Penrith is a bustling Cumbrian market town it makes a good base for exploring the Eden Valley. The dark red sandstone, characteristic of Penrith was used for many buildings in the town and used in the 14th century to construct Penrith Castle. The ruins of the castle are situated in Castle Park off Castlegate in the town centre.
There are several buildings in the town that have historical interest; the museum which has local history and culture displays is housed in a 17th century schoolhouse as is the Penrith Information Centre. The Church of St. Andrew was first constructed in the 12th century and restored in the 18th century is also worth visiting.
This attractive town
has a good mix of shops you will discover as you wander through the narrow streets; explore the arcades and alleys off Market Square. You might be tempted to sample some of the well-known Penrith Toffee and Fudge!
The oldest streets in the town are Burrowgate and Sandgate which date from the 13th century. There are plenty of eateries including pubs, restaurants and hotels in Penrith and the surrounding villages. The Information Centre can help you on accommodation choices there are plenty of options on offer in and around the area to suit most budgets.
Positioned high above the town on the top of Beacon Hill is Penrith Beacon the monument was built in 1719 you can walk up to the Beacon and enjoy some magnificent views across the Eden Valley and beyond.
One local attraction you must make time to see is Rheged, an all year round attraction between Penrith and Keswick; it is said to be Britain’s largest earth/grass covered building. The name comes from the ancient kingdom of Cumbria; you will see the impressive visitor centre and a giant cinema screen showing Rheged: The Movie plus other big-screen movies.
Approximately five miles east of Penrith is the Eden Ostrich World which can be a fun filled family day out. Facilities include picnic area, tea-room, and gift shops there is also an enjoyable riverside walk.
Other attractions which may be of interest are Brougham Hall a 14th century House a mile and a half from Penrith. The country house Dalemain situated about 3 miles south-west of town with its wonderful gardens are worth visiting both of these visitor attractions generally open from April to October.
A short drive from Penrith brings you to the village of Little Salkeld and the stone circle known as ‘Long Meg and her Daughters’ dating from the Bronze Age the large stone circle of some 59 stones (daughters) just outside the circle stands Long Meg. There are various legends associated with the stones; we will leave you to decide which one you believe!
Penrith was the home town of William Wordsworths parents and William attended an infant school in the town.
Penrith’s mainline train station is about a five minute walk from the market square and there are several attractions close to the town itself.
Eden is lovely walking country whether you prefer leisurely walks or something more demanding i.e. walks over the hills and the fells there is something to suit most abilities. For those of you who prefer a bicycle there are many cycle tracks to try around the area. Whether for a weekend break or a longer visit you will find plenty of attractions and activities to enjoy and keep you occupied in Penrith and the surrounding area.