Penrith is a small market town in Cumbria, to the north-east of the Lake District.
Penrith has good transport links.
The UK's West Coast mainline railway runs through Penrith. There are regular direct trains from London with fastest travel time being a little over 3 hours and direct trains from Glasgow with fastest travel times of around 1.5 hours.
Penrith also has direct trains from Manchester Airport (via Manchester Piccadilly) and direct trains from Edinburgh.
There are National Express coaches from London taking between 6 and 7 hours.
It is situated on the M6 motorway (European Route E05) at junction 40, which is where the East - West A66 crosses the M6.
Penrith is not a large town; it is quite easy to walk from the station to all destinations in town. There is a town bus service the 646 but this does not call at the railway station.
There are a number of taxi operators in Penrith. It is usual for taxis to be waiting at the station but there is also a list of taxi operators on a notice board in the main waiting room at the station.
The town's appeal to visitors includes its many fine pubs, the large number of small independent shops and the railway station. Penrith is a good place to explore on foot; the pedestrianised areas of Angel Lane and Bluebell Lane are good places to start. Penrith also has some historic gems, most imposingly, Penrith Castle.
Building of Penrith 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.
The churchyard of St. Andrew's Church 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.
In the centre of town is the Musgrave monument.
Penrith has a plethora of supermarkets and food shops
Also national supermarket and food chains - Morrisons, Sainsburys, Marks and Spencer Food Hall and Aldi have outlets in the town.
There are many specialist one-off shops in Penrith including:
Penrith has a wide selection of cafes and restaurants including Indian, Thai, Italian restaurant.
At lunchtime there is a stall selling good value baked potatoes in the centre of town opposite the Musgrave monument clock tower. There is a McDonalds next to the station, opposite the castle and a Kentucky Fried Chicken on the outskirts of town.
Penrith has many pubs and cafes.
Slightly further away there are several pubs to the South of town heading out on the A6 at Eamont Bridge (approx. 1.25 miles from the centre of town)
Penrith has many bed and breakfasts and hotels. Most of the bed and breakfasts are situated either on Portland Place or Victoria Road. Both of these locations have at least four bed and breakfasts.
Further afield there are:
The closest major Lake District town to Penrith is Keswick. Keswick can be reached via the A66 and there is a good bus service (the X4/X5) to Keswick operated by Stagecoach Cumbria. All X4/X5 buses in both directions call at the bus stop on the station forecourt. This bus stop has a shelter and just next to McDonalds.