Due to the all night storm our plans to go for another day in the mountains was quickly forgotten in place of a visit to the picturesque town of Cockermouth.
Cockermouth sits at the meeting point of 3 rivers and below 2 large lakes and is currently most famous in the U.K for being devastated by 8 feet (around 3 metres) high of flood waters that hit the region in 2009.
Lifeboat men normally rescue people at sea not in main streets!
It has taken over 2 years for this and other towns to get back to how they were but now Cockermouth is one again a thriving tourist town full of arts and crafts shops, tea shops, pubs and antique shops.
Some antique shops sell very expensive items from all areas of life whilst other shops sell what may be less kindly called junk. In a country with so many old things in it there is a vast amount of people who visit these shops hoping to find something unique or possibly a bargain which they can then identify as a priceless item and do make a huge profit.
This shop has a mixture of good and cheap stuff.
Apart from the floods the biggest draw to Cockermouth is to visit one of the homes of the writer and poet William Wordsworth who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. His most famous poem is about the spring daffodil flowers. In the spring time there a hundreds of thousands of them all around the town.
Wordsworths popular poem –
I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of dancing Daffodils;
Along the Lake, beneath the trees,
Ten thousand dancing in the breeze.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee: —
A poet could not but be gay
In such a laughing company:
I gaz’d–and gaz’d–but little thought
What wealth the shew to me had brought:
For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.
Wordsworth house is shown above. One interesting thing we learnt here was about tea. Whilst people today generally use a tea bag just once and even my recycling self may use a tea bag twice or at most three times, back in Wordsworths time tea was so precious that they would reuse the tea leave 17 or 18 times before they would hand out the leaves to give to the poor who would then reuse them multiple times. It must have been just like drinking water….
Other notable residents of the town include the man who came up with the first Atomic table of elements and the notorious Fletcher Christian who led a mutiny on the Bounty casting his captain adrift in the South Seas of the Pacific before meeting a nasty ending big his own.
Both the good and bad are remembered here in the form of pubs of which there are many in Cockermouth.
We went shopping and bought some Cumberland Sausage. Each county has its own sausages but they aren’t normally curly like these ones are.
Next up we visited the local brewery to see their brewing process. Included in the price of admission a 3 half pints of anybody their ales. The smell of the yeast and hops is delicious even outside in the car-park.
Following a day of sightseeing and lots of walking we found ourselves a little tea shop in a cosy courtyard behind the main street and enjoyed a hot chocolate and a bite to eat.
So that is the end of my week in Cumbria and my holiday blog and unofficial work for the local tourism office! I hope people have enjoyed seeing a little bit of this corner of England well away from the cities and genteel rolling hills that most people see if they visit Britain.