Things to Do in Barrow-in-Furness

things to do in BarrowinFurness

With 60km of stunning coastline and two estuaries Barrow in Furness has a wealth of experiences for your family to enjoy. Discover the proud maritime and industrial heritage at the town’s flagship attraction The Dock Museum.

Alternatively, visit the ruins of Furness Abbey to see how one of the richest Cistercian monasteries once stood.

1. The Forum Theatre

Barrow-in-Furness is a bustling seaside town surrounded by the Sea and Lake District, it has a lot to offer. From its famous Dock Museum to the sand dunes on Roa Island or the beautiful views of Walney Channel.

The Forum Theatre is a middle scale venue offering a varied programme of events. It is also home to the Action Now Theatre company. They practice a style of theatre founded by Augusto Boal called Theatre of the Oppressed.

The technique uses a range of tools to help people see oppression in their lives. It includes a set of drama games and improvisational techniques such as Image Theatre and Newspaper Theatre. The main form of Theatre of the Oppressed is Forum Theatre. Other types of performance under the Theatre of the Oppressed banner include Joker System and the use of bodywork.

2. Piel Island and Castle

Barrow-in-Furness boasts a proud heritage of innovation and is home to an array of exciting attractions. Visit the spectacular Dock Museum, a modern museum straddling an original Victorian graving dock; explore Furness Abbey; or tour the castle ruins at Piel Island.

A 50-acre landing on England’s northwest coast needs a landlord—or, as the locals call it, a ‘king or queen’. This monarch is charged with running the pub on the island, the Ship Inn. In addition to beer duties, they manage a small campsite and toilet block on the remote island.

The 14th century Piel Castle, built by the monks at nearby Furness Abbey, stands on a low mound of clay on the southern edge of the island and comprises a keep surrounded by inner and outer baileys. It is owned by English Heritage and can be accessed via a ferry from Roa Island.

3. Furness Abbey

A short stroll from the hotel and you’ll be able to see some fantastic live performances at The Forum Theatre. The current season features internationally renowned performers alongside local dance and amateur groups.

The magnificent ruins of Furness Abbey are managed by English Heritage and are an awe-inspiring sight to behold. Founded in 1123, it was once one of the wealthiest Cistercian abbeys in England.

The ruined Custodian’s cottage gives a fascinating insight into medieval life, while the adjoining church is one of England’s most intact Romanesque buildings. The Dock Museum, Barrow’s flagship attraction, is a spectacular modern museum straddling an historic Victorian graving dock. The town also has a range of shopping opportunities where major high street names mingle with local specialist shops.

4. The Dock Museum

The Dock Museum is a modern building alongside Walney Channel built within a former dry dock. It exhibits a variety of rolling temporary exhibitions as well as telling the story of Barrow’s rapid mushrooming from a 19th Century hamlet to the biggest iron and steel centre in the world as well as its pivotal role in shipbuilding during both world wars.

It showcases historical objects such as models of ships and submarines, household items, the Vickers Photographic Archive and archaeological finds. Other displays include parts of historic vessels, reconstructed historical scenes, and a film show about Barrow’s history.

The Dock Museum is easy to reach from nearby Barrow town where major high street names mingle with local specialist shops in a pedestrianised shopping centre. There is also a large free car park.

5. The Furness Gold Club

With a sea on three sides and lakes on two, Barrow-in-Furness has an enviable location. Explore the town’s proud industrial heritage at the Dock Museum, a spectacular modern museum built over an original Victorian Graving Dock. Or learn about the town’s historic beginnings at the Furness Abbey.

The 14th-century Piel Island Castle was built by monks of the Furness Abbey to protect the local harbour from Scots raids and can be visited on a ferry. Alternatively, walk along the beautiful coastline at Roa Island or discover the wildlife at South Walney Nature Reserve.

For a day out shopping, the major high street names and local specialist shops can be found in a spacious pedestrianised town centre. While Hollywood Park is a new entertainment complex offering restaurants, shopping, a cinema and Cumbria’s only 10 pin bowling centre.

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