The Lake District
A predominantly rural county, Cumbria is home to the Lake District National Park, considered one of the most beautiful areas of the United Kingdom. The area has provided inspiration for generations of British and foreign artists, writers and musicians, including Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. Much of the county is mountainous, with the highest point of the county (and of England) being Scafell Pike.
Cumbria was formed from the old counties of Cumberland, Westmorland, and part of North Lancashire, and is the second largest county in England. Inside is the Lake District National Park an area some 30 miles across, containing the highest mountains (four over 3000 ft) and some of the biggest lakes in England. Lying just outside the boundary of the Lake District National Park, Cockermouth is an attractive market town not overwhelmed by the tourist atmosphere of Keswick. Cockermouth grew up at the junction of the two most important rivers in the area. Here the River Cocker, flowing out of the lakes Buttermere, Crummock and Loweswater meets the River Derwent on its journey from lakes Derwent and Bassenthwaite to the sea at Workington. The Romans built the fort of Deventio at Papcastle, about a mile from the present town, at a meeting place of roads from Maryport, Carlisle and Penrith. Cockermouth Castle was built in the 13th century, but little of that remains because of the efforts of Robert the Bruce. The majority of the ruins date from 1360 to 1370, though there have been some modern additions. The castle is privately owned, and not normally open to the public.