10 things to do in Cockermouth

love it! reader CHRISTINE WALKER loves Cockermouth so much that she’s given us her top 10 things to do in the picturesque Lake District town…

1. WORDSWORTH HOUSE Experience the house as it would have been when the poet himself lived here. Built in 1745, this National Trust property was his home from his birth in 1770 until 1784.

2. THE CASTLE Majestically situated above the junction of the rivers Cocker and Derwent, this privately-owned Norman Castle dating from 1134 is a Grade1 listed building and open to the public.

3. MITCHELLS AUCTION Livestock sales on Mondays, furniture and fine arts sales on Thursdays and Sunday morning car boot sales. This really is the place to meet the locals!

4. MOUNTAINS AND LAKES Minutes away by car, Bassenthwaite Lake (main picture, above) is ideal for sailing, walking or climbing up nearby Skiddaw. Perfect for those of you who like getting out and about, whatever the season.

5. MAIN STREET Pavements lined with fragrant lime trees and flower beds filled with seasonal flowers paint an idyllic English village scene. The street is lined with quaint shops, pubs and restaurants, including an old fashioned sweet shop, and all under the watchful eye of a huge statue of Lord Mayo. It’s especially beautiful at Christmastime when bedecked with Christmas trees and thousands of lights.

6. BEACHES Watch the sun setting over the Solway sand, just a short journey away at Allonby, or visit St Bees Head where the coast-tocoast journey from West to East begins. Gorgeous!

7. THE TROUT HOTEL Situated at the end of Main Street, the hotel has been refurbished twice since the floods of 2009 and 2015. It boasts a well-stocked bar and serves excellent locally produced food. Bing Crosby stayed here whilst fishing for salmon on the river Derwent.

8. ANTIQUES MARKET Open daily in the old courthouse beside the river Cocker this pickers’ paradise is stacked with an ever-changing array of collectables.

9. COCKERMOUTH BREWERY Nestled close to the mouth of the river Cocker, Jennings brewery has been brewing real ales since 1288. Join one of the regular guided tours to see how the beer is made, whilst sampling Cockerhoop, Sneck Lifter and other traditional beers brewed therein.

10. ART GALLERIES Several galleries are located around the Market Place; Castlegate specialises in modern art and potter Joan Hardie will welcome you to her Bitter Beck Studio.