The pretty Georgian town of Cockermouth is just 6 miles away from The Pheasant and is the gateway to the quieter Western Lake District.
This thriving market town with its 8,000 inhabitants is proud of the fact that in 1965 the Council for British Archaeology recommended Cockermouth for preservation by the State as part of the National Heritage, thus making it a national 'Gem' town.
Attractions & Activities
Within Cockermouth itself, there are several visitor attractions including Wordsworth House and Garden. Cockermouth is the birthplace of the poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy and the National Trust offer daily tours around the house, garden, and it also has a café.
Tours are also on offer at Jennings Brewery with their award-winning ales and long heritage, and they finish with samples of their ales.
If you like history, seek out the mini museum in Banks Hardware store in Market Place or take the Civic Trust’s town trail. And if you’re an art fan, there are lots of creative places to browse, and high-end art is on show at Castlegate Gallery, which has a national reputation.
Further afield, and not far from The Pheasant, lies the Lakes Distillery, where you can find out how whisky is being made for the first time in hundreds of years.
Also nearby is the Lake District Wildlife Park. Wander around their beautiful 24-acre parkland and see over 100 species from Anaconda to Zebra. There is a café, picnic and play area and daily displays.
Visitors are also welcome at the Cockermouth Golf Club in nearby Embleton, an 8 hole, PGA rated golf course, fully equipped with a cosy and friendly clubhouse and easy parking.
Cockermouth's town centre is compact so easy to walk around and is host to a large number of independent shops. From butchers and bakers to toys and books, homewares, fine art and gifts, as well as clothes, shoes, hardware, fresh flowers, fish, fruit and vegetables, pet supplies and antiques.
There are also card shops, furniture stores, national supermarket chains (Sainsbury's, Aldi and Co-op) and car retailers, as well as historic hardware shops, interesting curios, pharmacies, banks and some luxury shops with clothes, shoes and lingerie. Why not browse the shops and then stop for some refreshment in one of Cockermouth's many coffee shops.
There’s always something going on in Cockermouth. The town's arts venue is the Kirkgate Centre, with its mix of music, comedy, theatre and exhibitions. Its Monday night cinema shows everything from subtitled arts films to recent blockbusters, while its Film Club has themed seasons. Many of the Main Street pubs have live music at weekends, and there are ad hoc events in some of the cafes, bistros and at Wordsworth House and Garden.
Annual events include Woolfest (the original British Wool Festival) in June, Northbound Music Festival and the Cockermouth Agricultural Show in August, Taste Cumbria Food Festival in September, and the annual riverside fireworks display in November.
It's also lovely to visit Cockermouth before Christmas. The shopkeepers light their doorways with candles, the fairy lights are magical, and there's even late night shopping, with mulled wine to keep away the chill.