Cumbria is the most diverse and (many would say) the most beautiful county in England. It was formed in 1974 when the county boundaries were re-organised and consists of the former counties of Westmorland, Cumberland and Lancashire North of the Sands. You will still find these names used in various ways today - keep your eye out for them when you’re visiting!
Today, Cumbria contains the Lake District National Park and a small part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. As well as the high fells of the Parks, you can visit the equally impressive North Pennines or the wild open Orton plateau in the Eden Valley. The Howgill Fells provide superior walking which is very much far from the madding crowds, along with charming villages and market towns.
Many people forget that Cumbria has a coastline but in fact the southern tip of Cumbria has a unique micro-climate, warmed by the Gulf Stream, wonderful for both people and plants! Some of the best sunsets in the country are to be found on the Solway coast, west of Carlisle (and no doubt sunrises too if you’re an early riser!) Britain’s industrial heritage is in evidence as you work your way further south along the coast, along with the stunning sandstone headland of St Bees, home to some impressive colonies of seabirds. The National Park reaches the sea at Ravenglass, a hamlet once equal in importance and size to Liverpool! Two peninsulas combine wonderful views with easy walking until the great expanse of Morecambe Bay is reached. On the other side of the bay you will find the Silverdale and Arnside Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - complete with promenade and one of the best fish and chip shops in the county... (my parents' opinion!)