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Robinson's School Middlegate - a museum

Penrith is a small market town of 15,000 people (2011) in Cumbria, to the north-east of the Lake District.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

  • Penrith is located on the West Coast Mainline rail link. There are direct connections to London (3 hr), Edinburgh (1½ hr) and Glasgow (2 hr).

By bus[edit]

By car[edit]

Get around[edit]

The town can easily be explored on foot.


Penrith Castle

The town's appeal to visitors is somewhat limited to the many fine pubs, the supermarkets and the railway station. Penrith does however have some hidden historic gems, most imposingly, Penrith Castle.

  • 1 Penrith Castle. Building of the castle' began in 1399, when William Strickland (later Bishop of Carlisle and Archbishop of Canterbury) added a stone wall to an earlier pele tower, primarily as a defence against the then frequent raids from the Scottish borders. The castle was improved over the next 70 years, becoming a royal fortress for Richard, Duke of Gloucester before he became King Richard III in 1483. The ruins that can be seen today date from about that time. The striking sandstone remains are situated in Castle Park, opposite Penrith railway station. free. Penrith Castle (Q2970199) on Wikidata Penrith Castle on Wikipedia
  • 2 St. Andrew's Church. church often open during the day. The churchyard in the town contains the 'Giant's Thumb', a Norse cross dating from 920 AD erected as a memorial to his father by Owen Caesarius, King of Cumbria from 920 to 937 AD. There is a tradition that the 'Giant's Grave' is the grave of Owen himself. The four hogback stones surrounding the grave are said to represent wild boar he killed in nearby Inglewood Forest. The two Norse crosses are some 11 feet high. The tower dates from 1397, but the church was built in 1722 and has an interesting interior. The church cafe is open M-F 9:30AM - 2PM. St Andrew's Church, Penrith (Q7592357) on Wikidata St Andrew's Church, Penrith on Wikipedia
  • 3 Penrith and Eden Museum. Open all year: M-Sa 10AM-5PM; Apr-Oct: Su 11AM-4PM. In Robinson's School in Middlegate. The school closed in 1971 after a long history dating back to 1670 and is now a combined tourist information centre and museum. free.
  • 4 Brougham Castle, Moor Lane, CA10 2AA, +44 1768 862488. Adults £4.00, children £2.40, concessions £3.60. Brougham Castle (Q2968700) on Wikidata Brougham Castle on Wikipedia
  • 5 Acorn Bank, Temple Sowerby, CA10 1SP (8 miles east of Penrith), +44 17683 61893, . Acorn Bank Garden & Watermill (Q4674543) on Wikidata Acorn Bank Garden & Watermill on Wikipedia



  • James & John Graham Grocers, 6 - 7 Market Square, CA11 7BS. Independent grocer established in 1793, with an excellent selection of cheeses and home baking.
  • There are three supermarkets near the station - Morrisons and Booths in Brunswick Road and Aldi in Ullswater Road. Sainsbury's is on the opposite side of the town centre.


  • 1 Agricultural Hotel. The Castlegate, CA11 7JE. Bar meals and Jennings real ales in this hotel near the station.



  • The George. In the town centre.
  • The North Lakes Hotel and Spa. A four-star hotel on the edge of the town.
  • 1 Howtown Hotel, Ullswater CA10 2ND, +44 17684 86514. Charming hotel in old-fashioned style in converted farmhouse near the lake. Open Apr-Oct. B&B double £100.
  • 2 The House at Temple Sowerby, Chapel St, Temple Sowerby CA10 1RZ (off A66), +44 1768 361 578. Charming little hotel in 18th-century house, great dining. B&B double from £140.
  • 3 Askham Hall, Askham CA10 2PF, +44 1931 712350. Glorious upscale pile, the 14th-century pele tower has been added to for 700 years so what you get now is the Countess of Lonsdale's 2012 makeover. Great comfort, service, ambience and dining. It's open mid-Feb to Dec and often booked for weddings. B&B double from £150. Askham Hall on Wikipedia
  • 4 Tebay Services Hotel, Orton, Penrith CA10 3SB (M6 between jcn 38 & 39), +44 15396 24351. Tebay services on M6 have always bucked the norm of bland functionality, and now this welcoming hotel takes the standard higher. Splendid restful place accessible both north- and southbound, once checked in you'll be blissfully unaware of the traffic hissing past. Open all year, child- and dog-friendly. B&B double £85.
  • 5 Gill Head Farm, Troutbeck CA11 0ST, +44 17687 79953. Quiet camping and caravan site open Apr-Nov. Tent £25.
  • 6 George and Dragon, Clifton CA10 2ER, +44 1768 865381. Atmospheric 18th-century coaching inn, dog-friendly, with good restaurant. B&B double £100.
  • 7 The Quiet Site, Watermillock, Ullswater CA11 0LS, +44 1768 486337. This charming spot up a back lane has "hobbit burrows" set into the hillside, glamping pods and "gingerbread house" cabins. Dog-friendly. Pod £80.
  • Cove Caravan & Camping Park is next to the Quiet Site.


Penrith has 4G from all UK carriers, though coverage varies on the outlying roads. As of April 2021, 5G has not reached this area.

Go next[edit]

Just outside the town is Brougham Castle, which is much better preserved than Penrith Castle and is situated alongside the earth-works of a Roman Fort. The site was later taken by the Norman family of Vieuxpont to build their castle. The ruins, the stone keep, and service buildings can still be seen.

Ullswater, the Eden Valley and the Rheged Centre are all very nearby. The neighbouring towns are Keswick to the west, Appleby-in-Westmorland to the south east, and the city of Carlisle to the north.

Routes through Penrith
GlasgowCarlisle  N  S  KendalManchester
Carlisle  N  S  Kendal

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