Cumbria is Open ~ Rheged Centre and Little Bird Gallery.

I am lucky in that I have family who live in the Lake District, so I never need an excuse to visit. 🙂 My Mum’s home is in the picturesque village of Askham , not far from Penrith in the North of the lakes. We’ve travelled up twice over the Festive period. That dratted rain never stopped!

Like lots of places across the UK , Cumbria has had it especially bad weather wise with homes,shops and businesses literally swept away in those deceptively friendly of name but merciless in nature, torrential storms.

Those that survive face an uncertain few months, as visitors stay away. Some roads are still impassable and a few old bridges which provide access, such as the one in Pooley Bridge and the one in Eamont Bridge , both near Askham,have been condemned or crumbled away.

So eager to support local attractions, we decided to bob into the Rheged Centre to buy Mum a gift before our recent visit. Rheged  is a great place to take the kids as there are indoor and outdoor play areas, pottery painting, a 3D Cinema, a wonderful toy shop and various family inspired events throughout the year. Several cafes, a small selection of lovely shops, art exhibitions, theatre and spa facilities complete the venues attributes. It can be found just off Junction 40 of the M6 motorway.

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After a spot of shopping we headed to Askham. Usually we would drive through Eamont and over it’s bridge, but due to the floods we had to head back down the motorway and get off again at Shap ( Junction 39) to continue the short journey to Mum’s.  After a lovely lunch ( Thanks Mum!) a few of us headed to a hidden gem  in the village called The Little Bird  Gallery   opposite the green.

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This pottery studio/gallery/gift shop displays and sells many beautiful pieces of art, ceramics , jewellery and unusual quirky gifts and is a must if you are in the area. Some of the artists live very locally, one of the owner’s creates beautiful pottery in his studio here.  I spent my Christmas money from Mum on a snug and colourful crocheted bobble hat , handmade by someone in the village. I’m sure it will appear in future posts. 🙂

The bad weather and bridge closure at Eamont has really affected local businesses here. In some cases footfall is down by 80% which is such a shame as there are quite often alternative routes to those places. I guess what I am saying is, please don’t stay away from areas that have been affected, whether they are local to you, or day trips out. We are already planning a day out in Keswick this month. Watch this space!

ps the pubs in Eamont Bridge are still open and both serve food. We recently had a yummy sunday roast at the very welcoming  Beehive Inn  with our dog Hugo.


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