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Penrith ranked alongside Florence as top 10 getaway location

A few castles, a town monument and a park – not your obvious world tourist destination. But believe it or not Penrith has been listed with Florence and Iceland as one of the top ten easy getaways this summer.

Barny Maurice photo
Barny Maurice

The Lonely Planet hailed the Cumbrian town as their choice for “life in the slow lane” in their August edition of the magazine.

Ian Stephens, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said it was a great achievement for Penrith to be recognised.

He said: “It comes as no surprise that the Eden Valley has named Penrith as one of the top ten easy getaways for this summer. The area has great transport links with the M6 and West Coast Main Line passing Penrith. There is lots for visitors to do and to see in the Eden Valley.

“The Eden Valley is a real Cumbrian Gem and will have wide appeal for families, groups and couples.”

The travel magazine said visitors to the town should enjoy a picnic by the River Eden or a trip to Long Meg stone circle. But suggested maybe the unique selling point for the town is the chance to stay in a traditional gypsy caravan, pulled by horses, courtesy of Wanderlust.

Wanderlusts, based near Penrith, are now offering tourists a new kind of holiday by visiting the scenic surroundings in the Eden Valley, while travelling gypsy-style.

Barny Maurice, who owns the business with his partner Katas, said their service is now much more in demand in Penrith.

“We are definitely becoming more popular as an alternative holiday. Especially with the new glamorous camping trends otherwise known as “glamping”. People are always looking for something new to try.”

Some caravans, that sleep up to four, were previously owned by travellers and were purchased at Appleby horse fair.

Barny explained the unique experience that Wanderlusts offer and said you don’t need experience with horses.

“I ride the horses that pull the caravans and we take visitors around various locations. We then leave the campers at a site where they stay in the caravan. I then come back the next day and take them to a new location such as the stone circle or we go to a pub for lunch.

Meanwhile Archie Bell of Albany House Bed and Breakfast, Portland Place, Penrith says Penrith’s position makes it an ideal place to stay.

“Penrith is quite a good stop off point and we are close to the lakes. Being next to the M6 makes the town very accessible.

“Penrith’s a lovely place to live and I guess people see that. We have a lot of over night stays here at the town. Being near Haweswater, and Ullswater could be what appeals to visitors.

“Penrith is also the stop off point for the Coast to Coast so the town gains a lot of visitors that way.”

Have your say

A town where a small vocal minority hijack a (very baised) local paper every week, commanding half the letters page with rose tinted visions of the 1940s?

A town where half the shops don't open more than 7 hours a day, close on Wednesday afternoons and then try to blame everyone else for their failures?

A town where the chamber of trade is more interested in vanity projects like a flag supported by 17 people, than solving the above problems?

A town where every kid with ambition leaves at 18, leaving behind a mix of people with degrees unsuited to the town and unemployed layabouts.

A town with no major 21st century employers to get those kids to stay.

Penrith might be considered a tourist destination, but if it wants a decent long term future, it needs to tackle the problems at home first, and for many that will involve a more realistic view of 21st century life, rather than a pining for the old days.

Posted by Terry on 6 August 2012 at 18:24

They need to improve the signs in Penrith because unlike Florence it is difficult to find the Cathedral ,the Art Gallery or any fine architecture. The food is a bit different and the sun is reluctant to shine. I think Ill carry on down to the airport.

Posted by Tom Cook on 6 August 2012 at 12:32

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