Sport, Education & Recreation in Cumbria | Invest in Cumbria

Accessibility links

Inspire... Innovate... Imagine...
Tel:+44 (0)1768 895350 |

Sport, Education & Recreation in Cumbria

Cumbria and the Lake District is Britain’s biggest adventure playground; unquestionably Britain’s Adventure Capital. Home to more than 100 outdoor centres offering everything from walking and climbing to watersports and horse riding, the outdoors sector contributes around £100m each year to the County’s economy.

With its mountains, lakes, rivers, forests and coastline, Cumbria’s rich and varied environment provides a great wealth of opportunities to get active. From leisurely walks to high octane action there are activities to suit the needs and abilities of all age groups. The Outward Bound Trust – a leading provider of bursary-assisted outdoor learning for schools and colleges – is headquartered near Penrith and runs activity centres based at Eskdale and Ullswater. Summitreks Adventure Activities, Coniston; Homescales Activity Centre, near Kendal; and Rookin House, near Ullswater are just three of the many companies who provide a wide variety of activities on land and water as well as tailored active breaks for education providers, holidaymakers and corporate groups. Windermere-based Kankku offers 4x4 off-road driving adventures throughout the Lakes. Cumbria also hosts major outdoor sporting events, including the Great North Swim which was staged at Lake Windermere in 2008 and 2009. For a comprehensive guide to outdoor activities and providers visit

Businesses with a huge global reach are also based in Cumbria, including Keswick travel company Community Action Treks (CAT), founded by mountaineer Doug Scott, which specialises in trekking and climbing in the Himalaya and other mountain regions; and Impact International, headquartered in Windermere, which delivers indoor and outdoor experiential learning to develop individual talent, teams and leaders of the future to more than 400 clients in over 30 countries. The University of Cumbria provides scores of academic courses in outdoor recreation.

In the wider arena of sport, football, rugby (league and union), and cricket have a strong following in Cumbria. Carlisle United FC plays in the npower League 1, while Barrow Raiders and Whitehaven both play in the Co-operative Championship, one step below Rugby League’s Super League. West Cumbrian-based M-Sport, established by former rally driver Malcolm Wilson OBE, has been masterminding Ford’s assault on the World Rally Championship since 1996, with son Matthew Wilson currently behind the wheel as one of the sport’s youngest drivers.