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At the bottom of the South lakes lies Abbey House Hotel & Gardens standing within 14 acres of private gardens and woodland. Our luxury Cumbria hotel and wedding venue is an ideal base for your special day or the perfect place for you to explore the surrounding area and beyond.

With fantastic train and transport links you can easily explore the wider the Lake District if you did want to leave the hotel!

Set in 14 acres of private woodland and gardens on the outskirts of Barrow In Furness Cumbria, the hotel takes its name from the neighbouring ruins of one of the greatest Cistercian foundations in the country, Furness Abbey. The Furness Abbey is accessible from the grounds.

Things to Do Ideas for a great stay

Ulverston Town

Festival-happy Ulverston knows how to celebrate events. The party capital of Furness hosts a series of specialist events throughout the year, where visitors also get the chance to sample the town’s wonderful collection of cosy pubs, traditional markets and cultural hotspots. Add in the colourfully rendered houses, cobbled streets and inviting side alleys full of independent shops, a visit makes for a perfect day out

Surrounding the town is the gently rolling farmland of the Furness Peninsula. Along the seashore are some lovely coastal villages; Bardsea, Baycliff, Aldingham and Newbiggin, these all have stunning views over Morecambe Bay.

On the road into Ulverston, you’ll notice the prominent Sir John Barrow Monument at the top of Hoad Hill. The uphill climb to the monument is worth it for the breath-taking views over Morecambe Bay and the Lake District fells.

Safari Zoo Cumbria

South Lakes Safari Zoo is home to over 1,000 of the rarest and most endangered animals in unique natural environments which enable you to get as close as physically possible to experience the amazing creatures with which we share our planet. Wander amongst kangaroos, wallabies, and emus. Be amazed as free-flying macaws soar overhead. Participate in animal feeding experiences or be a zookeeper for a day

Please check their website for Opening Hours

Lakeside Railway

At Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, travel back in time when you climb aboard our steam train. A distant memory of bygone years for some and a new experience for others, it’s a unique day out for all.

Established in 1973 The Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway is a family run business in the heart of the Lake District.

Steam engines haul traditional 1950’s carriages through the countryside scenery of the Leven Valley, leisurely transporting passengers to Lakeside Station, where connections are available with Windermere Lake Cruises.

The quaint surroundings at Haverthwaite Station entice guests to stay a while. At the Victorian Station you will find… a Tea Room, Gift Shop, Engine Shed, Woodland Playground and Walk.

Furness Abbey Ruins

The impressive remains of an abbey founded by Stephen, later King of England, including much of the east end and west tower of the church, the ornately decorated chapter house and the cloister buildings.

While excavating the grave of a prosperous medieval abbot, a hoard of medieval treasures was discovered at Furness Abbey. This discovery unearthed the first crozier (a staff with a crook on top) to be excavated in Britain in over 50 years and an impressive gemstone ring was also found.

Emergency conservation work is taking place to stop the ruined abbey church sinking into the soft ground. This follows earlier routine inspections which revealed serious cracks in the walls. Medieval masons used large pieces of oak in the foundations and after 500 years, this timber is now gradually giving way.

You don’t need to book your ticket in advance, but you will always get the best price and guaranteed entry by booking online ahead of your visit. If you are a Member and wish to book, your ticket is still free.

Lake Coniston

Coniston Water is about five miles long and half a mile wide. Above its western shore, the mountain of the Old Man of Coniston towers above the lake and the village.

The lake is about half a mile down from the village, where you can hire boats and bikes from Coniston Boating Centre. There are shops, pubs and places to eat in the village.

Have a great family day out on Coniston water. Book online now for boat hire – motor boats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, electric bikes and more.


Lake Windermere

Windermere in the Lake District is England’s largest lake at 10.5 miles long, that’s just over 18 km. At its deepest point is 219 feet, that’s 66.7 m.

Windermere is also the name of a small town, which lies just over a mile from the lake shore. It’s separate from the town of Bowness-on-Windermere, which is one of the busiest place along the shoreline and the main jetties for cruise boats.

Ambleside is one of the most popular towns in the Lake District, sitting at the north end of Windermere lake its a great place to start some of the best know fell walks.

Windermere and the surrounding area is arguably the most famous and popular area in the whole of the Lake District. There are a range of activities, attractions, places of interest and things to do around the lake, and on it!


Hawkshead is an ancient township that has flourished since Norse times, belonging to Furness Abbey until the 12th Century. The monks owned  Hawkshead Hall, just outside the village, of which the National Trust owned Hawkshead Courthouse is all that remains. After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1537, Hawkshead grew as a  market town, with many buildings dating from the 17th Century.

