Until recently, Cumberland was one of Vancouver Island’s best-kept secrets. Today, this charming village is on its path to transform itself into one of the sought-after tourist destinations. Much of this can be attributed to the village’s dynamic community of outdoor enthusiasts and artists. Located within Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley, it was once a coal mining town.
It is now a historic village, having worn many hats and witnessed several changes over the years. You can find this beautiful village nestled against the Beaufort Range’s foothills. It is situated just under the shadow of Comox Glacier. This village with a population less than 3,400 is quaint, inviting, and has many stories to tell.
People, Places, and History
One of the most endearing aspects of Cumberland is its community of friendly residents. If you tour Cumberland at the right times, you’ll come across some fascinating cultural activities and festivals. You’ll also get to meet some wonderful artists and experience some adventurous activities outdoors. It is owing to such incredible offerings that this village in Comox Valley has become a hotspot for tourists.
When you begin exploring this village, you’ll find it hard to take your eyes off those historical structures. They were mostly built during the 19th and 20th centuries. These breathtaking structures include the Victorian mansions and cedar-shingled cottages. Many of those who’ve visited this village have described it as something straight out of the movies.
Besides being home to such fantastic offerings, Cumberland is a gateway to Strathcona Provincial Park. It is British Columbia’s oldest provincial park and the largest on Vancouver Island. This park is no less than a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. You can enjoy hiking, rock-climbing, mountain biking and many other activities during your visit to this park.
A must-see for those interested in history is the Cumberland Museum and Archives. You can embark on a self-guided walking tour during your visit to the village. It’ll give you an opportunity to get some interesting insights into its historic neighbourhoods and the beautiful downtown.
Getting to Cumberland
Cumberland is a small part of the highway that runs to Port Hardy from southerly Victoria. The presence of an excellent transportation system will give you several options, such as air, ferry, and bus. If you’re planning to travel to Cumberland by car, it can be reached within 3 hours from Victoria. The drive from Nanaimo would take about an hour and 15 minutes.
Located in Comox, the Comox Valley Airport serves the village and its surrounding areas. The airport was constructed by the Royal Air Force, the aerial warfare force of the United Kingdom, in 1942. It shares the airfield with CFB Comox, which is the primary air-defence installation on the Pacific coast of Canada. This airport is centrally located on Vancouver Island’s east coast.
It takes a 25-minute drive from Cumberland to reach the Comox Valley Airport. If you’re planning a vacation to Vancouver Island, it’d be a good idea to spend a few days in Cumberland. It’s one of the most picturesque places on the island with an incredible natural beauty and historic places.