning views. Outdoorsmen and women of all stripes will find something in Cumbria, whether it’s taking an ATV ride through the countryside, climbing one of the region’s impressive mountains, or enjoying a quiet afternoon of fishing. Of course, the Lake District National Park remains foremost in most travelers’ minds, and Royal Holiday members will do well to take a day or two to explore the incredible 885-square-mile expanse of England’s finest nature reserve.
Cumbria also offers Royal Holiday visitors numerous indoor activities, many of which offer a glimpse into the county’s fascinating history. Carlisle, a town that began as a Roman outpost, contains endless delights, like the excellent Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery. Kids will love the activities available at Walby Farm Park, a working farm that contains a variety of playgrounds and fun activities, while adults will perhaps be more interested in enjoying a local brew while watching Cumbrians cheer on one of the local football, rugby, or cricket teams. While every Royal Holiday member should take the trip to Hadrian’s Wall, those hungry for more history will enjoy touring one of the area’s castles, like Sizergh Castle, Carlisle Castle, or Muncaster Castle.