A NUMBER of Cumbrian sights and attractions have been named on Lonely Planet’s list ‘top 500 experiences in the UK.’

Racing in at number 9 was Windermere, with the book saying “people come in search of the scenic splendour and bucolic experiences that inspired Wordsworth, Coleridge and the English Romantics.”

The entry for Windermere refers to a number of activities and sights on and around the lake, including rides on a 19th-century steamer and the World of Beatrix Potter.

Coming in at 310, and appearing for the first time in Lonely Planet, was Grasmere Gingerbread, which still makes its product on-site 165 years after Sarah Nelson first came up with the famous recipe.

Regarding what makes its gingerbread so special, Joanne Hunter, director of the company, said: “It’s completely unique. It’s a secret recipe. It’s been made in Grasmere for the last 165 years.

“The world comes to us and we go to the world.”

Indeed, Grasmere Gingerbread delivers to people all over the globe, with Mrs Hunter saying it gets orders from America, India and China to name a few.

At number 412 was Levens Hall near Kendal. The entry in the book invites readers to “get happily lost in the topiary gardens” which it says have remained “largely unchanged” since they were laid out in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

It adds: “The extraordinary Alice in Wonderland-like vision of pyramids, swirls, curls, pom-poms and peacocks you’ll see is close to what Restoration-era guests would have beheld.”

Jane Meaker, personal assistant to the Bagot family, which owns Levens Hall, said: “They [the gardens] are world famous.

“They are the oldest topiary gardens in the world and they are a sight to behold.”

She added: “The house is equally impressive. It’s got some of the most beautiful fine furniture and decor.”

According to Mrs Meaker, the house has a connection with the Duke of Wellington, whose story is told throughout the house.

“It adds another dimension to the history of the house which the visitors find very interesting,” she said.

The list of Cumbrian attractions in the book, in short, is: 09 - Windermere; 40 - Walking the Lakes’ peaks; 134 - The Honister Pass; 178 - Wild swimming in Eskdale; 180 - The La’al Ratty; 191 - Derwent Water; 237 - Grizedale Forest; 243 - Honister Slate Mine and Via Ferrata; 285 - Wordsworth Museum; 286 - Hill Top; 304 - The Derwent Pencil Museum; 310 - Grasmere Gingerbread; 343 - Cuisine in Cartmel; 358 - Riding a Steam Yacht Gondola on Coniston Water; 412 - The gardens at Levens Hall ; 450 - Blackwell House; 492 - Carlisle Castle.