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Maryport

Maryport is a pretty harbour town with lovely views along the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It’s a perfect gateway to the southern end of the AONB. Heading north from the town along the B5300 you’ll find Crosscanonby Carr Nature Reserve, the historic salt pans, and Milefortlet 21, a Roman border defence, just two miles up the road. If you continue north the coastal road gives access to the beautiful dunes and beaches at Allonby, Mawbray and Silloth.

The Romans and the sea have arguably, been the two biggest influences on this place’s landscape.

The Romans built a fort here called Alauna, and a big settlement, which served the most westerly points of Hadrian’s Wall.

Then it was in the 1700s that the town began to put itself on the maritime map. Humphrey Senhouse created a port and changed the name from Ellenfoot to Maryport after his wife. The Senhouse family were big landowners, in England and in the West Indies so ships were being sent between the two, importing and exporting a wide variety of goods.

An iron foundry opened, as did shipyards, and the Maryport to Carlisle Railway, designed by George Stephenson, allowed easier transportation of coal from the local mines.

But the boom wasn’t to last. The port closed, as did the mines, though sea still plays a huge part in Maryport life. Fishing boats and yachts use the harbour today, and tourism is playing an increasing part in its future.

It’s is a great place to visit if the Cumbrian weather isn’t kind as there are plenty of attractions under cover. There are the ‘Cave at the Wave’ and ‘Clip ‘n Climb’ challenges at the Wave Centre, as well as the Lake District Coast Aquarium and West Coast Indoor Karting.

Take walks along the mile-long promenade, explore the likes of historic Fleming Square, and discover the heritage trails following in the footsteps of acclaimed artists LS Lowry and Percy Kelly, and find out more about the Solway Coast in the Senhouse Roman Museum and Maryport Maritime Museum.

Getting here…

Easily accessible by car via the A596 from Carlisle and Workington, and the A594 which connects it with the A66 at Cockermouth. Maryport has its own railway station.

Facilities

  • Shops
  • Food & drink
  • Cash machines
  • Holiday accommodation
  • Toilets
  • Museums
  • Post Office
  • Library
  • Aquarium
  • Family activities including a climbing wall and caving
  • Golf course

Did you know…?

Thomas Henry Ismay, creator of the White Star Line which built the Titanic, was born in Maryport.

Look for…

Stunning sunsets from the harbour, ideally watched while eating local fish and chips.