Sunset in Cockermouth

Sunset over Cockermouth

Devastated by floods in 2009, the town of Cockermouth has emerged triumphant in its regeneration and is now a bustling centre of shops and festivals. This lively town has a population of around 8000 and lies just a couple of miles outside of the western edge of the Lake District National Park.

Cockermouth is known primarily for being the birthplace of esteemed poet, William Wordsworth, and takes its name from its location at the point where the River Cocker flows into the River Derwent.

Top Cockermouth Hotels

If you're visiting the Wordsworth House & Gardens, you might find yourself passing through Cockermouth, which is just a few miles outside of the Lake District National Park. In this section, we've included both hotels in Cockermouth, as well as ones near Bassenthwaite Lake, which is just a 10-minute drive from Cockermouth's town centre.


Cockermouth has a long history, with much of the medieval layout of the town still visible today. Originally the site of a Roman fort, the town started to develop with the construction of Cockermouth Castle in 1134.

The castle was badly damaged in wars that followed and today lies in partial ruin, with the remainder being the private holiday residence of Lord Egremont. The town of Cockermouth continued to thrive and much of the town centre that is present today was built in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Following on from the floods in 2009, businesses on Main Street were provided with grants to re-create Georgian style shop fronts and the town has now been fully restored to its former glory.


Like many towns in the Lake District and surrounding areas, the typical stores of the modern British high street at absent from Main Street, Cockermouth’s wide, tree-lined thoroughfare. Supported by the local community determined to regenerate the town after the floods, Cockermouth has become a focal point for unique gift and clothes shops.

Sample homemade fudge at the Cockermouth Sweet Shop, sip a coffee and peruse literature at the New Book Shop, and delve into the treasures of Fagans, where designer jewellery, handbags, and scented candles are sold alongside an Aladdin’s cave of cookware. Children will undoubtedly love the two storey Toy Shop, whilst there are plethora of art and antique shops to peruse.

Key Attractions

At one end of Main Street you will find Wordsworth House and Garden, a National Trust property where poet, William Wordsworth, was born and spent the first few years of his life. Step inside and back in time to the 1770s, with each room presented as it would have been during Wordsworth’s lifetime.

Cockermouth is home to a number of festivals that attract large numbers of visitors, including the Georgian Fair where townsfolk and shop staff dress in Georgian costume and celebrate the town’s heritage with a parade and other activities. The Taste Cumbria Food Festival takes place each September and you can sample the finest cuisine that Cumbria has to offer as well as watch demos from celebrity chefs.

Getting There

By Car – The A66 is the main route to Cockermouth, with a number of pay and display car parks available in the town centre. During some of the larger festivals a park and ride scheme operates as parking in the town itself can be virtually impossible.

By Public Transport – Stagecoach run a regular bus service between Penrith and Workington that travels via Keswick and Cockermouth. There is also an hourly service that operates between Carlisle and Whitehaven, also stopping at Cockermouth.