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Well Loved Walks – Cockermouth

by Sarah Booth |

The Lake District is an area that needs little introduction. Famously known as the home of Lake Windermere, Kendal Mint Cake and the children’s author Helen Beatrix Potter it attracts millions of visitors every year who are keen to explore its majestic mountains, crystal clear lakes, lush valleys and chocolate box villages. However, if you turn your attention away from these well-known landmarks you will discover the beautiful town of Cockermouth; birthplace of William Wordsworth and gateway to the largely undiscovered Western Lake District.

Cockermouth is a beautiful town with a wide range of independent shops that will satisfy foodies and curios hunters in equal measures. Visit the local butchers, bakers, fishmongers and deli before browsing handmade clothing and gifts. There is even a hardware shop with its own museum if you feel inspired to find an educational DIY experience! After a pleasurable day of browsing you will be spoilt by the range of independent café and restaurants all committed to using local ingredients including meat reared in the surrounding fields and fish and seafood caught off the coast of west Cumbria.

There’s always something going on in Cockermouth. The town’s arts venue is the Kirkgate Centre, with its mix of music, comedy, theatre and exhibitions. Many of the Main Street pubs have live music at weekends, and you get ad hoc events in some of the cafes, bistros and at Wordsworth House and Garden. There are lots of creative places to browse, and high-end art is on show at Castlegate Gallery, which has a national reputation.


In fact there is so much to entertain you in this bustling town that you may be tempted to stray away from the stunning walks it has to offer! However, we at ACAI feel that a good walk only serves to heighten the experience of all of the above so we are excited to point you in the direction of our favourites.

Watch Hill Walk 
If you are looking for a gentle walk with a little elevation to enjoy breathtaking, panoramic views then the Watch Hill just outside Cockermouth is the walk for you. With 193m of elevation and a total distance of 3.7 miles this walk is a perfect introduction to the beauty of the western lakes.

William Wordsworth Walk 
If you are looking for something a little more challenging for the legs and the mind then give this route a try. Starting from Wordsworth House where you can step back in time and absorb history, you cross the River Derwent and amble across the quiet countryside before reaching Cockermouth. This walk is 8.2 miles and should take you approximately 3 ½ hours.

Bleaberry Tarn, Red Pike and Dodd 
This is an energetic walk with a steep but steady climb that will reward you with spectacular views. With sunshine and luck, these views may even stretch to southern Scotland. This marked trail will take you to the heady heights of 725m and covers a distance of 4.5 miles. Care should be taken on parts of this route as loose rocks and scree can make it unsteady underfoot. If reaching the top of the two summits isn’t reason enough to reward yourself in one of Cockermouth’s tea rooms or nearby rural pubs then I don’t know what is!


The wonderful thing about Cockermouth is that you are only ever 20 minutes away from a lakeshore or beach. So if it’s time for a ‘down day’ and the weather is in your favour, you may just want to sit, relax and reflect on just how lucky you are to be surrounded by some of the world’s most stunning landscapes.

References:
www.golakes.co.uk
www.telegraph.co.uk
www.walkingincumbria.org.uk

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