If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I’m incredibly proud to live and work in the beautiful county of Cumbria. There are a handful of towns and villages in the west of Cumbria that hold a place in my heart for a variety of reasons. When I found out about The Cumberland Building Society’s #GrinUpNorth campaign, I couldn’t help but smile. Not only is it a cracking pun (who doesn’t love a good pun?!), but it really is far from grim up North.
I’m proud to raise my family in Cumbria, and the team at The Cumberland Building Society who are raising the profile of the area through their #GrinUpNorth campaign asked if I would share with you one of my favourite towns and explain just a little about why I love it so much…
Located on the outskirts of the Lake District, Cockermouth is an ancient market town and is so named as it marks the point the River Cocker meets the River Derwent – so it is the ‘mouth’ of the Cocker. The Georgian style properties along Main Street house an array of local businesses, from bakeries to toy shops, fashion boutiques to coffee houses, with only a couple of ‘high street’ stores thrown in for good measure. Cockermouth is also the birthplace of William Wordsworth; a famous poet, born in 1770 at Wordsworth House – that still stands today. The property is located on the Main Street of Cockermouth and is looked after by The National Trust.
Behind the Main Street runs the River Derwent, which is absolutely stunning on a sunny day. You can walk along the footbridge over the river to gain access to a lovely play park with swings and climbing frames, and walk along the riverbanks to look for fish and admire the architecture of Cockermouth Castle, how it just seems to cling on to the precipice. It was on that very footpath, opposite Cockermouth Castle, that my (now) husband got down on one knee and proposed to me, almost seven years ago. And it is still as beautiful as it was that day.
Unfortunately, flooding has devastated the beautiful town of Cockermouth twice in the last few years. Hundreds of businesses and homes in the town were approximately 2.5m underwater; so many lives were affected in those few hours in November 2009. The positive attitudes and Cumbrian community spirit shone through in such a desperate time, and some months later the devastated properties and businesses were returning to ‘normal’. A number of flood prevention measures were installed, although they weren’t quite enough for the flooding of December 2015. Thankfully, the effects were on a much smaller scale, and the town was much more prepared – with many businesses re-opening within a week and the business-owners just kept smiling. I have every respect and admiration for them!
Moving away from the town centre, Harris Park is a lovely area to go for a walk with the pushchair and O on his bike. The kids love to play on the swings and with the funny musical instruments in the play park; run through the cherry blossom and hide amongst the trees. It’s a lovely place to go for a breath of fresh air, let the kids run off some steam whilst us parents can sit back and enjoy a coffee in peace. Well, moderate peace, as my kids like to be pushed on the swing and have you at the bottom of the slide watching them come down.
These are just a handful of the reasons I love the town of Cockermouth. Have you visited Cockermouth? What do you love about it?
The Cumberland Bulding Society recognizes that there is so much to see and do in Cumbria, and that Cumbrian people are some of the friendliest in the world. The Cumberland Building Society values their local customers, and the customer service they provide is fantastic. Research undertaken by Fairer Finance shows that The Cumberland Building Society bank account customers are the happiest in the UK.
*This post is written in collaboration with The Cumberland Building Society, however all words and opinions are my own.