|A drive of contrasts that encapsulates all that is West Cumbria. From the natural beauty of Lorton Vale and Ennerdale to the industrial heritage of the West coast with its interesting towns, landscapes and coastal scenery.|
|Summary of main attractions on route (click on name for detail)|
|Distance||Attraction||Car Park Coordinates|
|0 miles||Cockermouth||N 54.66376, W 3.36079|
|6.8 miles||Lanthwaite Wood||N 54.58153, W 3.31840|
|8.9 miles||Loweswater||N 54.58845, W 3.36137|
|16.8 miles||Ennerdale Water||N 54.52487, W 3.41480|
|19.4 miles||Kinniside Stone Circle||N 54.51290, W 3.45370|
|27.8 miles||Whitehaven||N 54.54760, W 3.59209|
|34.8 miles||Harrington Harbour||N 54.61171, W 3.57042|
|38.3 miles||Workington shore||N 54.65114, W 3.57685|
|40.1 miles||Workington||N 54.64247, W 3.54744|
|45.7 miles||Maryport Coastal Park||N 54.70517, W 3.50864|
|46.4 miles||Maryport||N 54.71331, W 3.50269|
|53.9 miles||Cockermouth||N 54.66376, W 3.36079|
Distance: 0 miles Location: Cockermouth, Bitterbeck car park Coordinates: N 54.66376, W 3.36079
|Wordsworth House, Cockermouth|
The pretty main street has a number of interesting shops and Georgian buildings including Wordsworth House where the famous poet William Wordsworth was born in 1770 and spent much of his childhood. The National Trust property is open most days March-October apart from Fridays. At the other end of the main street is the popular Jennings Brewery which also offers tours to visitors. Overlooking the Brewery is Cockermouth Castle, some of which dates from the 12th century but is privately owned and rarely open to the public. Other attractions include Castlegate House Gallery, Market Place and some pleasant riverside walks. Pay and display car park.
Travelling:Leave the car park to meet Market Place at a T junction. Turn right and in only 50m turn right again on Kirkgate which is a narrow opening between buildings. The old lane climbs past the Bitter End Pub & Brewery on the left and soon widens with attractive Georgian properties overlooking the cobbled area on the left. At the top of the hill there are two T junctions in quick succession and you effectively go straight ahead at each to join the B5292 Lorton road. Continue south-eastwards, through the outskirts of the town and soon enter open country. Lorton Vale is one of the most picturesque valleys in the Lakes and you can certainly appreciate it from the road. In the distance you can see some mighty peaks at the head of the valley. Continue to Low Lorton village where the Whatsheaf Inn is on the left. In a further 3 miles, the road descends steeply towards the River Cocker and just before the bridge, Lanthwaite Wood car park is on the left.
Distance: 6.8 miles Location: Lanthwaite Wood, Crummock Water Coordinates: N 54.58153, W 3.31840
|Crummock Water from Lanthwaite Wood|
Travelling:Exit the car park and turn left towards Loweswater. Continue through some very pleasing countryside for approx 0.5 miles to a red telephone box on the left. If you turn left here a short detour loop takes you to the popular Kirkstile Inn which has its own microbrewery and provides refreshments in a glorious setting. Adjacent is St Bartholomew’s Church, again in a lovely setting. Back on the picturesque valley road, soon you see Loweswater lake on the left with an impressive mountainous backdrop. The road descends to the lakeshore and through a wooded section. Views of the lake are slightly restricted by the trees but are still good and you might also see a red squirrel. The road then climbs away from the lake and views open up again. Very shortly meet a layby parking area on the left, just before the end of the lake.
