Given the immense popularity of the Lake District, it’s easy to overlook the fact that Cumbria has a long and varied coastline which stretches for well over 100 miles (160km) from the Solway Firth in the north to the Kent Estuary in the south.

In its north west corner is the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, running for about 40 miles (64km) from Rockcliffe Marsh near Carlisle to Maryport further down the coast (but excluding the town of Silloth). The area incorporates all sorts of habitats and is internationally important for plantlife and birdlife.

A strong maritime and industrial heritage is embedded in the west coast itself where the Romans established ports at Ravenglass and Maryport, where Whitehaven became the third busiest harbour in Britain in the 18th century and where for a 100 years Workington was a major centre for steel making.

Thousands of miles of rail track were exported to countries across the world from the west Cumbrian town so, in that wonderful phrase, steel from the plant at Moss Bay ‘held the world together’.

Attractions

Information

Silloth website: www.sillothonsolway.com

Allonby website: www.allonbycumbria.co.uk

Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty website: www.solwaycoastaonb.org.uk 

Train. Maryport and Workington are on the Cumbrian Coast Line (www.cumbriancoastline.co.uk) between Carlisle and Barrow.

The Wave Centre, Irish Street, Maryport CA15 8AD: 01900 811450. Houses Clip ‘n’ Climb and Cave at The Wave. 

Carnegie Theatre and Arts Centre, Finkle Street, Workington CA14 2BD: 01900 602122.

Workington Plaza Cinema, Dunmail Park, CA14 1NQ: 01900 870001.

Times & Star. Weekly newspaper, published on Friday. Covers Workington and area.

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