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Millom, formerly known as Holborn Hill, grew rapidly in size once high-grade iron ore deposits were found in the vicinity, creating a distinctive Victorian town of terraced houses and a strong community spirit. The landscapes and hardships of daily life in an industrial community were evocatively penned by Norman Nicholson, the internationally acclaimed poet and writer who spent virtually his whole life in the town.

The town may have an industrial heart, but the natural world is never far away. Acres of salt marshes along the Duddon estuary, miles of golden sands on the seaward side, the heather-clad bulk of Black Combe and the broad-bottomed Whicham Valley all await exploration. The former mining complex at Hodbarrow, now the largest coastal lagoon in the northwest of England, attracts thousands of overwintering and migratory birds and has a bird viewing hide.

To the north-west of Millom are the small villages of Bootle and Waberthwaite and the scattered farming community that makes up Corney. The villages of Silecroft and Kirksanton lie at the southern end of the Whicham valley. Haverigg and Silecroft are the main holiday villages on this part of the coast, whilst to the north are the rural hamlets of The Hill, The Green and Hallthwaites.

The Cumbria Coastal Way is a long-distance route (182 miles, 298 km) between Morecambe Bay and the Solway Firth around the coastline of Cumbria. It is a journey of contrasts from the Victorian industrial towns of Millom and Barrow to the Roman town of Carlisle; from the natural scenery of the Duddon estuary to the high tech of Sellafield.

The summit of Black Combe at 587 metres provides stunning views across Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man. A well-defined footpath leads to the top from the southern end of Whicham Valley.

A booklet describing local walks is available from Millom Tourist Information Centre.


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