Silloth Looking Towards Scotland
The western Cumbrian coast borders the Solway Firth, the sea that separates England from Scotland. I still have great memories of this place from my childhood onwards.
At one time the area was difficult to reach and it remained isolated but now the road system has been improved and it’s very accessible. You can go south of the Lake District, travel through it or go around the top. Each and every route is a pleasure and the end reward is amazing.
I was born in Cumbria, I know the mountains very well but I know the coast even better, mainly because I was raised there. Workington was my home town. A major steel and mining area. During my many trips overseas I have seen railway lines straddling countries like India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Australia, they were all made in the rolling mills in Workington and all stamped with the name of the town.
The other industry was coal mining, after a brief spell in the steel mills I decided to become a coal miner, not the wisest of choices and I left after a few years. The old mine I worked in is now a leisure park. The port was in decline when I left but it now sports a great marina, a far cry from the days when we would queue at the dockside waiting for the fishing boats to come in and sell us a string of plaice for a few shillings, what a feast. The town is now a bustling commercial centre with a great number of industries and is a far cry from the dreadful post war era.
Whitehaven is a few miles to the south and it has also had a major makeover, A huge yacht basin houses the rather expensive boats of the locals, where once there were mud flats. A pleasant market town that is the gateway to the southern lakes.
When I lived there it was a pleasure in the evening to drive down to the wonderful lake of Wastwater, have a drink at a local pub and just relax in the solitude of that stretch of water, overlooked by some of the tallest peaks in the Lake District.
Then on the way back home a quick visit to Ravenglass to watch the sun set over Scotland and the Solway Firth. The port is ancient and was important to the Romans who occupied Britain, they even built two garrisons nearby to protect and defend it.
To the north of Workington along the coast lies the pretty little town of Maryport, another old trading centre, The town sits on a small hill just over the port which has also built a marina. It transformed the town and the area around the yacht basin is like some found in the Mediterranean.
The Georgian terraces above the harbour give the place a quintessentially English look. A lot going on in such a small place. Fletcher Christian of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty‘ fame was born in the area and no doubt left for his adventures in the Pacific from one of the jetties which thrust out into the sea.
Travelling out of Maryport, the road skirts the sea as it passes through the village of Allonby. This is where we went on school outings, adventures were had there. The sand dunes up the coast shelter one of the best golf courses in the country and reach up to the very pretty resort of Silloth.
A great day out.