Cumbria offers fantastic shopping opportunities and here’s some of the best places to shop. The Lanes Shopping Centre in Carlisle offers more than 70 shops under one roof. In Windermere, a town renowned for its specialist stores, one outstanding larger exception is Lakeland, a glass-fronted building situated next to the bus and train stations and selling just about everything you could ever need for the home and garden.
West Cumbria’s main shopping centre is Workington, with Washington Square containing 60, mainly famous name stores from across the retail spectrum. Independent traders including Wilson Reclamation Services at Yew Tree Barn, Low Newton, near Cartmel, which is full of unusual architectural gems. Cumbria Crystal, near Ulverston, has a team of 22 skilled workers and Farfield Mill in Sedbergh ceased production as a woollen mill in the early 1990s and is now a visitor attraction and home to artisans in studios, crafting everything from silverware to soaps.
Further up the lake lies Ambleside and The Waterhead Shell Shop there has many unusual shells, crystals, jewellery and ornaments on sale. The Old Courthouse Gallery in Ambleside has become one of the leading independent contemporary arts galleries in the region and offers plenty to take home as well, from wooden furniture to ceramics, metalwork and jewellery. Church Gallery in Kirkby Stephen has three floors to explore, selling bags, scarves, jewellery, perfumes and many other gifts, plus more than 7,000 greeting cards.
Meanwhile Grasmere is a delightful, picturesque village full of small, independent stores, and is of particular interest to foodies. Grasmere Gingerbread is loved across the world and can be bought from a tiny specialist shop. And The Grasmere Chocolate Cottage sells luxury hand-made chocolates, along with other local products.
Market Square, Keswick CA12 5BG
Keswick Market has a long history. It has operated in the same location in the Market Square, for over 740 years. The Market is run by Geraud Markets Management, for Allerdale Borough Council. The Market runs every Thursday and every Saturday and has around 80 stalls each day. There is a huge mixture of local award-winning food, crafts and gifts from around the world. In the Allerdale area, there is also markets in Workington on Wednesdays and Saturdays and Wigton on Fridays.
Alexandra Buildings, Thwaites Ln, Windermere LA23 1BQ
Discover thousands of exciting products at Lakeland, Britain’s biggest and best kitchen and home shop – where it all began, 50 years ago at Windermere in the heart of the Lake District. You will find an unrivalled collection of creative kitchenware, practical ideas for the home and garden. Lakeland has the latest inventions, a huge range of gifts and some classic products you’ll wonder how you managed without. Visit website
The Chocolate Cottage
The Old Coach House, Stock Ln, Grasmere, Ambleside LA22 9SL
The Chocolate Cottage sells hand-made chocolates from the heart of the lakes. Richard and Angela are the “The Lakeland Chocolatiers”, makers of the finest artisan chocolates and fudges at The Chocolate Cottage in Grasmere. Visit website
The Square, Hawkshead, Ambleside LA22 0NZ
The Hawkshead Relish Company is an artisan producer of award-winning preserves based in the historic village of Hawkshead in the heart of the English Lake District. Production takes place just south of Hawkshead in a beautifully restored 16th-century barn on the edge of Esthwaite Water, whilst the original premises is now home to the shop and a showcase for the range in the centre of Hawkshead village. Visit website
Cartmel Village Shop
Parkgate House, 1 The Square, Cartmel LA11 6QB
Cartmel Village Shop is a haven of foodie treasures, all the finest food you would expect to see from only the best local artisan producers like them. Of course, the main reason people come to visit is for their award-winning sticky toffee puddings, take home or eat in the first floor cafe. Visit website
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