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Explore the Best of the West

West Cumbria is a great place to explore. From the dramatic landscape of the Western Fells to amazing coastline with sandy beaches. If you haven't been before, its a must visit next time you are planning a break in Cumbria.
Check out our West Cumbria itinerary below with perfect places to visit and things to do.

The West Coast Road

Western Cumbria has some of the most scenic road in the country. You follow the coastline from Silecroft in the south of the county right through to Silloth in the North, bordering the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Along the route, take in the historic maritime towns of Whitehaven, Maryport & Workington.
The route takes just over 1 1/2 hours to complete. Time it right and you’ll even be greeted by the famous west coast sunsets at the end of the day.

Silecroft Beach

Alternatively,
why not sit back and take the coastal train?

The Cumbrian Coastal line runs right along the west coast of Cumbria, from Barrow-in-Furness in the South, right up to Maryport before crossing again to Carlisle in the North. Along the way, you  west of the county before running along the West Coast of the county.

This line is one of the best coastal railway lines in the whole country, crossing picturesque estuaries and taking in the beauty of the West coast sandy beaches on one side, dramatic majesty of the Western Fells on the other and several historic coastal towns.

Cumbria Coastal Railway

 

Photo courtesy of Community Rail Cumbria.

Barrow-in-Furness

Situated on the Southwestern tip of the county, the bustling town of Barrow-in-Furness has a rich history of industry, including shipbuilding.

Furness Abbey dates back to 1127 and the impressive remains of the abbey are a testament to the history of the area and were even referenced by Wordsworth in his Prelude of 1805. Including a visitor centre with exhibitions of artifacts found on the site, it is well worth a visit.

Furness Abbey

Silecroft Beach

The picture says it all! This large expansive sand and pebble beach offers plenty of space for numerous activities such as walking, horse riding, surfing, water skiing or just relaxing and taking in the view. Silecroft beach benefits from easy access, lots of parking and toilet facilities.

Providing an impressive backdrop to Silecroft is the 600m high Black Combe. It is said that from the summit on a clear day, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man and 14 counties of England can be seen!

Silecroft Beach

Ravenglass & Eskdale

Moving a little up the coast, we reach Ravenglass - the only coastal town within the Lake District National Park.

Once an important Roman port and fishing town where ships once docked at the end of its main street, Ravenglass is now better known as a terminus for the Ravenglass & Eskdale steam railway or La’al Ratty.

This narrow guage railway is one of Cumbria's much loved attractions and travels 7 miles through the picturesque hills of Eskdale up the line to Dalegarth for Boot Station. There is an excellent cafe at each end of the line, serving a range of drinks, snacks and lunches. You can book tickets online here.

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

Muncaster Castle

A little inland from Ravenglass stands Muncaster Castle, ancient family seat of the Pennington family. The castle is reputedly haunted, with ghosts aplenty to keep visitors amused for hours!

Also home to a renowned Hawk and Owl centre,with exhilarating flying displays from these beautiful birds of prey.

You can also visit the cafe for a spot of lunch and take a souvenir home from the gift shop.

Muncaster Castle 

Whitehaven

Moving further north and back onto the coast we reach the maritime port of Whitehaven. The historic 17th Century harbour is often the focus of spectacular maritime events.

Situated right on the harbour is the Beacon Museum, a fascinating place showcasing the rich maritime history of the town. It also plays host to an impressive variety of events and temporary exhibitions including top quality art and fun interactive content.

Whitehaven Port

Maryport

Moving further up the coast (and if you are on the train this section of the line takes a spectacular coastal route) we get to the bustling coastal town of Maryport.

As with Whitehaven, Maryport has a long martime history. The Romans had a huge influence on this area, utilising the presence of the sea and shoreline in building Hadrian's Wall, which stretches down the west coast as far as Ravenglass.

Today, the town has plenty of places to visit and take in this history, including Maryport Maritime Museum and Senhouse Roman Museum, which is situated in a Victorian Naval Battery adjacent to the Roman fort and overlooking the Solway Firth.

Maryport is also home to the excellent Lake District Coast Aquarium with over 75 themed tanks containing a hugely diverse range of marine life.

Just south of Maryport is St Bees Head, the most westerly point in Cumbria. Sheltering underneath is the historic village of St Bees.

Maryport Harbour

Places to stay

Why not take your time to explore West Cumbria more by booking a short break in one of the many high-quality hotels and B&Bs available to book through Golakes. There are loads of great places to stay that will enable you to explore the best of the west.

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