Attractions and outdoor activities in the Penrith area include wildlife parks, stately home estates and gardens and the award winning Rheged Centre just off the M6/J40 with on-site Lakeland craft and outdoor equipment shops plus year round events, an on-site cinema and cafes. Opportunities for walking and outdoor activities in the surrounding Lakes and Pennines are numerous, with great fishing and watersports featuring around Ullswater and Haweswater. Penrith is easily accessed just off the M6, Junction 40 and Penrith station sits on the fast West Coast Mainline and has fast rail links to London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Things to do in Penrith
Renowned for its fine specialist shops and great pubs and inns, Penrith is the largest market town in the beautiful Eden Valley area of the North Lakes. Brimming with charm and character, Penrith contains many distinctive red sandstone heritage buildings, hence its nickname ‘the old red town’.
Essential visiting near Penrith is the award winning and family friendly Rheged Centre just off the M6, Junction 40 west of Penrith which contains craft shops and outdoor equipment shops, plus exhibits and a large cinema. Discover the history of Penrith and the Eden Valley at the Penrith Museum located in a former school dating back to Elizabethan times and take a tour of the historic ruins of 14th century Penrith Castle centrally situated in the town and with historic links to Richard III.
Castles around Penrith in this great borderland area between England and Scotland include spectacular Brougham Castle with its 13th century keep largely intact. Brougham Castle has fascinating links to the Elizabethan countess Anne Clifford, a character who features often in heritage sites around the Eden Valley.
Family attractions and wildlife centres in and around Penrith include The Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre and The Alpaca Centre in nearby Stainton. Gardens and stately homes near Penrith offer superb days out or visit art galleries and craft centres such as Beckstones Art Gallery. Penrith Markets take place weekly and the town hosts a monthly farmers’ market (3rd Tuesday of each month) in Market Square.
Outdoor activities and walking around Penrith is superb across the Orton and Lakeland Fells to the south and the North Pennines AONB to the north east. The Lake District’s most beautiful lake Ullswater sits just south west of Penrith and offers a host of lakeside walks, boat trips and watersports whilst Haweswater reservoir is home to the RSPB’s Naddle Forest nature reserve.