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Best things to do in Cockermouth

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Where in the world: Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Cumbria  /  Lake District  /  Cockermouth

Top 15 things to do in Cockermouth

1. Buttermere Lake, Buttermere

Enjoy tranquility amidst a dramatic landscape at Buttermere Lake, a scenic lake by a dairy pasture. Take a footpath along the perimeter of the water, and enjoy views of the Lake District's classic combination of lakes and mountains. Climb up Haystacks and Red Pike to get sweeping vistas of the Lakeland. Easy access through the farm and woodland setting makes the lake one of the most popular family strolls in the area. You can usually enjoy some refreshments at two nearby farms--try the locally made ice cream.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. Wordsworth House and Garden

House and garden open 7 March-1 November, 11:00-17:00, last entry 16:00.

Cafe open 10:30-16:30.

Shop open 10:00-17:00.

House, garden, cafe and shop closed on Fridays.

Wordsworth House and Garden, in the Cumbrian town of Cockermouth, is the birthplace and childhood home of romantic poet William and his sister Dorothy.

It is presented as it would have been when they lived here with their parents, three brothers and servants in the 1770s.

Today, this homely Georgian townhouse is peopled by knowledgeable 21st-century guides and, on selected dates, the maid or manservant is hard at work – and keen to chat.

There is real food on the dining table, a fire burning in the working kitchen and a recipe William and Dorothy might have eaten for you to taste. Ink and quill pens are ready in the clerk’s office, and if you play the piano, you might like to try the replica harpsichord.

The children’s bedroom is full of toys and dressing up clothes, and in the Wordsworth Room there are books and games to enjoy. Down in the cellar, the household’s ghosts are waiting to tell their stories.

The garden is packed with 18th-century vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers, just as it would have been when William played – and learned his love of nature – here.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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Tours including Wordsworth House and Garden:

3. Derwentwater, Keswick

One glance at Derwentwater is all you'll need to realize why this "Queen of Lakes" inspires so many romantic poets and artists. Towering crags and the majestic woods of the Lake District National Park surround this 6.4 km (4 mi) long, 1.6 km (1 mi) wide lake. Abundant wildlife, diverse flora, and truly spectacular views of all four islands await you as you hike along the 16 km (10 mile) footpath. The lake's two marinas offer guided cruises to explore the islands, but if you prefer to venture out on your own, you can rent a motorboat, canoe, kayak, or rowboat. The two larger islands are St. Herbert's, which offers comfortable places to picnic, and Derwent Isle, which has a 16th-century house that you can explore. Mountaineering and watersports, such as sailing and windsurfing, are available for the adventurous traveler. Fishing is also favorite pastime; you can purchase a fishing permit and rod license from the Keswick Information Centre.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. Crummock Water, Buttermere

Crummock Water is a lake in the Lake District in Cumbria, North West England situated between Buttermere to the south and Loweswater to the north. Crummock Water is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) long, 0.6 miles (0.97 km) wide and 140 feet (43 m) deep. The River Cocker is considered to start at the north of the lake, before then flowing into Lorton Vale. The hill of Mellbreak runs the full length of the lake on its western side; as Alfred Wainwright described it 'no pairing of hill and lake in Lakeland have a closer partnership than these'. The lake is owned by the National Trust.

"The meaning of 'Crummock' seems to be 'Crooked one', from British" (Brythonic Celtic) "'crumbaco'-'crooked'". This may refer to the winding course of the River Cocker, which flows out of the lake, or refer to the bending nature of the lake itself. The word "'water' is the main Lakeland term for 'lake'".
Scale Force, the highest waterfall in the Lake District, feeds the lake and has a drop of 170 feet (52 m).
Water from the lake was treated at Cornhow water treatment works, near Loweswater, and was distributed to the towns of Silloth-on-Solway, Maryport, Workington, and many smaller towns, villages, and hamlets in the surrounding area for drinking and all other uses. This use ceased in October 2022 with the commissioning of the United Utilities pipeline to bring supply from Thirlmere.
Crummock Water gained attention in 1988 when the body of Sheena Owlett was found in the lake. It later transpired she had been murdered in Wetherby, West Yorkshire.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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5. Aira Force Waterfall, Penrith

Take a walk in ancient woodlands and landscaped glades to Aira Force Waterfall, a 20 m (65 ft) waterfall in the Lake District. Hammer in a coin to make a wish at the Wish Tree. Extend your walk past the falls along the river, and glimpse smaller waterfalls and even some red squirrels. Wear good footwear, as the walk to the falls is steep and damp at times.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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6. Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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7. Catbells Lakeland Walk, Keswick

Hike the rolling green lakeside hills of Catbells Lakeland Walk. This 6.5 km (4 mi) walk snakes through the Lake District National Park, providing dramatic views of the Lakeland Fell and the Derwentwater lakeshores. Walk from the nearby Keswick town center or catch a boat across the lake to the start of the trail. The hike can be steep in some parts, so if you're feeling tired, opt to take a bus back to the town center.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Lanthwaite Wood

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. Rannerdale Knotts, Buttermere

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Amethyst Health & Beauty

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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11. J.B.Banks and Son Ltd

Retail ironmonger & hardware shop established 1836 with free industrial museum charting the working lives through the tools used. Extensive range of hand tools stocked plus sharpening & reshafting service. Second hand quality tools available.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Learn more about J.B.Banks and Son Ltd

12. Alpacaly Ever After

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. JB Banks & Sons

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. Moss Force Waterfall, Buttermere

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick

The megalithic site of Castlerigg Stone Circle dates back to the Neolithic Age and features large stones arranged in a circle. Estimated to be over 4,500 years old, the formation resembles an ancient amphitheater and boasts the highly dramatic backdrop of Cumbria's tallest peaks. While the function of these Neolithic circles remains a mystery, experts speculate that they centered around some ceremony in the large central space. Bring your camera for some memorable photographs.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Castlerigg Stone Circle: