Gateway to the Lake District!

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We stayed overnight in Ulverston in late May 2011, on the 1st night of the start of our annual weeks walking holiday.

Each year we like to try a new walking route, or do more of a long distance walking route we have already started.
In 2011 we decided to do the best of the ‘Cumbria Way’ (it actually goes to Carlisle), which starts in Ulverston before moving right through the heart of the Lake district, we finished our walk 5 days later in Keswick.
Unlike many towns that claim to be the ‘gateway’ to this and that, Ulverston, can truly be given this mantra as the gateway to the Cumbria Way and the Lake District.

Ulverston is not really a ‘tourist’ town as such, although we both liked its small market town feel. But what really brought a smile to our lips was the statue in the town dedicated to Laurel and Hardy (Stan Laurel was born in the town in 1890).
The statue is located outside Coronation Hall in the town centre, and has a very good likeness to the comedy pair, and was made by the same artist (Graham Ibbeson) who also created the Eric Morecambe statue in nearby Morecambe.

I grew up in the 1970s watching the grainy old Laurel and Hardy films on TV during the school holidays, and they are certainly my first comedy heroes.

Also, around the corner from the statue is the small, quirky but very entertaining Laurel and Hardy museum.
The museum is a real labour of love, and we spent about 45 mins to an hour looking at the exhibits on the Sunday morning.
You could easily spend longer, particularly if you are a big fan, a small area is set aside for viewing some of their old films.

The town has a number of restaurants and decent real ale pubs. And whilst there I was lucky to encounter a beer festival in one of the pubs, 15+ beers available, so very good timing indeed. As ever, consult the CAMRA Good Beer Guide for pubs.

Ulverston is also home to the Ulverston brewery, on Lightburn Road, which we also paid a visit to >
The brewery uses the Laurel and Hardy theme for its beer names and brewery decoration, any why not!

One other thing of note, as you leave the town on the Cumbria way as we did the following morning, you see off to your right a view towards Morecambe Bay over the water and also the very visible landmark of the ‘Hoad Monument’ a concrete structure  built in 1850 to commemorate statesman and local resident Sir John Barrow.


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