Distance: 8.9 miles Location: Loweswater Coordinates: N 54.58845, W 3.36137
Travelling:Beyond the lake the road climbs and soon passes through a sharp left turn and over a summit. The road then descends with good open views towards the coast before entering the village of Lamplugh where you meet a T junction and turn left. Pass St Michael’s Church and continue approx 1 mile, ignoring a left turn to Ennerdale Lake, to meet the main A5086 at a T junction and turn left. In approx 0.4 miles take the left turn towards Ennerdale. Once through the village of Kirkland, you can see the wonderful Ennerdale valley on your left. The road descends and soon enters the village of Ennerdale Bridge. Pass the Shepherds Arms Hotel on the right and turn immediate left then left again to Ennerdale Lake. Continue out of the village for approx 0.4 miles and take the first right turn. Drive through Broadmoor Forest for approx 0.7 miles and cross the River Ehen to meet Bleach Green car park on the left.
Distance: 16.8 miles Location: Ennerdale Water, Bleach Green car park Coordinates: N 54.52487, W 3.41480
Travelling:Retrace your steps back to Ennerdale Bridge village and turn left at the T junction towards Whitehaven. Cross the River Ehen and on the right is a playground, St Mary’s Church and the Fox & Hounds pub. Continue out of the village and take the first left towards Gosforth. Continue along the rolling road for approx 1 mile to Kinniside stone circle on the left.
Distance: 19.4 miles Location: Kinniside Stone Circle Coordinates: N 54.51290, W 3.45370
|Kinniside Stone Circle|
Travelling:Retrace your steps back 1 mile to the T junction and turn left towards Whitehaven. Continue through open countryside for just over 2 miles to cross the River Ehen where there is a pleasant grassy river access area. Beyond this the road climbs to a T junction with the main A5086. Turn right then immediate left on the B5295. Pass through the town of Cleator Moor which built up in the 19th century around local coal mines and iron works. There is a post office and shop on the left.
Beyond Cleator Moor there is some open country before entering the outskirts of Whitehaven. Soon meet a mini-roundabout, take the first exit and descend to another mini-roundabout where you take the second exit. Shortly take the right lane at the traffic lights to turn right on the main A595. Immediately get in the left lane to take the A5094 towards Whitehaven town centre. After approx 0.5 miles, pass straight through the first traffic lights, then take the right lane at the second traffic lights to continue towards Town Centre. On the left is a retail park and on the right is an impressive building known as Whitehaven Castle although it is now a private residence. Soon meet further traffic lights and turn left, then at the next traffic lights turn right. After approx 150m, Quay Street car park is on the left.
Distance: 27.8 miles Location: Whitehaven, Quay Street car park Coordinates: N 54.54760, W 3.59209
The Beacon museum is on the harbour side and tells the history of the local area. In the town itself the Rum Story attraction tells the darker history of the area and nearby is St Nicholas’ Church which was largely destroyed by fire in 1971 but the tower and pretty gardens are open to the public. Buried here is Mildred Gale, the grandmother of first US President George Washington, who briefly lived and died in the town. Up the nearby hill is St James’ Church which has a beautiful Georgian interior. Pay and display car park.
Travelling:Leave Quay Street the way you came in, turning left at the T junction. Immediately meet a roundabout and take the second exit towards Workington. Stay in the left lane of the one-way system to continue northwards. As the road becomes two-way again, pass a Tesco supermarket on the left and continue uphill away from Whitehaven town centre. The road continues through the outskirts of the town and soon enters open country with some sea views. Shortly meet a large roundabout and take the first exit which is the A595 Distington bypass, opened in 2009. Continue along the dual carriageway for approx 2.5 miles to another roundabout and take the first exit, A597, towards Harrington. Soon enter High Harrington, take the first exit at the mini-roundabout and continue for approx 0.7 miles to a dip in the road at a pedestrian crossing where you turn left. Pass through Harrington village where there is a post office and shop. Continue under the low railway bridge and see the harbour on the right. Just beyond is a toilet block on the right where you turn immediate right and parking is at the end of this dead end road.