The tiny village is still the same collection of higgledy-piggledy houses, archways, and squares beloved by William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. Cars are banned from the village, there being  a large car park on the outskirts of the village. Tourism is now the main industry in the village, with many pleasant inns, guest houses, teashops and gift shops.

The Beatrix Potter Gallery, a 17th Century building, was once the  office of the local solicitor William Heelis, who married Beatrix Potter in 1913, and has remained largely unaltered since his day. The Gallery, now owned by The National Trust,  houses an annually changing  exhibition of a selection of Beatrix Potter’s original drawings and illustrations. The National Trust also own many other buildings in the village, thus preserving its almost museum like air.



At the northern end of Windermere is the popular market town of Ambleside, perfectly located in the heart of the national park. Surrounded by majestic Lakeland fells, Ambleside’s roots are in the medieval woollen trade, but the town you see today is primarily Victorian, built of traditional grey slate.

With easy access to Grasmere, Keswick, Windermere and an unrivalled range of water sports, walks, climbs, cycling and much more, Ambleside is very popular with both leisure visitors wanting a relaxing break and outdoor enthusiasts looking for a challenge. There are also some fabulous restaurants, cafés and pubs to satisfy the discerning palette and numerous award-winning ales to quench your thirst. Ambleside’s specialist shops offer a welcome variation on high street chains. There is no shortage of outdoor clothing specialists waiting to kit you out in the latest gear for any activity, from walking to windsurfing

Described by purists as ‘the true Lake District’, Ambleside is a walkers’ paradise. Plenty of routes begin from near the Waterhead Pier, so why not grab a copy of Windermere Lake Cruises’ handy walkers leaflet – or even better, buy a copy of ‘Walks Around Windermere’ from the attraction’s team – a labour of love by local man, the late Jim Fleming.

Waterhead Pier is less than a mile from Ambleside’s town centre, being just a pleasant stroll or electric shuttle bus ride away.

Dock Museum

Come and visit our unique museum, suspended over a 19th century dry dock in an channel-side location.  Indoors there are galleries exploring the history of the people and industries of the Barrow-in-Furness area, changing exhibitions, gift shop and café.  And outside is a sea themed playground, picnic tables, sculpture, lifeboat and Walney Channel.

There are some spectacular places to combine with your visit to the Dock Museum. Barrow-in-Furness has miles of beautiful sandy beaches. There are nature reserves at the north and south ends of Walney island and at Roan Head. The area is a good place to explore by bicycle and the Dock Museum is on the route of the Walney to Wear cycle route linking Walney to the mouth of the River Wear.

Walney Island Nature Reserve

There are two atmospheric nature reserves on Walney, one at either end of the nine mile-long island. Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s South Walney Nature Reserve is the only place in Cumbria where you can regularly see grey seals. They haul out on to the protected beaches here to rest and, in the last few years, have even started breeding. The reserve is also home to large flocks of waders and waterfowl in winter, and a breeding colony of Arctic terns.

At the northern end of this long sliver of glacial till is a national nature reserve that takes in huge sand dunes, dune heath, mudflats, shingle beaches and salt marsh. It offers up wildlife spectacles all year round – from shimmering flocks of knots in winter to summer’s wildflower displays. Visit in spring, on a warm, still evening for a chance of hearing male natterjack toads calling to attract a mate.

Walney Island, part of Barrow-in-Furness, is joined to the mainland by a road bridge.

Ulverston Golf Club

Ulverston Golf Club is a beautiful parkland course situated in South Cumbria. The course offers spectacular views over Morecambe Bay and the Lake District fells making it one of the most picturesque golf courses in Cumbria. The par 71 layout measures in at a considerable 6264 yards, with every hole having its own special feel. World renowned golf course architect, H.S.Colt, redesigned the wooded parkland course making it a challenging, yet rewarding round of golf which can be enjoyed by every standard of golfer.

Barrow Golf Club

Formed in 1921, its elevated position, overlooking the Duddon estuary and with glorious views of the Lake District mountains, provides a fitting backdrop to this 18 hole, 6200 yard, Par 71, championship golf course adored by players from the Furness peninsula, Cumbria and beyond.

The course is designed to provide exciting and challenging golf to test players of all standards. Whether you are a seasoned all year golfer or a casual green fee player, Barrow Golf Club offers friendly and relaxed hospitality to all.


Exquisite Rooms & Suites Stay with us

59 beautiful rooms await

All designed with comfort in mind, some with views of our beautiful gardens and luxurious free standings baths

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