If you are staying in Grange-over-Sands, your closes major town will be Barrow-in-Furness. At the 2011 census, this town reported a population of about 57,000 people. This makes it the largest urban centre in South Cumbria, and the second-largest one in all of Cumbria. In Cumbria, only Carlisle – located in North Cumbria – is bigger.

Barrow is often described as the “shopping town” for the Lake District, as many residents and vacationers here come to Barrow when in need of things that can be difficult to obtain in the smaller towns and villages. Because of this pull, Barrow has a lot of shops and leisure facilities for a town of its size. There is for instance the Portland Walk Shopping Centre, Cornerhouse Retail Park, Hollywood Park, Hindpool Retail Park, and Walney Road Retail Park.

You can travel to Barrow by train from Grange-over-Sands, on the Furness Line.

Examples of leisure facilities in Barrow

  • Cumbria’s largest cinema
  • Lazer Zone, located in the old Custom House at Hindpool Road
  • Lazer Quest, Escape Room and Play Centre in the old Hitchens Building on Buccleuch Street
  • The leisure center at James Freel Close, which includes an indoor skate park, trampoline centre, gym, kart racing complex, and bowling alley.
  • Barrow Park contains a large boating lake, mini railway, skate park, various playgrounds, two large swimming pools, a gym, exercise studios, and a sports hall. The highest point of the park is the site of a late Bronze Age fort.


Barrow is located at the tip of the Furness peninsula, bordered by the Morecambe Bay, the Duddon Estuary and the Irish Sea. It is not within the Lake District National Park.

The Barrow town centre is situated north-east of the docks. As they town grew, suburbs sprang up in the north and east, and also on Walney Island. Walney Island surrounds the peninsula’s Irish Sea coast and is separated from Barrow only by a narrow channel called the Walney Channel.

Both the town centre and Barrow’s major industrial areas sits on a rather flat coastal shelf, but there is some higher ground just to the east of the town. Yarlside is the highest nearby point, at 94 meters (310 ft) above sea level.

Short facts about Barrow

Population 56,745 (2011 census)
Demonym Barrovian
Postcode district LA13
Post town Barrow-in-Furness
Shire county Cumbria
Region North West England
Dialling code 01229
Emergency services Police: Cumbria Constabulary

Fire: Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service

Ambulance: North West Ambulance Service

The beaches

Barrow has several beaches that attract sunbathers and swimmers during the summer season, such as Roanhead beach, Rampside, Biggar Bank, and Earnse Bay. From Earnse Bay and Biggar Bank it is actually possible to see Isle of Man on really clear days.

The ruins

English Heritage manages the ruins of Furness Abbey and Piel Castle in Barrow.

The Dock Museum

The Dock Museum in Barrow is not just about the docks; it includes a lot of information about Barrow as a whole. There is also gallery space here for local artist, including school children. The museum is built upon and around an old graving dock.

South Walney Nature Reserve & North Walney Nature Reserve

Both of these nature reserves are located on Walney Island. The southern reserve is 130 hectare and the northern one 650 hectare.

Getting to Barrow

By road

Barrow-in-FurnessThe principal road to Barrow is the A590, which runs to Barrow from the M6 via Ulverston.

A595 runs just north of Barrow, linking Barrow with West Cumbria.

From Ulverston, you can get to southern Barrow on the scenic coastal route A5087.

Regional buses arrive to Barrow from Millom, Ulverston, Bowness, Windermere, and Kendal.

By railway

Two lines traffic the Barrow-in-Furness Railway Station:

  • The Cumbrian Coast Line, which links Barrow to Whitehaven, Workington and Carlisle.
  • The Furness Line, connecting the town to places such as Ulverston, Grange-over-Sands and Lancaster.

Both lines are connected to the West Coast Mainline, and there are numerous daily trains to Manchester. Manchester Airport is on this line.

Roose railway station

Roose railway station serves the suburb of Roose in Barrow. It is located on the Furness Line to Lancaster, 1 3⁄4 miles (2.8 km) south of the main Barrow-in-Furness Railway Station.

By plane

Barrow/Walney Island Airport is a former commercial airport and Royal Air Force base.

IATA airport code: BWF


Nowadays, the aiport is owned by BAE Systems who operates two Beechkraft Kingair B200 and one B250 aircraft which fly to various cities across the UK every weekday. Destinations include London, Manchester, Glasgow, and Bristol.

By helicopter

DONG Energy has built a heliport off Park Road, Ormsgill.