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Whitehaven is a must for the discerning visitor. Once one of the busiest ports in England, its businesses were major players in the rum and ship building market. The highly recommended Rum Story shows how the town prospered but also illuminates the dark side to the business - the slave trade. The Beacon visitor attraction on the harbour side also lets you into some of the town's best kept secrets. Did you know that John Paul Jones, the father of the US navy attacked his home port during the American War of Independence and that George Washington's grandmother lived in the town? Find out more at the Beacon or better still, get hold of a copy of The Quest, a series of town trails that bring history back to life. Celebrating the maritime heritage is Whitehaven's Maritime festival held bi-annually - the next is in 2007 - a wonderful event encompassing tall ships, re-enactments and much more.