This essentially wild and remote region of England is often regarded as one of the best counties in England for lovers of the great outdoors. Perhaps the best way to enjoy it is from a cosy stone-built Cumbrian self-catering holiday cottage tucked away in the heart of a Lakeland or Pennine hill village with a welcoming pub within easy walking distance. Cumbria is the home of the English Lake District National Park, a paradise for walkers, climbers, mountain bikers and those who like to mess around in a boat on the Lakes. Cumbria also appeals to literature lovers, keen to follow in the footsteps of the poet William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, author of the Peter Rabbit children's books. Their homes are open to the public. You'll also discover more about the author of Mrs Tiggywinkle at The World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness on Windemere.
Fellside Barn is a gorgeous rural barn conversion offering panoramic views of the hills of Cumbria. The light and airy pet-friendly property in Broughton Beck boast generous gardens with a large furnished deck, as well as an interior with reminders of yesteryear and open-plan, contemporary comforts.
Enjoy a true rural holiday in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Fleshbeck Cottage, which sits close to the market town of Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria. The waterside cottage has been carefully restored and rewards guests with exposed timber beams, stone flooring and old range fireplace.
Ghyll Bank Bungalow is a gorgeous traditional cottage nestled among farmland near Staveley in Cumbria and The Lake District. The cosy pet-friendly property enjoys breathtaking views of the fells and features charming details, furnished outdoor spaces, contemporary comforts and an open fire.
Luxury and elegance define Bank Chambers, a distinguished lakeside cottage in the heart of Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria and The Lake District. Distinguished furnishings permeate the property, which features a large furnished balcony with a hot tub, and avails guests of a boathouse and a yacht.
A cosy romantic Lake District cottage for couples in Pennington near Ulverston, Thimble Cottage is a Lake District barn conversion featuring a galleried double bedroom and open plan living area, The cottage lies in a secluded area, close to Ulverston, Coniston, and Furness Coast beaches.
Set in the heart of the popular Lake District town of Keswick, 8 Myrtle Villas is a stylish, open-plan self-catering holiday cottage for up to four people in two bedrooms. This pet-friendly cottage welcomes two dogs
This lovely and pet-friendly holiday home in Cark-in-Cartmel sleeps four people in two bedrooms. It lies within easy reach of the Lake District and beaches on the Cumbrian Coast.
This waterside Lake District holiday cottage sits on a peaceful riverbank in the Cumbria village of Cark-in-Cartmel, close to cosy pubs and independent shops. Riverside View is a coastal cottage that sleeps 7, with stunning countryside views within the Lake District National Park. Pets welcome.
Hillberry is a modern coastal cottage whose four floors afford sea views. The light-filled cottage in Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria near The Lake District boasts contemporary style and multiple outdoor spaces from which to enjoy the views and take a glass of wine while the sun sets.
Riddings Barn is a delightful stone-built rural cottage in the charming hamlet of Howgill near Sedbergh. The stone-built conversion blends tradition with contemporary style and boasts wonderful views over Cumbria and The Lake District, as well as open-plan design and an abundance of natural light.
Whether blanketed in snow or blossoming with wildflowers, the grounds of Cazenovia Hall complement this Grade II listed rural cottage near Greystoke in Cumbria. The pet-friendly cottage promises extensive gardens, wonderful views, an open fire and a masterful blend of modernity and tradition.
Book a luxury rural retreat for two at Hollins Farm Barn in New Hutton, near the idyllic town of Kendal, Gateway to the Lake District. Gothic-style bedrooms whose crook beams and exposed stonework await the lucky couple coming for a honeymoon or a romantic weekend/week-long holiday.
Set in the vast grounds of Melmerby Hall, Stag Cottage is an award-winning self-contained 17th century Grade II listed sandstone cottage in Melmerby, Cumbria. The pet-friendly, 5-Star Gold cottage promises 20 acres of grounds plus a private garden, an open fire, mullion windows and beams.
The charming countryside Beech Cottage in Scales, Cumbria, sits in the heart of the Cumbrian peninsula, providing families on holiday boundless opportunities to enjoy the coastline of the Furness Estuary or the splendid beauty of Lake District National Park from a dog-friendly welcoming home base.
