As autumn gets into full swing and the sweeping valleys turn to shades of orange, yellow and gold, Cumbria is the perfect place to be – and there’s plenty to explore beyond the well-known tourist spots in the Lake District. With half term on the horizon, discover family friendly activities across the county.

In Carlisle, Cumbria’s only city, a rich culture and vibrant entertainment scene awaits: there are fascinating museums, independent shops, and great eateries galore. Don’t miss the Carlisle City of Lights event, held between October 14 – 16. Historic landmarks are lit up, while a Son-et-Lumiere experience is projected onto Carlisle Cathedral and Carlisle Castle.

2000 years of history are wrapped up in the iconic Hadrian’s Wall and it offers lots for kids to enjoy. Walk in the footsteps of Roman soldiers and explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site: Birdoswald Roman Fort and Lanercost Priory are all must-sees along the way. Nearby Walby Farm Park is the perfect place for children to explore and recharge from the indoor play area to mini-land rover rides!

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Want to get outside and experience the autumn colours on a family-friendly walk? You’ve come to the right place! Why not explore Cumbria’s very own piece of the Yorkshire Dales, with its beautiful walking routes and charming market towns like Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale. You don’t need to scale mountains to enjoy stunning views: there are scenic paths to suit everyone, from experienced hikers to the littlest of walkers.

When night falls, kids and grownups can marvel at the wonders of the night sky with stargazing in Cumbria, which is home to some of the darkest skies in England. Asby Common in the Eden Valley is a wild, open space from which to see the stars; head to Morecambe Bay where you can combine stargazing with coastal views in locations like Arnside.

Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages will find plenty to do in Cumbria making the ideal playground for families this autumn. Try rock climbing, caving, and even paragliding in the Eden Valley, or the family-friendly Talkin Tarn Country Park is great for water sports and archery; elsewhere, cyclists can enjoy routes like the new ‘Solway Coaster’ between Allonby and Silloth.  

Another of nature’s wonders is its beautiful wildlife, and Cumbria has this in abundance. On the coast, go seal spotting at South Walney Nature Reserve; or head to one of our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty including Arnside & Silverdale, the Solway Coast, or the North Pennines. Each one has its own unique landscape and natural attractions.

Cumbria is no stranger to hidden histories: its 120-mile long coastline boasts spicy tales of smugglers and epic maritime feats. Discover more at eye-opening family attractions like Barrow’s Dock Museum and The Rum Story in Whitehaven. Muncaster Castle & Gardens is the place to be for Halloween, with a jam packed programme of spooky events.

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For culture vultures, there are castles, country houses, and even prehistoric stone circles await. Soak up the heritage at Brougham Castle, visit the Lost Castle Adventure Playground at Lowther Castle and Gardens with the family or enjoy a visit to Acorn Bank near Penrith and marvel at the changing colours of the orchard and gardens. Meanwhile, our atmospheric and bustling market towns like Kendal are packed with fantastic attractions such as the Quaker Tapestry Museum and Kendal Museum, or catch a film at the Brewery Arts Centre.  

Ready to be inspired? Find your perfect place to be in Cumbria by visiting www.experiencecumbria.com