Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
1:01 AM 3rd February 2024

7 Things To Do In Cumbria This Half Term - And All Accessible Without A Car

Ahead of the first half term of the year - an early one due to an early Easter - Laura Earl, Cumbrian mum to four children and the founder of The Hiking Household shares where she will be spending the school holiday in Cumbria and the Lake District.

I can’t quite believe the first half term of 2024 is here already.

Like me, you will be pleased to know there are many wonderful family friendly activities happening in our region and they are all accessible by hopping on a Stagecoach bus.

If you’re planning on reducing your car use this year, you might just be surprised by how much little ones love a bus journey and how many places you can visit - and it saves worrying about where to park the car too.

Morgan & West’s Massive Magic Show, Brewery Arts, Kendal
16 February at 1:00pm and 4:00pm
Bus route: Multiple services in Kendal
Bus Stop: Kendal Bus Station (The Brewery Arts is a 10 minute walk from Kendal Bus Station)

This February half-term, the Brewery Arts have two fantastic family friendly shows on offer, but for school age children I recommend this Morgan & West performance. Expect an incredibly witty magic show for kids - and their childish grown ups. Younger children will be wowed by the magic, while older children will probably be trying to work out how the illusions work.

Ticket info here

The Three Little Pigs, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
17 and 18 February 11:00am and 2:00pm
Bus service: 78, 554, 555, X4 & X5
Bus stop: Keswick Bus Station

Stuff and Nonsense once again present a joyful retelling of a classic fairytale suitable for children ages three and older. It’s told in a unique style with mesmerising puppets.

When we go to Keswick, we try to spend some time outside too. Our top recommendations include completing the family friendly walk on Friars Crag, exploring Dodd Wood or heading to the children’s play area at Fitz Park.

Ticket Info here

Circus Spectacular, The Forum, Barrow
16 February at 3:00pm
Bus service: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & X6
Bus Stop: Barrow Town Hall

The circus is coming to town this half term, so you’ll find us heading down to The Forum to witness international acts, amazing magic and lots of laughs. The weather may not be the most reliable this February, so the front four rows of the show will appreciate the rain macs provided - although this might be more to do with the ‘slosh’ style finale.

Ticket info here leisure centres: The Sands Centre, Carlisle
Bus Route: Multiple services into Carlisle
Bus Stop: a 5 minute walk from Carlisle Market Hall / Carlisle Bus Station

Swimming is a great form of exercise and is an activity that all of my family enjoy. We regularly attend the Family Fun Swim sessions on Saturdays and Sundays at The Sands Centre in Carlisle.

While we’re there, we sometimes take the opportunity to book the sports hall to participate in a family game of badminton.

If you are not local to Carlisle, I recommend you find out what your local leisure centre organises for families. Barrow, Penrith and Workington often have plenty on offer for children of all ages.

More info here

Carlisle Cathedral
Carlisle Cathedral
Carlisle Cathedral
Bus services: Multiple services into Carlisle
Bus stop: Carlisle Bus Station / Carlisle Market Hall

Just a short seven minute walk from Carlisle Bus Station you will find yourself in Carlisle’s Historic Quarter. Whilst Tullie remains closed for refurbishment until later in the summer, you can still enjoy the delights of Carlisle Cathedral this half term. We have spent many rainy days looking up at the incredible ceiling and counting the beautiful stars. You are able to visit the Cathedral for free and pick up a free children’s trail to discover more about the Cathedral.

More info here

Workington Library
Workington Library
Workington Library
Bus services: Multiple services into Workington
Bus stop: Workington Bus Station

Just a minute's walk from Workington Bus Station is Workington Library where you will find an array of free events from Tuesday 13 February to Friday 16 February. Your children can enjoy songs, crafts, poem writing and interactive activities. For children 7-11 years there is even an opportunity to navigate robots with BAE systems!

More info here

Step outside into nature, countywide

As we creep closer and closer towards spring, we try to take every opportunity to get outside during the half term and explore our local area.
As part of my work on The Hiking Household, we’ve collated the best walks and outdoor adventures for wet weather.

Engine Lonning
Engine Lonning
In Carlisle, I recommend you try a wander along Engine Lonning. From the city centre, catch the 63 bus to Shadygrove Road, and take the two minute walk to the entrance. The route is just under one mile following a pram accessible path, and is good for children that like to explore.

In South Cumbria, take the 6 or X6 from Barrow to the library in Ulverston, and then an eight minute walk to Lightburn Park. We love to spend time in this green space, especially the children’s play area, skate ramp, and the sensory garden. If the weather is good, we like to extend our trip and head down from the park to Dragley Beck, a lovely 0.4 mile walk adjacent to the water.

Lightburn Park
Lightburn Park
If walking isn’t something your little ones are keen on, then perhaps you can entice them outside with the promise of time on their wheels.

Head to Cleator Moor by taking the number 30 bus from Workington to Cleator Moor High Street. Walk five minutes to Phoenix Bridge where you can then join the cycle path. My children can often be found zooming along the Whitehaven to Ennerdale cycle path on their bikes, or scooters. With sculptures to look at on the way, and the path being flat and pedestrianised, this walk is hugely popular and somewhere you will certainly find us this half term.

To plan your bus journey this half term head to