Cumbria (including Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden and South Lakeland) is in the North West of England. It has a population of around 500,000 and covers approximately 680,000 hectares. Here is a list of nearby or neighbouring counties: Dumfries and Galloway, Durham, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Scottish Borders.
Cumbria is among the least densely populated counties in the UK. Its economy is largely dependent on tourism and aside from Barrow-in-Furness and the county town Carlisle, Cumbria is mostly rural and much of it is mountainous. The Lake District and Lake District National Park attract millions of visitors to the county each year and are considered areas of outstanding natural beauty. Bordering Scotland, the land has been fought over many times in the past and visitors to the county can appreciate the numerous lakes, forests, castles, native wildlife and features such as Hadrians Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also a variety of popular outdoor activities available, such as sailing, canoeing and climbing. Performing arts venues in Cumbria include Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, the Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness-on-Windermere, the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal and Forum Twenty Eight in Barrow-in-Furness.
Generations of artists have visited or lived in Cumbria and been inspired by it, among them the author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, who having holidayed in The Lakes many times, bought a house there and her former home Hill Top is open to visitors. She wrote world famous illustrated books featuring animals, such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit and donated many of her drawings and watercolours to the Armitt Library in Ambleside. Born in neighbouring Lancashire, the artist LS Lowry also spent time in Cumbria where he painted scenes of local life, depicting people and places such as shopping streets and market squares. Visitors to Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery will find botanical exhibits, as well as arts and crafts reflecting its ancient Celtic, Roman and Norse past. The converted Jacobean mansion includes in its art collection paintings by local artists of note, Pre-Raphaelites and a number of British artists including works from the twentieth century and collections of ceramics. Other attractions in Cumbria include Blackwell Arts and Crafts House in Bowness-on-Windermere, Muncaster Castle in Ravenglass, Carlisle Cathedral and Stott Park Bobbin Mill in Ulverston.