Things to do nearby Challoner Cottage
Challoner Cottage is located just a two-minute walk from the very centre of Cockermouth and so is perfectly placed to take advantage of the pubs and restaurants in the evening and the lovely selection of independent shops, cafes and attractions during the day. Head west to the unspoiled Cumbrian coast or inland to lakes such as Bassenthwaite, Buttermere, and Derwentwater.
The market town of Cockermouth is on the River Derwent at the north western fringe of the Lake District. Dating from Norman times, with much of its medieval street plan remaining and beautiful Georgian architecture, the town has a strong sense of history. The Cockermouth Town Trail offers a fascinating insight to the town. It takes visitors around the many famous landmarks and lesser-known attractions with 19 well signposted plaques to show the way.
Just at the end of Main Street, Wordsworth House has been restored to how it would have been in William Wordsworth’s day. His birthplace and early years home is open to the public with hands-on activities, costumed living history, and exhibitions through out the year. The Jennings brewery and Museum is a different sort of historical experience, but just as popular! Visitors can take a guided tour of the brewing facilities, find out about the 175 year old process, see how the beer is made, and sample the finished product.
Cockermouth is a wonderful place for shopping, with many small specialist shops ranging from antique shops (and an auction house) to second-hand bookshops, local produce stalls and two quality butchers. There is no shortage of places to eat and drink, from tearooms and cafés to pubs selling real ales and good food to riverside restaurants. The Quince & Medlar serves fantastic vegetarian food and is regularly featured in leading culinary guides to the UK. The Bitter End is a highly regarded pub and restaurant with local ales and excellent food.
The town also has a wide variety of events throughout the year including British Woolfest, the Cockermouth Agricultural Show, Taste Cumbria, the Beer Festival, and a music festival. In the evenings, the Kirkgate Centre offers a range of activities and events, including drama, films, dance, workshops and exhibitions.
After just a short drive outside of town, you can be enjoying the highlights of the western Lake District including Loweswater, Crummock and Buttermere. These quiet lakes enjoy a peaceful atmosphere even in the height of summer. There are pleasant lakeside paths and beautiful views abound. Crummock and Buttermere are edged with stunning mountains, from the towering heights of Grasmoor to more family friendly tops like Rannerdale Knotts. In the spring, Rannerdale is ablaze with bluebells and the simple walk up the valley is suitable for all abilities.
Buttermere is a beautiful lake with a path all the way round and accessible hills. The village has two good pubs and two cafés, one of which serves a vast selection of ice cream made with milk from their own cows. The church at the bottom of Newlands Hause is one of the smallest chapels in the Lake District has a beautiful view over the valley and a window dedicated to A. Wainwright.
Head west from Cockermouth and you will soon find yourself on the coast. Workington is an old industrial town that is now the shopping hub of West Cumbria. With a pedestrianised shopping centre, two theatres, two museums, a cinema, and regular events, it’s a great place for a day or an evening out. Despite being a bustling town, you can also escape into quiet countryside quite easily with a walk through the Mill Field and along the River Derwent. You might be lucky enough to spot herons in the trees or even salmon jumping at the right time of year! You will also find lots of locals taking a quick dip on warm, sunny days.
Further up the coast is Maryport, a great spot for wet-weather activities with an Aquarium, Roman museum and Go Karting. There is a also a coastal golf course and lovely bike tracks or walks along the seafront. Continue north - either on foot, by bike, or in the car - and you will find yourself admiring the beautiful sandy beaches of the Solway Coast Area of Outsanding Natural Beauty. Don’t forget to stop off at Allonby for some fish and chips and some ice cream or at Silloth for a walk along the promenade. Silloth’s cobbled, tree-lined streets will make you think of times gone by. There is even an arcade, a small fairground and a small putting green. This stretch of the coast is also perfect for kite flying!
If you’re looking for a bit of adventure, head along to Whinlatter Forest Park where you can find yourself amongst the trees in the country’s highest Go Ape! high ropes course. Whinlatter also has an Osprey viewing station, a café, Segway tours, and woodland routes suitable for a range of cyclists, mountain bikers, and walkers.
Overlooked by Whinlatter is the peaceful Bassenthwaite Lake. Surrounded by things to do, you can take your pick from getting to know some furry creatures at the Lake District Wildlife Park, having a tipple at the Lakes Distillery, exploring the stately grounds at Mirehouse, or exploring woodland trails at Dodd Wood. Alternatively, just sit back on the lakeshore and watch the Yacht Club boats glide past.