Ulverston

Ulverston is a market town in the Furness area of Cumbria close to the Lake District. Neighbouring  villages are Swarthmoor, Pennington, Urswick and Greenodd. Ulverston has one of the most visible landmarks around on the top of Hoad Hill - Hoad Monument, a structure built in 1850 to commemorate statesman and local resident Sir John Barrow.  A walk up to the monument gives fantastic views of Morecambe Bay and parts of the Lake District. The town has many shops and eating and drinking establishments some of which are on the cobbled Market Street. Ulverston was granted a market charter in 1280 by Edward I and the town keeps to the charter and has a market every Thursday and Saturday. The market has a wide variety of goods, craft stalls and local produce stalls. Close by is Swarthmoor Hall, first home to the Quaker Movement, a superbly maintained 17th Century House which today still offers hospitality to Friends and visitors. Take a step back in time and visit the Roxy Cinema.

The town on market day.

The Hoad Monument

View from the Hoad Monument

Festival Town

Ulverston is a festival town and has plenty happening all year round to keep everyone interested. The most popular are the Dickensian Festival every November and the Lantern Procession in September which involves hundreds of local residents, organisations and schools that have created their lanterns from willow and tissue paper.

Other festivals in Ulverston are the Flag festival, Charter festival, International music festival, word market, Walking festival, Spring Buddhist festival, Printfest, Summer Buddhist festival, Ulverston carnival parade, Furness festival of tradition, Summer music festival, Festival of fashion, The feast of St George and a breast feeding festival.

Ulverston’s long history is still preserved and historic buildings can be seen like the Oddfellows Hall, that was built as a Catholic Church in 1821. A walk around the town will reveal many interesting facts and features and it also has the start of the Cumbria Way.

The Cumbria Way is a long distance walk and passes through Coniston, Keswick the Langdales and Borrowdale Valleys and most of the route is within the Lake District National Park. The Cumbria Way links the towns of Ulverston and Carlisle and supplies some breathtaking views and scenery. The Cumbria Way was originally devised in the 70s by local Ramblers Association and the waymarking of the entire route was completed by volunteers and National Park staff in 2007. More information here www.walkingenglishman.com

The Cumbria Way

The Ulverston Canal

Also just outside the town is the Ulverston Canal which is no longer in use but it is still worth a walk along its 1 1/4 mile path to the Bay. The canal claims to be the deepest, widest and shortest canal in the UK and was vital to the economy of the town whilst it was in use. Despite Ulverston being over a mile from the shore of Morecambe Bay the town was declared to be a port in 1774. Some large ships of up to 150 tonnes would reach the shore at high tide and 70 vessels were registered here. A walk down the canal path brings you to the shoreline at Morecambe Bay which is also part of the Cumbria Coastal Way.

The start of the Cumbria Way

The Ulverston Canal

The Ulverston Canal

Laurel & Hardy museum

Ulverston Brewing Company

In Ulverston are plenty of shops to suit all kinds of people. Just when you think you have seen it all you walk along a ginnel and there are even more interesting shops to browse through. With the cobbled streets, interesting shops, places to eat and drink you won’t be short of things to do around the town.

Ulverston Brewing Company is situated in the Old Auction Mart in Lightburn Road, Ulverston. There is a seated viewing area with a panoramic view of the state of he art 12 barrel plant. Visitors can watch the process of brewing the flavoursome pints all available in the “Laughing Gravy Bar”. You can then sample the real thing as you watch a mix of short films featuring brewing, local attractions and, of course Laurel & Hardy. There is a well stocked brewery shop with beers, whiskeys, hand crafted jewellery in copper and glass, locally produced preserves, hand carved sticks, original paintings and framed photographs. You can also hire the Laughing Gravy Bar for an event so contact us for information.                                                                                                                                     If you can’t get to the shop there is an on-line made in Cumbria shop                       www.madeincumbria.co.uk   For further information on the Ulverston Brewing Company Email info.ubc@tiscali.co.uk  or visit the website www.ulverstonbrewingcompany.co.uk

Ulverston is also home to the Laurel & Hardy museum and it is situated in the town centre and in 2009 Ken Dodd unveiled the Laurel & Hardy statue outside Coronation Hall. Stan Laurel was born in Ulverston in Foundry Cottages, now Argyle Street. Come along to the museum and see for yourself a fantastic collection. Visit our website for more information www. laurel-and-hardy.co.uk

The Brewery setup

The Laughing Gravy Bar

The Brewery Shop

Cumbria Crystal with the wonderful  crystal produced in the factory by the craftsmen and craftswomen.

Cumbria Crystal

Cumbria Crystal has a viewing area to watch the craftsmen and craftswomen at work making some of the most wonderful hand crafted crystal ware. Watching these guys work is mesmerising as they use their skills with what looks like ease to them. Cumbria Crystal was founded in 1976 to produce handmade, full lead crystal tableware. Only traditional glassmaking methods were to be used. At the start the staff were recruited from the Stourbridge area of the West Midlands and then relocated to Ulverston, Cumbria. Cumbria Crystal does not have any of its products made over seas or use automated equipment for manufacturing. Second quality crystal is available through our shop and is not available anywhere else. Take a look at the website for more information on Cumbria Crystal.  www.cumbriacrystal.com

The view from the back of Swarthmoor Hall

Swarthmoor Hall

Conishead Priory & The Buddhist Temple

Conishead Priory & Buddhist Temple

Swarthmoor Hall

The Conishead Priory and Buddhist Temple stands on the site of a 12th Century Augustinian Priory, originally founded in 1160 and looked after travellers crossing Morecambe Bay via Chapel Island. It has undergone many transformations from health spa to military hospital to  the present use of Buddhist meditation centre and retreat. The Priory is open to visitors, although may be closed during certain religious festivals. As part of Manjushri KMC’s commitment to serving the public the centre provides a unique visitor centre, which includes tours of the Temple and the historic house, shops, cafes, and seventy acres of gardens and grounds with a beach on the shores of Morecambe Bay open year round. nkt-kmc-manjushri.org

Swarthmoor Hall is a historic hall it is also recognised as the birth place of Quakerism. The hall was built about 1586 by George Fell and a local land owner. Swarthmoor Hall is also a destination for a peaceful break in one of their wonderful rooms and has wonderful grounds to explore and conference and meeting facilities. Contact Swarthmoor Hall for more details via the website www.swarthmoorhall.co.uk

 

The view from the rear of Swarthmoor Hall is breathtaking at any time of year and in the spring the ground is covered with many crocus. Also in the Hall grounds is the visitor centre and a conference centre.

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