A day out in Cockermouth

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.

Cockermouth Floods

A town under water

Cockermouth Floods

RNLI team rescuing people the day after the floods.

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.

Cockermouth Antique Shop on Main Street

Pick a cup, any cup as long as it’s china, silver, gold or plastic

Silver table-ware

Lots of this will come from children clearing the houses of deceased parents or it may even have been thrown out as rubbish.

Animal walking sticks

Who in their right mind would want this in any century?Who wants to buy a walking stick with an animal hoof handle ???

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.

Daffodils in Cockermouth

Inspiration for Wordsworth perhaps?

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 - Cockermouth

One of several houses that Wordsworth lived at in the Lake District. The poet was born here.

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.

Wordsworth Pub in Cockermouth

Hurrah! a pub for wonderful William!

Fletcher Christian Pub - Cockermouth

Boo-hiss a pub for mutineers and traitors… still it looks like it is doing well enough from the outside.

We went shopping and bought some Cumberland Sausage. Each county has its own sausages but they aren’t normally curly like these ones are.

Cumberland Sausage from the butchers

Can’t wait to have that for Sunday Roast. Not all of it at once of course! A traditional Cumberland Sausage

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.

A hot chocolate in Cockermouth

Hot choc with chocolate flake, marshmellows and cream. What isn’t shown is the sausage sandwich which came minutes later. What do you mean I’ll get far? Do you know how much I walked on this holiday 🙂

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.

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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6 Responses to A day out in Cockermouth

  1. I bet there’s some good copper bargains in those shops. Thanks for the post.


    • There sure are. All manner of pots and pans jugs from big old farmhouse kitchens to tiny decorative Victorian milk jugs.

      I rather like the old fashioned bed pans but we don’t have a coal fire here to test it out.


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