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Things to do in Cockermouth, Cumbria


Cockermouth is the birthplace of William and Dorothy Wordsworth. An attractive small market town on the fringe of the Lake District National Park. The town was built in the 12th century and is situated on the confluence of the rivers Derwent and Cocker - hence its name, it is one of 51 "gem" towns in Great Britain.

Cockermouth has been twinned with the town of Marvejols, which is situated in the Lozere district of Southern France, since 1983. To acknowledge the work done by the town in promoting European friendship the Council of Europe has awarded a European Diploma, a European Flag of Honour and a European Plaque of Honour to the town.

Wordsworth House - situated on Cockermouth's Main Street, is a fine Georgian House built in 1744, now owned by the National Trust. All five Wordsworth children were born in this house.

Although the Wordsworths are probably Cockermouth's most famous residents, the town has produced other famous figures. Fletcher Christian, who led the renowned mutiny on the Bounty. John Dalton, the noted scientist and father of the atomic theory and Fearon Fallows, HM Astronomer Royal were all born in or near the town.

Cockermouth Castle is privately owned, and still lived in by the Egremont family. The earliest parts of the castle date from the 13th century, once besieged and partly destroyed by Robert the Bruce, Cockermouth Castle and its garrison were often called upon to act as defence for England against the Scots.

The Creighton Mineral and Fossil Museum traces mineral mining in the area, back to Roman times and exhibits some of the finest mineral specimens in the north of England.

At the Working Museum of Printing you can step back in time for a guided tour of printing, from the 15th to 20th century. See working presses and printing equipment and print your own keepsake.

Other Museums of interest to visit in Cockermouth are the Aspects of Motoring Museum, and Cumberland Toy and Model Museum.

If you have always wanted to visit a brewery, you have the opportunity in Cockermouth, at the Jennings Castle Brewery you can take a tour and learn a few of the secrets of brewing.

For animal lovers there is a hands-on opportunity to meet Cumbria's most famous residents at the Lakeland Sheep and Wool Centre, situated on the outskirts of Cockermouth. Experience the skills of a sheep shearer, meet 19 breeds of sheep and see how highly trained sheep dogs can handle a flock.

Cockermouth has an excellent selection of restaurants, cafes and pubs, which offer the visitor a wide choice of food for everyone's tastes.

Cockermouth's main shopping areas are the Main Street, Station Street and Market Place where shoppers will find a fine choice of specialist shops.

The Kirkgate Centre offers a varied programme of professional theatre, films and classical to jazz music, exhibitions and local history displays. The Castlegate House gallery offers extensive exhibitions of arts and crafts.

Cockermouth Golf Club, the Sports Centre and Harris Park at Cockermouth, offers many sporting activities. Cyclists can enjoy the Sea to Sea Cycle Route and the Cockermouth Greenway, a landscaped public footpath, which runs through the town. Angling is a common pastime at Cockermouth, with the Rivers Cocker and Derwent being renowned for their Trout and Salmon fishing, and the nearby lakes and tarns holding Trout and Pike. Fishing licences and permits are essential, these are available from the Tourist Information Centre.

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