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How is Whitehaven in 2021 as a tourist destination

Warwick, United...
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How is Whitehaven in 2021 as a tourist destination
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Just wondering if Whitehaven is a good place to base a stay (post lockdown) for exploring the West coast of the Lake District 2 adults, no children).I note posts from 2016 saying it was dirty and run down, but The Beacon and Rum Story sound good, and perhaps other things may have improved?

23 replies to this topic
Dartford, United...
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1. Re: How is Whitehaven in 2021 as a tourist destination
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As a tourist myself I wasn’t too impressed with the town, you might be, but I think it’s a bit too far west to be a good base for the western lakes.

Access isn't too bad as far as Sellafield (the reason is probably obvious) but onward to Whitehaven it gets slower, and there are few good routes directly inland so you’ll probably end up heading north via Cockermouth or back South via Selkafield a lot of the time.

Maybe a local has a plan?

UK
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for North Wales
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2. Re: How is Whitehaven in 2021 as a tourist destination
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Whitehaven would make a good base

It is a working town and in the past the port was used to ship out coal from the pits and receive phosphate for the local chemical plant

All that has gone now

Whitehaven is not the prettiest town if you are expecting a chocolate box one but there are some good features to be enjoyed

Whitehaven was a busy port about 200 years ago - second only to London

And the town was one of the first to be planned and built on a grid system

The harbour is now a marina.

It’s a shame more people don’t venture past Keswick to stay on the West Coast because I feel that there is a lot to offer over there

Some great walks starting at St Bees over St Bees Head to the lighthouse and Fleswick Bay

You will have access to the less visited lakes and valleys such as Ennerdale , Loweswater.

Plenty of villages with vernacular architecture such as Gosforth, Egremont and Cockermouth

Seaside villages such as Seascale and Ravenglass

There is the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

Muncaster Castle

Then head north from Whitehaven for Maryport, Allonby and Silloth

You need not necessarily stay in Whitehaven itself stay in any of the places I mentioned and you can easily access all of those places

I would also add Wasdale but that is getting busier

The western coast is rugged, real and down to earth it’s true

But do some research and check out the history

There are some connections with the USA and the West Indies

Check out John Paul Jones and Whitehaven

George Washington’s grandmother is buried in St Nicholas churchyard

Lots of spices and of course rum came through Whitehaven hence the spiced sausages , gingerbread etc

Some good eateries

And there is no better hospitality than that to be found over in West Cumbria

Edited: January 08, 2021, 8:43 pm
Dartford, United...
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3. Re: How is Whitehaven in 2021 as a tourist destination
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You forgot the slavery connection!

England, United...
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4. Re: How is Whitehaven in 2021 as a tourist destination
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We based ourselves at the Premier Inn just outside Whitehaven on our visit a few years ago. We enjoyed visits to both The Beacon museum and the Rum story. The Beacon had reopened at the end of 2020 and installed new interactive displays, but the Rum story remained closed until now.

We now consider Cockermouth a better base as the location between coast and lakes along with the extensive restaurant choice suits us better, but it depends what you are looking for.

UK
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5. Re: How is Whitehaven in 2021 as a tourist destination
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Cockermouth is a good suggestion

It’s about 30 mins drive to Whitehaven and opens up Lorton , Loweswater and Ennerdale and you can still get to Allonby , Maryport and the little gem that is Silloth

You won’t be disappointed with Cockermouth but don’t forsake Whitehaven , Egremont and St Bees though

I think it’s great that you are considering the west coast of Cumbria

Workington, United...
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6. Re: How is Whitehaven in 2021 as a tourist destination
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Also if things improve and people can travel again, the main parts of the lakes, keswick, Ambleside Windermere etc will be jammed solid with very high hotel prices,like August to October just gone, so Whitehaven/cockermouth/Workington area could be a good alternative,

Northumberland...
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7. Re: How is Whitehaven in 2021 as a tourist destination
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While I'd not recommend Whitehaven as a tourist destination, it's a quite acceptable base to tour the Western lakes & coast. It's still worth a days wander around though. If the Haig Pit Museum is open then it's worth an hour or two.

England, United...
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8. Re: How is Whitehaven in 2021 as a tourist destination
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Unfortunately the Haig Pit museum has been closed for a few years.

Northumberland...
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9. Re: How is Whitehaven in 2021 as a tourist destination
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That's a shame, I suspected that because I could find very little on the internet. Pity, it was worth a look.

Edited: January 11, 2021, 9:13 pm
Manchester
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10. Re: How is Whitehaven in 2021 as a tourist destination
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We will be in Whitehaven mid May, the weekend before the 17th so any tips re outdoor hospitality welcome

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