Barrow-in-Furness, historic maritime gateway to the Furness Peninsula, boasts one of England's most impressive monastic ruins, Furness Abbey, open to the public all year. In the 14th Century, the monks built Piel Castle on remote Piel Island, accessible to visitors by ferry from neighbouring Roa Island. For more information about Furness Abbey and the walk to it, see the page about Roose.
Barrow's modern history begand with the birth of the Furness Railway; later the town led the world in building ships and submarines. This enthralling story can be explored at the outstanding Dock Museum.
Barrow has a population of about 60,000 and as a result has the shopping, cafes and restaurants that can be found in large towns. Just over 160 years ago, there were only 32 dwellings and 2 pubs in Barrow but the growth of the iron industry, the railway and the ship building industry saw spectacular growth and there are reminders today of the Victorian villas and red sandstone blocks of flats designed to attract Scottish workers.
The railway station has been renovated and is now fully accessible following the installation of passenger lifts. Taxis are available at the front of the station and buses stop on nearby Abbey Road. The town centre, with its Tourist Information Centre, is only ten minutes walk from the station. Areas of the town centre have been pedestrianised including the area around the imposing neo-gothic Town Hall which dates from 1887. Even cruise liners now call at Barrow and the passengers can explore the western side of the Lake District and Coniston.
At Barrow, connections can also be made to the scenic Cumbrian Coast line which takes passengers along the coast to towns and attractions including Millom, Ravenglass, Whitehaven, Workington, Maryport, and finally to the county town of Carlisle. Although Hadrian's Wall stopped on the banks of the Solway estuary, people forget that the forts and Roman defences continued along the coast as far as Maryport and Ravenglass where the remains of a bathhouse can still be seen. Barrow has sandy beaches nearby, especially at Roanhead, with spectacular views across the Duddon estuary. Peil, Walney and Roa islands are worth exploring and visitors will find much to discover in and around Barrow and the Furness peninsula.
Click Here for Barrow in Furness Leaflet
North Walney Nature Reserve Leaflet
South Walney Nature Reserve Leaflet
King of Piel Leaflet
St Georges Walk
Heart of Barrow Walk
Dalton Castle Leaflet
Furness Abbey Leaflet