Festival town Ulverston offers a great mix of things to do from famous attractions like the Laurel and Hardy Museum based within the 1920s Roxy Cinema to top contemporary art and multi-media exhibitions in architectural award winner The Lanternhouse. Festivals and events in this Peninsula town are year round with the festival programme featuring music festivals, flag festivals, the Lantern Parade and a themed Christmas Dickensian Festival.
Enjoy local walks up Hoad Hill or along the Ulverston Canal and the Cumbria Way long-distance walking path which begins at Ulverston. An excellent spot for specialist independent shopping in the Lake District and with a choice of lively pubs and organic cafes, Ulverston is the perfect southern gateway into the National Park. Attractions within easy reach include the South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Cartmel Priory and the beautiful Furness Abbey ruins.
Attractions include the Laurel and Hardy Museum housed within the beautiful 1920s Roxy Cinema in Ulverston centre. A great statue of Laurel and Hardy can also be found in Ulverston town centre situated outside Coronation Hall in County Square, with the pair depicted leaning against a lamppost. Iconic landmarks around Ulverston feature the Grade II listed Victorian Gothic Conishead Priory with its distinctive two octagonal towers. The priory has been a Buddist centre for several decades.
The Roxy Ulverston is one of Britain's classic period cinemas offering a year round programme of mainstream, classic and world cinema. The town also features the award-winning Lanternhouse cultural centre housed within an architecturally stunning contemporary building. Resident artists here contribute to year round contemporary art exhibitions.
Ulverston hosts several top festivals annually including the not to be missed 1850s style Dickensian Christmas Festival in late November featuring a range of free entertainment and events for children plus a traditional fairground accompanied by plenty of music. The popular Ulverston Lantern Festival in mid-September takes on a new theme annually and involves a wonderfully creative Lantern procession through the town plus a fireworks display.
During the annual Flag Fortnight in Ulverston during May the town is adorned with hundreds of decorated flags. Other events include the Ulverston International Music Festival in June, the Furness Traditional Folk Festival in July and the May Printfest annual exhibition of original contemporary prints, engravings and carvings in Coronation Hall. 'The Coro', as the Coronation Hall is affectionately known, offers a packed programme of top touring theatre productions, ballet, opera and music concerts.
Ulverston is overlooked by the distinctive Sir John Barrow Monument high on Hoad Hill. A walk up the hill to the tower monument, a replica of the Eddystone lighthouse, rewards with spectacular views across to the Lake District Peninsula and Morecambe Bay. John Barrow after which the monument takes its name was a famous 19th century traveller and naval administrator from Ulverston.
Take a stroll along the Ulverston Canal towpath walk which runs all the way to the shores of Morecambe Bay or head off along the Cumbria Way which begins in Ulverston, running north for 70 miles through the heart of the Lake District National Park to Carlisle.
Quirky specialist and gift shops are plentiful in the Victorian Market Hall and Ulverston Markets are twice weekly on Thursdays and Saturdays. With a bohemian edge and a focus on locally sourced food and drink, Ulverston contains a selection of character cafes, lively pubs and Indian restaurants.
A wonderful choice of arts and crafts gift shops, antiques shops and book shops are dotted around Ulverston's pretty traffic free cobbled streets. Head to the covered Victorian Market Hall for stalls selling delicious local produce including local cheeses and real ales, homemade pickles and chutneys. Ulverston outdoor markets, held twice weekly, are the largest markets in South Lakeland and offer a further range of local produce. Long-standing local traders like Gillam's Tearoom, Shop and Wholesale Grocers on Market Street give Ulverston a unique specialist shopping edge.
If you're a lover of fine coffee houses, stylish and cosy cafes or intimate bistro restaurants all with an emphasis on locally sourced food and drink then Ulverston won't disappoint. The town is positively brimming with delectable wholefood cafes, character olde worlde tearooms and a selection of world cuisine restaurants including a good choice of Indian and Chinese restaurants. Fine pubs serving Lakeland real ales and hearty pub favourites are also numerous around the town centre.