This modern county was formed in local government reforms in the 1970s, and comprises the traditional counties of Cumberland (to the north and the west), Westmorland (to the east), and parts of Lancashire (to the south). Geographically, it is dominated by the Lake District at its centre, England's only true mountain range that presents a natural barrier to travel across the county.
To the west of the county, the towns of Workington and Whitehaven lie on a disused coalfield, which in the last twenty years has led to relatively high unemployment and low property values. Farther south, along the coast, are the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant and the shipbuilding town of Barrow-in-Furness.
To the east lies the Eden Valley and the western slopes of the Pennine Hills.
To the north is a low-lying plain containing the border city of Carlisle before the Solway Firth forms the natural border with Scotland.
Isolated by its geography, the inhabitants developed a strong regional accent and language commonly called 'Westmerian' after the former county name of Westmorland. The region's main language was Cumbric (Cwmbraích in Cumbric) until about 1100 AD, which was a Brythonic Celtic language very similar to Welsh and, to an extent, Lowland Scots Gaelic (Gàidhealig). Today, Cumbric no longer exists as a spoken language but has been reconstructed in various forms in the past with limited success at taking off. Norse also became a main language after Cumbric, to be eventually replaced by English although Cumbrian English still preserves a large number of Scandanavian words as well as a few Celtic ones.
Motorway M6 from the North and South.
For the Lake District: Kendal is the main town to the South East (convenient for Windermere, Coniston etc.), Penrith is to the East, and Carlisle is to the North.
For Barrow and the West coast: Take A590 from junction 36 of the M6.
The motorway also provides access to the West side of the Pennines, and, from Carlisle, to Hadrian's Wall and to the North East corner of England.
Railway runs to Lancaster (with branch to Grange-Over-Sands and Barrow-in-Furness), Oxenholme (branch to Kendal and Windermere), Shap (very high, very cold, no houses) and Carlisle.
Cumberland Sausages:One of the most famous traditional Cumbrian foods has to be the coiled Cumberland Sausage . The uniqueness of the Cumberland Sausage is that it is sold in a coils rather than by links. The sausage is also more heavily spiced than regular sausages.
Kendal Mint Cake
Sticky Toffee Pudding
There is a huge range of accommodation available in Cumbria. See the individual city/town articles for listings.
A relatively quiet and rural county. As is usual in England, it s best to avoid the centre of larger towns at night (such as Barrow-in-Furness, Workington and Carlisle) as they're prone to the regular assortment of drunks and fights.