WITH international travel off the cards for the foreseeable future, Cumbrians are being encouraged to explore the hidden gems on their doorstep this summer.

With more than 120 miles of stunning coastline from Morecambe Bay to the Scottish Borders, endless opportunities for outdoor adventure in the epic Western Lake District and a vibrant arts and events scene in Carlisle and towns like Ulverston and Kendal, Cumbria Tourism says it’s easy to forget how much this surprisingly diverse county has to offer.

That’s all combined with historic houses and heritage sites like Holker Hall, Furness Abbey and Hutton-in-the-Forest, plus some fantastic opportunities for wildlife watching.

Who could resist bird spotting at St Bees or searching for seals at South Walney Nature Reserve?

TOURISM: A picture of the Landscape around Birdoswald

TOURISM: A picture of the Landscape around Birdoswald

Not everyone realises that Cumbria can also lay claim to part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with its patchwork of moorland and lush green valleys. Of course, there’s every conceivable outdoor pursuit too.

Thrillseekers can try out rock climbing, kayaking and paddle boarding in the Eskdale and Ennerdale valleys, or how about galloping down a beach on Cumbria’s west coast.

Cumbria is a must for walking and cycling. There are plenty of ways to get around on two wheels, from a family-friendly cycling trip to an exhilarating long-distance bike ride like the Lakes & Dales Loop.

Whatever your age, interest or ability, the Morecambe Bay Cycleway is a fairly flat coastal route, with plenty of quirky towns and villages worth hopping on and off your bike for.

For walkers, there are also big challenges like the famous Pennine Way National Trail or Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, as well as shorter rambles in nature reserves, accessible trails through tranquil woodland and gentle strolls gazing out across the water as you explore classic seaside towns like Arnside and Grange-over-Sands. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, nearby Cartmel has a fabulous reputation for top-notch dining.

Cumbria is no stranger to hidden histories, with spicy tales of smugglers and epic maritime feats at eye-opening family attractions like Barrow’s Dock Museum and The Beacon in Whitehaven. Maryport’s Senhouse Roman Museum has the biggest private collection of Roman treasures in Britain and is just one of the many landmarks to explore on the iconic Hadrian’s Wall, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You can also rediscover independent family-run retailers, characterful pubs and scrumptious cafes and restaurants overflowing with local produce.

CUMBRIA: Furness Abbey, one of the most visited spots in Barrow-in-Furness

CUMBRIA: Furness Abbey, one of the most visited spots in Barrow-in-Furness

Atmospheric market towns like Kirkby Lonsdale and Kirby Stephen are surrounded by stunning countryside and ooze romantic charm. Sedbergh even has the unique accolade of being England’s Book Town.

The world-famous Settle to Carlisle Railway is another great way to see this awe-inspiring landscape.

Visit Carlisle itself, where the formidable fortress of Carlisle Castle stands proud over the cityscape.

The laid-back city centre has everything from street food and thriving outdoor cafes to swanky restaurants and cocktail bars.

It’s also the perfect place for some serious retail therapy.

If you’re ready to be inspired, find your perfect place to be in Cumbria this summer. www.visitlakedistrict.com/explore/experience-cumbria.