Barrow-in-Furness is a town and borough in Cumbria located at the edge of the Furness Peninsula, it is close to the Lake District and bordered by Morceambe Bay, Duddon Estuary, and the Irish sea. Barrow is surrounded by miles of beautiful beaches and scenic dunes, and there are plenty of big high street brand shops alongside a thriving independent sector offering a wealth of products and services, the area also boasts a wide range of good restaurants, bars, cafes, cinemas and theatres.
In the 19th Century, Barrow rapidly developed into one of the major steel working and ship building towns of the UK and today, BAE Systems (formerly VSEL) is one of the largest employers in the region employing around 7,500 people. With long term contracts secured for our largest local employer (BAE Systems), we are seeing more investment in the area with hotels, supermarkets and plenty of new houses being built.
The town’s proud heritage can still be seen through the rich architecture of historic buildings and sites including the ruins of Furness Abbey and a thriving dockland area; there is even a Dock Museum celebrating the Barrow docks and their shipbuilding past.
The Furness area is comprised from a wide variety of types of towns and villages; from the bustling conurbation of Barrow to the small ‘Lakeland style’ villages such as Broughton; other neighbouring towns and rural picturesque villages include Dalton in Furness with a safari zoo and splendid castle. Ulverston (home of the iconic Stan Laurel), is a lovely market town bursting with interesting old buildings, traditional quaint cobbled streets, Hoad Monument, and restaurants and public houses that are popular with locals and visitors alike. Walney Island is home to Vickerstown where the shipbuilder’s houses were built around 1901 and is connected to the mainland by the Jubilee Bridge. For those wishing to get away from the beaten track, Peil Castle located on Piel Island is well worth a visit, as is South Walney Nature Reserve, home to the Walney bird observatory and only grey seal colony in Cumbria, Sandscale Haws nature reserve, and the Duddon Estuary. There is also a plethora of green space within the more residential areas, the Barrow area boasts allotment sites, 25 playgrounds, Channelside Haven, Vickerstown Park, Hindpool Urban Park, and the popular 45-acre Barrow Park.
The relatively low property prices in Barrow means there is a highly active lettings market on the back of good yields and a large contractor tenant community. There are also highly desirable areas in the town that command excellent prices, such as Hawcoat and Crosslands Park.
The type of housing and construction materials varies throughout the different areas meaning there is a wide choice of style for prospective home buyers and within the rental market. Many of the older Barrow buildings are made from local sandstone bedrock, other natural building materials from the wider Cumbrian area are also represented as are red brick, render and cladding, and new build properties constructed from modern innovative building materials.
Excellent bus and rail services connect Barrow to Dalton, Askam, Ulvertson, Grange Over Sands, the Lakes, and the West Coast. For travel further afield then Oxenholme Station in Kendal is nearby with faster trains and easy access to the national rail network.
There are many highly regarded local schools that have consistently scored ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’ Ofsted reports, such as Newbarns Primary and Nursery School, Dowdales Secondary School, and Ulverston Victoria High School.
Things to do
There are always some fun and exciting events going on throughout the year. Weekends through the summer see local dance groups taking to the streets and parks in carnival style parades, as the days draw in, Ulverston comes alive with lantern processions and the popular Dickensian Festival attracts thousands of people to the area. Ulverston and Barrow both have excellent indoor and outdoor markets that maintain tradition by opening on set ‘market’ days throughout the week.