Distance: 34.8 miles Location: Harrington Harbour Coordinates: N 54.61171, W 3.57042
|Harrington harbour access area|
Travelling:Retrace your steps back under the railway bridge and through Harrington to the T junction where you turn left on the A597. Continue through the outskirts of Workington for approx 1.6 miles, taking the first exit at the Asda mini-roundabout, to a larger roundabout where you take the first exit. Pass a retail park on the right and continue straight ahead at two mini-roundabouts to meet a T junction where you turn left. Soon cross an old railway line and turn immediate right. To the right are views over the mouth of the River Derwent and Workington Port. At the end of the road the car park is on the left.
Distance: 38.3 miles Location: Workington shore Coordinates: N 54.65114, W 3.57685
Travelling:Retrace your steps to the T junction and turn left. Cross the old railway line again and continue approx 0.5 miles to cross a railway bridge and take the right lane as you approach the T junction. Turn left on the one-way system and stay in the right lane around the island to take the second exit for B5297, Town Centre. Continue along this road for approx 0.5 miles to a mini-roundabout where you take the third exit. Very shortly take the first left turn and Central car park is on the left.
Distance: 40.1 miles Location: Workington, Central car park Coordinates: N 54.64247, W 3.54744
|Portland Square, Workington|
Travelling:Leave the car park and return to the mini-roundabout to take the second exit, continuing on the B5297. At the crossroads ahead, turn left towards Maryport. Passing Debenhams on the left and Curwen Park on the right, descend to cross the River Derwent on Workington Bridge. At the roundabout take the first exit to follow the river and soon pass under the new Northside Bridge, built to replace the one that was destroyed during the devastating November 2009 flood. At the roundabout take the second exit, A596 towards Maryport. Soon pass Dunmail Park shopping centre on the right and continue passing various industrial sites and wind turbines. There are limited sea views as you pass Flimby village and not far beyond, take the first left turn signposted to Tourist Attractions. Approx 100m on the left is Maryport Coastal Park car park.
Distance: 45.7 miles Location: Maryport Coastal Park Coordinates: N 54.70517, W 3.50864
|Maryport Coastal Park|
Travelling:Leave the car park and turn left. Continue approx 0.6 miles, passing through the outskirts of Maryport and alongside the River Ellen to The Wave Centre on the right. Irish Street car park is opposite on the left.
Distance: 46.4 miles Location: Maryport, Irish Street car park Coordinates: N 54.71331, W 3.50269
Long before the coal boom, the town was also a Roman settlement with defences which extended from Hadrian's Wall down the west coast. On the hill at the northern end of the town are the remains of a Roman Fort adjacent to the Senhouse Roman Museum which contains interesting Roman artefacts. The Roman Fort area has some wonderful views across the harbour and out to sea towards southern Scotland, as does the promenade below which provides a good walk along the sea front.
Travelling:Leave the car park and turn left. Very shortly take the right turn to cross the River Ellen and proceed up the small hill to turn left where ahead is no entry. Continue past a toilet block and Post Office to turn right at the next T junction. The road descends through the town to traffic lights at a cross roads by St Mary's Church. Continue straight ahead on the A594 towards Cockermouth. After passing through the town suburbs, the road climbs away from Maryport and enters the village of Dearham. The village contains the ancient church of St Mungo's and a popular pie shop, Cottage Pie, on the right alongside the A594.
Continue on the A594 beyond Dearham for just over 2 miles to Dovenby village and the Ship Inn on the left. Just beyond on the right is Dovenby Hall, home to the Ford World Rally Team. Continue approx 1.3 miles to a roundabout and take the second exit, A5086 to Cockermouth. The road descends to meet the outskirts of Cockermouth and you cross over the River Derwent to a mini-roundabout. Take the first exit towards Cockermouth town centre, then straight ahead at another mini-roundabout to pass along the attractive Main Street. As the road becomes narrower, cross over the River Cocker and just beyond turn right to Market Place. Almost immediately, turn right again to Bitterbeck car park.
Distance: 53.9 miles Location: Cockermouth, Bitterbeck car park Coordinates: N 54.66376, W 3.36079
|Cockermouth, River Derwent|