The county of Cumbria consists of six districts (Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden and South Lakeland), and in 2008 had a population of just under half a million. Cumbria is one of the most sparsely populated counties in the United Kingdom, with 73.4 people per km2 (190/sq mi).
Cumbria is the third largest county in England by area, and is bounded to the north by the Scottish council areas of Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders, to the west by the Irish Sea, to the south by Lancashire, to the southeast by North Yorkshire, and to the east by County Durham and Northumberland.
Cumbria is predominantly rural and contains the Lake District and Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered one of England's most outstanding areas of natural beauty, serving as inspiration for artists, writers, and musicians. A large area of the south east of the county is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park while the east of the county fringes the North Pennines AONB. Much of Cumbria is mountainous, and it contains every peak in England over 3,000 feet (910 m) above sea level, with Scafell Pike at 3,209 feet (978 m) being the highest point of England. An upland, coastal, and rural area, Cumbria's history is characterised by invasions, migration, and settlement, as well as battles and skirmishes between the English and the Scots. Notable historic sites in Cumbria include Carlisle Castle, Furness Abbey, Hardknott Roman Fort, Brough Castle and Hadrian's Wall, also a World Heritage Site.
The county of Cumbria was created in April 1974 through an amalgamation of the previous counties of Cumberland and Westmorland and small parts of Lancashire (the part known as Lancashire over the sands) and West Riding of Yorkshire, which was also abolished at that time.
At the end of the period of British history known as Roman Britain (c. AD 410) the inhabitants of Cumberland were Cumbric-speaking native Romano-Britons who were probably descendants of the Brigantes and Carvetii (sometimes considered to be a sub-tribe of the Brigantes) that the Roman Empire had conquered in about AD 85. Based on inscriptional evidence from the area, the Roman civitas of the Carvetii seems to have covered portions of Cumbria. The names Cumbria, Cymru (the native Welsh name for Wales), Cambria, and Cumberland are derived from the name these people gave themselves, *kombroges in Common Brittonic, which originally meant "compatriots".