Cookie information: We love cookies - you can dunk them in your tea!
This website may put "tracking cookies" on your computer to help us improve your experience on our website, to analyse its performance and to allow us to promote the website. You can find out more in our privacy policy. Unfortunately you can't eat our tracking cookies but you can set your web browser to stop them downloading to your computer or you can just delete them from your computer. Here's a good recipe for cookies that you can dunk in your tea!

(This message is only intended to appear the first time you visit and then at six month intervals)


Hotels near the Rheged

Find and book hotels



Need 4 rooms or more?
Please call us.

Click for information - opens in new window

Click for information - opens in new window

Click for information - opens in new window

I have a





Our little web men are running around to find you the perfect break Did you know....all Best Western hotels have FREE internet!
Please Wait loading


Rheged Visitor Centre brings history to life in Europe's largest grass-covered building. Named after the ancient kingdom of Cumbria in the Dark Ages, it is designed in the shape of a Cumbrian fell in order to blend into the countryside, and is the largest visitor attraction in the county.

The kingdom of Rheged emerged from the turmoil of the Roman withdrawal in the early 5th century and was at its peak around 590 AD, when it stretched between the Irish Sea and the North Sea, from south Scotland to the Midlands. Amidst the history and mythology there are tales of Rheged's first king, Coel Hen, immortalised in the nursery rhyme Old King Cole, Uther Pendragon, his son Arthur and sorcerer Merlin (a recent Hollywood film claims the true story of Arthur is that he was a former Roman soldier in Cumbria) and King Urien, whose good luck symbol, the raven, has been adopted for the visitor's centre.

Utilising local materials and constructed in a disused limestone quarry, Rheged includes 12 stone features taken from moulds of limestone crags on Shap (Rheged's spiritual heart), complete with waterfalls. The 85,000 square feet over five floors includes seven glass atriums and massive windows overlooking two lakes. A babbling brook even flows through the building.

As well as the exhibits tracing the history of the area, Rheged also includes a giant cinema screen - as big as six double-decker buses - which screens a specially-shot film about the ancient kingdom, Rheged The Movie, epic films about dolphins and moutaineering and recent commercial films in a regular Wednesday series.

In July 2001 the Helly Hansen National Mountaineering Exhibition opened. A permanent feature created by the British Mountaineering Council and the Mountain Heritage Trust, it explores the excitement and dangers of a sport that typifies the enduring fascination of the region.

Bringing ancient Cumbria to life at Rheged Visitor Centre, Penrith

Rheged Information

When: Daily

Where: Penrith

Cost: Free entry
Giant Screen Movies £5.95; seniors & students £4.95; 5-15 yrs £4; under 5s free
The Helly Hansen National Mountaineering Exhibition £5.50; seniors & students £4.70; 5-15 yrs £3.90
Joint & family tickets available

Opening Hours: 10am-5.30pm; closed Christmas Day

Address: Redhills, Penrith, CA11 0DQ

Hotels near Rheged

Content provided by Frommers Unlimited, copyright © 2012: Whatsonwhen Ltd, John Wiley & Sons, Inc
Connect with us
The World's Biggest Hotel Family ®
Each Best Western ® branded hotel is independently owned and operated. © 2002 - 2012 Best Western International, Inc. All rights reserved 2015
© 2012 TripAdvisor LLC. All rights reserved