Looking for fun and adventure in the heart of New South Wales? Make haste, as we share the top things to do in Penrith, Australia, a former frontier town transformed into an action-packed hub. From rowdy retro fun at the Sydney International Regatta Centre to close encounters with crocodiles, Penrith serves up experiences to thrill any traveller, looking for some of best attractions in NSW.
Let your taste buds tumble down the slippery dips of adrenaline-inducing eats. Face your fears at restaurant tables sizzling with bug-covered menus or take the saucy challenge of a spicy chicken wing eating contest. Not for the faint of heart! Satisfy your need for speed at state-of-the-art autodromes roaring with Aussie V8 muscle. Feel the rumbling engines vibrate in your chest!
Whether you seek high-octane pursuits or relaxing strolls through tranquil botanical gardens, Penrith hits the sweet spot. As the sun dips below the rugged blue ridges ringing this adventure paradise, toast to memories made and new favorites found. In Penrith, fun around every corner is guaranteed.
So rally your crew and make plans to explore New South Wales’s best-kept secrets. The heart-pumping thrills of Penrith are calling! Adventure awaits just an hour from Sydney.
- Penrith offers a range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy, from majestic waterfalls like Aira Force to historic castles like Lowther Castle and Brougham Castle.
- Nature enthusiasts can explore the beautiful landscapes of Hallin Fell and discover the enchanting ancient stone circle at Long Meg and her Daughters.
- Immerse yourself in history by visiting Penrith Castle, Dalemain Mansion & Historic Gardens, and Hutton in the Forest, or enjoy unique experiences like Barnhill Donkeys Retreat and Upfront Puppet Theatre.
Top 13 Things to Do in Penrith in 2023
1. Aira Force Waterfall
Aira Force Waterfall, Penrith, NSW
Stealing the spotlight as one of Penrith’s top attractions, Aira Force Waterfall touts a breathtaking 65-foot cascade nestled in the serene ambiance of the Lake District National Park.
Its thunderous display is best enjoyed following a scenic hike through an 18th-century pleasure ground dotted with charming woodland trails. This spectacle doesn’t lose its charm all year round, be it cloaked in winter frost or shimmering under a summer sun.
Not just for hikers, this gem is also easily accessible by boat from Ullswater lakeshore making it an ideal destination for nature aficionados and those seeking tranquility away from bustling crowds.
For thrill-seekers venturing into Cumbria’s heartland, partake in other popular activities like the Aira Force Hike and water sports at Glenridding Sailing Centre to fully appreciate this culturally rich area crisscrossed with undulating landscapes and stunning views.
2. Lowther Castle and Gardens
Lowther Castle and Gardens
Lowther Castle and Gardens, a prominent attraction located in the historic county of Westmorland in Penrith, Cumbria is a splendid sight to behold. Awash with stunning castle ruins and adorned by beautiful gardens, this spot has quickly become one of the top attractions for tourists visiting Penrith.
The allure of exploring its rich history tied to the Lowther family makes it an engaging journey through time as you tread along the picturesque meadows encircling it and towards the River Eamont.
Not just a feast for your eyes, Lowther Castle presents various activities that cater to diverse interests. From intriguing exhibitions showcasing sections of local history to lively guided tours around its premises, there’s something interesting at every turn.
What adds more thrill are their expansive adventure playgrounds offering fun-filled experiences for all age groups. And if romance is on your mind, then look no further – this culturally rich area offers scenic settings perfect for those memorable moments with your special someone.
3. Hallin Fell
Hallin Fell, recognized as a top attraction in Penrith, is a tourist’s delight with its matchless scenic beauty. Dominating the landscape of this culturally rich area, it offers an ideal opportunity to commune with nature and explore the great outdoors.
Its panoramic views across Ullswater lake captivate all visitors making them return year after year. Not just for sightseeing purposes, Hallin Fell also provides plenty of outdoor activities such as fell walking and wildlife spotting – fantastic ways to thoroughly experience Cumbria’s unique countryside.
A visit to Hallin Fell is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Penrith for travelers seeking enchanting views or an active holiday escape.
4. Long Meg and her Daughters
Long Meg and her daughters
Long Meg and her Daughters is a captivating Neolithic stone circle nestled near Penrith in Cumbria, North West England. This remarkable attraction ranks among the top things to do in Penrith, and for good reason.
Comprising more than 60 stones, including Long Meg herself standing at an impressive 12 feet tall, this ancient ring holds a rich history shrouded in mystery. Adorned with intricate carvings like cup and ring patterns and spirals, Long Meg exudes an aura of enchantment.
Legend has it that these stones were once a witch and her coven who were turned to stone by supernatural forces. Visitors can explore this fascinating site and immerse themselves in its Bronze Age origins while being surrounded by picturesque landscapes perfect for capturing memorable photos.
