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Things to do in Whitehaven, Cumbria

The Elegant Georgian town of Whitehaven allows you to recapture the atmosphere of the 18th century, as you explore its unique and original streets. In the days of sail it had important links with North America and the Caribbean (particularly for Antigua rum!). Despite having been the home of George Washington's grandmother (who is buried in the town), it was the site of the only attack on British soil by US forces, led by John Paul Jones in 1778.

Built on a grid pattern, the town houses are a memorial to the prosperous trading merchants and sea captains who once lived here. Known as the 'Georgian Port', Whitehaven was once the third largest port in the country, trading throughout the world.

Today the town is preserving its historic past and undergoing a long-term restoration project. The Beacon is an award- winning visitor attraction right on the harbour side and tells the story of Whitehaven's social, maritime and industrial history. Experience the sights and sounds of the past, present and future of this Georgian Port, with characters and interactive displays to entertain all ages. Visit the Met Office Weather Gallery, and take a closer look at how the weather develops, using interactive computer systems linked to the Met Office in Bracknell. You can also 'Broadcast your own Weather Report'.

In the centre of the town is the church tower of St. Nicholas, where visitors can climb the left-hand spiral staircase and help wind up the 19th century brass clock.

The Harbour Gallery has an annual programme of exhibitions and events, and is a first-class venue for the visual arts.

St. Bees Head, south of Whitehaven is the highest sea cliff between Scotland and Wales. There is a fine beach and wonderful walks along the cliffs. St Bees Head is home to the RSPB wild bird reserve for you to visit.

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