Rheged

This is one of Cumbria’s most popular visitor attractions, embracing a ‘gallery, café, cinema, shopping venue, workplace and creative space’, two minutes drive from junction 40 of the M6.

Opened in 2000, Rheged took its name from the Celtic kingdom that once stretched through southern Scotland and north west England.

It’s part of the family-owned company Westmorland which also runs Tebay Services, Farmshop and Kitchen on the M6 in Cumbria. Tebay was the subject of a four part series on Channel 4 in summer 2021 called ‘A Lake District Farm Shop’.

Beef and lamb from the family farm is used at Rheged and much emphasis is placed on Cumbrian produce in its main 100-seat, ground floor Café, and its Deli. There’s also a ‘flexible meet at work’ area called Gather where you can serve yourself coffee and then pick up sandwiches, salads and cakes from the Deli. 

The giant cinema screen (60 foot) is a major draw, with new release films shown, plus family favourites and live streaming events of opera, ballet and musical performances. A second cinema has a standard cinema-size screen.

The art gallery stages five or six exhibitions a year - and what a success that has been: celebrating ‘British art and craft in all its diversity’. Art materials, prints, cards and books are sold in the space next door. 

Elsewhere, shops sell men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, skincare ranges, books, ceramics, children’s shoes and toys, jewellery, textiles, cards, gifts and food and drink. 

There’s an indoor children’s play area and toy shop as well. A great deal going on inside a huge grass-covered building.

Rheged, Redhills, Penrith CA11 0DQ: 01768 868000, www.rheged.com Check website for opening times and for events. Admission: free (though not for films or certain events/activities). Café, shops, parking. Wheelchair access: full. Directions: Rheged is just off junction 40 of the M6. Head towards Keswick on the A66 and turn left at the first roundabout. 

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