5. Hutton in the Forest
Hutton in the Forest is a must-visit attraction near Penrith, England. This historic house and garden showcase stunning Gothic Revival architecture that will leave you in awe. Explore the terraces, topiary, walled garden, and dovecote within the grounds.
Hutton in the Forest is open during the spring and summer seasons, giving visitors ample time to immerse themselves in its beauty. Don’t miss out on wandering through the medieval deer park and woodland spanning about 200 hectares on this estate.
It’s no wonder why Hutton in the Forest is considered one of Penrith’s top attractions!
6. Acorn Bank
Acorn Bank is a must-visit attraction in Penrith, Cumbria. Situated in the picturesque Eden Valley, this beautiful estate offers stunning views of the Lake District. It’s no wonder that Acorn Bank has been ranked as one of the top attractions by travelers on Tripadvisor in 2023.
With its large herb collection and fruit orchard, it’s a paradise for nature enthusiasts and garden lovers alike. If you’re looking for a tranquil haven away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Acorn Bank is the place to be.
And don’t forget to explore other notable attractions nearby such as Dalemain Country Park, Lowther Castle and Gardens, and Penrith Castle. Don’t miss out on experiencing all that Acorn Bank has to offer during your visit to Penrith!
7. Barnhill Donkeys Retreat
Ranked as the number one attraction in Sleagill, Penrith, Barnhill Donkeys Retreat offers a delightful experience for visitors seeking unique and interactive encounters. Owned and operated by Linda Gilbert, this charming retreat is home to a group of friendly donkeys who eagerly await your visit.
The four on-site stables provide comfortable accommodations for these lovable creatures, making it easy for guests to spend quality time with them. Whether you’re a local or a tourist exploring Penrith, Barnhill Donkeys Retreat promises a fun-filled experience that’s sure to create lasting memories.
The retreat has even caught the attention of Penrith MP, highlighting its significance in the area. So gather your family and friends and head over to Barnhill Donkeys Retreat for an enjoyable day surrounded by these adorable animals – it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss!
8. The Rheged Centre
The Rheged Centre, located on the edge of the Northern Lakes in Penrith, Cumbria, is one of the largest visitor attractions in the region. This multi-purpose venue offers a range of activities for all ages and celebrates the history and culture of the area.
With its gallery, café, cinema, and shopping facilities, there’s something for everyone at this all-weather activity center. Whether you’re interested in arts and culture or simply want to enjoy a day out with family and friends, The Rheged Centre has it all.
Conveniently situated just outside of Penrith, it attracts visitors from across the country who come to experience its diverse offerings. For a true taste of what Penrith has to offer in terms of attractions and activities, The Rheged Centre is a must-visit destination.
9. Penrith Castle
Penrith Castle, a magnificent 14th-century structure made of red sandstone, is a must-visit attraction in Penrith. Located in the heart of the market town in Cumbria, England, this historic castle offers visitors a captivating glimpse into medieval architecture and the region’s rich history.
Despite being in ruins, the castle still exudes charm and its well-maintained surrounding park provides a picturesque setting. Its strategic location near other renowned attractions like Brougham Castle and Lowther Castle makes it an essential stop along any itinerary exploring Penrith’s cultural heritage.
History enthusiasts and those seeking to immerse themselves in medieval tales will find themselves enthralled by Penrith Castle’s fascinating past and stunning surroundings.
10. Upfront Puppet Theatre
Located near Penrith, Cumbria, Upfront Puppet Theatre is a hidden gem and one of the top attractions in the area. This unique puppet theatre is one of only four constructed in England, making it an exclusive and must-visit destination for both locals and tourists.
Originally opened as a gallery and cafe, Upfront expanded to include a small puppet theatre, providing visitors with an immersive experience like no other. With 140 seats available, audiences have plenty of space to enjoy the outstanding shows and performances that this center of creativity has to offer.
Suitable for all ages but particularly popular among families with children, Upfront Puppet Theatre showcases the art of puppetry at its best. Its association with nearby art galleries further enhances the overall visitor experience.
11. Dalemain Mansion & Historic Gardens
Dalemain Mansion & Historic Gardens in Penrith is a must-visit attraction and one of the top 21 things to do in 2023. This stunning mansion showcases a beautiful blend of medieval, Tudor, and early Georgian architecture, with an impressive Palladian facade that dates back to 1744.
Set within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the gardens at Dalemain are equally enchanting. Highlights include the Rose Walk, Ancient Apple Trees, Tudor Knot Garden, Blue Himalayan Poppies, Earth Sculpture, and Stumpery.
As you stroll through this botanical paradise spread across approximately 100 hectares, you’ll also appreciate its pre-18th-century kitchen garden and deer park. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in marmalade or enjoy a delightful meal at Dalemain’s cafe while taking in the historic elegance of this Northwest gem.
