In ExploreTravel


Isolated by the sea on three sides with a single main road linking it to the rest of England, the Furness Peninsula and its gateway – the South Lakeland market town of Ulverston, is well-worth a visit.

Known locally as The Coast Road, the A5087 hugs the south-east coast of the Furness peninsula just five minutes after leaving the A590, thus avoiding the more well-used route down the centre of the peninsula towards Barrow. Instead, this route gives the driver a rarely interrupted view of Morecambe Bay, from the moment Bardsea beach comes into view on the left-hand side. With plenty of places to pull over to enjoy the views and pebble-covered beach, visitors can also head up to the top of Birkrigg Common for a rewarding view of the Lake District to the north and Morecambe Bay to the south. The best way to get up to this extensive open space is by turning right when you get to Sea Wood, at the end of the beach. From rocky outcrops to endless bracken and even a stone circle, it’s a family favourite and ideal for giving your dog a good stretch of the legs.

Manjushri Temple at Conishead Priory

Also along the Coast Road is the Majushri Temple at Conishead Priory, where visitors are welcome to join a free meditation session!

Returning to The Coast Road and continuing towards Barrow, visitors can enjoy more stunning coastal views while passing by villages including Baycliff, before reaching Roa Island at Rampside and from here, a car-free experience awaits explorers…

Piel Castle

Thanks to a free car park next to the Roa Island Boat Club, visitors can ditch the car and catch a small ferry across to Piel Island. Once on the island, grab a refreshing pint before heading towards to Piel Castle for a little exploration. Built in the 14th century the castle main purpose was to protect against Scottish raids and is now looked-after by English Heritage. It’s open to explore and even offers little hideaways, perfect for picnics and for youngsters to imagine being a real-life knight. Visitors can also walk the entire circumference of this 50-acre island, while scouting for shells and other reminders of the watery world which surrounds it. Between April and September, the small ferry runs both ways every day between 11am and 4.30pm, weather permitting. If you miss the last boat back to the mainland and happen to have a tent in your back pocket, you can pitch-up for the night for a small fee.

Walney Island

The nearby Walney Island is not only the home of around 10,000 people, but also to an abundance of wildlife thanks to its two nature reserves, with plenty to satisfy birdwatchers – particularly on the south reserve. At 11 miles long and with a sandy beach at Earnse Bay, it’s a day out in itself for those with a good pair of walking boots and a bag full of snacks. Spend a night or two at West Point House to give yourself plenty of time to see all that’s on-offer here.

The Capital of the Furness peninsula, the historic town of Barrow is best known for its shipbuilding heritage. The crown jewel for visitors is the Dock Museum, helping visitors to delve deeper in its seafaring history and catch a show at The Forum opposite the impressive Town Hall building? Plus, it’s a good chance to support town centre businesses by indulging in a bit of shopping.

Furness Abbey

Just a ten-minute drive from the town centre is Furness Abbey – where impressive remains are still standing, as a reminder of the events of 1537 under King Henry VIII’s reign. From Furness Abbey, head to the north-western peninsula coast to find Roanhead beach & and sand dunes, alongside the Sandscale Haws Nature Reserve. You can also call in at the South Lakes Safari Zoo in Dalton, where you can hand-feed animals including Giraffes, Lemurs and Penguins.

South Lakes Safari Zoo

The zoo has recently undergone a major transformation, with its impressive entrance making an impression from the second you step inside. Rhinos, Tigers, Lions and Wolves are also residents; and coffee and souvenirs are the order of the day, so don’t forget your wallets and purses!

Dunes Hotel

Accommodation in the Barrow area includes Holiday Inn Express, The Dunes Hotel, Abbey House, Black Beck Holiday Park, and Low Hall Farm.

Laurel & Hardy Museum

Ulverston, a pretty market town, is the birthplace of Stan Laurel, of Laurel & Hardy fame – so be sure to check out the Laurel & Hardy Museum, and be sure to catch a film at the Roxy Cinema – which just happens to be in the same building! Enjoy a snack in Gillam’s Tea Room, or visit the café at Booths – situated at the foot of England’s deepest, widest and shortest canal.

Gillam's Tea Room

Linking the edge of the town centre with the northern Morecambe Bay coastline, the now disused stretch is the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful stroll, culminating in stunning views across the Ulverston Channel and picturesque railway viaduct linking the town with Cark & Cartmel.

Sir John Barrow Monument, Hoad Hill, Ulverston

Finally, towering above the town on Hoad Hill is the Sir John Barrow monument. From here, enjoy stunning views of both the Morecambe Bay coastline and the Lakeland Fells. Built in memory of Sir John Barrow – who served in the Admiralty, the structure was fully restored in 2011 and on selected days of the week, visitors can climb to the very top, via the internal, winding staircase.

A pleasant walk from the foot of Hoad Hill, is Shed 1 Distillery, where you can create your very own gin, under the watchful eye of their in-house experts – or try your hand at glass-blowing at Cumbria Crystal.

Cumbria Crystal

Pay a visit to the home of the Quaker movement, Swarthmoor Hall, where you can also enjoy and overnight stay, or why not try St Mary’s Mount Manor House or The Stables?

To find out even more about Ulverston, check out the town’s website,

We look forward to welcoming you and to help you make the most of your time here in the Lake District, Cumbria, make sure to plan ahead and book your stay prior to visiting.




Comments are disabled for this post.