The locals describe the town as being like a department store thanks to its range of independent shops. Foodies love the butchers, bakers, fishmonger and deli's, while those seeking something special for their homes are totally spoilt. Then there are the loveliest of clothes and shoe stores, where even the littlest shoppers are well catered for, and the quirkiest of hardware shops – one even has its own museum.
Cockermouth (1 miles, 2 km)
Winner of the Trip Advisor, Exceptional Service Award 2015 - 5 star cottages with everything you need for a relaxing holiday. A breakfast basket delivered to your door each morning is complimentary and champagne is chilled for your arrival.
Self-catering with 2 units, £695-£1250 pupw sleeps 2-4
Cockermouth (2 miles, 3 km)
Eco cottages, built and furnished to the highest standards, in 'one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen'.
Self-catering with 4 units, £460-£1250 pupw sleeps 1-6
Cockermouth (3 miles, 5 km)
Barn conversion situated in rural area close to Lorton Vale with easy access to Keswick and Cockermouth.
Self-catering with 2 units, £270-£545 pupw sleeps 1-6
Cockermouth (2 miles, 3 km)
Located in a peaceful rural hamlet in the Lake District National Park. Easy access to fells, lakes and Solway coast. A 17thC converted stone barn with lofted ceilings and exposed stone walls.The Hayloft is exceptionally clean and warm.
Self-catering with 1 unit, £254-£399 pupw sleeps 1-3
Keswick (4 miles, 7 km)
Nestled between Keswick and Cockermouth at the end of Whinlatter Pass. Fleetwith Midtown Cottage offers stunning views over the fells. Lorton village has a dog friendly local pub which is within easy walking distance and a village shop.
Self-catering with 1 unit, £345-£625 pupw sleeps 1-4
Cockermouth (0 miles, 0 km)
The hotel is surrounded by award-winning gardens on the banks of the river Derwent. Many of the bedrooms have wonderful views of the river and gardens.
Hotel with 49 rooms, £135-£155 prpnb
Cockermouth (5 miles, 8 km)
Unspoiled traditional inn with every modern comfort in understated luxury.
Hotel with 15 rooms, £87 pppnb
It’s home to a wealth of cafes and traditional tea shops, perfect for breakfast or a light lunch, as well as pubs serving up the heartiest of local fare, and contemporary restaurants with an international flavour.
If it’s just a drink you’re after, a pint of Jennings ale will always go down well – and it’s brewed in the heart of the town. It doesn’t get more local than that…
Cockermouth (5 miles, 8 km)
The Bistro at the Distillery aims to embrace the spirit of the Lake District, which is achieved by using regional ingredients where possible and having a key focus on freshness, flavour and simplicity.
Cockermouth (5 miles, 8 km)
Following a £9m investment and three years' development, The Lakes Distillery officially opened its doors in December 2014 and since then, they have become one of Cumbria's leading award winning tourist attractions.
Keswick (10 miles, 16 km)
Cockermouth (6 miles, 10 km)
Workington (8 miles, 12 km)
Plaza cinema with kiosk and bar serving sweets, popcorn, icecream, hot dogs and nachos, plus freshly ground coffee and alcoholic drinks.
There are warm and welcoming tea shops and coffee shops, where the emphasis is on local ingredients and homemade fare. Some of them have their own bakeries, so the cakes and bread couldn’t be fresher, and also offer bistro nights, often with live entertainment.
Then there are the restaurants, which cater for truly international tastes. Whether you’re looking for modern European cuisine, award-winning vegetarian dishes, or you fancy something from a little further afield, like Thai or Indian, Cockermouth has the lot. And there is some fantastic homegrown food too, with meat reared in the fields around the town, and fish and seafood caught off the West Cumbrian coast.
Don’t miss the pubs either – the majority of which are dog-friendly. From the liveliest of nights out, to a quiet pint, Cockermouth has a great range, many of them serving food too. Their menus range from bar snacks or proper hearty pub grub, to something more contemporary. The one thing they all have in common is a great range of beers, many of them brewed locally in Cumbria.
The local hotels also serve some great food, in settings ranging from formal restaurants to cosy bars, perfect for every occasion.
If you’d rather eat at home, there’s a good range of takeaways, or head to the town’s brilliant butchers, fishmonger, grocers or delis to find the perfect ingredients.
And, for the perfect foodie treat, head to Cockermouth in the last weekend of September for the annual Taste Cumbria food festival. It attracted an estimated 40,000 people in 2015, all eager to eat, drink and graze their way around the stalls, eat at Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan’s pop-up restaurant, and learn from some culinary masters.
There’s history, literature, culture, shopping and more in Cockermouth. With family friendly places to visit, everything within an easy walk, and plenty to catch your eye around town, it’s a great place to visit.
It’s also the perfect gateway to the Western Lake District and the Solway coast, so it’s worth planning your trip so you’ve got time to head out of town too. You’ve got fells, lakes, forests and beaches on your doorstep if you choose to stay in Cockermouth.
Tours are also on offer at Jennings Brewery, and they finish with samples of their ales. Or head out of town to the Lakes Distillery, a short drive away, and find out how whisky is being made here for the first time in hundreds of years.
Cockermouth Castle is owned by Lord and Lady Egremont and is usually closed to visitors, but this historic building is open on a handful of days around the time of Georgian Fair and the Midsummer Festival. They are two events not to be missed, as is September’s Taste Cumbria Festival which is a foodies’ paradise with celebrity chefs, cookery demonstrations and a wealth of stalls, and Woolfest, which attracts international visitors who love crafts and this most natural of products.
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. Its Monday night cinema shows everything from subtitled arts films to recent blockbusters, while its Film Club has themed seasons. 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.
While you’re in the area, explore the coast – there are fabulous beaches, lovely harbours and loads of history, or head inland to the amazing valleys of Buttermere and Ennerdale. Nearby Whinlatter Forest Park has Go Ape aerial assault course and a brilliant adventure playground trail, as well as great mountain biking and walks.
We’ve got butchers and bakers (all we’re missing is a candlestick maker!) There are also toys and books, homewares, fine art and gifts, as well as clothes, shoes, hardware, fresh flowers, fish, fruit and vegetables, pet supplies and antiques - the list goes on. There are card shops, furniture stores, national supermarket chains and car retailers, as well as historic hardware shops, interesting curios, pharmacies, banks and some luxury shops with lovely clothes, shoes and lingerie.
The town centre is pretty compact, so no long walks are required, and there are three main shopping areas. Visit treelined Main Street, head to pretty Market Place, or find bustling Station Street – all of which have a great range of shops to visit. Don’t forget to look up as you wander the streets – you’ll spot some quirky architecture too.
There are pop-up vintage, antique and country food and plant markets on Main Street on a weekly basis – look for the signs to tell you they’re open.
When you’ve shopped until you’re ready to drop, it’s easy to stop off at one of the many cafes, pubs or restaurants for some sustenance, before you head out to find some more retail treats.
On the outskirts of town are the supermarkets – find them at the top of Station Street or follow the south bank of the River Derwent to Low Road – as well as home and garden centres and car showrooms.
It’s worth visiting Cockermouth before Christmas too. The shopkeepers light their doorways with candles, the fairy lights are magical, and there’s even late night shopping, with mulled wine to keep away the chill.
Don’t forget to try your luck on Shop 10, the town’s loyalty scheme and prize draw – available in almost all independent shops. Fill your Shop 10 card with stamps and put it in the box at Meglans IT shop at number 10 Station Street and you could win a £10 voucher for a participating retailer.