Looking for something to do this Bank Holiday? How about heading north and exploring what our neighbouring county has to offer.

Beautiful Cumbria and the Lake District, a World Heritage Site, is on the doorstep with so much to do.

It’s among the most popular places to visit in the UK with some famous sights such as England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, and its biggest lake, Windermere. But there’s so much more to do and see away from the well-trodden places.

Here are five activities to suit all families, whether sporty, outdoorsy or fascinated by history - and all well under three hours’ drive away.



Racing at Cartmel

Nestled in the beautiful south Lakes, Cartmel has a strong claim to be the most picturesque racecourse in the country.

This year sees the return of the May Bank Holiday race meeting to start the 2023 season.



The Pentonbridge Inn, Carlisle

Cumbria can boast 13 Michelin stars across 11 restaurants, the most of any county outside London.

Among the newest to be awarded a coveted star is The Pentonbridge Inn in the village of Penton, north of Carlisle.

It was one of three Cumbrian restaurants to have received stars for the first time in the 2023 Michelin Guide, along with The Samling at Ambleside, and Heft at High Newton, near Cartmel.



Helm Crag, Grasmere

Cumbria is not exactly short of a good walk or two but for a bank holiday hike away from the more obvious places here is one of which Alfred Wainwright himself said its “virtues have not been lauded enough”.

More recently, it was hailed as one of the 10 most Instagrammable routes in the county.

Setting out from the heart of Grasmere - which itself offers plenty to do for those not so keen on fell walking - or the lesser known but quieter route from Helmside, you can be up and down inside two hours.



Fell Foot, Newby Bridge, Windermere

Where better to spend a day on the water? It’s not called the Lake District for nothing, after all.

You’re spoilt for choice of course but the National Trust property of Fell Foot near Windermere is a great place to head for.

Choose from guided canoe heritage tours; wild swimming, with courses for both beginners and intermediate swimmers; hire rowboats, kayaks or paddleboards, or bring your own; plus there is a wide range of outdoor learning and adventure programmes.



Romans: "Are We There Yet?", The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven

So what did the Romans ever do for Cumbria? All the answers lie in this family-friendly, interactive exhibition at the Harbour Gallery which opened on April 29.

Create a mosaic, hear Roman tales at the Roundhouse, dress the part, or complete a Roman-themed trail that explores the museum.