Although William Wordsworth is forever associated with Grasmere and Rydal, it was in Cockermouth, eight miles (12.8km) from the west Cumbrian coast that he was born in 1770. His birthplace still stands, saved from demolition in the 1930s, open to the public but, like much of Cockermouth, badly hit by the floods of November 2009. 

The town recovered and today, with its rich Georgian heritage, abundance of independent shops, tree-lined Main Street and variety of festivals (Taste Cumbria Food and Woolfest amongst them), offers plenty of reasons to divert here from the more touristy parts of the Lake District. 

Cockermouth’s location is pretty good too. Although it’s just shy of the Lake District National Park, the fells are close neighbours, as anyone approaching from Carlisle on the A595 or heading south on the B5289 through the Vale of Lorton can clearly see. 

That latter road opens the way to three small treasures of Cumbria - Loweswater, Crummock Water and Buttermere - their quiet waters watched over by some of Lakeland’s best known fells, including Robinson, Melbreak, Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike.

Attractions

Information

Cockermouth Tourist Information Centre: 01900 822634.

Cockermouth website: www.cockermouth.org.uk

Kirkgate Centre. This converted Victorian school is Cockermouth’s main entertainment centre, a popular venue for films, music, lectures, drama and dance. www.kirkgatearts.org.uk

Stay connected

Keep up to date with all the latest news from the LAKE DISTRICT travel guide.