Cockermouth lies between the A66 and the A595 and is easily reached from the M6 at Penrith.
The towns Keswick, Whitehaven, Maryport, Workington and Carlisle are all an easy drive away, whilst for the walkers and sailors Skiddaw, Blencathra and Bassenthwaite Lake and Dewentwater are close by. Mountain bikers should head for Whinlatter Forest where there are several trails requiring a variety of skill levels. Those who like the mountains, but not the walking, should drive up Honister Pass for the Slate Mine there and try the Via Ferrata, and for those interested in archaeology a visit to the Maryport Museum with the largest collection of Roman altars in the country is a must. From the museum there is a fine view across the Solway to the Scottish coast.
Between Cockermouth and Bassenthwaite there is the Lake District Wildlife Park where on a 24 acre site live over one hundred species of birds and animals.
William Worsdworth was born on April 7th 1770 in Cockermouth. William's father was a solicitor and land agent to Lord Lowther and lived in an impressive building later known as Wordsworth House (now owned by the National Trust) which backs on to the River Derwent. It was probably spending his idyllic childhood here that fuelled his love of nature.
In the middle ages numerous mills sprang up along the Rivers Cocker and Derwent to harness the power available. Cockermouth became an important industrial centre with the mills weaving wool from Cumbrian sheep or turning wood from the local forests.
Following the devastating floods of 2009 the opportunity was taken to carry out major improvements in flood defences along the rivers and redesign many shop fronts in the tree lined Main Street. There are very few national shops in Cockermouth, most are independent family owned which helps to give the town its character.
The town holds many Festivals. A Georgian Fair, Malcolm Wilson car Rally, a Food Festival and a Beer festival sponsored by Jennings who have a brewery in town
When the Guardian selected the UK's best food and drink festivals, Cockermouth's Taste Festival was included. It is held in the Main Street each September which is full of stalls with many local food and drink producers selling their wares. Quince & Medlar always occupy a small marquee to sell their chutneys and vegetarian food. There are also larger marquees where nationally known chefs demonstrate their skills. During the rest of the year English, Indian, Chinese and Italian meals can be obtained in the local hotels
The town has a very vibrant arts and crafts movement. Castlegate House Gallery in a grade 2 listed building (opposite the Castle) has a range of contemporary paintings, and Percy House Gallery in an even older house dating back to the 14th century shows sculptures, paintings, prints, textiles, photographs and jewellery. The Kirkgate Centre, which is hoping to enlarge its premises, hosts the town's theatre, cinema and museum. There are numerous antiques shops in town, and Mitchells Auction Rooms holds a number of fine art and antique auctions throughout the year as well as having general household and furniture sales each Thursday