12. Penrith Museum
One of the must-visit attractions in Penrith is the Penrith Museum. Located in this market town and civil parish in Westmorland and Furness, Cumbria, England, it offers a fascinating glimpse into the local history of Penrith.
As part of the top tourist attractions list for Penrith, this museum showcases artifacts that richly illustrate the heritage and cultural significance of the area. From exhibits on ancient settlements to displays about notable figures from Penrith’s past, visitors can learn about how this charming town has evolved over time.
It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the stories and traditions that have shaped Penrith into what it is today.
13. Brougham Castle
Located approximately 2 miles southeast of Penrith, Brougham Castle is a medieval gem that attracts both history enthusiasts and nature lovers. Founded in the early 13th century by Robert I de Vieuxpont, this picturesque castle sits beside the enchanting River Eamont.
Its ancient ruins, classified as a castle of historical significance, offer a unique experience for visitors curious about medieval architecture and history. Explore the beautiful surroundings while marveling at the architectural beauty of Brougham Castle.
A recommended stop for travelers staying at the nearby Premier Inn in Penrith, this historic site is conveniently located near other attractions in the Lake District. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Penrith and its surrounding area with a visit to Brougham Castle – where architectural magnificence meets natural splendor.
Summary of Outdoor Activities in Penrith
- Explore the stunning Aira Force Waterfall, known for its impressive cascades and picturesque surroundings.
- Take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful gardens of Lowther Castle, where you can admire the historic architecture and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
- Embark on a hike up Hallin Fell, a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts offering panoramic views of Ullswater and the Lake District.
- Visit Long Meg and her Daughters, an ancient stone circle that dates back thousands of years and is steeped in local legend.
- Immerse yourself in nature at Hutton in the Forest, where you can wander through woodland trails and discover hidden treasures in the formal gardens.
- Enjoy a peaceful day out at Acorn Bank, a tranquil haven featuring stunning gardens, an orchard, and an 18th-century watermill.
- Meet adorable donkeys at Barnhill Donkeys Retreat, where you can learn about these gentle creatures and enjoy interactive experiences with them.
- Dive into Cumbria’s rich history at The Rheged Centre, which offers informative exhibitions, shops selling local crafts, and a café serving delicious food sourced from the region.
- Step back in time at Penrith Castle, a medieval fortress that provides a fascinating glimpse into the area’s past.
- Be entertained by captivating puppet shows at Upfront Puppet Theatre while supporting this unique community arts venue.
Cultural Experiences in Penrith
- Immerse yourself in the region’s history and heritage by exploring the galleries, museums, and cultural institutions in Penrith.
- Experience the vibrant arts scene at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, where you can enjoy performances ranging from theater to ballet.
- Gain a deeper understanding of the region’s culture and artistry at one of Penrith’s many galleries, showcasing works by local and international artists.
- Attend cultural events like the Penrith Fireworks Show, which offers a thrilling and mesmerizing experience for both locals and tourists.
Conclusion – Things to Do in Penrith
In conclusion, Penrith offers an abundance of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy in 2023. From exploring the stunning natural beauty of Aira Force Waterfall and Hallin Fell to immersing oneself in history at Lowther Castle and Brougham Castle, there is something for everyone.
Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures or cultural experiences, Penrith has it all. So make sure to plan your visit and immerse yourself in the wonders of this vibrant town in Cumbria’s Eden Valley.
1. What are some popular attractions in Penrith in 2023?
Some popular attractions in Penrith in 2023 include visiting the historic Nepean Belle Paddlewheeler, exploring the beautiful Penrith Regional Gallery, enjoying outdoor activities at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, and experiencing thrilling adventures at iFLY Indoor Skydiving.
2. Are there any family-friendly activities to do in Penrith?
Yes, Penrith offers a range of family-friendly activities such as visiting Cables Wake Park for water sports and cable skiing, exploring the animals at Featherdale Wildlife Park, enjoying mini-golf and go-karting at Unreal Mini Golf & Go-Karts, or having fun at Aqua Golf & Putt Putt.
3. Can I go hiking or bushwalking in Penrith?
Absolutely! There are several options for hiking and bushwalking enthusiasts in Penrith. You can explore the stunning trails of Glenbrook Gorge and Blue Pool Walk, venture into the scenic Warragamba Dam Reserve with its various tracks, or take on challenging treks like Red Hands Cave Track or Mount Solitary via Ruined Castle track.
4. Where can I find delicious food options in Penrith?
Penrith has numerous dining establishments to satisfy your taste buds. Some recommended places include High St Depot with its trendy eats and craft beer selection, Café Fred for tasty breakfasts and brunches, Emu Plains Market Place offering diverse cuisines from around the world, and Mama’s Pizza Kitchen known for their mouthwatering pizzas and Italian dishes.