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The Best Things To Do In Penrith, Cumbria

penrith

When my parents first told me that they were moving away from our hometown of York up to Penrith, Cumbria, I had a mixture of feelings.

I was elated for them and their new adventure and I knew it would be so amazing to visit them in one of my favourite places in the UK (The Lake District), but I also knew it meant that I would be seeing them significantly less.

However, since they moved last September, I’ve spent a good few weekends up there with them; exploring the local walks, trying out a few of the local restaurants, bars and cafes as well as learning a few things from the rest of my family that they love to do there.

With that in mind, I wanted to share my tips with you guys on the best things to do in Penrith, Cumbria.

penrith

What to do in Penrith

When I first visited Penrith, I was worried that it was an incredibly quaint and quiet market town; and I was absolutely correct. It is a very quiet town with little to do compared to some of the UK’s bigger towns and cities.

However, that’s not to say that it’s any less interesting or that there isn’t anything to do there. In fact, the slower pace of life actually appeals to me when I go up and visit on a weekend; I’m a thorough ‘big city girl’ at heart, but there’s something about the countryside and slower pace that Penrith offers that really is special.

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Penrith Beacon

I actually only recently experienced Penrith Beacon for myself last time I was staying at my parents’ house and I can definitely vouch for its impressive views and hiking trail.

Residing on top of Beacon Hill (which you’ll have to climb to reach the summit), Penrith Beacon sits proudly looking down on the town below.

Built in 1719, the monument is a true test of history to the town of Penrith and once you reach the top of the hill, not only will you get to experience the impressiveness of the Beacon, but also the surrounding views that seem to go on for miles.

The Rheged Centre

While I haven’t actually ever been to the Rheged Centre, I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things from my family about it.

Its name reminding me somewhat of a Targaryen character from Game of Thrones, the Rheged Centre is home to a 6-storey high cinema screen, numerous shops, cafes and a huge outdoor activity centre for both children and adults to enjoy.

It’s open all year round and is ideal for almost all weather conditions due to its indoor and outdoor facilities.

Penrith Leisure Centre

Located literally next door to my brother and sister’s school is Penrith Leisure Centre.

Home to an array of incredible facilities and activities, it’s a place that can be visited almost all year round.

From a 25 metre swimming pool, a fantastic gym equipped with many facilities, as well as a climbing wall and indoor bowling, the Penrith Leisure Centre makes for an excellent day out.

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Ullswater Lake

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of Ullswater Lake to share with you, as when we went I was too in awe of the vast expanse of beautiful scenery that I forgot to even get my phone out!

The lake is the second largest in the Lake District, stretching for seven and a half miles long and boasts impressive views, both from the lakeside and from the middle of the lake itself.

There are a number of activities to take part in on the lake, including kayaking and canoeing; something which my family and I took part in last year; an activity that was truly one of my fondest memories of last year.

Ullswater Lake is such a beautiful sight to behold, and whether you enjoy moseying around the lake on a canoe, or you just admire the views from the cosy lakeside cafe, it’s definitely something that I’d recommend doing while in and around Penrith.

Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle is another place in Penrith that has been highly recommended to me by my family.

Equipped with dramatic castle ruins, an abundance of spectacular garden areas as well as an outdoor adventure playground, Lowther Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Penrith and Cumbria.

The Lowther family have lived within the grounds for over 850 years, so while it’s absolutely teeming with history, Lowther Castle is also home to a plethora of fun and intriguing activities for the whole family to enjoy.

I can’t wait for a day in the next few months where the weather is a little warmer so I can finally go and experience it for myself with my family.

Where to eat in Penrith

The adorable town of Penrith is home to dozens of pubs, cafes and quaint little eateries and during my visits there, I’ve been lucky enough to try out a few.

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Chapter 12

I’m starting this list of places to eat in Penrith with my most recent (and favourite) eatery discovery in Penrith.

When I headed up to my parents’ house last weekend, my mum and I spent the morning wandering around the town before stopping for lunch at a lovely cafe called Chapter 12.

Neither of us had ever been before and we were overwhelmed by the impressive menu, cake selection, as well as the most wonderfully welcoming and accommodating service I’d experienced in a very long time.

You all know by now just how much I adore brunch and the food that we ate at Chapter 12 was on a whole new level.

After perusing the menu and really struggling to choose just one thing each, my mum and I decided to order three dishes to share; the small full English breakfast, the garlic mushrooms with garlic toast and the pulled pork sandwich.

I’m a frequent eater of brunch but I can safely say that this food exceeded all my expectations; it was utterly divine. The hot chocolate that I also indulged in was incredibly decadent and luxurious. I would HIGHLY recommend paying a visit to Chapter 12 if you’re ever looking for a place to eat in Penrith.

penrith food north lakes hotel

North Lakes Hotel

While of course the North Lakes Hotel is first and foremost a hotel, it’s also home to an incredible restaurant and bar that can be used by non-residents of the hotel.

For my brother’s birthday a couple of weeks ago, we headed to the North Lakes Hotel for a meal and I was delighted to discover that the menu offered some of my absolute favourite dishes.

The interior of the hotel’s restaurant is absolutely stunning; with a vast array of tables on different levels, as well as an open fire grill where the chef cooks the likes of steaks and burgers right in front of you!

As I was still in the process of attempting Dry January, I opted for the raspberry lemonade mocktail which was unbelievably tasty and refreshing.

For starter, my mum and I shared the honey and mustard chipolatas which were so, so yummy and ridiculously moreish.

penrith food north lakes hotel

As for my main, I’m sure you can all guess what my first (and only) choice was; the signature steak served with thick cut chips, garlic and herb marinate and lashings of peppercorn sauce.

