Cumbria is a mostly rural county located in the north West of England and the jewel in Cumbria’s crown is most definitely the Lake District. Populated with beautiful lakes and mountainous fells, Lakeland or The Lakes as it is known, is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Cumbria also includes the Eden Valley, the North Pennines, the Furness Peninsula and a small segment of the Yorkshire Dales.
For a country wedding with a beautiful backdrop, brides and grooms will be spoilt for choice in The Lakes. Romance is just everywhere with pretty stone churches in idyllic countryside, or you can frame your marriage beside the peace of a shimmering lake with dramatic mountains behind.
The Lake District is home to some picturesque small towns including Ambleside on Lake Windermere and Keswick on Derwentwater which is surrounded by mountains and has a Neolithic stone circle overlooking the east of the town. These locations are popular with visitors and walkers during most of the year so plan ahead with your wedding date so guests will be able to book accommodation.
The Lake District by definition is not as densely populated with approved venues as some other parts of the country but what it does offer, it does in style. Stone-built halls and manor houses in hidden valleys with tranquil gardens can be the home for your wedding – it’s easy to avoid the tourist hotspots – and there are farmhouses, converted barns and peaceful waterside mills. For couples who want to really commune with nature, there are even mountain wedding venues - something a little different.
Lakeland is dotted with beautiful villages if you want amenities for your guests and a rural ceremony. Cartmel is very picturesque and famous for its sticky toffee pudding, surely a hot favourite on the dessert menu at the wedding banquet. Caldbeck is a traditional fell village or Boot, a charming stone village surrounded by towering scenery and two of the regions most pretty waterfalls, the Dalegarth Force and the Birker Force.
Cumbria does have a coastline and it is 120 miles long and reaches from Levens near Kendal to Bowness-on-Solway on the Scottish border. Ravenglass is its only coastal town situated halfway between Barrow-in-Furness and Whitehaven. Ravenglass is located on the estuaries of three rivers and has a castle and heritage railway, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, and is a wonderful location combining the best of the Lakes with a seaside setting.
For a city wedding, there is the county town and border city of Carlisle. Carlisle offers a choice of traditional and contemporary venues with all the advantages of a metropolitan centre plus the backdrop of the Lakes for a honeymoon or an extended holiday for your wedding guests.
Despite its remoteness and largely rural nature, Cumbria is well served for road and rail links. The M6 motorway runs through the county and Cumbria is situated on the East Coast mainline railway from London King’s Cross. Carlisle has a regional airport just six miles east of the city with mainly domestic flights to the rest of the UK.