Cumbria Crystal: try glass blowing, in Britain’s last surviving luxury crystal factory

Cumbria Crystal

Try glass blowing, in Britain’s last surviving luxury crystal factory – baubles, paperweights, tumblers, you name it – experiences range from 15 minutes to a full-day’s tuition. Individuals and groups welcome.

Available for ages 8 yrs+ prices start at £20

From 5th May 2018 Cumbria Crystal will offer a variety of glass-blowing activities every week. The company is the last luxury crystal manufacturer in the UK & is famous for producing some of the highest quality hand-blown and cut lead-crystal in the world and is proud to supply clients such as Bentley, Rolls Royce, all the British Embassies and many Royal families.

The company ethos has always been to welcome visitors into the factory to watch glass being blown as there are very few places left that this 2000 year art can still be seen. The educational benefits for young and old alike are undeniable – sharing the experience of watching glass being melted from sand into crystal and then being worked by artisans at temperatures in excess of 1200 degrees centigrade is close to alchemy and is fascinating to watch. It is rare that visitors to the factory fail to marvel at the collective skills required to create the crystal a piece of glass once they have seen it being made.

In order to extend appreciation of the craft a small furnace has been built to specifically enable visitors to receive tuition and blow glass inside alongside the company artisans who may well be blowing the crystal used by James Bond in Casino Royale or Downton Abbey.

The company is delighted to welcome Clare Wilson to the team to co-ordinate & deliver an extensive programme of activities. Clare trained for 8 years in Edinburgh and JamFactory, Adelaide one of the most respected glass blowing centres in the world and has worked in many glass studios. Combined with extensive teaching experience Clare is well placed to revolutionise the experience by offering hands on opportunities to visitors to Ulverston.


15 and 30 minute experiences making coloured glass baubles or paperweights will be available from 5th May & will be delivered Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesdays. Participants will be guided through every step of the process, select different coloured glasses to work with, melt the colour into the liquid glass and then blow & form the paperweight or bauble. Paperweights are very hands on & in addition participants will be invited to form the liquid glass with wet newspaper held in their hands!

Bauble workshops are available from 8+ years (Starting at £20). Paperweight workshops from 13 years+ (£45). Workshops are suitable for group sizes up to 8 people.

In the next couple of weeks the programme will be expand to include ‘blow a tumbler workshop’, sandcasting workshops and half and full-day glass blowing tuition packages in case the creative bug takes hold or you wish to give someone an amazing present.

In 2019 it is intended to develop a schools programme & corporate experiences.

Pre-booking is advised, especially in November & December when demand for children’s bauble booking workshops will be very high, but drop-in sessions will be running if there is availability.

For further details, or to book 01229 584 400

About Cumbria Crystal

Cumbria Crystal is the last producer of completely hand-blown and hand-cut English crystal in the United Kingdom. Using only traditional glassmaking processes, the small team of 22 highly skilled artisans are committed to making superb crystal of the highest quality using techniques and processes that have hardly changed since the Roman era. Located in Ulverston, a small town in the beautiful English Lake District, visitors are welcome to watch the choreographed alchemy of glass blowing, browse the Factory Shop & try making crystal.

Cumbria Crystal specialises in working with lead crystal. The benefits this bring include an increased refractive index, promoting brilliant sparkle in the cut and a reassuring weight in the hand, and outweigh the additional complexities associated with the material to ensure a superior product exuding character, quality and uniqueness. Cumbria Crystal epitomises the best of British crystal manufacture. The glassmaking heritage and use of traditional techniques mean that every aspect of the creative process is done by hand in the factory. All the crystal is completely mouth-blown by our small team of glass blowers and hand-cut on diamond wheels. The cutting process demands intense concentration and skill with a typical wine goblet taking between 10-12 days to create.