While the flavours of the steak were incredibly scrumptious, I can’t vouch for the quality of steak unfortunately; it was just a tad too fatty. However, I saw numerous other diners with the other offerings of steak and they all looked (and smelled) absolutely wonderful.

The rest of my family ate the likes of fish and chips (a huge success from my brother and grandma), the lamb shepherd’s pie (which I would highly recommend after trying my mum’s) and the salmon, king prawn and monkfish kebab that my dad tucked into.

We didn’t actually try out any of the desserts as we already had birthday cake waiting for us back at home but they all looked and sounded amazing!

penrith food north lakes hotel

General Wolfe

The General Wolfe pub resides just a few doors down from the Chapter 12 cafe and makes for the perfect place to stop for a drink and a bite to eat.

We ate at the General Wolfe pub just before Christmas and the atmosphere was abundantly lively and the food was delicious.

I had a Christmas sandwich stuffed with the likes of turkey, bacon and stuffing. However, they also serve plenty of other pub grub dishes to indulge in.

Other things to do in Penrith

Of course, I haven’t really even began to scratch the surface of everything that Penrith has to offer, so here’s a few more ideas of the things that you (and I) can enjoy in Penrith!

  • Penrith Castle
  • Aira Force
  • Hallin Fell
  • Bird of Prey Centre
  • Long Meg and her Daughters
  • Lacy’s Caves
The Best Things To Do In Penrith, Cumbria

Have you ever been to Penrith, Cumbria? What’s your favourite place in the Lake District? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @imjustagirl_16.

25 Comments

  1. 28th January 2019 / 5:00 pm

    I used to live in Penrith and this post makes me miss it a lot! Great post though..

    • 28th January 2019 / 5:19 pm

      Ah that’s so cool! Thank you Eleanor x

  2. 28th January 2019 / 5:09 pm

    Great post lovely! I went to Cumbria and the lakes a couple of years ago and absolutely LOVED it. We really made the most of the trip and tried to fit it as much as possible. The only downfall for us was our accommodation (a lovely little cottage) was miles away from everything. It was beautiful, with beautiful scenery but I wish I’d have researched a bit more and stayed somewhere more central. We went on a boat ride on one of the lakes, in the rain and the wind and it was HILARIOUS!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    • 28th January 2019 / 5:19 pm

      Ah thank you Jenny! And yes, I’ve been on the lakes many times in terrible weather (although I’m not actually sure I’ve ever been where it hasn’t rained at least once!) 😂

  3. 28th January 2019 / 5:11 pm

    Looking at food photos is making me so hungry! the food looks delicious! First time hearing of Penrith but it looks like a lovely place. I do love a walk in nature!

  4. 28th January 2019 / 5:12 pm

    The lake District is so beautiful (I did my DofE expedition there) and I also live in the middle of nowhere and the views are amazing!! I don’t think I have spent any time in Penrith though so I shall have to put this on the list to explore!:)

    • 28th January 2019 / 5:18 pm

      Ah that’s amazing! Thank you Millie! X

  5. 28th January 2019 / 5:13 pm

    What gorgeous photos! I’ve never been to Penrith, I don’t think(!) but it looks like a beautiful place to go and visit, and it seems as though you’ve been making the most out of your trips there! Chapter 12 sounds so lovely, and the North Lakes Hotel sounds amazing!
    Hels xx

  6. 28th January 2019 / 5:44 pm

    Penrith looks like such a nice place! I love the sound of a quiet and slow pace of life. The scenery is absolutely beautiful and wow the view from Beacon Hill is incredible! Chapter 12 cafe sounds so cosy and welcoming, I love your idea of getting three dishes to share – sometimes there is so much choice on a menu, we want to try everything! It all looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing Chloe, lovely post <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  7. aimsysantics
    28th January 2019 / 5:56 pm

    I haven’t visited Penrith before, but I recently visited Grange-over-Sands and Bowness-on-Windermere on a weekend away and loved both places. I will be adding Penrith on my list now though!
    Love your photos, and all the yummy food!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Aimsy xoxo
    https://www.aimsysantics.co.uk

    • 28th January 2019 / 6:20 pm

      Thank you Aimsy! Windermere is also another one of my favourite places in the UK! Xx

  8. thebakingbackpacker
    28th January 2019 / 6:40 pm

    Great post – I’m doing a walking challenge this year to walk 1000 miles and always looking for new places to go hiking!

    • 28th January 2019 / 6:42 pm

      Ah that’s so cool! The Lake District has so many amazing walks! X

  9. 28th January 2019 / 6:45 pm

    Fantastic post. I love Penrith and fully agree with what you said about Ullswater. It’s awesome!

  10. 28th January 2019 / 6:47 pm

    Unfortunately I’ve never been to Cumbria. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to visit the Lake District. I’m a city girl too and I love the convenience of it but I also love getting away to the countryside every so often to relax and clear my head. City life can be so hectic and sometimes I just need to be somewhere relaxing with wide open spaces and greenery! I really enjoyed reading this post and it’s made me want to visit the Lake District even more – and your food looks amazing!

    Nicola
    http://nicshealthylife.co.uk

    • 28th January 2019 / 9:25 pm

      Thank you so much Nicola, I hope you get to visit the Lake District one day soon! X

  11. Kim
    2nd February 2019 / 10:12 am

    Lovely photos! I havemy explored any of Cumbria, yet. But it is one of the places in the UK on my bucket list, the Cumbrian countryside looks so picturesque.

    • 2nd February 2019 / 10:37 am

      Thank you! It really is a beautiful place!

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