Keepers Cottage is a stone-built luxury holiday cottage on the Bigland Estate in the Lake District village of Blackbarrow, near Newby Bridge in Cumbria. This rural cottage sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms - all ensuite and having Smart TVs. With underfloor heating, it's perfect for holidays all year round.
In a secluded, peaceful rural location a mile outside Hawkshead, Hatter's Cottage is an 18th century 2-bedroom cottage on a small farm in the central Lake District available all year round for long holidays and short breaks. Perfect for those who like the outdoors. Children over 10 welcome.
Blencowe Hall is an award-winning Grade I listed fortified manor dating back to the 1400s. Situated in Blencowe, Cumbria, the pet-friendly rural property boasts period features, open fires, extensive manicured grounds, activities such as trout fishing, stunning views and contemporary elegance.
Found at the start of a popular route up Helvellyn, 2 Low Glenridding is a perfect, stonebuilt cottage for up to four people and two dogs who want to explore the wonderful walking in the Ullswater area of the Lake District.
Melmerby Hall is a Grade II listed manor house sitting on 25 acres in Melmerby in Cumbria. The grand, pet-friendly rural cottage enjoys fantastic views from its spacious grounds and retains many of its original features, including its stone façade, Georgian shutters and sandstone terrace.
Step back in time at the authentic stone remote cottage of Wray Green, which sits atop Wild Boar Fell in Cumbria. Sink into the comfort of the lovingly restored and furnished three-bedroom cottage. Pets are welcome. Ample parking, plus a storage area for hiking and cycling gear. Sleeps 7.
The River Crake lies at the end of the garden at Sawmill Cottage, a charming 18th-century rural cottage near Low Nibthwaite in the South Lakes. The pet-friendly cottage spoils guests with wonderful views, a generous garden, an open fire, a games room and modern comforts blended with old-world charm.
In the small Cumbria coastal village of Cark in Cartnel, The Old Bank House is a large, characterful holiday cottages nicely located for exploring the southern Lake District and Morecombe Bay. This well-equipped pet friendly holiday home sleeps 11.
- Cark in Cartmel
- Irton Holiday Cottages
- Kirkby Lonsdale
- Kirkby Stephen
- Newby Bridge
- Santon Bridge
- Spark Bridge
Everybody has their favourite Lake; for some, it is Windemere, on which 'the novel Swallows and Amazons is reputedly based. You can take to the Lake by hiring a rowing boat or view it from the decks of a genteel Victorian pleasure steamer. For others, it is Grasmere or Coniston Water in the south or Bassenthwaite or Buttermere in the north. Each Lake has its own character, just pick one, and you'll find a suitable holiday cottage offering magnificent views of the fells close to hand.
Sharing the border, with Northumberland, between England and Scotland, Cumbria draws you into its amazing coastline, from the Solway to St.Bees, where you feel the whole world is just yours to enjoy. To the north of the County, find the western end of Hadrian's Wall built by the Romans in the 2nd century and Castle Park, known as "Castle of the Kings". Carlisle, with its own castle and cathedral, is also home to the Museum and Art Gallery at Tullie House; take time to check out its extensive displays of art, human history and natural sciences.
Cumbria also boasts an attractive coastline along which towns grew up in the industrial revolution and now offer a faded grandeur to visitors choosing to enjoy the impressive coastal walks to be had along the shorelines. Visit the harbour and the Haig Colliery mining museum in Whitehaven or ride the Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam railway, which travels through the stunning countryside in Eskdale. You'll find plenty of industrial heritage worth exploring in addition to big and often deserted beaches.
And if lakes, beaches and visitor attractions aren't enough, don't forget the Fells - a Mecca for walkers at any time of years, made famous by the books of Alfred Wainwright. England's highest mountain Scafell Pike can be found here. You don't need to be a mountaineer - just the owner of a good pair of boots, sensible clothing, a map and, with an eye on the weather, the hills and fells are yours for the day. So, spend the day in the open air in a county that offers splendid activities for all ages, then return to your holiday cottage to share a dinner of locally produced food before clambering into your comfortable cottage bed - sleep is guaranteed!