IT’s been almost a year since the pandemic struck and life as we knew it came to a halt.

Shops, museums and pubs are just some venues that have been forced to remain shut over the last year.

However, with the emergence of the coronavirus vaccine there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Earlier today, Boris Johnson also set out a roadmap to England’s lockdown lifting which will see more and more places starting to open up.

From historic monuments to treasured leisure centers, here are seven places in Cumbria we just can’t wait to visit once the pandemic is behind us:

The Lake District National Park

Times and Star: The Lake DistrictThe Lake District

(Photo: Geograph/Zoe Blackbourne)

While the Lake District has remained open to the public and those who want to exercise, police have discouraged travel to the beauty hotspot if you don’t live near it.

The Lake District is also a staple holiday destination as it is home to some beautiful staycation accommodation such as hotels and bnbs, all of which have been forced to close their doors during lockdown.

Once the pandemic is over, we can freely visit the national park once again. Best of all, we can embark on the beautiful walking routes because we want to- not because it’s the only thing we are allowed to do.  

The Sands Centre, Carlisle

The arts and creative industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic- they will need all of our support once life returns to normality.

Theatres have remained closed since the start of the pandemic, forced to cancel and reschedule performances for a later date.

The Sands Centre is just one theatre in Cumbria that many of us have missed during the pandemic.

There are a few shows scheduled for this year- fingers crossed that they will be able to go ahead.

Rob Beckett’s stand up show is currently set to take place on 20 May while Josh Widdicombe’s show Is penciled in for April 1.

Silloth Beach

Times and Star: Silloth beachSilloth beach

(Photo: Geograph/Oliver Dixon)

Last summer, national papers were covered with images of overcrowded beaches.

At some beaches, police were forced to step in and ask people to stay away from the most overpopulated beaches on British shores.

While most beaches didn’t actually close, visiting them was warned against and it was hard to relax with social distancing rules in place.

After the pandemic, none of us will take a relaxing trip to the beach for granted again.

If you haven’t already been to Silloth beach, you should make sure to after lockdown.

The underrated beach is home to plenty of wildlife and migrant birds visit the nearby salt marshes in winter.

Best of all, it’s dog friendly so you can take your four-legged pooch with you too.

Afterwards, make sure to explore the historic town of Silloth which is home to Victorian buildings.

The Sportsman Inn, Heads Lane, Carlisle

Times and Star: The Sportsman InnThe Sportsman Inn

(Photo: Geograph/Peter McDermott)

Are you desperate to get back in the pub and socialize with your friends?

While pubs were allowed to open for a time before lockdown, social distancing rules were in place and the vibe at the local boozer just wasn’t the same.

Any pub would sit comfortably on this list- but why not add this historic little venue to your list once it is allowed to re-open?

The Sportsman Inn is said to be the oldest pub in Carlisle.

It dates back to 1778 which is only two years after the American Declaration of Independence was signed.

The owner spoke to The News and Star late last year, where she talked about life in lockdown and how local pubs are going to survive the pandemic.

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Castle Street, Carlisle

Times and Star: Tullie House Museum and Art GalleryTullie House Museum and Art Gallery

(Photo: Geograph/Richard Sutcliffe)

Visiting somewhere educational might have been at the bottom of our weekend ‘to do’ list.

However, now many of us are craving some culture and would happily spend hours at a museum.

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery is a great place to visit with the family.

During the pandemic, they adapted to the pandemic and moved many of their exhibitions online.

However, there’s nothing like browsing the collections yourself and attending any events being hosted by the museum.

There are over 125 years’ worth of memorabilia and collectibles so you’re bound to come across something new each visit.

Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa, Keswick 

After the stress and worry of lockdown, many of us will be desperate for a massage and a facial.

Thanks to social distancing measures, spas were closed for the majority of last year meaning we have been unable to get our spa and massage hits.

If you want a luxury spa experience in Cumbria, the Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa should be at the top of your post-lockdown list.

There are a variety of treatments and experiences to choose from- you can just go for a massage or even make a day of it.

Hollywood Bowl, Carlisle

When was the last time you scored a perfect strike in bowling?

For many, this was considered to be an outdated and retro activity to partake in.

However, now the alleys are shut and we don’t have the choice to play anymore it has made some of us nostalgic for the game.

As soon it’s safe to do so, you should book in a game at the Hollywood Bowl in Carlisle.

Here, prices are £4.95 a game for under 16s and £5.95 for adults; a family of four can play for £19.95.